Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and things aren't going well, but maybe they're really popular or super attractive so you keep trying to make it work by adopting a cat together, taking ballroom dancing lessons, or making a baby? NBC is in one of those relationships right now with Up All Night, its second-season sitcom that currently airs on Thursday nights and features bona fide television stars Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, and Maya Rudolph.
Though it's only 30 episodes old, Up All Night has already undergone more face lifts than the cast of Desperate Housewives, as NBC attempts to find a sweet spot between edgy NBC Thursday-night comedy and dumbed-down opiate for the masses. Here's a quick timeline of what the show's already been through, for those who are just catching up:
FEBRUARY 2011: NBC orders a pilot for Alpha Mom, a comedy about a woman who balances a new baby and a demanding work schedule as a PR executive, while her husband quits his job as a lawyer to be a stay-at-home dad. This is THE basis of the show.
AFTER BRIDESMAIDS (MAY 2011): Hoping to capitalize on the success of the raunchy female comedy and Rudolph's participation in it, NBC "suggests" retooling the show with a job change for Applegate and Rudolph's characters, with the pair going from PR executives to Rudolph having her own talk show and Applegate working as her producer.
LATE JULY 2012: NBC decides it likes its comedy "broader" (i.e. more boring) and cuts out most of the work aspect of the show to focus on domestic stories. The talk show gets canceled, and Applegate's working mom returns home while her husband goes back to work. The series, which was originally about a woman juggling a new baby and a tough job, is now mostly about parents having a baby.
TODAY (OCTOBER 29, 2012): NBC says "Screw it, let's make it a multi-camera comedy like we always wanted it to be, thus completing the show's total shaming." The change will take effect when it returns in the spring after a break. NBC hopes the break will be long enough that nobody will notice.
SPRING 2013: Everyone notices.
2014: NBC shifts gears again, and Applegate, Arnett, and Rudolph will now be judges in a reality singing competition show. The show is a hit!
Yep, Up All Night will make the ultra-rare transformation from single-camera comedy to multi-camera comedy in the middle of its second season. Production will stop after the episode that's currently being filmed is complete, and then the show will take a three-month break so multi-camera sets can be constructed. After that, Up All Night will return in the spring as a completely different show for an additional five episodes.
This is bound to be a shock for some of you, but is it going to be the good kind of shock (like "I just won the lottery!") or the bad kind of shock (like "That bitch Julie in human resources who thinks she's all that just won the lottery!")? Let's weigh the pros and cons to find out.
PRO: Multi-camera means MORE cameras! That means more shots of Arnett and Applegate in the same frame! That will allow us to analyze the real chemistry between the two so we can make hasty decisions with reagrd to whether Applegate had anything to do with Arnett's divorce from Amy Poehler.
PRO: One problem I had with Up All Night in its early going (I haven't watched much since) is that I didn't know when to laugh. The new Up All Night will be filmed in front of a live studio audience and will no doubt feature a laugh track that will kick in during the purest comedy moments to avoid those awkward situations when you laugh at something you're not supposed to.
CON: See above.
PRO: The change will prove unsuccessful, forcing NBC to finally cancel this thing and let the talented cast move on to better things.
CON: Or maybe it won't!
What do you think the format change will do to the show? Will you still watch?