Up All Night Review: "Couple Friends" (Episode 1.19)
I’m with Chris. Gay cache (if it even is a real thing) is so cool.
In this week’s episode of Up All Night Chris and Reagan meet Lawrence (Nat Faxon) and Justin (Ben Falcone): a gay version of themselves. Lawrence has word vomit and suffers from nerves in normal situations just like Chris. Justin just wants him to play it cool.
The parallels between the two couples in “Couple Friends” are downright hilarious. Lawrence and Justin are way cooler than the hipsters from “Cool Neighbors.” I didn’t think it’d be possible, but these two were some of the best comedic guest stars on the show. Jason Lee still takes the cake for the overall guest star spot.
Everything in the episode clicks so perfectly together throughout the first half of the episode until Reagan and Justin’s over-competitive personalities cause a “bowling alley tragedy.” Luckily it’s only a hiccup because we get to see Reagan hate a child for the first time and Chris call a toddler an “a-hole.”
Not only was the Brinkleys’ storyline commendable, but Ava’s relationship with Luke (Steven Pasquale) takes an interesting turn. I didn’t hate him as much as I thought I would. Luke sort of blends into the show rather nicely and lends a different perspective to Up All Night. Instead of getting stale, the show has been relying on multiple-episode arcs to spice things up. While this could backfire (think Glee and their abundance of guest stars for no reason), this freshman hit always has a purpose.
Both Ava and Luke are dealing with recent break-ups. Ava wears Kevin’s deodorant so she can remember his smell, while Luke blasts Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” late at night in the office. The relationship aspect comes later in the episode, but it was the most interesting dynamic of “Couple Friends.” The writers have done a tremendous job toning down Ava’s insufferable, annoying habits and made her equally as entertaining as Chris and Reagan.
The Ava/Luke dynamic is setting up for a long-term story arc, but I only hope she doesn’t end up in his arms too soon, or at all really, because then it will look like Up All Night is heading for a repetitive pattern by putting Ava in multiple-episode relationships over and over again. Another thing that would help push the show from a great one to a can’t-miss show is giving Chris and Reagan multiple-episode storylines instead of relying on the two to provide one-off episodes that are hilarious in their own right, but don’t give the entire series substance.
Looking back on the series so far, it’s clear that each individual episode deserves high marks, but the entire series needs to flesh itself out for the second season.