Tonight, Christina Applegate and Will Arnett return to television in a new sitcom called Up All Night. Arnett is best known for critically-acclaimed Arrested Development and his last sitcom, Running Wilde, bombed and barely lasted a season. Applegate worked for years on Married with Children but her Samantha Who? show lasted just two seasons. It’ll be interesting to see how well they do together.
In Up All Night, Reagan and Chris Brinkley (Applegate and Arnett) find their lives turned upside down as new parents and must make big adjustments. She’s determined not to compromise her career and Chris agrees to be a stay-at-home dad. Reagan’s boss and friend, an ambitious but vulnerable talk-show host (Maya Rudolph), is clueless of what it takes to be a parent. Her endless needs don’t help the Brinkley family’s situation for sure.
The reviews have been mixed on this new sitcom so, before you tune in we thought we’d give you a taste of what others are saying:
Chicago Sun Times: “The comedic triumvirate of Rudolph-Applegate-Arnett is a formidable one, but its not enough to make Up All Night the funniest family sitcom on Wednesday nights. That award remains firmly clutched in the hands of the ensemble cast of ABCs Modern Family.”
“Up All Night should have better luck going against The Middle, the other ABC family-centric comedy sharing its time slot — especially if it bails on some of its lamer gags, like Today anchor Matt Lauer talking to Applegate’s character through the TV, questioning whether she can ‘rock that skirt anymore.'”
LA Times: “For its part, Up All Night seems to want more regular characters for the principals to play against. (Nick Cannon is in the cast as Rudolph’s announcer, but appears only glancingly in the pilot.) But its little central family may suffice, after all. The show can be, in odd passing moments, unexpectedly, almost nervily touching. Imagining their life far into the future, Applegate tells her daughter, ‘Then one day when you come to visit me in the nursing home and they ask me who’s there to see me, I’ll say, ‘It’s my daughter, Amy.'”
NY Daily News: “NBC is clearly thinking that the success of Parenthood and sitcoms like Raising Hope and Modern Family suggests TV viewers are in the mood for baby humor these days. That’s probably true. And you could throw in the E-Trade ads, too. But the key to each of those shows is that first we had to care about the grownup characters.”
“Skilled as Applegate, Arnett and Rudolph are at making us laugh, they need dimension. If that doesn’t develop, Up All Night could have the cutest baby and the funniest diaper jokes in the world and we still wouldn’t stick around for breakfast.”
USA Today: “There’s a lot of goodwill out there for new parents, whose enthusiasm and excitement can be incredibly charming, as it is when Applegate and Arnett talk about their own children in interviews. Unfortunately, that charm can wane when put on screen, just as it can in real life when such conversations stretch out over multiple half-hours.”
Still, as with many pilots and most babies, there is reason for hope. Applegate is a proven sitcom star, and Arnett, who usually does better playing deranged and deluded, is giving what may be the sweetest, most natural performance of his TV career.”
“As for Rudolph, she still seems to be finding her character here, which is understandable, as she wasn’t given much time to hunt. But given her ability, you have to think she’ll get sharper as the weeks go by.”
SF Chronicle: “The pilot was reshot to change Ava’s job and there’s a quick cut-in of a scene with Nick Cannon as a Gelman-like onstage sidekick to Ava because the America’s Got Talent host was added to the cast of the sitcom only recently.
The changes enhance the comic balance between the reality-based humor of a young couple coping with their new baby and their evaporating youth, and the “SNL”-sketch-like satire of a powerful and powerfully self-involved talk show hostess. Up All Night is going up against The Middle on ABC, which is too bad, but it’s the kind of competition for which God invented DVRs.”
What do you think? Will you give Up All Night a try? Do you think it has a chance at success or could it be the season’s first cancellation?