Sep 14, 2011
Up All Night Review: 1.01 "Pilot"
Today is a great day to cancel Up All Night.
Somewhere in California, Dan Harmon is celebrating.
For those that don't know, Harmon is the show runner for NBC's lowly rated/critically acclaimed (unless those critics are Emmy voters) comedy Community. A show who's ultimate fate for a fourth season may very well lie in the success of NBC's new slate of comedies. Although this is just the first, if Up All Night is any indication, then Harmon will be safe for another year.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I went into my viewing of the Pilot already turned off by the promotion NBC has run all summer. You might have seen the ads, you see Christina Applegate and Will Arnett laying in the bed, fighting the baby, and singing karaoke. You also see Maya Rudolph pop open a bottle of champagne, waking the baby up.
Congratulations, you have seen the pilot. Seriously, this is one of the worst pilots I have ever seen. In no way did I connect with the characters. In fact, I can't even recall them mentioning the names of any of the characters . . . even the baby. By the end of the show, I was simply referring them to by loose definitions of what they did or said in the episode.
Speaking of the characters, 'The Host' (Rudolph) was actually the most likable. She was also a cartoon, but my only smiles came from her unique brand of physical comedy. As for the leads, 'Career Mom' (Applegate) and 'Body by Nordictrack' (Arnett), they were bland and way too dark. Part of the reason I didn't connect with these people is that I had no sympathy for them. They have a newborn and then go out and drink way too much and stay out way too late. Am I supposed to feel sympathy for them being idiots? Sorry.
Also, I'm pretty sure I saw three different babies during the episode. This is pretty common, but usually shows do little things like . . . you know, casting babies that look similar.
It is unfair to judge a show by its pilot, I admit that, but in a timeslot that contains a much better family sitcom on ABC, I will be leaving Up All Night OFF my DVR list.