Tuesday, October 01, 2013

ABC Fall Pilot Review: Super Fun Night - Premieres Oct. 2; Fox Flips Those Burgers for Season 5 of Bob's Burgers

Super Fun Night

Super Fun Night - Wednesdays at 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 9:30PM ET/PT


by Vincent

Super Fun Night is a new single-camera comedy from Conan O'Brien starring breakout actress Rebel Wilson that stars a group of misfit young adults vowing to get out of their houses every Friday night and have a "super fun night" together. The series also follows Wilson's character Kimmy Boubier as she attempts to sustain a successful career as a lawyer while still maintaining her unique personality.

Cast Details:

Rebel Wilson as Kimmy Boubier
Liza Lipara as Helen-Alice
Lauren Ash as Marika
Kevin Bishop as Richard Lovell
Kate Jenkinson as Kendall

Rebel Wilson (Kimmy Boubier) is an Australian actress with a large background in comedy, including the Australian comedy Pizza and the musical comedy series Bogan Pride – which she wrote, produced, and starred in. Her breakout role in the United States came in 2011's Bridesmaids, and her fame escalated in 2012 after starring in the popular musical-comedy film Pitch Perfect.

Liza Lipara (Helen-Alice) has recently starred in sitcoms such as Traffic Light and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. She has also appeared in a handful of films, including Domino, The Big Band Swim, and Crazy Stupid Love. She has also guest starred in many shows, including NCIS, Dexter, ER, Sex and the City, and The Sopranos.

Lauren Ash (Marika) has starred in several television series, including Almost Heroes and Howie Do It. She also has written for several shorts and mini-seires, including Trashy Affair and Facebook of Revelations.

Kevin Bishop (Richard Lovell) is an English comedian best known for his show The Kevin Bishop Show. He has also starred in films such as Muppet Treasure Island, Grange Hill, and Dick Whittington.

Kate Jenkinson (Kendall) is an Australian actress best known for her work on the comedy The Wedge. She has also starred in films such as Rush, Bogan Pride, Canal Road, and Newstopia.


Pilot Plot:

"Anything for Love" (airs Wednesday, October 2 at 9:30 PM ET/PT)

In the premiere episode of Super Fun Night, Kimmie wants the gang to broaden their horizons and try something they've never done before – but her attitude changes when she is forced to face her fear of singing in public and perform at a piano bar. Meanwhile, Kendall can't understand why Richard and Kimmie are friends and plans to do something about it. This episode is actually the second episode of the series - ABC appears to be skipping the pilot for now.

Analysis:

It is not hard to see how Super Fun Night could be a good show. Rebel Wilson almost seems born to be a big TV star, with an appealing personality and a great sense of humor that's destined to appeal to mass audiences. The show also has a pretty impressive writing staff on deck - most notably its showrunner, longtime 30 Rock writer John Riggi. It has a vibe that is very reminiscent of the dearly departed Happy Endings, a hilarious show with an all-star cast that unfortunately never picked up enough of an audience. It desperately wants to capture that hang-out vibe that Happy Endings as well as shows like New Girl and Cougar Town have been able to nail down to a tee, the kind of show where you almost feel like you're just hanging out with a bunch of friends every time you sit down and watch it. When done right, these kinds of comedies are often some of the most fun shows on TV, and maintain a connection to their audience that few shows can match. But a hang-out comedy is really hard to do right. It needs incredibly strong jokes and intensely relatable characters that can keep its viewers entertained, despite the relative lack of premise. Without this, the show can feel cloying and directionless, meandering around and trying to do just about anything to keep you entertained. That's why I'm always really weary of hang-out comedies. The good ones are often among my favorite shows on TV, but the bad ones are always a serious chore to sit through.

Super Fun Night, unfortunately, mostly falls into the latter category. It's not terrible, and there are some really funny jokes in the mix. Rebel Wilson remains an appealing comic force, although her energy is toned down a lot from her Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect characters (not necessarily a bad decision, because those characters would be far too broad to build a good sitcom around). The other performances are mostly fine, although Liza Lipara is the only one who really gets a chance to do anything at all. It's just sort of a show that really has almost nothing to it at this point, other than "here's Rebel Wilson in a sitcom." The premise is paper-thin and the show barely pays any attention to it at all, instead relying on a very contrived storyline about Kimmy facing stage fright that wouldn't feel out of place on a Disney or Nick sitcom. There's weirdly a total lack of comic momentum, as the show will move from periods of rapid-fire jokes to long stretches without anything resembling jokes at all. I'm not expecting to laugh too much at a pilot, but there are periods where it feels like the show just flat-out forgot that it's a comedy and it's supposed to be funny. We don't really get any sense of why these people are friends with each other or what kind of relationship they have with each other - there's a mild resentment forming between Kimmy and Kendall that apparently is related to their affection for Richard, but it's not given the development it needs to make an impact. It's possible that some of this was explained in the scrapped pilot, but none of it's made clear in the episode that's now being used as the shows' premiere. In short, there's really nothing here to hate – it's not, say, Dads - but there's really nothing to like, either.

