Third-episode verdict: Up All Night

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 3

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC

As much as I want to love this, I can’t. It’s been getting better, too, but still, it’s just not quite there yet.

So as we may recall from the first episode, the show’s biggest assets are Christina Applegate and Will Arnett (although Maya Rudolph is starting to shine now) and the show’s worst asset is its set-up: "God, isn’t being a new parent hard because babies are just so demanding". This we knew already. No one could possibly have anything new to say on the subject.

Cleverly, the producers have noticed this and decided to virtually ignore the fact there is a baby in the household. Instead, they’re now focusing on Christina Applegate’s work and Will Arnett’s house-husbanding. It’s certainly nice to see this reversal of the ‘norm’ and for it not to be considered a big deal. Applegate’s dealings with Rudolph at work are fun, as is Arnett’s trying to get used to being a house-husband. Episode three in particular had some clever flashbacks to the 90s (complete with Applegate’s Married With Children hairstyle restored), as well as some entertaining male bonding. And Arnett and Applegate make a nice couple: they’re one of the few TV married couples who are fun, aren’t trying to kill each other and actually seem to have a relationship.

It’s just not quite as funny as it should be yet, given all these dynamos in action. Everything misfiring ever so slightly. But given the ratings are actually holding up, there’s every possibility the show might hit its stride within the next couple of episodes or so. I’ll keep you posted.

Carusometer ratings: 3
Rob’s prediction: Will last at least a season, maybe more if it manages to find its mojo

Author

  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.