Super Fun Night Series Premiere Review: They Got the Night Part Right

By Tim Surette

Oct 03, 2013

Super Fun Night S01E01: "Anything for Love"

Take an up-and-coming star who's caught a lot of buzz and give her her own show, what could go wrong? Super Fun Night, that's what! ABC took the "star first" approach with its new sitcom, importing Australian comic Rebel Wilson after the actress turned in a couple memorable performances in Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, and letting her have at it. The result was 30 exhausting minutes of a Saturday Night Live sketch whose central didn't know the bit was over.

Wilson plays Kimmie Boubier, a woman of ample carriage and even more ample awkwardness who vlogs and gets excited about free treats in the snack room at her cushy new law firm job. She's got a pair of loser-ish best friends and the three of them go out together and try to be cool, basically, while the rest of the world laughs at them. What you didn't see in the series premiere was Kimmie's first day at her new job. You also didn't learn that she and her friends used to stay in and have pathetic loser parties every Friday night. That's because ABC scrapped the show's original pilot (which was made available for screening to critics), and kicked off the series with Episode 2. Thankfully it didn't affect Super Fun Night's threadbare concept, but unfortunately for ABC, it also didn't improve on the terrible pilot that's probably rotting in a dumpster on the ABC lot right now, right next to the makeup kit used for Ben Koldyke's character on Work It

Okay, you may be a huge Wilson fan and that might've been enough for you to get through the premiere unscathed, but for me, sitcoms need to be, I dunno, funny? "Anything for Love" tried oh-so-hard but failed oh-so-spectacularly in that regard. At least, it wasn't funny for anyone who doesn't see the endless goldmine in Spanx-related comedy and dead-end cutaways (in one of them, Kimmie dread-fantasized about a future presentation she'd be giving and saw herself standing there unable to speak, and yep, that was the joke). There was a Sharknado quip when Kimmie's crush said he was afraid of tornadoes full of sharks. There was Kimmie's friend Marika talking about her tennis arms for some reason. There was Kimmie's other friend Helen-Alice accidentally drunk and asking what color mane she would have if she were a pony. There was Kimmie falling over. And finally, there was that damn pair of Spanx. The nightmare-making, flesh-colored, body-mass-reducing undergarment was the punchline of four jokes, including one lengthy end tag wherein Wilson tried to defy the laws of physics by putting it on. That scene is probably still going. If there is such a thing as effortless comedy, Super Fun Night is the opposite. 

A lot of Super Fun Night's humor is random like that because the show isn't really a show yet, it's just trying to be a sequence of funnies. It's a buddy hangout comedy but it's also a workplace comedy but it's also an underdog going-out comedy, but also it's not really any of those. It's Rebel Wilson. I'm sure ABC thought that putting a camera on Wilson was good enough, but it wasn't. It's a mistake a lot of networks make with hot comics. 

And maybe if I took a Super Fun Night "Which Character Are You?" quiz, I'd be mean-girl Kendall, because I don't find Kimmie very likable at all. We're supposed to root for Kimmie as the underdog, but instead of building her up into something likable, "Anything for Love" decided to let her in-office rival Kendall be really mean to her as they both competed for the attention of Richard, the boss's very cute son. This isn't a zero-sum game, and kicking Kendall down didn't raise Kimmie up. If Super Fun Night wants to go anywhere, we'll need a reason to like Kimmie other than the fact that other people are mean to her because she's annoying. Okay, maybe I'm one of those mean people. Where do you stand?


– What I would like to see is more of Kimmie and Richard's blossoming friendship, because it has the potential to be a reason to watch this show. I think Richard is the key to the series, and Kevin Bishop plays the blissfully naive character perfectly.

Super Fun Night clearly wants to be more than just a bunch of fat jokes, but at times that's all it is. Stop confusing me, show!

– That was Little Britain's Matt Lucas in a cameo as a guy riding the elevator. Super fun fact of the day: Lucas and Wilson are real-life roommates in Los Angeles!

– There will be lots of singing in this show! Lots!

– I guess Helen-Alice drunk-dialing her grandmother about Christmas cards might have been funny? 

What'd you think of the series premiere? Will you be back for Episode 2?

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  • AmyHopkin Mar 04, 2014

    I really liked it, I watched all 17 episodes in two days. How did everyone become so jaded? It's just television, just enjoy the story for a change. Good lawd!

