This week’s Up All Night was a rather subdued effort. Last week, as bland as it was, had some quirkiness to it, enough that I brought a scene up in conversation a few days later. Even though this week’s episode is still fresh in my mind, I can’t recall a stand-out moment. It was all just there to be somewhat enjoyable, but mostly to take up space on NBC’s formerly beloved Thursday line-up.
“I Can’t Quit You” is about our three main characters trying to quit something in a way. Chris is smoking again because of the stress of his new business, Reagan is hanging out with her brother’s ex-wife and Ava is acting like a diva again. All three interweave nicely, and the show deserves credit for that, but the plots add up to be an average episode that I’m not necessarily upset I watched, but I’m not happy either.
Chris and Scott just bought a new less-than-perfect office space for their construction company, and it’s not going so well. Scott keeps buying items the office doesn’t need, like a margarita machine, which puts more pressure on Chris. While watching the show, you can notice Will Arnett trying to make some magic happen, but unfortunately he falls flat. It’s no fault to him; it’s this average writing he is given week after week. After all, there is only so much an actor can do.
He takes up smoking, but nothing really comes from it. There’s an awkward scene where he’s buying random items to make it seem like he’s not just there to purchase cigarettes, and I think this was supposed to be the laugh-out-loud scene, but it falls flat. In the end he quits because his daughter sees him smoking, and he gets a nicotine patch. This backfires however during sex when Reagan realizes he’s been lying to her.
But she has been lying, too. She used to be really good friends with Scott’s ex (Mary Elizabeth Ellis, the Waitress from Always Sunny) but took her brother’s side in the divorce. Now they’re hanging out, but the show missed the mark. They could have done some great interplay between Scott and Reagan as if she was cheating on him with the ex-wife (think of when Monica goes shopping with someone else other than Rachel on Friends). It would have been a rehashed idea, but at least it’d be an idea that worked.
Ava’s diva attitude returns when a family who won a day backstage with her while the show was still on the air comes to town to claim their prize. She takes them to do random things including watching her get a massage. They’re unhappy, so she is determined to make things right and change their lives the way her show used to. This backfires, and the husband asks for a divorce and the wife says that’s OK because she’s a lesbian anyway. This, unfortunately, was the funniest part of the show.
All of the pieces are there for success, but the show just falls flat and remains average, but its lovable actors make me continue to tune in and beg for its success. Here’s to hoping next week gets the pieces in the right place.