Fall TV Second Look: Go On (NBC)

  • Publish Date: October 10, 2012
  • Comments: ↓ 2 user comments

Throughout the next month, we'll be taking a second look at select new fall shows to see how critics' opinions are evolving. View all Second Look reviews here.

Comedy | Tuesdays at 9p NBCGo On

Critics Users
66 7.7
based on 1 ep. 57 votes

Consensus After 6 Episodes
Steady Steady
... has potential, but it's not there yet

How it's doing: Naturally, there was going to be a drop in viewership after the premiere—over 16 million people watched a sneak preview that aired during the Summer Olympics—and ratings have indeed trailed off considerably, but the show is remaining competitive with Fox's New Girl (the only comedy airing at the same time) in a tough timeslot, and the series is actually performing better than many of NBC's more established comedies, including The Office. Go On was among the first shows this fall to receive a full-season order.

About that Metascore: Critics generally enjoyed the pilot when they reviewed it back in August (only The Mindy Project has scored higher among new fall comedies), with star Matthew Perry getting the bulk of the praise. At the time, there was some skepticism that the show would find a workable balance and tone, and those worries persist to this day among many of the writers who analyze the show on a weekly basis (see below).

Subsequent episodes

Trending Symbols
The symbols below do NOT represent the absolute quality of each episode; instead, they provide a very rough snapshot of how individual critics feel each episode compares to previous episodes
IMPROVING: Indicates the critic has noted a general improvement in quality
Liked it STEADY: Indicates that episode quality has remained steady (which could be good news or bad)
Liked it DECLINING: Indicates a general decline in quality in that episode

Episode 2 (aired 9/11/12)
Steady A.V Club / Sonia Saraiya Episode grade: 58
"The fact is, the premise of Go On is pretty thin right now: Ryan learns things about grieving from his kooky support group. ... Go On is not appreciably leaning on either a solid plot arc or well-rounded characters. As a result, it feels just short of sketch comedy."
Improving Paste / Adam Vitcavage  
"The second episode... is just as strong, and in some regards, stronger than the pilot. Yet there are times where I wished it stayed on track from what the pilot set up."
Steady ShowBuzzDaily / Mitch Salem  
"Matthew Perry is obviously the show's big draw, but one has to question whether this is the best way for Go On to be structured, relegating most of the other characters to being mere foils for him. ... This is the time when these characters are being established for viewers, and setting them up so shallowly isn't a good sign. Of course, these aren't fatal flaws for a show that's just getting started, but they're issues that Go On is going to need to address."
Steady TV Equals / Adam Newland  
"After the Olympic premiere, the show seemed to have potential, but had a number of question marks as well. After tonight's episode, a lot of the same questions continue to remain."
Declining TV Overmind / Chris King  
"I really, really enjoyed [the pilot], which is why it saddens me that last night's second episode, 'He Got Game, She Got Cats,' was such a dip in quality. Most TV show's second episodes are never truly great, but what I saw from Go On last night has me a little worried about its longevity as a funny, heartfelt sitcom."
Episode 3 (aired 9/18/12)
Improving A.V Club / Sonia Saraiya Episode grade: 75
"Essentially, I feel that Go On is a technically good sitcom, and the writers seem to know what they're doing, but I have no idea what they are trying to do, or where this is going to go."
Steady Paste / Adam Vitcavage Episode grade: 80
"It's taking its time, but Go On is certainly finding its bearings."
Steady TV Equals / Adam Newland  
"There continues to be room for growth on Go On. It definitely makes me laugh more than most of the shows on television right now, but there are still rough edges to be smoothed out."
Steady TV Overmind / Chris King  
"This episode definitely came closer to striking a balance between the good, funny humor and the real, raw emotion that Go On did so well in its pilot. Even though I'm still not laughing out loud very much during episodes of Go On, I definitely left this week with many more smiles and a greater feeling of connection with Ryan and the therapy group."
Episode 4 (aired 9/25/12)
Declining A.V Club / Sonia Saraiya Episode grade: 50
"Yet for all the strength of the individual characters and these flashes of humor, the foundational, connective arcs of the episode were very flawed. ... I would not have expected writing to be a problem for Go On — but continuity, weirdly, is also (already!) becoming an issue."
Steady Paste / Adam Vitcavage Episode grade: 80
"For the most part it works. However, the show should be exploring the depths of these characters and not treading so lightly over the character's emotions. A lot of focus of the show has been on its similarities to NBC's oddball comedy Community, but the show needs to be more like The Big C and Enlightened. Write it as a drama with funny characters in it, not a comedy about dramatic characters."
Steady TV Equals / Adam Newland  
"I still have yet to get a good feel for the type of show that Go On is going to be."
Episode 5 (aired 10/2/12)
Steady A.V Club / Sonia Saraiya Episode grade: 50
"There are things I like about Go On week-to-week, but something about it isn't quite sticking for me. ... This showing and not telling is not going to work for long. We need to see relationships build in order to care. Go On has a slick, glossing-over-the-details blitheness to it that might work in the short run but is not going to carry it through any sustained viewership."
Steady Paste / Adam Vitcavage Episode grade: 79
"Go On uses a simple structure that might get old over time, but if they keep throwing in new ideas each week, eventually they'll land on the right formula."
Steady TV Equals / Adam Newland  
"Overall, it seems like we are still waiting for Go On to put it together. This week was successful emotionally, but seemed to struggle from a comedic standpoint."
Improving Zap2It / Rick Porter  
"It's becoming more assured week by week."
Episode 6 (aired 10/9/12)
Declining A.V Club / Sonia Saraiya Episode grade: 42
"At this point, six episodes in, it seems that we've seen what Go On has to offer, and the answer is simple: not much."
Improving TV Equals / Adam Newland  
"We keep talking about Go On taking steps to becoming a really solid sitcom. This week definitely seemed like a step in the right direction."

What do you think?

What do you think of Go On? Is it getting any better or worse as the season progresses? Are you sticking with it?

Comments (2)

  • Sargie  

    I think the score is a little harsh, the other Fall second look (Revolution) is on 64/100 and in my opinion may not last the season - it's very disengaging, full of pretty actors/actresses ( I mean, who looks that good in a post apocalyptic world!) and the usual over dramatised average storyline. Go On on the other end is a very funny sitcom, one which welcomes back Matthew Perry who has amazing comic timing and a pleasure to watch. I do agree that the premise of dead wife isn't sustainable, however, there's enough scope in the support group to take it forward.

  • twainfile  

    This show is an unmitigated, irredeemable disaster---a mess. Make his last bomb series seem like Seinfeld.

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