Fall Pilots: NBC’s comedies

Posted: September 26, 2012 in Jeff Holland, reviews, Threat Quality
Tags: , , , ,

I’m trying to figure out which of NBC’s new comedies is weirder – the one where there’s a monkey walking around in a lab coat, or the one where everyone is incredibly, overwhelmingly sad.

I think I’m gonna give it to Go On, but that’s just because, in addition to being a pretty odd damn premise for NBC to sign off on, it’s also not bad, at least for the first few episodes I’ve seen.

And I’m not sure I totally understand the deeper layers of Monkey Doctor Annie’s Boobs’ character yet, anyway. 

The premise of Go On: Matthew Perry is a sports DJ whose wife died in a car accident, and so he’s sent to group therapy, which is populated by a bunch of lovable weirdoes, each of whom are going through their own traumas. And they laugh and they learn and Matthew Perry is prickly but ultimately loves them and you get the gist of it.

But I mean, jesus, does it get bleak. Not only does Perry have kind of a mini-breakdown the moment he sees someone texting while driving, he keeps flinching awake at night, expecting his wife’s arm to swing up and smack him in the face like it used to.

He’s not the only one dealing with some pretty rough emotional stuff. Another member of the group has lost her wife and doesn’t know how to talk to her kids. The youngest in the group has a brother who’s in a vegetative state. And then there’s the weird bearded guy. He just doesn’t fit in at all tonally but, couched with the serious damage the others are coping with, I swear he must’ve seen his entire town trapped in a church that burned to the ground or something.

It’s some dark stuff, is what I’m saying.

It’s also a little odd as a premise to an open-ended (and ideally, for NBC) long-running show – because either Perry begins to cope with his loss, in which case he won’t need the group anymore, or he won’t, which would imply the group isn’t helpful and also holy shit are we going to be talking about Matthew Perry’s dead wife for like five straight seasons?

Meanwhile, on Monkey Doctor – I know you think, because of the commercials, that it’s called Animal Practice, but no, it’s Monkey Doctor. You put a monkey in doctor clothes, there’s only one thing you can call your TV show, dammit. Anyway, on Monkey Doctor, a doctor at a veterinary hospital treats everything like he’s Doctor fucking House while behind him there’s a Marx brothers movie going on.

We’ll go ahead and call that one “tonally confusing” and leave it alone until it sorts its shit out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to quietly weep while watching these sad bastards on NBC’s new hit comedy, Coping With Life-Altering Trauma.

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