“Urn-ed Run” – Go On

60203737This was a pretty anticlimactic season finale from Go On. Perhaps I’m just used to the big, dramatic closing-cliffhangers from the stalwarts of other networks, but this ending fizzled. Though it was in keeping, one could say, with the rest of the season. Like each of the 21 episodes that preceded it, “Urn-ed Run” was about overcoming issues and growing as a person. But the growth – Ryan accepting that the perfect ashes-scattering doesn’t have to be the biggest ashes-scattering and, subsequently, everyone else realizing that they could let go of something holding them back – was neither great enough nor interesting enough. The ‘side quest’ of Lauren losing her mojo and her confidence was unnecessary, and its conclusion uninspiring. Allison Miller was entirely lacking, a criminal oversight after the genuinely good cliffhanger of the previous week. This episode’s sole redeeming feature was that it brought a tear to my eye (one tear), which is something it hasn’t achieved in months. As Ryan scattered his wife’s ashes in the most perfect place, we were reminded why we loved the show in the first place. Maybe the writers could use some reminding too. – K

Quoteworthy:

“I’m sorry I didn’t realize my issues with my wife’s ashes were all about you guys.”

“Well now you know.” – Ryan, K

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“Fast Breakup” – Go On

go_on121I was sitting up late last night, trying to brainstorm for reviews that I knew I’d be writing this morning. First up was Thursday’s Go On, “Fast Breakup”. I sat there, pen poised over paper, trying to think of something, anything!, I could say about it. All I could come up with was ‘acceptable’. Which is pretty damning, when you think about. You’d almost prefer for an episode to be abominable than acceptable. At least if it’s abominable it means people have strong feelings about it, one way or the other. Acceptable? That’s just a fancy word for meh.

So what was wrong with it? It’s hard to put my finger on it, exactly. It didn’t awe. It didn’t suck. It was only moderately funny. The subject matter – relationships and complications – was dealt with relatively un-seriously, which I think was a mistake. Yes, I do know it’s a comedy show and, therefore, should arguably be kept light at all times but, in my opinion, the most successful comedy episodes [New Girl, Go On, How I Met Your Mother] of the last year or so have been the ones that weren’t afraid to (in the words of Go On itself) “go for the cry”. Tugging on the heartstrings should not be anathema to a comedy show. It should be used sparingly, but folded in when necessary. And, for this episode, it was necessary. I’ve been hoping that Lauren and Wyatt would break up since he arrived on screen – I love him, but I don’t love him with Lauren – but I still would have liked to see him get a better send off than he got. Or for Lauren to be a little bit upset. Or ANYTHING. It was just too much in the background for my liking.

In saying that, though Continue reading

“Matchup Problems” – Go On

This is a tough one. You all know I love Go On. I’ve never been subtle about that love. I forgive Go On’s glaring inconsistencies, I forgive its awkward plots, and its occasionally bad writing. And I’m probably going to forgive it for “Matchup Problems”, too. But I haven’t forgiven it yet and, if I’m being honest, this episode’s problems can’t be confined to its titular Matchup. It was a nothing episode. I know it was as long as every other Go On episode but, in hindsight, reading my notes, I find that hard to believe. It had a thoroughly flimsy plot, and all felt engineered simply to get Matt Perry and Courteney Cox back on screen together. And that part of the episode is undeniably great. They still have amazing chemistry, and this was quite a funny turn from the former F.R.I.E.N.D. but didn’t really fulfill any purpose. All it really showed us was how close the friendship between Ryan and Anne, however reluctantly, is becoming.

The far more interesting aspect of the episode – and a continuing plot arc throughout the season – was Lauren’s dissatisfaction with her life. This week saw her Skype-flirting with someone from Yolanda’s single Christian Asians cruise. This is an arc that we feel needs to be explored more. It’s constantly swept under the rug, but it’s a highly important part of the series. The most telling moment this week came in a bite-size scene. It’s after she puts a stop to the flirtations with Russ. She’s sitting in bed, awake, while Wyatt sleeps beside her. She watches him, and a look crosses her face. An ‘am I happy here’ look. It was the most poignant moment in the episode. It made me wish we were focusing more on her than on Ryan, just for a little while. Maybe, soon, we will be. – K

Quoteworthy: “In person, King, this all works. But when I’m forced to describe you, honestly? It sounds like I’m insulting you.” – Anne 

“Go for the Gold Watch” – Go On

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This episode was probably one of the better ones we’ve seen from Go On in recent weeks.

The central therapy-related story – Ryan’s dissatisfaction with his life and level of happiness, even after becoming the Number 1 show on local radio – failed to inspire. Nor was I particularly interested in the Danny and Sonia saga. The real storyline winner this week was the quest to uncover the truth about Mr K. That really brought the laughs. While we’re none the wiser about who he is, or why he is the way he is, the hilarity throughout the episode made us not care about that one whit. It was sweet, and ridiculous. 

