Matthew Perry returns to television for the third time since Friends. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip lasted one season and Mr. Sunshine got cancelled quick, but Go On hopes to be the new mainstay Matthew Perry show. Building off his more dramatic work, the show blends comedy and tragedy. Perry plays a sportscaster forced to go to grief therapy after the death of his wife.
“Behind everything is the fact that this guy just lost his wife, so there’s the reality of that,” Perry said speaking with the Television Critics Association this summer. “I don’t have a lot of experience grieving. I have a ton of experience of sitting in circles and talking about my problems. So I’ve been doing that for a long, long time so I didn’t have to do much research. The interesting thing is, and you would only know this if you were in such circles, but that common bond creates a lot of laughter, a lot of jokes, a lot of funny, a lot of laughing.”
Perry can always make a sarcastic joke to deflect a real issue, and the supporting cast is full of quirky characters. The comedy is covered, so Perry is more excited to let it flow with his dramatic work.
“I get to do a bunch of a bunch of things all at one time.I really like doing comedy and I really like doing drama, and this is a really funny show. But one of the scenes in the show gave me one of the biggest acting challenges I've had dramatically,
As Perry referred to, he has real life experience going to AA and rehab. Unlike his character on Go On, Perry believes in 12 steps.
“I do, yes, and this character I think in a nonlinear fashion will. That kind of belief usually comes out of a sense of need and he realizes at the end of the pilot that he needs that. My feeling on therapy is it’s a luxury and if you’re fortunate enough to get some smart people to talk to about life, then that’s fortunate and you should go for it.”
To be hair, Perry welcomed therapy as a way to get better. His character in Go On is thrust into it by unforeseen tragedy. “He had no reason to go to therapy. His life was he liked sports, he liked his buddies, loved his wife and had this awful thing not happened to him, he probably would have never dug deeper than that. Not being alone with it, that’s what he has to learn. That’s what the thing about this show is, is that people sort of need people. He reluctantly finds that out for himself.”
Go On premieres September 11 on NBC.