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'Up All Night' Series Premiere: Parenting and Partying Don't Mix (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 15th 2011 1:50AM
'Up All Night' - 'Pilot'['Up All Night' Season 1, Episode 1 - 'Pilot']

There's a sweetness that really surprised me throughout the premiere of 'Up All Night' (Wed., 10PM ET on NBC). To be honest, I wasn't sure if Will Arnett could pull off the role of a normal human being, but he absolutely nailed it. His chemistry with on-screen wife Christina Applegate was so authentic, I believed their love completely.

It was the little moments they shared, and some clever editing by the writers to make it feel real. After a fight over who was or wasn't awake at what time to take care of the baby, we cut quickly to the next morning where it's kisses and quick apologies. This is a couple we can root for together, because they're in this together.

Maya Rudolph's retooled Oprah-like character is a lot of fun, and she brings the over-the-top zaniness you'd usually look for out of Will Arnett's character. It's really just a chance for her to do her old Oprah impression from 'SNL' on a weekly basis, but it works. Plus, with Oprah off the air, we gotta get our fix somewhere, right?

This pilot did a quick job of setting up the very simple premise. After a quick scene where Regan (Applegate) and Chris (Arnett) discovered they were going to have a baby, we jumped ahead to the present, where we learned that Chris quit his job as a lawyer to be a stay-at-home dad, while Regan produces Ava's (Rudolph) show.

Read Our 'Up All Night' Interviews With
Will Arnett & Maya Rudolph

The relationship between Ava and Regan is perhaps the most surprising. It's tough to gauge the level of Ava's celebrity, because she can drop in and sing karaoke without getting harassed, but has a private helicopter. Of course, some of this could be due to the retooling of the pilot. Originally, Rudolph and Applegate worked together in a PR firm.

In some ways, it was like watching two different shows, because Ava is so outrageous as a personality in the office scenes, while Regan and Chris are so very normal. But the scene when Ava brought the gift basket showed us that this is a new dynamic for the couple, as did their anniversary night out.

Not so long ago, they were as wild and outrageous as Ava, which makes the show even more relatable. Having a child changes everything, and we'll get to watch this couple that's a little later in life exploring this new chapter. In the promos for the show, the scene with Arnett yelling at the baby, "We're trying to help you!" felt a bit forced, but in the context of the show, it was probably one of the funniest scenes yet, as he was suffering a mean hangover.

It looks like NBC has a charming winner on its hands with 'Up All Night.' Both Applegate and Arnett are just adorable as a couple, and I believe their love for one another and the baby. Ava may be over the top, but the closing scene with her when she accepted Regan choosing to stay with the baby rather than run off to book Stevie Nicks grounded her character a bit in just the right way.

What surprised me by the end was that this was a show that featured three characters, for the most part, and a baby (how cute was she, by the way?). And it worked. That's pretty impressive.

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A pretty good show about parents. Will Arnett really did a good job of not being his type-casted self in this one.

Another review if you're interested:

September 16 2011 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As far as baby based comedies, this one is pretty average. Raising Hope, now there's a baby based comedy I can get behind, sweet and bizarre at the same time with an all star cast.

All of the performances here are fine, if I didn't laugh once during a 22 minute episode, there's a serious problem with the writing. I'm out.

September 15 2011 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the previews made it look funnyer then it was. the home scenes were all right but the work scenes were to much over the top. stick to the home scenesit might survive .give her another job or it will die quickly.

September 15 2011 at 11:26 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Everybody said it was so horrible, but I actually enjoyed it. I have had that fight about who was awake with the baby at what time and who's more sleep deprived.

September 15 2011 at 9:15 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Sorry: Arnett is a show killer. Everyone else works out just fine. It took me about half the show to realize the most talented one (Applegate) was not the lead person in the script, that usually background noise Rudolph is supposed to be the lead. Does not work for me.She cannot carry even a phony show. With Arnett as another main character, that's two strikes. So let's kill Will and then we'll have something. Gone by mid-season if they don't

September 15 2011 at 5:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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