October 24, 2012

Quick Thoughts: GO ON, "Any Given Birthday"

Like any show, Go On can be hit or miss sometimes, but "Any Given Birthday" was mostly hit and one of the funniest episodes yet.

I've said a few times now that Go On works as two different show, one's a workplace comedy and the other focuses on the support group dynamics, and so far the episodes that I've enjoyed the most are the ones that successfully blended the two. For example, Ryan's scavenger hunt had nothing to do with his job but "Any Given Birthday" was able to effectively use Steven in an oddball B-plot involving Sonia. On paper, Steven and Sonia shouldn't mix, but his drugged out shopping spree was hands down some of the best material to date and John Cho should submit this one for Emmy contention. What was even better was how seamlessly he's been integrated with the rest of Ryan's friends. After a few minutes, I bought Steven and Sonia's brief moments on bonding, and I was delighted when he got to tag along at the end of the night. I just hope Steven doesn't take a few steps back because of his altered state, but I'm confident that he won't since he's already been shown hanging with the support group already.

We also got more of a glimpse at how Ryan operates  In an odd way that probably says more about me, I totally understood why he would think that acting like a petulant child's a sign of affection because you only pull that crap with people you trust, and it allowed for some great one-on-one moments with Lauren. Speaking of, the writers really hung a lampshade on their inevitable hook-up, but it was another example of a contrivance that I went with because it felt earned.

Really, I don't have any major complaints about this episode except for the fact that Carrie was once again criminally underused. Sure, there was that brief scene at the studio, and I loved her hug (and Ryan's overblown reaction to it), but I really wanted her to be asked to join the gang and have some fun. Alas, she was relegated to being nothing more than a lackey, and I pray that she's given more stuff to do down the road. Also, I'm still not sure about the figments of Ryan's imagination, but Matthew Perry and Christine Woods crackle when they're on screen together so I'll go with it.

Go On's still far from a perfect comedy, but there's still a ton of potential there to keep me excited for the rest of the season. Hopefully, it can sustain some level of success and we'll be seeing it on NBC's schedule next year.


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