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Go On: “The World Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Over”

Illustration for article titled Go On: “The World Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Over”
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I’m having trouble isolating exactly what makes a Go On episode work. Because it’s not one particular element that gets switched on or off—it’s rather that a charm arises from all of these elements that briefly outweighs issues of plausibility and narrative. “The World Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Over” worked for me, for some reason. One thing that made the episode stand out was a strong plot arc: Wyatt is going to propose to Lauren at the holiday party (or, as Mr. K would have it, the Mayan Apocalypse world-ending party). That sets the audience’s expectations appropriately, in a way that most Go On episodes have not managed to do. I typically really enjoy it when a sitcom can be unconventional, but Go On has so many characters and so few overarching plot arcs that a little bit of establishing structure goes a long way.

The strongest plotline is, as usual, the plotline without Matthew Perry. Sonia and Yolanda spot Wyatt buying a ring and they’re so panicked about Lauren abandoning the group that they are decidedly unthrilled, going so far as to try to get Wyatt to tell Lauren she’s fat before proposing to make sure Lauren declines. Fortunately, Wyatt figures it out before the implausibility of the whole thing goes out of control, and the girls realize that their happiness for Lauren outweighs their own separation anxiety. We haven’t see Yolanda and Sonia play off of each other before, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. They’re both needy and vicious by turns, which makes for incredible comic potential when they team up.

And of course, a pending proposal is instant relationship drama. Lauren guesses that he might propose and freaks out about it, because she’s always had doubts about her relationship with Wyatt. Weirdly, we’re presented with a proposal whose stakes aren’t really that high. Lauren and Wyatt aren’t a couple the audience cares about; if anything, the rest of the cast seems to think she should break up with him. Wyatt himself has only made a few appearances—and seriously, what is the show going to do, bring on another cast member? But we do care about Lauren, and it looks like she might say no! So she does what any sensible grief counselor would do: She calls her group member with whom she has had inappropriate chemistry with since the pilot to ask his advice.

(So far, I’ve been pretty unimpressed with how the show is handling the dynamic between Lauren and Ryan. There are continual hints they might be interested in each other, such as their continued dependence on each other during romantic escapades. But the writing isn’t backed up with anything substantial, anything that might encourage someone to be invested in the relationship. I can’t imagine anyone ’shipping them, anyway.)

Ryan isn’t at the end-of-the-year apocalypse party because he’s gone on a wine trip with Anne, Steven, and Steven’s “bimbo girlfriend” (casual misogyny for the win!). It is utterly unremarkable. Even Anne doesn’t manage to save it from being a kind of B-grade sitcom adventure, the kind that exists just to take up time and not to tell us much interesting about the characters or their lives. It’s all got something to do with a sports metaphor Ryan heard somewhere about crying and thinking, which sounds terrible, so okay, Go On, whatever. The rest of the cast is suitably occupied with Apocalypse Day shenanigans, which are amusing without being too heavy-handed, though I do wonder that Go On has already rather boldly stated the world will not be ending due to the entirely misinterpreted Classical Maya calendar! Isn’t that tempting fate?

The end of the episode neatly ties back to the beginning, though, with an image of (fake) falling snow slowly dusting over the gathered cast. Go On has the power to be genuinely sweet from time to time, but sometimes gets a little too lost in the Matthew Perry of things.


Stray observations:

  • I think Danny’s crush on Sonia has the potential to be one of the most fun elements of the show. Let’s see how it continues to play out.
  • Over/under on how long before Lauren leaves Wyatt at the altar?
  • “Hmm yeah, something about crowds, are you buying an engagement ring?”
  • I am increasingly unable to see the humor in anything relating to Ryan or Fausta, and even Mr. K is falling a little flat. As funny as his one-liners are, they’re also pretty one-note.
  • The fact that Anne is yelling at her cemetery plot neighbors is much, much funnier than it ended up being portrayed onscreen.