Monday, September 19, 2011

"Up All Night"? Not Watching This.

NBC debuted "Up All Night" starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph on Wednesday, September 14, 2011. The half-hour sitcom is about how becoming parents effects a me-first, party all night couple.

The First Scene Goes Into The S*#@$$er.
The show begins as Reagan (Christina Applegate) and Chris (Will Arnett) are sitting on the bathroom floor counting the minutes until a home pregnancy test results appear. Reagan and Chris spend the time exchanging meaningful comments, unfortunately I can't recall the meaning of the comments. Once the p-tests results are revealed, the scene fast forwards to the couple using expletives, thankfully deleted, as adjectives describing how exceptionally beautiful their new baby is. Reagan (or was it Chris?) suggests with a new baby in the house it might be time to curtail the cursing. Chris (or was it Reagan?) agrees that it's bad to swear with a baby around, at which point both parents remark how f*&#^ing beautiful they find their baby.

And There is More.
We learn that Chris gives up his job as lawyer to stay at home with baby while Reagan returns to the job she loves: Producer for "Ava", an Oprah/Ellen/Rosie talk show with Maya Rudolph as Ava. For reasons inexplicable, Reagan goes back to work 2 days before the couples 7th anniversary, leaving the anniversary celebration for a work night.  The pilot covers Reagan's relationship with Ava, Chris's apparently 1st venture into the supermarket and both parents coping with the lifestyle changes that come with being parents.

The Good.
The show handles the pseudo-poignant discoveries of a sitcom pretty well. Reagan realizes she can't be at Ava's beck and call and be a Mom. Ava discovers that having a baby changes the lifestyle of her producer/pal Reagan. The parents learn that a babysitter isn't the only cost of a "night on the town" anniversary celebration. Also, Maya Rudolph does a respectable job playing an over the top personality without going over the top herself.

The Bad.
The show is a situation comedy. The situation is real enough. The comedy is non-existent.

The Possibilities.
Lorne Michaels  (SNL wunderkind) is the executive producer of "Up All Night". The show has a SNL skit feel to it. Unfortunately it feels like the SNL skits that show up after the Update, which is usually B-minus or worse material. Occasionally these late show sketches pick up steam so perhaps "Up All Night" can do the same.

End With The Beginning.
Many works of literature foreshadow later developments in the beginning. The final scene of the "Up All Night" pilot returns to Reagan and Chris using expletives as adjectives to described the beauty of their child. One (or the other) suggests that it is a bad habit to curse around the baby. One (or the other) agrees that it is bad form to swear around the baby. The both continue to use expletives as adjectives to described the baby's beauty. I fear that "Up All Night" will end as it began, not funny.


  1. Pretty disappointing to hear that, my partner wanted me to get it for her so she could see if it was any good, but after reading this i think we will give it a miss.
    Great review Barry! Really enjoyed reading it.

  2. Ben,
    While not optimistic about the prospect of this show getting funny (must be funny before it can get funnier), I would give it at least a couple of weeks. The pilot of "Happy Days" was only so-so. The show didn't get any better till they eliminated the older Cunningham boy and made Fonzie a regular. At least invest 1/2 hour and let your partner make her own decision. The pilot of "Up All Night" is available on the show website.

    Thanks for stopping by and adding to my blog. Don't be a stranger,especially when bearing compliments.