  • WhatTheHellYIsEverythingU Oct 16, 2013

    Ok first of all I don't believe that this shows comedy was try hardy and I admire that it wasn't over the top and that it wasn't dependent on a laugh track like "The Big Bang Theory" is proof that it is not try hardy. I think that a lot of backstory that we needed to understand what was going on was missing but I think that the characters were introduced naturally and in a way that you could pick out their personality traits easily. E.g. Marika's a jock and Helen-Alice is conservative and doesn't really let her hair down all too often. The fact that it cannot be labelled as have 1 key theme means that it has the opportunity to look at many different aspects of everyday life and show different ways of developing the characters instead of following the same old recycled sitcom plots. I don't believe the show tried to make Kendal extremely mean. I think she was simply competitive and she even offered advice and encouragement to Kimmie. The show didn't even kick her down really. And Kimmie's character I think is very relatable. Even with all the fat jokes. In fact I believe the whole spanks bit was a laugh at the discomfort women put themselves through to try and be thinner or prettier. But maybe Kimmie and her friends only appeal to the introverts. I hope the show doesn't get cancelled because I want to see how the characters will develop.

  • Kf27g2ocDT6Urb Nov 23, 2013

    Everything you said is spot on. I couldn't have said it better.

  • MirelaPilipo Oct 15, 2013

    Awful! Why on earth? First of all, the FAT jokes are so toilet humor-ey and Rebel Wilson's "humour" is completely lost in translation. You cannot take a comic who is famous for her VERY Australian sense of humour and the take the Australian part out! They gave her an ALL AMERICAN EVERYTHING! That is not Rebel Wilson! It's all wrong! Not funny and she keeps dropping the accent too. Just terrible ABC!

  • Kf27g2ocDT6Urb Nov 23, 2013

    I dunno, I thought the jokes were funny whatever her accent was. I.e. Rebel Wilson's humour doesn't exist just because of her Australian accent. If you only think she's funny because she doesn't sound Australian anymore, then... man I dunno, I think you've missed the point of the show.

  • MirelaPilipo Nov 23, 2013

    No. The reason why I don't think she's funny is because her whole comedic style changed once she moved to the US. Yes her American accent is atrocious but that not the reason why I no longer find her funny. You clearly have no idea about the kind of comedienne she was before so it's fine if you think that Super Fun Night and Kimmy are funny.
    My point is that I do not find this americanised version of Rebel Wilson funny.

  • feedergoldfish Oct 09, 2013

    I am going to give it a try, however I don't have much faith that this will get better. There is an easy friendship between Wilson's and Bishop's characters that should be explored. Also Kevin Bishop (who I loved in FM) won me over when his character said he was afraid of "shark tornadoes" it really was enough to bring me back. I'm easy like that.

  • Super_Dooper Oct 04, 2013

    yeah.....I will give this the 4 episode test because I'm partial to Rebel and also cause the actress who plays Kendall is also Australian so I'd like to see if this gets better. I mean, the premise is there, and Rebel does funny stuff but there needs to be solid material for her to work with if they want any sort of success. Also yeah this didn't feel like a pilot at all, I suppose it just needs more characterisation as well (although I can't expect that from the pilot, or make-do pilot). So as an Aussie I hope this gets better for our comedy gold mine in Rebel!

  • txgirl75 Oct 03, 2013

    I didn't even bother watching. I could tell by the previews it would be dumb..,

  • Writerpatrick Oct 03, 2013

    This is a Conan O'Brian production. He's a good comic and a great TV fan, but he has a lousy track record when it comes to producing his own shows.

  • ekwartler Oct 03, 2013

    I watched the two minutes my DVR caught in making sure it got every second of Modern Family. Her accent is completely ridiculous. I don't even know what she's trying to sound like. That alone would have been enough to make the show horrible, but it's also horrible in general. I'm glad it cut off; I wouldn't have been able to stand any more of it after two minutes anyway.

  • TeddyBearZA Oct 03, 2013

    Awful, but it is not on my Dead Pool so I hope it doesn't get cancelled too quickly!

  • niallian Oct 03, 2013

    This was no where near the train wreck it was supposed to be, it wasn't great but I've seen worse this season.

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