Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 10/2/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
The series title is also a declaration: Super Fun Night.
But here's the inevitable question: For whom?
Super Fun Night, which premieres tonight at 8:30 p.m. on ABC and Citytv, certainly ranks among the most heavily hyped of this fall's new prime-time arrivals. In addition to endless promotion and the gift of perhaps the best lead-in (Modern Family) ABC has to offer, the run-up to Super Fun Night's première has also been filled with predictions the show's star, Aussie import Rebel Wilson, is destined to become TV's next big comedy thing.
There's no question Wilson -- who had a memorable bit part as Kristen Wiig's off-putting roommate in Bridesmaids -- is a unique performer who makes an indelible first impression, but many who tune in to the series premiere will be left feeling that Super Fun Night is far, far too much of what, in smaller doses, might have been a good thing.
Simply put, Wilson is a big girl. And despite some obvious quirky charm and keen comedic instincts, she's stuck in a show/role that relies almost completely on fat jokes, both visual and verbal, that quickly begin to feel more pathetic than amusing.
In two episodes provided for preview, Wilson endures a steady stream of sight gags that involve her clothing being accidentally ripped away or torn open to reveal her heavy-set physique in a variety of embarrassing undergarments.
It's too much of too much. Or maybe too much of not enough. It's just too much, period.
The premise of Super Fun Night involves an awkward but somehow upwardly mobile New York lawyer, Kimmie Boubier (Wilson), whose social life for the past 13 years has been restricted to Friday evenings in with two equally loser-ish girlfriends, Helen-Alice and Marika (Liza Lapira, Lauren Ash).
After being promoted and meeting the boss's charming son, Richard (Kevin Bishop), Kimmie suddenly finds herself forced to consider venturing out into the world and into actual social situations. Super Fun Night is overloaded with jokes about being overweight followed by moments in which Kimmie's indomitable spirit allows her to achieve some small victory the show's producers clearly think will excuse all the earlier discomfort. Which, of course, they do not.
Super Fun Night has an element of sweetness at its core, but it's buried under the weight of the show's one-joke excess. As nights go, this one never succeeds at becoming super or fun.
-- -- --
Sean as saviour?: As an equal partner in the cast of Will & Grace, Sean Hayes played a big part in prolonging NBC's reign as the home of Thursday's must-see TV lineup.
Those days are long gone, but Hayes is returning to prime time in a new sitcom called Sean Saves the World, which NBC's programmers hope will help re-establish the network as a comedy destination on Thursdays.
Sadly, this version of Sean isn't likely to save anything. Sean Saves the World, which gets an early start in Canada (tonight at 8 p.m. on Global) before arriving in its Thursday slot on NBC, is a traditional (not a compliment) comedy filled with forced, setup-punchline jokes, treacly "lesson" moments and an overbearing laugh track that's trying way too hard to convince viewers something funny is being said.
Hayes plays Sean, a guy who got married, fathered a child, realized he's gay and got divorced. Now, 14 years later, the daughter's mom has taken a job in New York and Sean is struggling to cope with primary parenting duties.
The task is complicated by a meddling mother (Linda Lavin) and a new boss (Thomas Lennon) at work who's demanding an ever-larger percentage of his time. Despite an abundance of canned laughter, hilarity does not ensue.
Despite trying to be both a family comedy and a workplace comedy, Sean Saves the World succeeds at neither. And as a result, nothing -- father-daughter relationship, job security, NBC's Thursday lineup or the world -- is likely to be saved.
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @BradOswald
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 2, 2013 D8
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Bafflegab or bureaucratese?
Unwanted guest -- winter -- lingers
Jets' future yet to be written
The whack heard 'round the Brier
'Old-style politics' despite a promise
Risk-taking comedian Williams has uniquely twisted take on everyday life
Panhandler sends message with food in café
Resentment of finances a big minus
Property tax or not a property tax — that is the question
Maligned Chevy has been right all along
It's not us, it's them, think-tank says
Football much safer than it was 10 years ago
Is it time to put our phones away?
Shiny new tech can't distract from CSI spinoff's deficiencies
Get light demonstration of BDSM moves first
Captain is leading by darn fine example
It is the size of the TV that counts
What's missing is action
Beyond big-box: Transition away from mega-stores bodes well for urban landscape
Cutting-edge fundraiser aids Ethiopian village
Dominatrix branded cheating slave as her own
New secret 'friend' points to an affair
Vandalism victim not amused by police response
Win, lose, Selinger a no-go
Hygiene products very generously donated to Harvest
A sorry state of affairs
Your weekend weather
Feeding the small-scale food biz
Thoughtful questions outweigh whining
Murder mystery slays new series competition
Party elites select a premier? There's got to be a better way
Now's the time for winter camping
NDP on homestretch
Mad Men's delicate, potent nostalgia
Trending that caught Doug's eye: Celebrity species
No chance flirt will leave his girlfriend, so stop chasing
The motivation equation
Blessed are the geek
Provincial trade rules stunt growth of national wine culture