Up All Night Review: "Preschool Auction" (Episdoe 1.14)
The big question truly has to be: “Why don’t more people recognize how perfect Up All Night is?”
Week after week the show actually makes me look forward to parenthood. Will Arnett and Christina Applegate are great in their roles as Chris and Reagan. It’s refreshing to see such a small cast carry such a strong show. “Preschool Auction” implements the dual plot that makes the show so successful. Reagan takes on a charity auction at a preschool she wants Amy to attend in two years. Meanwhile Chris has a friendly sibling rivalry with his brother who comes to visit.
Both parts of the episode are so tremendous that it’s hard to choose which one to discuss first. I guess it’s only fair to start with Reagan since that is what kicks the episode off and sets the bar high. Up All Night relies on Reagan’s paranoia to give Amy the best life possible, so putting her in a situation where she needs to impress a preschool with a two-year waiting list was the perfect move for the series to take. Reagan worries about splitting the infinitive and even celebrates with a rowdy “BOOM” before hanging up the phone.
She’s ecstatic and that’s what makes Applegate’s character so loveable. Ava and Missy just add a little more craziness to the series. Ava, who once annoyed me beyond explanation, is now a character I can’t get enough of while Missy is growing into her own after not even being considered a major player.
All three women are fresh additions to sitcom lineage. They follow in the footsteps of the ladies from Friends and Liz Lemon herself as strong, quirky female leads.
Chris’ brother Casey played by Dean Winters (Allstate’s Mayhem, Liz Lemon’s not-so-affectionate boyfriend on 30 Rock) is a pleasant guest star addition and gives Chris a new dynamic that he previously wasn’t able to obtain. Casey comes off a little similar to Arnett’s GOB, which matches the level of GOB we see in Chris from week to week. The series does such a good job of showing Chris’ insecurities without making him seem pathetic. Of course the episode takes a turn when Casey’s confidence may not be exactly what it seems.
If Up All Night continues rising this quickly, it should definitely get some award consideration next time around.