by Bethany McHugh
Well, it looks like we’ll be up all night for many months to come – Bob Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC, has given “Up All Night” a full season order of 22 episodes. The announcement could not have come at a more perfect time: this week’s episode, “New Car,” solidified the base for what this show is going to be from here on out: pretty excellent comedy.
Reagan and Chris decide, after tortuously trying to fit all of their beach items into Reagan’s BMW convertible, that the time has come to find a more family friendly car. Reagan is hesitant, claiming everyone who sees her think she’s a “mob wife” and she loves the attention, but Chris insists that they at least look at what’s on the market.I don’t know what it says about Chris and Reagan’s parenting skills that they’re constantly getting drunk and then making decisions for the child. I suppose it pays off this week though, because the drunken pair purchase a hippie-looking van delivered by a Native American, who seemingly transforms into a bird and flies away, leaving Reagan and Chris with the van. This scene is a perfect example of how the writers are discovering the show’s voice and utilizing the talents that they have. Christina Applegate and Will Arnett are showcased as the comic geniuses they are during this particularly odd scene. Realizing immediately the car is hardly practical for baby Amy, they go to a car dealership and request a “family friendly” vehicle. The car shown to them is completely unappealing, however, with their distaste furthered when they realize the neighbors they mock own that very car.
Meanwhile, Ava, upset that she is not considered a “smart” entertainer, attempts to prove to her audience that she can be intellectual, demanding that the talk show’s next guest be the writer of a book dealing with the economic crisis. Reagan insists that Ava won’t like the book, and though she protests, Ava does indeed find it intensely boring, causing her to jet-set off to Vegas to amuse herself. When she finally returns, Ava undergoes a crash course study session with Chris (who actually read the book in a month of dedicated reading) in order to prepare for the next day’s taping. It’s nice that they highlight Chris’s intellectual side – audiences may easily forget that he left his job at a prominent law firm to be a stay-at-home-dad. His analogies to help Ava understand the book are obscenely complicated and unhelpful in this hilarious scene.
At the following morning’s taping, Ava is essentially lost, though somehow manages to scrounge up the right answer to a question her guest asks her. At the break, Ava knows that the audience isn’t connecting with what she’s discussing, so when they come back she changes the topic to bullying – which, in a fortunate coincidence, is something her guest can connect with. The show, as Ava hoped, ends up being the rousing success.
Chris arrives to the studio at “New Car’s” end with the family friendly car, painted the way the hippie van was designed, in an attempt to make the car seem cooler. He even installed a cassette player so Reagan can play her Beach Boys tapes. If “New Car” taught us anything about these characters, it’s that Chris will be an emotional rock, always around to save the day…or at least make it a bit more bearable.
Bethany McHugh is a contributing writer. Email here at email@example.com.