Saturday, September 15, 2012
Matthew Perry's New Friends
Tuesday Nights 8 PM
Featuring Matthew Perry, Brett Gelman
Sarah Baker, Laura Benanti, Julie White
Suzy Nakamura, Tyler James Williams,
John Cho, Bill Cobbs
Five Scoops of Bosco
Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco
Trying to hit on the right formula for a successful sitcom these days is a bit tricky.
The viewing public is so fickle.
The television comedy landscape is littered with failed shows and shows that really should be gone. Or shows that try to draft upon current successful formulas. Network Programmers have to think outside the box.
Nobody has ever come to me and asked me for advice on this subject, but, If I was starting a sitcom, I would make it one part for the guys...let's say make the main character a Sports Talk radio guy, one part for the ladies...let's say have a self-help, Dr. Philish type setting. Then, maybe have the main character be a major star from a former sitcom hit. And probably top that off with a great ensemble cast with interesting and funny characters.
Oh look, NBC has done that with their new comedy-drama, Go On featuring Matthew Perry (Friends). and created by Scott Silveri (Friends Producer).
Matthew Perry is back at the top of his game here starring as LA Sports Talk Radio Host Ryan King who has just lost his wife in a car accident because she was texting and driving. His boss (played by John Cho) won't let him back on the air until he agrees to go talk about his loss with strangers in a self-help group.
What makes this show great is the strong and funny ensemble cast and the story telling.
Each character has a story and it's going to be interesting to see these characters develop over this first season.
For instance, in the second episode, George a blind older gentleman in the group (played by Character Actor Bill Cobbs) loses a basketball that was signed by Wilt Chamberlain. To help him with the loss, Perry's character gets him court side seats at a Laker game. The scene is interesting because we get to experience the sounds of the game through a blind man's perspective as director Andy Ackerman pots the scene to black and we listen to the sound only.
It's this mix of the human condition with the comical which makes this show stand out among the other new comedies this fall.
The ensemble cast features LA area standout comics like Brett Gelman who is hysterical as the mysterious "Mr. K" and Sarah Baker, who has an obsession with Cats. Laura Benanti (Playboy Club) brings the group back each time and is centered as the Group leader, Lauren.
For the guys, there are guests from the sports world that make cameos like in the first episode when Terrell Owens gets pelted with fruit by Matthew Perry.
It's a good mix between sports, self help, comedy, and the drama which sets this show a part.
At this rate, NBC should have yet another comedy hit on their hands.