Having said that, I wouldn't be completely surprised if this show became the best comedy on TV by the end of its first season (assuming it lasts that long). These kinds of shows take time to develop into something worthwhile – the early episodes of Happy Endings, New Girl, and Cougar Town had some of the same issues, before eventually finding their voice, developing their characters and turning into top-notch hang-out sitcoms. I'm not completely optimistic, because the problems here feel more significant than the problems with any of those shows at their starts. But it's not a show I'm willing to write off completely just yet.

Conclusion:

Super Fun Night isn't a trainwreck, but it's also really nothing worth checking out at this point, unless you're a big Rebel Wilson fan and want to see her in a TV comedy. There are promising elements at play here – a solid creative team, a great leading lady, some pretty good joke writing – but the show is held back by its aimlessness and its lack of definition in just about every category. There's no clear premise or brand of humor, and any character that isn't played by Rebel Wilson feels like a hollow archetype. These are fixable problems, and hopefully the show will remedy them over the course of the first season. Until then, this feels very much like a sitcom that should amount to much more than it does.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3/5
Funniness: 2/5
Overall: 2.5/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 at 9:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Super Fun Night Photo Gallery

    Preview:






  • Bob's Burgers

    Fox has renewed the Emmy Award-nominated Bob's Burgers for a fifth season, ordering 22 additional episodes of the hit animated series. The fourth "broadcast" season premiered on Sunday night (Sept. 29). The series is still fulfilling its third season episode order to start this fourth season. The fifth season order will have episodes airing through the 2015-16 season. Last season, Bob's Burgers was a Top 10 comedy among Men 18-49, Men 18-34 and is one of the Top 10 comedies among Male Teens. Additionally, Bob's Burgers was one of only two broadcast comedies to post year-over-year gains (+10%) among Adults 18-49. On the season premiere this past Sunday, "A River Runs Through Bob," Bob (H. Jon Benjamin), Linda (John Roberts) and the kids go on a camping adventure and face the perils of nature...and Bob's intestines.

    Bob's Burgers follows the ups and downs of Bob (Benjamin), who runs Bob's Burgers with the help of his wife, Linda (Roberts), and their three kids, Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal). Bob has big ideas about burgers, but his family falls short on service. Despite the greasy counters and lousy location, Bob and his family are determined to make every "Grand Re-Re-Re-opening" a success. This past season, the series received its second Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Animated Comedy Series."


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Monday, October 14

    The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Co-Habitation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    When Dave accidentally knocks out the Butlers’ power during a heat wave, Calvin and Tina spend the night at the Johnsons’ home, where Calvin makes a surprising discovery about Dave. Also, Malcolm has some fun at Marty’s expense when he crashes at his little brother’s refurbished apartment.

    Bob Hearts Abishola - "Square Hamburger, Round Buns" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    After Abishola calls off things with Bob, her Auntie Olu sets her up with a Nigerian pharmacist, and Bob tries online dating. Missi Pyle guest stars as Liz, Bob’s online date and Tony Tambi guest stars as Chukwuemeka, Abishola’s set-up.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 14)

    Monday, October 14

    • Mykal-Michelle Harris (mixed-ish) - Watch Mykal-Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna appears on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
    • The Cast of black-ish - Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Marcus Scribner, Marsai Martin and Miles Brown are guests on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on ABC's GMA 3: Strahan, Sara & Keke at 1pm. Miles will also be on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
    • Danielle Fishel (Boy Meets World/Girl Meets World) - ABC's Good Morning America has an exclusive interview with Danielle sometime between 7-9am.
    • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa talks about her book Project Middle School (Alyssa Milano’s Hope #1) on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on the BUILD Series at 4pm. She can be heard on SiriusXM on Michelle Collins at 9:35am, on Standup with Pete Dominick at 10am, Larry Flick at 10:30am, Signal Boost with Zerlina Maxwell at 11am, Just Jenny with Jenny Hutt at 11:20am and The Beatles Channel- My Fab 4 at 11:45am.
    • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/One Day at a Time) - Valerie will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
    • Michael Rapaport (Awkward/The War at Home) - Michael is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Katy Mixon (American Housewife/Mike & Molly) - Katy appears on the BUILD Series at 1pm.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (August/September/October)

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Six Young Sheldon - The Complete Second Season My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume One Modern Family - The Complete Tenth Season Life with Lucy - The Complete Series

