Anyone Else Up All Night Thinking About Up All Night?

I just finished watching the new NBC comedy Up All Night, and though repeat viewings might reveal plot holes and problematic jokes (it is a network sitcom, after all), I absolutely loved it. Will Arnett and Christina Applegate are terrific as Reagan and Chris, a completely charming married couple who support one another but aren’t too sappy or perfect, and Maya Rudolph is hysterical as Reagan’s boss Ava, the Oprah-esque talk show host with a flair for the dramatic. I may be speaking a bit too soon since I’ve only seen one episode, but color me psyched about this show. (Yep, I said color me psyched. That’s how psyched I am.)

Maya Rudpolph and Christina Applegate sit on a couch touching hands
Don’t trust the promos: It’s not really about a baby.

One of Up All Night’s standout qualities (beyond the aforementioned and all-too-rare supportive married couple, of which I am a fan) is that even though it features a baby, it’s not a show about a baby. In an interview in last week’s Entertainment Weekly, show creator Emily Spivey was quick to point that out, adding that:

It’s a show about a couple with a baby and how it informs their life. It’s not going to be Full House with a bunch of closeups of babies going ‘Oh man!’ Anybody at any life stage can understand what it’s like when you’re having to reevaluate who you are because of the circumstances you’re in.

Here’s a clip from the pilot where Reagan and Chris decide to do it “old school” for their anniversary:

Though I myself don’t have kids and therefore can’t speak to Up All Night’s portrayal of parenting (for example, I don’t know what it’s like to change a diaper when you have a massive hangover, though it looks awful), I appreciated seeing Reagan and Chris make decisions—for instance, he leaves his job to stay home with their baby and she returns to work full-time—and live with the results. They aren’t glossing over the responsibilities of parenthood (from my armchair position, anyway) but they aren’t exaggerating the shittiness of it for laughs, either. Instead, the laughs are coming from smart humor and a great cast—who knew you could have a sitcom about a married couple with a baby and leave out the spit-up and the jokes about how the wife and the husband secretly can’t stand each other?

So far, Up All Night strikes me as a show that’s going for a realistic-with-a-shiny-twist vibe, and I’m already looking forward to the next episode.

Did you watch the pilot? What did you think?

Previously: We’re All Made Here: Case Studies in Crazy Cartoon Characters, Gaga’s Jo Calderone Confuses Me, VMA Audiences

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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7 Comments Have Been Posted

I liked it too!

This is one of the few new shows I've been keen to watch, mostly because I love Christina Applegate. This character is perfect for her! I agree with all you've said, although the pacing was a bit fast for me. The covered A LOT in twenty minutes and the best scene in the episode was actually the slowest - parents and baby on a blanket in the back yard. The Ava character was hilarious, but a bit needful of others to make her decisions - again until the end of the show. Just like the white-winged dove. . . !
I'm looking forward to next week, too.

Sings a song sounds like she's singin'...

That Stevie Nicks' BBQ scene had me laughing so hard. I love Maya Rudolph! And I agree—not only was the scene funny but it was nice to see that the Ava character isn't just going to be the stereotypical needy, clueless boss (at least not all the time).

I'm really looking forward to

I'm really looking forward to this Maya Rudolf and Will Arnett? YES please!

Looking forward to more!

Though I was careful to manage my expectations (like you said, it's a network sitcom after all)...I couldn't help but be excited about this show: the three main actors are uber talented, all have young children IRL, and have (for the most part) chosen really great vehicles to showcase their talents. I was expecting an authentic, but hilariously exaggerated depiction of work/ life balance and WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. In addition to what you mention above, I loved the bleeped out swearing: "Our baby is so f***ing beautiful!"


I kind of want the show just to be about Ava but I watched on hulu today and I'm down to follow it. I'm not big on sitcoms, but I really liked the pilot.

I'm in love with Will Arnett.

I'm in love with Will Arnett. Ever since i watched Let's go to Prison, he's been one of my favorite actors (even thou I know like six by name.) i watched the first episode and thought it had some solid jokes. I like the characters and it seemed so real and natural. A young, hip couple suddenly has to change their life to fit in their baby but, like you say, not in the Full house way. It has a new aged comedy that isn't pretentious or overly sarcastic. It could lead into one of the great sitcoms that are around like Modern Family that show a more realistic take on life. I'm colored too!

I just watched it but I

I just watched it but I didn't like it. I like all three actors, but the characters, the dialogue, I don't know it felt somehow artificial or like it was trying to be cool in a way that is supposed to be not cool at all?

I'm not making any sense, am I?

It just felt like the show wanted to appeal really bad to a (perceived) hipster demographic.

No, sorry, this doesn't make any sense at all. I'll try again when I've articulated my thoughts a little better!

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