New TV Show Review: “Up All Night” on NBC

HollywoodNews.com:Up All Night feels like a show that’s quickly becoming a completely different show than was originally intended. They’ve already tinkered with the pilot and it seems like the new angle is the show they really want to make, but right now there are still remnants of the original pitch.

Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph star in this wacky take on a modern couple raising their newborn. Regan Brinkley (Applegate) goes back to work, while Chris (Arnett) stays home with baby Amy. Rudolph plays Ava, the host of the talk show Regan works on. The talk show was a change. They previously has Ava as a Hollywood agent, so they reshot scenes to make her a talk show host. I believe they now want to make the Maya Rudolph talk show show, but they’ve already committed to this baby show.

The show has some irreverent observations about the chaos of child rearing. Maybe they even have a few episodes’ worth but honestly, that’s not a series. It’s a pilot, it’s maybe a movie, but I’m not setting a DVR to make sure I don’t miss a single joke. I’m guessing by November it’s all about the Ava show.

The best contribution Up All Night makes to the baby comedy genre is Chris and Regan’s excessive swearing over Amy’s cuteness. Chris accidentally says, “Babe, worry, we can’t totally do that.” But it’s the only time he betrays his true thoughts. We’ve seen women forcing their tight skirts on before. Matt Lauer talking to Regan on the TV suggests possible meta detours, but that’s the only time anything like that happens.

I can’t really fault the show for playing with the same baby fears, because they are universal. Regan feels guilty going back to work, and Chris gets confused in the supermarket, but Applegate and Arnett play it up.

Regan and Chris are a really nice couple. She doesn’t get mad when she comes home. In fact, Regan adores Chris’s sloppy way of doing chores. Sleep deprivation makes them intense but in a light, silly way. It’s nice that they just have fun with the stress rather than make it mean.

Chris trying to make guy friends with other stay at home dads addresses the modern phenomenon, but they can’t do that every week. Pretty soon he’ll just be the guy in the background who says, “So, how was Ava today?”

So how funny is Ava? Well, it’s schtick, but it’s schtick Rudolph does well. She’s like a female Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) from 30 Rock. It would become a workplace comedy set in her world. If they stick with the baby thing, we’ll see…

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