This is it—the penultimate episode of Up All Night’s first season. Freshman comedies typically go one of two ways: they either crash and burn halfway through, or they actually succeed. It’s a pretty easy coin toss, but it’s one that terrifies networks. What exactly makes a show a good one? Plot that makes the initial concept appealing. Acting that makes the characters loveable. Even the sets help make it look realistic and not cheap.
There are so many variables that make a show successful and Up All Night checked the majority of the boxes. There have been ups and downs, and all that’s left is this week’s episode “Letting Go,” with guest star Stevie Nicks, and next week’s finale with Fred Armisen making an appearance.
“Letting Go” could have been the last episode in the season. It certainly feels like one. A lot of the characters have come full circle with personal revelations, but it looks like the producers wanted one last knock-out punch delivered with next week’s episode.
It’s been a long, tiring year for Chris and Reagan. Their baby has cried throughout countless nights, and along the way Amy has surprised her parents with a lot of memorable firsts. However, when the baby starts walking, the Brinkleys have a little trouble adapting to this huge step (I’m not even sorry about the pun) in Amy’s life. Then we get to see a classic over-the-top Reagan moment when she thinks Amy has walked out of the front door and made it into the city. Into the city! Throughout the season Reagan has struggled with overprotecting her daughter, and this will be a good jumping-off point for her growth in the next season.
As I said, this could have been and probably was the finale.
Meanwhile Chris, who pulled a muscle while trying to take off a brand new fitted t-shirt, joins a younger hockey league in another attempt to prove he’s still got it. Throughout this season he’s attempted to prove that he can still be a lawyer, that he’s hipper than college grads in Williamsburg and that above all, he’s in shape. He finally admits that he’s afraid of moving on to the next chapter in his life and just wants to move on. I think he says it best: “Inside this gnarled-looking Yoda body is a young Peter Pan.”
If more of the episodes were this emotional and dealt with this theme, then I could argue Up All Night could have been one of the best first season’s in recent memory, but there were too many so-so episodes that relied on guest stars. This episode is another that implements the strategy. However, the other plots were so strong that Stevie Nicks’ appearance seemed like the cherry on top of a sundae, and it wasn’t the foundation of an entire plot.
Instead, Nicks (who is playing herself) supplements the show and helps the characters make revelations about themselves. The result is a sweet episode that makes you go “awww.”