The cold opening to this week’s Up All Night features Reagan and Chris making out numerous times, but always getting interrupted by a crying Amy. They decided tonight’s the night to have sex, but Chris points out they’re having quite a large dinner. So tomorrow it is. Then when Reagan arrives home earlier than expected Chris wishes she gave him notice she wasn’t working late because he was home alone and…well, you know. This spot-on depiction of a dilemma many new parents face is humorous to those who have never had children for different reasons than to those with kids.
Either way, Up All Night manages to present itself to multiple demographics, which is great for NBC, who is hard up for ratings. After back-to-back cliché (but still very funny) episodes the freshman comedy pulls out another staple. What’s special about Up All Night is that the plot works, mainly because this is exactly what the show is about. Also, the writers have the ability to mix in clever subplots.
“First Night Away” is an obvious choice for the title of this episode where the happy couple spends their first night away from their baby; pretty clever, right? The real treat in this episode is that we get to see Ava, whom I’ve warmed up to considerably, babysit. Normally her antics are still a little over the top, but this time around it was just the right amount of absurdity. It may be the subplot to the parents’ first night away, but this definitely is the best part of the show.
Ava is jealous of Kevin (guest star Jason Lee), who is at the top of their emergency contact list and she’s not even on it, and when she meets him and gives him a pop quiz in front of his daughter, she completely stays oblivious to the fact that he is an amazing person who teaches CPR. Later, right on cue, she is forced to call Kevin for help and the two bond over Ava’s sad choices of meals: pizza alone for dinner, breakfast, and lunch.
Meanwhile, Reagan and Chris check into a swanky hotel that happens to be holding a high school homecoming dance (damn, mine were always in my school’s courtyard with terrible lighting and crate paper) and decide to ‘chaperone’ it so they can dance to get into the mood for later. They request ‘their song;’ I was more than excited to hear Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” come blaring out of the speakers. Unfortunately, just as they’re about to finally have sex, after six long weeks, they find one of Amy’s socks. Thus the mood is ruined. The Brinkleys miss their daughter and want to talk to her, but have to rush back home after Ava doesn’t answer the phone.
This is where both plots merge, but it’s a little too late. While the entire show was entertaining, it’s a little anti-climatic. It’s cute to see Ava and Kevin share a very cutesy intimate moment, but because Jason Lee is just a guest star, nothing will come of it. Also, Reagan and Chris’ escapades are played off as a joke that they’re happier to have slept an entire night and the sex was just okay. Sure, the episode wasn’t just about the two having sex and more about their first night away, but the entire set-up didn’t pay off at the very end.