On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, NBC premiered their highly anticipated new sitcom, Up All Night starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, and Maya Rudolph.
Having built up fairly high hopes for this new show with a premise of late in life parents working to find the balance of new baby, work, and their marriage, I practically held my breath as I watched the pilot episode. The question in mind was: will it be DVR-worthy and everything it was built up to be?
Before we dive into the five things I put in the plus column for Up All Night, here’s a quick background:
In Up All Night Christina Applegate’s character, Reagan, is going back to work while dad, Chris, a former lawyer, is going to be a stay-at-home dad. Reagan is a producer for an Oprah-esque talk show simply titled, Ava. Maya Rudolph plays the egocentric and kid-clueless, Ava.
1. The relationship between Reagan and Chris – I liked the feel of this marriage and the nuances of the relationship that were portrayed. Particularly in the moments where they’re doing the comparison game over who’s got it rougher (and more in need of a night out): Reagan who’s going to work all day and taking care of baby Amy or Chris who’s the primary caregiver and taking care of things on the home front. Haven’t we all had that conversation at least once?
2. Chris finds a friend – His first day out of the gate, Chris does what stay-at-home moms strive to do everywhere: create a support system of fellow moms who can relate. He found this friend at the park and I loved when Reagan had to cancel their anniversary plans and when she came home, he was talking it through with his buddy on the phone. Added bonus, new buddy’s a “surfer dude.”
3. Life after baby just isn’t the same – It just isn’t. And aside from figuring out that they need to watch their language around baby, staying out until all hours; rocking the karaoke and high kicks might not be worth it when baby is crying at five o’clock in the morning. And I think there were those beginning realizations that it really is okay that life has taken on a different tone.
4. “We’re gonna screw this up.” – Reagan worries that every time she comes home they’ll be “all awkward and distant and you’re gonna resent me,” and concerned what that would do to Amy. As they’re talking it through, it’s here they decide to go live it up old school style and celebrate their anniversary. It was a great moment with an underlying reminder that communication is key.
5. Sometimes you’ve just got to say no – Pre baby, Reagan was 100% there for Ava, rarely was there a ‘no’ in sight. After the killer (as in the aftereffects practically killed them) night out, when Ava showed up unexpectedly the morning after to go meet with Stevie Nicks, Reagan realized, sometimes it’s okay – and necessary – to put family first.
Overall I liked what Up All Night had to offer. The underlying points that were being hit upon should strike home with many families and the choices we have to make on a daily basis. Not to mention, it’s funny.
Not only will we get to watch Reagan find a balance with work and home (and handling the guilt that comes with that), but watching Chris find his footing in stay-at-home dad land should be priceless. Who didn’t love the phone call from the grocery store: “I can’t find the regular cheese!” So distraught over the old lady wanting to touch his baby, he never did find that cheese and came home with the fancy cheese instead.
I upgraded Up All Night from a one time DVR recording to all new episodes. We can only wait and see where this NBC sitcom will go from here. Stay tuned…
Next week Up All Night will air in its regularly scheduled time slot, 8:00 p.m./7:00 c. on Wednesdays. If you missed the pilot episode you can watch it online at NBC.com or tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m./7:00 c. or on Saturday, 9/17 at 9:00 p.m./8:00 c.
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