    08/06 - Caroline in the City - The Third Season
    08/06 - Caroline in the City - The Fourth Season
    08/13 - I Love Lucy - Colorized Collection
    08/13 - Leave it to Beaver - Seasons One and Two
    08/20 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Six
    08/27 - Baskets - The Complete Season Four
    08/27 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Thirteenth Season
    09/03 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 9th Season
    09/03 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fifth Season
    09/03 - The Goldbergs - The Complete Sixth Season
    09/03 - Single Parents - The Complete Season One
    09/03 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Second Season
    09/04 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete First Season
    09/10 - American Dad! - Volume 14
    09/10 - The Jetsons - The Complete Original Series (Blu-ray) (WBShop.com)
    09/11 - My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume One
    09/11 - My Three Sons - The Fourth Season - Volume Two
    09/17 - Friends - The Complete Series (25th Anniversary)
    09/17 - Modern Family - The Complete Tenth Season
    09/19 - Angel from Hell - The DVD Edition
    10/08 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series
    10/08 - Life with Lucy - The Complete Series
    10/15 - The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    10/13 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 14, 2019)
    10/12 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Walker, Texas Ranger Reboot in the Works; South Park Banned in China
    10/11 - Fri-Yay: Another Netflix Original to End as BoJack Horseman Announces Final Season; TNT Sets Halloween Supernatural Marathon
    10/10 - Daily Show Correspondent Gets Comedy Special; Fox Gets Jenna Dewan for Dance Show
    10/09 - Remembering TV Legend Diahann Carroll; Marvel and Hulu Bring New Series
    10/08 - Search Party Moving to HBO Max for Seasons 3 and 4; Disney Gets More Gabby Duran & the Unsittables
    10/07 - 2019 New York Comic Con Round Up
    10/06 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 7, 2019)
    10/05 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Cherie Johnson to Reprise Role in Punky Brewster Sequel; Pop TV Renews Florida Girls
    10/04 - Fri-Yay: New Sitcoms: First Week Impressions; Pop Goes Back to Florida for Poverty Sitcom
    10/03 - The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show Coming Soon to Netflix; Family Time Returns for Season Seven
    10/02 - Visit Schitt's Creek Pop-Up; Viacom Networks Finish 2018-19 Strong
    10/01 - HGTV Goes Behind the Brady Bunch Build; LMN Sets 25 All-New TV Movies This Fall
    09/30 - Freeform Says Everything's Gonna Be Okay with New Comedy; HBO Max Teams Up with Ellen for 4 Projects
    09/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 30, 2019)
    09/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: thirtysomething Reboot in the Works; Decades Celebrates Brady Bunch 50th Anniversary
    09/27 - Fri-Yay: Primetime Emmy Results for Comedy; AFV Gets 30th Anniversary Special
    09/26 - Seinfeld Moving from TBS to Viacom Networks in 2021; Tell Me a Story Returns Dec. 5 with New Cast
    09/25 - NBC Fall Pilot Review: Sunnyside - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26); CBS Fall Pilot Review: Carol's Second Act - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26)
    09/24 - NBC Fall Pilot Review: Perfect Harmony - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26); CBS Fall Pilot Review: The Unicorn - Premieres Thursday (Sept. 26)
    09/23 - CBS Fall Pilot Review: Bob Hearts Abishola - Premieres Monday (Sept. 23); ABC Fall Pilot Review: mixed-ish - Premieres Tuesday (Sept. 24)
    09/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 23, 2019)
    09/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Reboots for The Office and Even Hogan's Heroes?; The Boondocks Returning for Two New Seasons on HBO Max
    09/20 - Fri-Yay: Primetime Emmy Predictions for Comedy; Paramount Heads to Paris for New Comedy
    09/19 - Pop TV Renews Schitt's Creek for Sixth and Final Season, Fifth Season Marathon to Air on Sept. 21; HBO Max Revives The Boondocks
    09/18 - NBC Streaming Service Peacock Sets Reboots of Saved by the Bell & Punky Brewster; The Big Bang Theory Coming to HBO Max, While TBS Renews Through 2028
    09/17 - ABC Sets Reunions of Cheers, The Drew Carey Show, Girlfriends, Charmed, Castle and More; NBC Renews Titan Games for Season 2
    09/16 - Nick Slates Are You Afraid of the Dark? Premiere; Spectrum Originals Drama Goes Back Into Production for Season 2 in 2020
    09/15 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 16, 2019)
    09/14 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Party of Five Reboot Coming in January; Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey to Reunite for Office Ladies Podcast
    09/13 - Fri-Yay: We're Up Schitt's Creek; Comedy Central Renews South Park for 3 More Seasons