Up All Night Review: "Friendships & Partnerships" (Episode 2.01)
Oh, Up All Night. You chose to focus on Ava (much to my dismay at first until I warmed up to her) a lot throughout the first season. Her crazy antics and her talk show dominated Chris and Reagan’s story. The first season was more about work than being parents. Now I have no idea what this show is going to be about.
“Friendships & Partnerships” introduces a completely retooled show. The fictitious talk show is canceled, Reagan has a brother named Scott and Chris decides to go back to his law firm. Is this a good sign or a bad sign?
The first season barely garnered three million viewers an episode near the end of the season. Many, like me, grew weary of the choices the show was making. My favorite moments were always those between Chris and Reagan, especially when their baby Amy was involved. But those moments were few and far between. Now it looks like the show is going to focus more on becoming a family comedy.
Up All Night was quickly retooled upon Maya Rudolph’s success in Bridesmaids, but now that that fire has cooled, it looks like the show realized it needs to push her character to the sideline and let Will Arnett and Christina Applegate take center stage. It’s hard to say where the show will go, but I’m excited. Initial reactions across the internet were mixed, but so what? A show choosing to retool so early on in its life is positive in my books. Look, the show wasn’t working the way it needed to. Retool it early on before it gets stuck in its ways. Makes sense to me.
Now the real question is if they changed it in the right direction. Bringing in Reagan’s laid-back brother shifts the focus to a family affair, and Luka Jones (from last year’s ill-fated Best Friends Forever) can definitely play the lovable loser well. But how does he work into things? He’s a contractor remodeling the Brinkleys’ bathroom and ends up quitting his job so that he and Chris, who hates his job as a lawyer, can go into business together.
Reagan and Ava, on the other hand, now need to decide what they’re going to do. The show has a lot of ground it can cover and I can definitely see some funny storylines popping up in the future. It now feels as if Up All Night has to prove itself again as a brand new show. Everything that has been set up before looks like as if it has been thrown out the window.
This retooling might prove better in the long run, but I’m not sure if NBC will give the show enough time to feel out its new premise.