Thursday, 15 September 2011

Up All Night - S1 E1 - Pilot

Reagan (Christina Applegate) returns to her job as producer of popular daytime talk show Ava (Maya Rudolph) after the birth of her daughter who is home being taken care of by her stay at home husband Chris (Will Arnett).

Review after the jump.

So I picked this show up for viewing because it's pretty much the only network show which got any plaudits in the off-season but I don't think I'll review it regularly and I'm not even sure I'll watch it regularly. When I was a kid, I would have loved this type of show, something easy to watch in the middle of the day when home from school like Applegate's old show Jesse, or Just Shoot Me, but in my present state, my perception of Up All Night is that it's a side of unfunny layered between two slices of bland; a sandwich of mediocrity if you will.

I had to look up the names of the two lead characters before I started this so little impression they made. For all its faults, I do remember all the names of the main characters in Ringer (apart from the token black guy in Bridget's NA meeting). One of the criticisms of Will Arnett is that he has never really stepped out of the GOB Bluth role in any show since Arrested Development. Here though, he plays it very toned down. He was meant to have quit his job as a lawyer to stay at home and take care of the baby, but instead seems to spend most of his time playing video games with terrible graphics. All in all he is fairly normal, and so is Christina Applegate's character, so the standard crazy is celebrity Ava, apparently a rival of Ellen DeGeneres.

I didn't get much of a feel for how the show would unfold going forward. Presumably Ava will be diva-like at work creating headaches for a rushed-off her feet Reagan, but really the antics in the pilot were very ho-hum. The scene with an awful CGI canary (clearly, the ship has sailed on shows like Lost with their massive effects budgets) was... so many things that don't include funny or entertaining. Also, when Reagan and Chris go out to celebrate their anniversary, who is looking after the baby? I must've missed that.

All-in-all, a very flavorless show.

"Up All Night" airs Wednesdays on NBC at 8:00 pm EST.

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