Up All Night started off as a cute show about a couple embarking into the scary, new world of parenting while simultaneously juggling their careers, friendships, and everyday responsibilities.
Because of the single-camera format, the show wasn’t hindered by the loud, contrived laughter of a studio audience. But NBC has decided to revamp their image, specifically where it concerns their comedies. In other words, NBC is so desperate for ratings at this point that they’re attempting to become another CBS. I say: no thanks, one CBS is quite enough. And Up All Night is going to be their lab rat.
In the revamped Up All Night, Ava’s talk show, a staple of the first season, was canceled. Ava, played by SNL veteran Maya Rudolph, is the funniest and liveliest character on the show. Although it’s clear that the character is loosely based on or at least partly inspired by Oprah, Rudolph puts her own brand of charm and humor into Ava. With the talk show done away with, the second season began to look very different from the first.
Next on NBC’s to-do list: swap single-camera for a much cheaper alternative – multi-camera. Meaning live studio audience. Meaning obnoxious laughter telling us when we should be laughing – instead of trusting us to decide for ourselves whether something is funny or not. When done right, I’m not against multi-camera but with the rise of shows like The Office and 30 Rock (both in their last year), it feels like an outdated practice.
Now comes the news that Christina Applegate, the lead actress whose character is married to Will Arnett’s, has decided to part ways with the show. Can’t really blame her. This show is tanking, and fast. It puts NBC in an awkward position, however. They have to recast the role with a different actress and pretend the audience won’t find the difference jarring. Or they can go a different route and get rid of the character altogether, in which case they might as well re-name the show. Is “Hot Mess” taken?