Go On: “The World Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” (Episode 1.11)Photo courtesy of Vivian Zink, NBC TV Reviews
Go On is the freshman comedy I’m rooting for most this season. Does it have the staying power Matthew Perry’s breakout show had? Is it as edgy and current as Community , the show it’s most often compared to? No, but it doesn’t need to be. For half a season now, the comedy has brought a sense of humor to people in dark times, and as it slowly builds and builds, it moves away from being driven by the grieving process and has shifted its focus to what any good comedy is about: the people.
After 11 episodes, I can honestly say I care about the characters—not all of them, but most. So many other shows still feel like I’m watching a new show. With Go On I’ve looked past the fact that it will never be the hip show to watch, but it is one of the few freshman comedies where I’m invested in the characters’ lives.
“The World Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” starts with the group deciding to have a holiday party and scheduling it for December 21. Mr. K—who is still being presented as just a kooky old guy without much value—decides it should also be the end of the world party because of the Mayan calendar. That in itself isn’t important, but what the whole discussion about the last day on Earth does bring up is some great pathos the show has done so well presenting.
Ryan and Steven are going to wine country, a place they always go for a good time. Steven is bringing a hot bimbo and Ryan decides to bring Anne, who hasn’t missed a day at her girlfriend’s grave since she died. Ryan and Anne’s chemistry is probably the most rewarding out of any of the group. Sure, Ryan and Owen are great buds, but there is something so mature about his relationship with Anne that makes their screen time seem so valid.
Throughout the episode, and the entire series really, Ryan uses sports metaphors to connect with his friends and the audience. This time he uses Jim Valvano, the famed college basketball coach who died of cancer and told us to “never give up, don’t ever give up.” Ryan reminds Anne that if it is indeed their last day on earth that they should live the perfect Jimmy V day, one where they laugh, think and cry.
The reason I like this show so much is for moments like this. As much as Go On tries to be in-your-face funny, it’s these warm moments that really make the show stand out for me. A lot of shows try this approach, but fail on the connection between the actors and the audience. However, because of the ensemble the show has put together, this isn’t a problem.
While Ryan and Anne are off on their Jimmy V day, the rest of the group is off having their Holiday/End of the World Party. During the party, Lauren gets proposed to and even though she isn’t sure, she eventually accepts the proposal. There are a lot of hijinks with Mr. K’s obsession with the end of the world and Fausta’s determination to make it a Christmas party and not a non-denominational one, but they play second fiddle to Ryan’s sincerity in this episode.
It was a nice way to end the first half of the season. There’s time to work on the second half and really hook viewers. This is one show that’s worth having on your DVR for when there’s nothing else on, but it’s also definitely worth putting into your weekly watch schedule, so take the winter break to catch up on 11 heartwarming, and admittedly sometimes bumpy, episodes from Perry and the gang.