Thursday, September 15, 2011


Of all the comedy subgenres, the networks have yet to sell audiences on the babycentric comedy series. In 2007, ABC tried with "Notes from the Underbelly," then again in 2009 with "In the Motherhood," but both shows barely lasted a season. You'd think in an entertainment age where, after the success of Knocked Up, studios are churning out parenting comedies, like Baby Mama, Life As We Know It, The Switch, and even The Change-Up, audiences would have warmed to the idea by now. But it would seem that they're only interested in newborns when they bring two people together, not when they're just considered an adorable handful.
"Up All Night" tries to sell itself on the angle that the baby is actually a miracle of sorts, given that she belongs to a married couple (Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) that started their family a lot later in life than most. They're not just exhausted because she's up all night or constantly worried because they're young and inexperienced. They're tired because they're too old to pull all-nighters and then spring back into action a few hours later. They're constantly worried because they're kind of concerned that one or both of them won't live long enough to see her graduate from college. Appelegate's character actually makes a running joke that in the future her husband will be dead and he won't be able to stop her from getting an apartment near their daughter's dorm and essentially stalking her.

Macabre humor mixed with your run-of-the-mill parenting woes all told from an older generation's perspective, a generation, which Applegate herself admitted in an interview with EW, spent a lot more years being selfish than the last. The only viewers who could possibly withstand watching their tedious lives unfold are ones who can relate—ones stuck at home on a Wednesday night instead of out like they used to be, or ones who are a few months away from treading that very same path.
I'm actually bummed that this show isn't really for my demographic. I've missed Applegate ever since "Samantha Who" was canceled in 2009. I definitely need a weekly dose of "SNL" grad Maya Rudolph. And I am truly impressed that Arnett has managed to deliver such an understated performance, bringing his crazy meter down to a solid 3, and for once playing a normal human being. (sigh) I'll tune in for a few more episodes to see how things develop, and to see if Nick Cannon, Rudolph's talk show sidekick, is a nuisance or an asset.

> "Stop saying 'a baby in there.' It's like you're saying there's a baby in the closet with a knife or something."-Reagan to Chris
> "At a certain age, a woman has to choose between her ass and her face. You can't have everything."-words of wisdom from Ava

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