Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Up All Night "Working Late and Working It"

"Up All Night" brings the laughs while still trying to find itself after three weeks.  My thoughts on tonight's episode after the break... but first let me get out of this Sweatpants Purgatory.

While I find that most critics are not fond of "Up All Night", the ratings seem to be suggesting differently among viewers.  The pilot brought in close to 11 million viewers and the second episode, while not as huge, still maintained 6 million.  I hope tonight's episode can hold on to that audience, as this little show, while it still has some things to work out, is growing on me.

In tonight's episode we find our couple in a familiar situation for anyone in a long term relationship, "The Sweatpants Purgatory", as our guest star Will Forte, so eloquently put it.  We've all seen this same argument or discussion played out before in so many sitcoms and in our own living rooms, but where most fail, "Up All Night" succeeds.

Will Arnett nails Chris's reaction and concern to Reagan's after work attire.  Every guy knows he loathes that moment when his woman comes home, dressed to the nines for work and immediately gets changed into her Dave Matthew's Band, 1998 Tour, t-shirt and sweatpants! Like most men, he then tries to backdoor the situation, changing his own cloths, showing some muscles, and in a physically funny scene, walking while flexing his ass ("Why are you shuffling around like you're smuggling drugs up there").  Once, Reagan realizes what Chris is trying to do, she snaps (just like my wife) and like a scared puppy he backs down stumbling and mumbling his words begging for forgiveness ("I'm so sorry... for my existence).

As I mentioned above, we also get a great appearance from Will Forte, as the creepy yet cool dad from the park.  Forte, at this point in his career, has mastered these types of characters, that he could play them in his sleep - one great example is Barney's assistant on "How I Met Your Mother", Forte is constantly getting nose bleeds anytime he experiences an erection. Classic!  We also got to see Jorma Taccone from "The Lonely Island Boys" play Ava's old boyfriend B-Ro.  While we didn't see much of him, we did get a hilarious SNL, digital short type, music video, similar to "Dick In A Box", with Taccone dressed like a ponytailed MC Hammer (Awesome! - see picture above).  Very happy we got an extended viewing of the video at the end of the episode.

My only problem with "Up All Night" is Maya Rudolph's Ava.  Her character is so over  the top that it becomes distracting.  I understand what the show is going for, with the contrast of her talk show personality and her actual personality (How can a woman that behaves like this have a talk show directed at helping woman with their own lives?).  I think that her character can be toned down and we would still get the point.  At the end of the episode, we do see Ava's personality dialed down a bit, while giving Reagan some sound advice.  If the character could only maintain that personality, she would be much more bearable.

Like "Cougar Town" in its first season, "Up All Night" just needs to find the right balance of character's, personalities and relationships.  The chemistry between Arnett and Applegate is fantastic and I can even see Maya Rudolph fitting into their world but the writers need to take a different path to getting there.  Overall, I see more potential then failure, and as long as this show keeps making me laugh, I'm sticking with it.

So what did everyone else think?

1 comment:

  1. Nice critique, thorough and insightful. I have never watched the show but may need to take a peek next week.