Pilot Preview: ABC and Rebel Wilson's Super Fun Night
Hey you! This isn't a review, it's a PREview. Huge difference. Most notably, the "P." Also, these PREviews are based on early cuts of pilots that might change drastically by the time they officially hit the air, so we can't properly review them. But we CAN give you an idea of what to expect. In this series of early looks at the new shows of fall 2013, there's no contemplating, no deep analysis; just super-duper quick thoughts on what we just watched that we're passing on to you. We'll revisit each previewed show in the fall with the hyper-intellectual breakdowns and fart jokes you're used to from us goons here at TV.com.
Super Fun Night – Wednesdays starting October 2 at 9:30pm on ABC
STARRING AND CREATED BY: Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) is at the center of this sitcom, as she's the star, the head writer, and the creator of the series. She's joined by co-stars Lauren Ash (Lars and the Real Girl), Liza Lapira (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23; the short-lived Traffic Light), and Kelen Coleman (The Newsroom) and British actor Kevin Bishop round out the cast. Wilson co-created the series with Conan O'Brien. Yes, that Conan O'Brien. Jeff Ross—he of Comedy Central's The Burn—is producing.
THE GIST: Kimmie (Wilson), Helen-Alice (Ash), and Marika (Lapira) are a trio of single besties who have a history of spending every Friday night together for "Super Fun Night," an evening full of drinking, theme costumes, and dancing in one of their apartments. Alone. However, when Kimmie gets a promotion and taps on the window of the cool crowd, their lives start to change as they begin to explore the outside world... and maybe even date? But should they even be outside, or should they just stay inside their self-created social bubble?
SNAP JUDGMENT: Awful. People are expecting big things from Wilson's first series in the States, but Super Fun Night (in its second attempt to make it on American TV; last year, CBS tried the idea in a multi-cam format but ultimately passed) has absolutely nothing super or fun going on. The show's attempts at humor are anchored in Wilson's awkward stumbles as she talks to people who are "cooler" than her, it's full of horribly out-of-date sight gags (Kimmie rips her skirt! Kimmie rips her dress! Flashing neon underwear!), and whenever the pilot hits a roadblock, Kimmie breaks out into song... terrible, terrible song. The show doesn't treat Kimmie's friends much better; one of them is limited to lesbian jokes and the other is... hmmm... forgettable, I guess. This is what ABC thinks should follow Modern Family? Super Fun Night is a classic case of trying too hard to wrangle someone talented and put him/her on the air no matter what. I found the pilot unwatchable.
PILOTITIS DIAGNOSIS: The show's premise—three loser-ish girls hang out with each other while the rest of the world parties—is aptly summed up in two cutaways. There's not much else to get out of the way here.
FACES TO LOOK OUT FOR: You probably already know Rebel Wilson, but this certainly isn't her best work. So... none.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: There are a couple good cameos in from Workaholics' Adam Devine and Key & Peele's Keegan-Michael Key! And life doesn't get any worse than seeing Rebel Wilson do a jumping chest bump, so it's all uphill from here.
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: Zilch. Less than zilch. -4 out of 10. There's no way Pitch Perfect stays in the Wednesday-at-9:30pm slot behind Modern Family, and if I were Nashville—which will follow it at 10pm and rely on its carry-over audience—I'd be crying into a giant glass of whiskey right now.
PILOT PREVIEW POWER RANKINGS:
(Where we rank the fall season's pilots based on very early impressions)
1. Almost Human - J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman's robotic buddy-cop drama
2. The 100 - Teens have fun (and die) on post-apocalyptic Earth while the adults fight each other in a big tin can orbiting the planet
3. Intelligence - Josh Holloway stars as a Cyber Command agent who has Wi-Fi in his brain
4. The Blacklist - James Spader is a master criminal who turns himself in to the FBI on one condition: He only works with the pretty new FBI agent
5. Dracula - Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the fanged one in this re-imagining of the classic story of an undead guy chasing his old girlfriend
6. Lucky 7 - A group of gas-station employees win the lottery, for better or worse
1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Andy Samberg and a bunch of buffoons are cops in Brooklyn
2. Trophy Wife - Malin Akerman marries into a big family and ends up with two ex-wives and three stepchildren in the process
3. The Crazy Ones - Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar are a father-daughter team in the advertising business
4. Mom - Anna Faris and Allison Janney play a mother and daughter with life problems
5. Enlisted - Geoff Stults goes to army reject camp with his two brothers
6. About a Boy - Jason Katims' TV adaptation of the film adaption of Nick Hornby's novel about a man-boy friendship
7. Super Fun Night - Rebel Wilson and her loser friends hit the social scene
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