Apr 11, 2013 9:37 AM by Dan Shadwell, KSBY News
Tonight is the finale of the new NBC show, "Go On," and when KSBY was invited to visit the set on the final day of shooting, I jumped at the chance.
The story centers around radio broadcaster, Ryan King, who's lost his wife.
King's boss insists that he get some therapy and that sets the stage as King, played by Matthew Perry, works through his loss with a group of complete strangers in a series of therapy sessions.
"Losing Simone has really hit me kind of hard," King tells the group gathered in a circle. "Was it raining?" a woman asks. He nods. "That's so romantic," she says with a smile.
Matthew Perry admits that he's grown accustomed to sharing.
"This is probably the first conversation I've ever had where people aren't in a circle, talking about their problems, so this is very weird for me," the actor explains with the trademark deadpan that made him millions on "Friends."
He says his character, Ryan King, a sports radio host who's reluctant to spill his guts in front of strangers, uses avoidance tactics. In one scene, he distracts the others gathered in the circle, by betting he can get a tardy arrival to recite lines from a song without them being aware they're doing so.
The therapist, played by Lauren Benanti, is horrified,... in large part because of her own bad experiences with her father, who apparently had a bad gambling habit.
"The humor is not like, 'ba-dum-cheesh,' like slapstick humor," explains Benanti, whacking an imaginary high-hat in the process. "It's humor recognition... that we are all humans on this planet together and funny things happen and tragic things happen. We get to choose how we look at it."
And the shows writers choose some unconventional techniques, like an impromptu song--a sort of musical speculation as to why Ryan King is having trouble moving on.
"...and he likes to murder, and he hates children, and he kicks puppies, has a big carbon footprint, and he smells..." sings Sarah Baker's character.
It's clear the cast members are having fun. "It's really a miracle that each part is being played so well," says actor John Cho. He plays King's boss. "That's the God's honest truth and that's been the most fun,... getting to know these people."
But whether the cast will return for another season, is still up in the air.
"Talk about it more," Baker urges me. "She's going to cry," she says pointing at actress Suzy Nakamura. "She's literally on the verge of tears."
The two actresses, clearly best friends after working together this season, finish each other's sentences like an old married couple.
"And they got the three biggest cry babies,..." Baker says, laughing...."Oh my God, the worst," agrees Nakamura, "... to shoot the last scene."
"We don't know," Perry says. "But I know that NBC is definitely behind the show and they're happy with it. Creatively, we're all very happy."
I point out the obvious irony of the show's title. "They know the title is 'Go On,' right?"
"That's right," agrees Perry. "It's not called, 'Canceled After One Season.' It's called 'Go On!'"
We'll see if that title fits.
The finale airs on KSBY Thursday at 9:30.
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