Two episodes ago Up All Night threw a wrench in Ava and Kevin’s relationship, but it all seemed to work out in the end. He wasn’t present during last week’s down episode, but I was shocked to discover that the character (played by a hilarious Jason Lee) is now off of the show. He was always supposed to be a reoccurring guest character, but he worked so well with the rest of the cast that I was hoping they’d find a way to keep him around in some sort of role. Alas, he’s gone, and Ava is beyond upset.
“New Boss” barely focuses on the break-up. It comes and goes throughout the episode, mostly bookending two other plots that involve a new boss for the company who runs The Ava Show and Chris riding a motorcycle.
The majority of the episode features Reagan and Ava learning to cope with Yvonne Encanto (guest star Eve Best, Nurse Jackie) who buys the show on the verge of its fifth anniversary show. At first they are beyond excited and it breathes a little bit of fresh air into the characters that we haven’t seen in a few weeks. Watching the two of them, alongside Missy, melt over this powerful woman is something that isn’t original, but Up All Night makes it seem fresh. That ability is an ingredient that the show left out in recent weeks.
Unfortunately she won’t actually be running the show and instead Yvonne’s handsome, war veteran assistant Luke (Steven Pasquale) will watch over Reagan’s decisions. The two butt heads, or rather Reagan is defiant. The tug-o-war that ensues was perfect for a one-off episode, but if Luke becomes a reoccurring guest star, I’d have to say it would put a wrinkle into the show that doesn’t need to be there.
Kevin’s presence was terrific. Adding Missy to the regular cast was brilliant. Even having Reed in a very limited reoccurring role as Chris’ fellow stay-at-home dad is a great way to spice things up. But Luke…just leave him off of the remainder of the show.
Speaking of Reed (Will Forte), he’s back to help Chris find his inner man and leather up to ride a motorcycle. The writers have done a great job showcasing Chris’ inability to understand pop culture and make healthy decisions without his wife, and this episode brings both to a forefront. Reed points out the two could be like Steve McQueen, which would be awesome, but Chris rattles off a string of terrible biker movies which is capped off with not one, but two name drops for Wild Hogs.
Usually Up All Night has one story filled with an obstacle for one of the parents to overcome, and the other gets to have fun and do ridiculous things. “New Boss” kept this episode fairly balanced, but some of the best scenes were of Chris and Reed working on the beat-up motorcycle in the driveway. It was definitely the highlight of the episode and proved Will Arnett is a sitcom genius and deserves way more recognition for the work he’s doing now instead of being remembered only as GOB from Arrested Development.