Oh, Up All Night. How long can I keep fighting for you? You took away my favorite parts of season one—guest star Jason Lee and series regular Jennifer Hall (who played the hilarious Missy)—but also got rid of Ava’s annoying characteristics. Then you added Reagan’s brother Scott (Luka Jones) who hasn’t done much for the series. I stood up for your premature retooling. I even said this might work out in the long run and that our relationship can withstand anything. I, along with 3 million viewers, enjoyed the new format.
Yet, NBC proved yet again that it has no patience for new shows and decided to retool your retooled format. Sure, they announced you’ll get three more episodes than originally planned. However it will be after a lengthy hiatus as well as a switch to a multi-camera format. My question is: laugh track?
That’s neither here nor there at this point. What is here is “Thanksgiving.” And of course, much like the show’s plans, the family’s holiday plans aren’t going so well. After attempting to fly to Maryland to visit Chris’ family on Thanksgiving morning, Reagan and Chris are upset to discover their flight had been canceled. Thus begins the most typical Thanksgiving plot ever: a group of people come together to have a great time even though their original plans were way better.
Joining the Brinkleys are Scott, Ava and Walter (Sean Hayes continues to be an excellent guest star), as well as Scott’s fellow divorced dads and the Brinkley’s lame neighbors. All Reagan wants to do is make up for Chris not being able to be with his family, which is more difficult than she could have ever imagined. A series of unfortunate events turn everything sour, but in the end the episode feels like an after school special.
The family learns that it’s not about the ‘what’ or the ‘how’ but about the ‘who.’
Maybe that’s what we will learn about with the show. It’s not about how the show will continue on, but who is on it. Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph have done the best they can with all of the changes NBC throws their way. Regardless of how many curveballs the network throws at them the three actors still put on amazing performances, and they’re the real reason to stick around.