Thursday, September 15, 2011

Up all Night-"Pilot"

Regan and Chris spend some time with their baby on "Up All Night"
Credit: NBC

I just watched last night's airing of the pilot and I have some quick thoughts on it after the jump.
There's one thing that I hate more then watching trashy reality TV, and that's watching comedy pilots. They are almost never signs of the show to come, and frankly, they are usually awful. The only reason why I watch them is that they are important to get an idea of how the show works and the potential that the show has. Comedy pilots are never great, but they can give ideas of what could be a great show.

The Up all Night pilot was the perfect example of a comedy pilot that showed the potential that the show has, but it was also not a great episode of television. This is a show that could become great, but its pilot missed quite a few beats. It essentially has two very different shows trying to compete with each other for screentime. This is what causes the majority of my problems with the pilot. It's certainly not bad, but it's not particularly great either.

The first, and better, of the two competing ideas is the show involving Will Arnett and Christina Applegate raising a baby. This is where the sentimentality and genuine heart behind the show lies. This is what the show can build around. You all know that I love heart in my sitcoms, and this is the perfect place for it. It helps that Applegate and Arnett work very well together. They have genuine chemistry. This is an idea that could grow into a very funny one and could become very genuine. It provided most of the laughs in the pilot.

The other plotline involves Applegate working for Maya Rudolph. The one thing that is stopping me from being extremely negative towards it is that it underwent some significant retooling recently. It was switched from a PR firm (in a version of the pilot that I will never see) to a talk show. It's clear that the show will have to grow this aspect of the show. When they figure out how to play to Maya Rudolph's strengths, it will grow to be on par with the baby story.

My issues weren't that the pilot wasn't funny, because it was. They're that not all the pieces are fitting together nicely. It still needs time to find itself. I'm prepared to give it the time. It may take five or ten episodes; it may even take a whole season. This cast is talented enough that this could end up working very well.

Honestly, this pilot wasn't that bad. It was as good, and as funny, as a comedy pilot can be.

What did everyone else think?

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