It could have been deeply corny, uncomfortably feel goodie but TV3's new Tuesday night sit com Go On starring our old Friend Matthew Perry was refreshingly amusing, good enough to tune into again.
And this 30 minute romp at 8pm about grief management as opposed to anger management - though we discover that the two are closely aligned in this first episode, is a much needed alternative to the voyeuristic reality television cheapies such as Surveillance Oz, SCU Serious Crash, Rapid Response, Territory Cops, Border Patrol, which run in that time slot.
No, I don't enjoy looking at humanity at its worst and most vulnerable moments, I far prefer fiction to contrived opportunistic fact for my entertainment.
Perry, looking handsomely mature with a receding hairline plays sportscaster Ryan King who has been removed from his radio show and ordered to take time out to grieve properly after the death of his beloved wife.
She died while driving and text messaging Ryan asking him to pick up a bag of coffee and was so distracted she went through a red light and dies instantly.
Ryan insists he's fine and dandy and arrives back at work wanting to get on with his life, but his boss thinks otherwise ordering him to complete an outreach course in self-realisation and transition.
It's run by a skinny scrawny arsed brunette called Lauren, who Ryan discovers has the lame qualification of being a big loser at Weight Watchers.
Ryan has zero tolerance for the rules of the group counselling game and after turning up on day one and finding the group rudderless, due to Lauren running late, starts an impromptu game of competitive suffering getting the other members of his group to deliver a five minute spiel on their particular grief.
A blind diabetic old guy with a litany of body parts in various stage of break down comes second to a woman who has lost several family members.
Cleverly, we don't know who or what Ryan has lost till the show's end when, after fuming against the political correctness of the group, he realises he's in bad psychological shape, attacking a guest on his show he sees driving and texting.
The other members of Ryan's group are a rag-tag collection of miserables who will no doubt reveal themselves to be idiosyncratic and amusing.. A good start with some real laugh-out-loud moments.
- © Fairfax NZ News