During its first season, Up All Night seemed to revamp itself every few episodes as it tried to strike the right balance between being a domestic comedy about two new parents and a workplace sitcom set at an Oprah-like daytime talk show. In its second season premiere, the show went through one last (I hope) reboot, abandoning the talk show angle once and for all and bringing it all back home, seemingly for good.
Just like the adorable baby girl whose birth set the series in motion, it's been fun to watch how Up All Night has grown and changed over the course of its first year of life. When it premiered in September, it was a comedy about how a free-spirited married couple adjusts to the responsibilities of child-rearing. But last night's season finale perfectly illustrated what the show has morphed into since the pilot: a female-driven workplace sitcom that gets more comic mileage out of the adult relationships at the office rather than the parent/child stuff at home. (That the baby's most significant bit of screentime last night came in the post-credits teaser indicates just how much the show's focus has shifted.)
Ever since Up All Night's pilot, my wife and I have wondered whether the writers have installed a camera in our place to gather material -- there's at least one moment every episode where the show captures something that happens in our life as perpetually tired parents of two young kids.
It's nice to remember that sometimes the TV Gods giveth as well as taketh away. On the same day NBC mildly disappointed us by announcing the premature end of the The Playboy Club, they warmed our hearts by mentioning that they were granting the Christina Applegate/Will Arnett comedy Up All Night a full season pickup. (They also dropped the bomb that they were going to inflict an entire season of Whitney on us, but we choose to ignore that news in the hopes it will just go away.) Granted, the full season order isn't that big a surprise; since its September 14 premiere, Up All Night has been one of the network's few bright spots, winning strong reviews from critics (including us) and solid (particularly for NBC) ratings. And as last night's very funny episode showed, the series has been growing creatively as well. Here are the five reasons we think Up All Night is clicking with viewers and earned its renewal.
Full disclosure: My wife and I had our second child in January, so we're very familiar with the situation new parents Reagan (Christina Applegate) and Chris (Will Arnett) find themselves in at the top of the new NBC sitcom, Up All Night, which premiered last night. In real life, we have argued over which one of us was up longer with the baby, we have let slip an inappropriate curse word or two (or three, or four, or five) around the kid, and we have dealt with the difficulty of balancing work life and family life. Watching all of those moments played out onscreen, it was almost as if we were watching versions of ourselves from several months ago, before the crawling, the babbling and the sleeping through the night (that's right Reagan and Chris... it does happen). And, for us at least, that authenticity made the show that much funnier. To be honest, I have no idea how Up All Night will play with non-parents; all I know is that the pilot made us laugh harder than any other new fall comedy besides New Girl.
So this network upfront actually broke some news, albeit unsurprising news that no one really cared about, but news nonetheless. Towards the end of the very lengthy two hour presentation, Donald Trump came out to announce that he was going to continue making money on The Celebrity Apprentice and not take a run at the presidency. He made it sound like he was doing us a favor, but I cover entertainment television, so having him stick around on reality TV isn't really helping me at all.
Aside from that, the rest of the presentation was fairly typical, and filled with all the NBC executives reminding us as frequently as possible that The Voice is a big success. I tried keeping count of how often they mentioned the show's name, but they worked it in so seamlessly to nearly every segment that it was almost impossible. And just when I thought they couldn't mention it one more time, they had Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo come out at the end of the presentation to sing. Fortunately, I was already heading out the door at that point.
Is this what bringing sexy back looks like?
You can't keep a good slayer down.
Lifetime is really into the whole life-imitating-art thing -- if their movies count as art now.
Meanwhile, in non-hurricane related news...
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