In other Go On news, the potential romance between Lauren and Steven came way out of left field, but we sort of like it. Only sort of. Anyone would be better for her than Wyatt, who she clearly doesn’t love or want to marry. But we’ve been rooting for her and Ryan ever since they met in the pilot episode. And we’re not quite ready to give up on that yet. With this new Steven-related tension we have an opportunity, oddly enough, to take her relationship with Ryan to another level. She might realize that if she has even a modicum of interest in Steven it means there’s something wrong in her relationship with Wyatt. Then there’s single Lauren, and Steven refusing to date her because he doesn’t want to get in between what she has with Ryan. This would force both of them to assess and come to the conclusion that they do have feelings for each other. In the words of Mr K, “Blammo!”.

Did I just write my first fan fic? – K

Quoteworthy: “I don’t have any more male friends since I lost them all that horrible night in Kandahar… Yeah, we were all pretty drunk when I mentioned I do a great Nicole Kidman impression. Somewhere between getting naked and tucking my junk between my legs, it went wrong. … War…” – Danny 

“Pass Interference” – Go On

I don’t know where to start with “Pass Interference”. It just… meh. I think ‘meh.’ is the only way I can describe it. The right ingredients were there – sweet, sad, amusing – but the way they were put together was all wrong. It only skimmed the barest surface of emotional honesty (a key component of the many successful Go On episodes) where it could have delved deeper. It relied all too heavily on the central Ryan and Simone story when that’s not a romance the viewers can really believe in or care about. It criminally underused Janie and didn’t really allow Ryan to fully comprehend why she was there, instead wrapping it all up far too easily in a neat, Mr K-delivered package. And it brushed all of Lauren’s issues with Wyatt under the rug, completely ignoring the real reason she’s reluctant to advance to full-on wedding planning (she’s just not that into him), and making it seem as though everyone believes that she’s avoiding it merely because she doesn’t want the stress and the inevitable fights. The previous episode finally brought everyone’s (Fausta’s) realization of Lauren’s feelings for Ryan to the fore, so why are we back to ignoring them now? Go On could do better and I hope, for its sake, that it goes back to doing just that. – K

Quoteworthy: “You’re seeing Janie because part of you worries that you’re hurting her, and you invented this boyfriend to punish yourself. To make yourself feel how you imagine Janie feels.” – Mr K

“Comeback Player of the Year” – Go On

This was a slightly below average episode. I’m not sure what made it that, exactly. It was just a general feeling. Maybe the laughs weren’t as frequent, or maybe the emotional punch just wasn’t there. Maybe I just don’t like the introduction of Simone (Piper Perabo, Covert Affairs, Coyote Ugly) – I feel as though she’s unnecessary. She throws off the group’s balance in a way that’s solely intended to ‘mix things up’. Sometimes I hate when writers ‘mix things up’. Yes, often it’s necessary. Often a show has become stale or boring, and it’s important that new blood is brought in to change things and shake things up. But in this case, when Go On is only 14 episodes in and has barely decided what it is, shaking things up is needless.

Despite that, however, there were some comedic flourishes that I enjoyed – Mr K was, as always, a joy, and the return of Tyrell Owens, while not laugh-out-loud funny, did provide some smirk-worthy moments – and Ryan taking the big step of sleeping with someone, even if that someone is Simone, was noteworthy.

The aspect of the story I most enjoyed was Anne’s involvement in Danny’s divorce proceedings, and the resulting meltdown as she finally admits that she’s still angry at Patty for dying. That’s the side of Go On we like, and the sooner we go back to that the better. – K

Quoteworthy: “He’s naked. Doesn’t need to be. Is.” – Ryan, on Fausta’s drawing of Owen

PS George is back for this episode, which is a relief – I was beginning to wonder if he’d died and I just hadn’t noticed.

“Gooooaaaallll Doll!” – Go On

Dammit, Go On writers, you’ve made me want Carrie and Ryan to get together! I mean, I’m probably still team Lauren, but I would not be averse to a Carryan relationship. They’re just so cute when they’re together. I’d sort of been seeing the possibility before this episode – their chemistry on screen is just so good – but didn’t think the writers would ever play into it. Now they have, though, and I find myself totally wanting it to happen…

That’s not to say that I’ve moved on from Lauren and Ryan, and neither have the writers. This episode marked the first instance of the show’s creators explicitly acknowledging the tension between the leads. But they blow past it relatively quickly. Not that that’s bad, necessarily. It’s enough to give recognition to it without having to explore it too far. As viewers, I think we can all be pretty confident that that’s not the last time we’re going to be confronted with the idea of Ryan and Lauren together.

The rest of “Gooooaaaallll Doll!” revolved around Ryan’s desire to date again and Yolanda’s desire to be the cool girl at her new job. Both endeavors lead to significant laughs. Yet, somehow, the episode was slightly disappointing. Maybe because nothing really changed. At the end of the episode, everyone was sort of back where they had been at the start of it, except Ryan had been on a date. It felt a little static when compared with previous episodes. But it was hilarious. I guess you can’t have everything. – K

Quoteworthy:

“Is this where we’re setting his bar? The prettiest movie star in the world, but funnier and stacked? I just feel like we should be discussing some more realistic options.”

“You have someone in mind? Maybe yourself? You all think it, I say it. Boom. No leave hanging.”

– Lauren, Fausta

PS Shaun White (pro snowboarder, hilarious!) and Nazanin Boniadi (How I Met Your Mother) guest.