What I’m Watching #2

Featuring Go On and The Following

Comedy: Go On

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Fans of Chandler Bing in Friends are bound to love the new Matthew Perry comedy Go On. From one of the key writers and producers of Friends (Scott Silveri), the series sees newly widowed sports broadcaster Ryan King (Perry) join a support group to help him get through the tragedy. On paper this seems like an odd, rather too deep emotional basis for a comedy series, but the series pulls it off. The support group is naturally a whose who of quirky and strange individuals. From Sonia (Sarah Baker), grieving over the loss of her cat to the peculiar Mr K (Brett Gelman) whose character is not dissimilar to that of Alan (Zach Galifianakis) in The Hangover. The cast too is made up of some other notable names, including John Cho (Star Trek), Julie White (The Transformers Trilogy, Lincoln) and the always popular Bill Cobbs (NYPD Blue, Night At The Museum). Perry’s usual energetic performance and wit are what draws viewers into the series, but its the charm of his interaction and chemistry with the rest of the cast that make this series unique. At the same time as well it manages to touch on real issues with these people and blends this perfectly with heartfelt comedy. If what I have said so far hasn’t enticed you enough to try the series then how about a mini Friends reunion? Yes that’s right, Courtney Cox plays a role in episode 20. It’s not yet airing in the UK but expect it to arrive later in 2013. A second season has yet to be announced and I’m unsure how many seasons this series could go on for, I mean for how many years can they reasonably have Ryan go to a support group. But for now at least it’s an enjoyable simple watch.

Drama: The Following

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DSC_8554 (Photo credit: Genevieve719)

Like a lot of people, I’ve never been a particularly big fan of Kevin Bacon. My favourite thing I’ve seen him in is the clever EE adverts (although I suspect that’s largely due to the clever writing as opposed to the man himself). However, his performance in The Following has earned him some respect and credibility in my books. Bacon plays washed up FBI agent Ryan Hardy, whose troubled past has led him to an alcohol addiction and the belief that all those around him will die. Hardy is brought back to the FBI to help catch serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) who he once put away. Carroll is no run of the mill serial killer, his murders carry a dark poetic philosophy behind them based on the gothic works of Edgar Alan Poe. Hardy’s previous encounter with Carroll led him to requiring a pacemaker. At the end of episode 1 Carroll is caught and goes back to prison, but this is where the story really gets going. Upon his return, we discover that Carroll has been biding his time in prison gathering together a group of followers who join his cult. His escape was just the start of a chain of events. The cult quickly gets to work, kidnapping Carroll’s son Joey (Kyle Catlett) and start killing people across the country. In a series of chilling confrontations, it is revealed Carroll is writing a book with Hardy as the key protagonist trying stop the cult. The series then follows Hardy trying to unravel the intricate web of people involved in this cult who have significant power and training. As the series develops we learn about Hardy’s personal traumas involving Carroll’s wife (Natalie Zea) and other relationships, as well as the background stories of the various sadistic killers in the cult. At this point the series probably doesn’t sound anything out of the ordinary, just another crime drama. But the nature of the cult and poetic darkness involved makes this drama chilling and intriguing. The personal nature of this killing spree and the subsequent relationship between Carroll and Hardy is similar to the relationships present in the great Hannibal Lecter films. James Purefoy is brilliant in the series. His calm yet chilling nature perfectly captures the charismatic cult leader and his performance is encapsulating. Equally, Bacon is good as the broken man who, unlike many heroes, is not doing this out of a sense of duty, love or patriotism but because he has to. He wants no fame or glory but to simply return to his depressing alcohol fuelled life. Season 1 is coming to an end in the UK on Sky Atlantic but a second season has been confirmed.

About scottmdewey

Journalism, Film and Media Graduate from Cardiff Uni. Arsenal fan. Technology fan. Dreams of being a TV producer

Posted on April 16, 2013, in Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Update: Go On has not been renewed for a second season – sad times

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