After being a little underwhelmed last week by the second episode of Go On, I was pleasantly surprised by “There’s No ‘Ryan’ In Team.” 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.
The main focus of last night’s episode was Ryan’s struggle to call the group his “friends.” Even though he has started enjoying therapy and is getting a lot out of it (this week he tells them about how he is waking up at 1:23 every morning, because that is when his wife, Jane, would always slap him awake in the middle of the night), Ryan wants to keep this circle of people and this part of his life separate from everything else. By making this a conflict that affects not just Ryan but the whole group, Go On showcases all of the group’s members in this episode, allowing each one of them, for the most part, to have a memorable moment or line that gives us more insight into their cooky behavior.
Go On also mixes the funny with the emotional in this storyline much better than it did last week. Both Ryan’s speech at the bowling alley, and the group’s visit to his house at 1:23 am feel earned. I truly believe that Ryan is now closer with the group than he was in last week’s episode, and the fact that they would all visit Ryan in the middle of the night so he would not feel lonely was an extremely touching moment. The humor is also pretty solid in this episode. Between Mr. K’s line to Yolanda about why he doesn’t let her use his bowling ball (“I don’t trust your fingers.”) to the group trying to figure out which “Dead Wife” license plate would be best for Ryan, almost all of the group members made me smile or chuckle at some point.
Along with the group storyline, Go On also gives Jon Cho’s Steven some great material to work with as he attempts to connect with Ryan and get him to open about Jane’s death. His lunch conversation about the “bread in heaven” and his squeezing of Ryan’s hand were the funniest moments of the night for me. I’ve always liked Cho as an actor, whether it was in Harold and Kumar or the new Star Trek, so seeing him on my TV every week is great.
Last night’s episode of Go On was a turn in the right direction after it had a slight misstep with its second episode. The best part about this show is that even when the writing may not be there, the cast and characters are so likable that I am willing to stick with them through almost anything. If the writers of Go On can continue to be consistent and give us great, touching group stories like they did last night, this show could become this season’s best new sitcom.
- –I loved Ryan driving in his new Porsche, listening to Huey Lewis, and then his failed attempts at voice commands. Like him, I was thinking, “It seriously doesn’t do that yet?”
- –“Look what the cat dragged in.” “Cat’s don’t that! It’s a stereotype perpetuated by dog people!” – The show still hasn’t forgotten Soina’s awful cat plot from last week, but this exchange was pretty darn funny.
- –George is quickly becoming my favorite character on Go On. The moments when he dressed up in the basketball uniform and when he tried to drive Ryan’s Porsche, even though he is blind, were priceless.
- –Go On needs to give Laura Benanti more to do. I feel like she barely had any lines in this episode, and she was actually pretty funny with her “prescription drug” bit at the end.