Go on

30 Rock

When we talk about joke-machine sitcoms, you know the type. They have the same sense of humor and dramatic climate as a 30 Rock episode. It’s the kind that’s hard to articulate, but easily recognized: comedies where misunderstanding the pronunciation of “rural juror” is a series-long gag and characters can change their attire by turning around and walking away without anyone raising his or her eyebrows. Tina Fey and company broke sitcom barriers with the show-about-a-show for more substantial reasons than just economizing sentences into rapid-fire jokes, but there’s no denying style played a key role. In plenty of ways, 30 Rock was equal parts insufficient and success; while its audience only ever grew sizable with Fey’s Sarah Palin skits, the little sitcom that could was a critical darling. More importantly, peers loved it. The show was awarded three Emmys for outstanding comedy series and holds the record for most nominations given to a comedy series in a single year (22). This month, the show will be nominated again in almost every category, for certain. And there’s even a fighting chance it will win in plenty of them, too. But the other sitcoms that sprung from the 30 Rock generation have not had the same fate.


Channel Guide - Large

In his new NBC series Go On, Matthew Perry plays Ryan King, a recently widowed sports talk radio host, eager to return to work after a leave of absence. Surely, when it comes to his career, something similar is going on with the erstwhile Friends actor who’s had a few notable guest starring roles since that earlier gig ended in 2004—most recently on CBS’ The Good Wife—but who hasn’t been a regular fixture on our TV screens for some time now. The preview premiere of Go On’s pilot, which aired Wednesday night after NBC’s Olympics coverage, begins with a wink to the audience that suggests as much—Ryan pounds on the glass of his studio, informing his boss and co-workers that he’s “back and better than ever.” This is former Friends writer and Go On creator Scott Silveri’s adorable, if a bit heavy-handed, way of marking Perry’s return and perhaps implying that after a string of unsuccessful projects wherein the former ensemble player took on lead actor duties (2006’s Aaron Sorkin drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and 2011’s Mr. Sunshine), this will be the one that sticks. So, is Perry better than ever here? Well, there’s really no topping “Ms. Chanandler Bong” but this show certainly has the potential to be the first in Perry’s post-Friends career to get a second season order.

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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