Third-episode verdict: Go On (NBC)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 3

In the US: Tuesdays, 9pm Eastern/8pm Central, NBC. Starts September 11
In the UK: Not yet acquired

So far, if there’s one new comedy acquitting itself on NBC, it’s Go On. Although the idea of a support group for the traumatised – in particular, Matthew Perry channelling Joel McHale in Community as a talk radio sports commentator who lose his wife in a car accident – sounds like a sad idea for a sitcom (and you’d be right), the show is just about managing to find some laughs.

Just about.

Trouble is, we’re still talking about a guy who has lost his wife. And as the first episode demonstrated, that’s not that funny. Even if you can somehow turn adjustment to bereavement into something wacky – Perry not wanting to return home at night so he keeps making his assistant work late and gatecrashing her social occasions, as per episode two, or his gardener erecting a tribute fountain to his dead wife in episode three – we’re still talking about a show that makes you want to cry more than laugh.

And partly, that’s because the writers aren’t writing many jokes, partly because the supporting characters are woefully underdeveloped and partly because 90% of the cast are rubbish. Of the good portion of the cast, John Cho now has something to do but isn’t being given great material, Laura Benanti now has less to do and is getting less material, leaving Perry to get most of the good material and resultingly having to shoulder virtually the entire burden of the show, something that’s seeping into his performance.

Nevertheless, the show is just about treading the right side of the funny-unfunny/watchable-unwatchable line. I’m not recommending it, but I’m going to stick with it for a while, since there is some promise in it, and Perry, Cho and Benanti all deserve a successful TV show after all their previous flops. And given NBC’s ratings, I think it’s likely to get picked up for a full season very soon so it might actually have a chance to find its feet.

And lo and behold, look! Here’s The Carusometer’s replacement The Barrometer to pass verdict on it!

Barrometer rating: 3
Rob predicts: Will get a full season, maybe even 2


  • The other David

    Well, I can say that I haven't seen Go On (but then I didn't care for Friends and, therefore, don't give a damn what happens to ex-Friends cast members — Lisa Kudrow excepted), but I do have an opinion on the new Barrowman meter.

    I'm a little confused as to the Barrowman meter.� Having seen Barrowman neither in Shark Attack 3 nor Desperate Housewives, I can't say how bad/good Barrowman was in those shows (although his campiness in the Dallas documentary/tribute caused me to turn it off after 5 minutes), but his work in Torchwood: Children of Earth and Doctor Who, I (IMHO) think places him above the blatantly bad over-acting of Caruso.� To my mind, while the scripts and scenes of Miracle Day weren't much for Barrowman to work with (never mind what Eve Myles had to put up with), the ego and sense of self-importance of Barrowman didn't shine through quite as brightly (and badly) as that of Caruso.� So, to me, that was why the Carusometer was so instructive.� While I agree that a new Caruso-type meter could be warranted (with the cancellation of CSI: Miami), to me, the Carrusometer was indicative of bad script/acting.� Perhaps it should be a Torchwood or Torchwood: Miracle Day meter?� Gradations would be: 0 Children of Earth; 1 …; 5 Miracle Day.

    Regardless, keep up the good work.

  • That would really be a Torchwoodmeter rather than a Barrometer. The Carusometer wasn't exactly as you imagine it was, since it was a measure of David Caruso's imagined comparative involvement in a production.

    The Barrometer, as you might imagine, is a simpler, friendlier beast. It's more a straight comparison – is this show as good as Desperate Housewives, Doctor Who, The Producers, Shark Attack 3 or, *shudder*, Torchwood: Miracle Day. Since John Barrowman has never been involved in a truly excellent show, 0 is a little more poorly defined, so I'll accept alternatives, since simply putting The Wire would have been confusing.


  • Lisa Rullsenberg

    Now THAT'S a great explanation of the Barrometer!

  • bob

    I love the Barrometer.�

  • The other David


    Thanks for the explanation of both the Barrometer and pointing out my misinterpretation on the Carusometer (and the link).�

    Based on your explanation, I can now see that the Barrometer is a more straight-forward comparison meter (although I always liked my interpretation of the Carusometer as being indicative of bad, over-the-top acting and a bad show) than its predecessor.� And while I would agree that the '0' setting should be changed (at first glance, '0 Barrowman-free', would include any other program w/o Barrowman in it — regardless of the quality of the show), I don't have a suggestion for a replacement.� And since I didn't like The Wire (yes, I'm a heretic), besides being non-relevant, the use of it as a '0' standard would skew the idea of a measure of quality based on a standard metric.

    I still like my idea of the (as you corrected) Torchwoodmeter, but, with your explanation, I'll abide with whatever direction you go with this.� Keep up the good work.

  • I'm tempted to suggest the West End version of A Few Good Men starring Barrowman and Rob Lowe for 0, since that was actually very good. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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