The Huffpost reported changes to NBC’s Up All Night second season yesterday, rumoured to have been affected after the show received some mixed reviews (most reviews were positive) about the combination of the home/family life element of Up All Night with new parents Reagan and Chris bringing up baby Amy, and the element of the show dedicated to Reagan’s job as producer of hit Oprah-style talk show, ‘Ava’, starring Maya Rudolph as Ava, Reagan’s self-involved but warm-hearted best friend.
The show is ditching its show-within-a-show “Ava,” and re-tooling around “smaller, lower-key home stories,” Todd VanDerWerff, TV editor at the A.V. Club reported from set visit day at the 2012 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.
HuffPost TV critic Maureen Ryan was one of the reviewers who questioned the apparent mixing of the two formats of work-based and home-based sitcom, stating that: ’For Ava to be funny, she has to be selfish and clueless; for her to be Reagan’s friend, she can’t be all that clueless or excessively mean to her underlings.’
I disagree, wholeheartedly. In the past few years we have seen some of the best produced dramas and sitcoms airing on TV rather than in the film world, and I personally think that the very best shows on TV now are amongst the best ever to air, but money and success makes studios scared money and success will go away, they shy away from risk, and they make formulaic TV shows that stick within one genre and star one-dimensional stereotype characters. Up All Night doesn’t do that - as the negative critics will attest. It breaks boundaries, depicts multi-faceted human beings, and shows something that is more real, and that we see ourselves in.
The main reason I love Up All Night is because it is aspirational, and I don’t want to see Reagan just bring up a kid, I find it aspirational because she produces her own TV show and brings up a kid. Another reason I love Up All Night is because its characters seem real. I have crazy friends. Some of my crazy friends are terrible with men and some are a little self-involved. All of them are excellent friends. These elements are not antithetical. They co-exist in the real world.
I think whoever is making the decisions at Up All Night shouldn’t be listening to the critics. Ask the people who love the show and watch it religiously what they think will make it better! We want to see more Ava, Will and Reagan - the dream team! We want less of Luke, maybe none at all. They work at a women’s talk show, and it feels like he has been thrown in to make the show more guy palatable. The news that Will & Grace star Sean Hayes has been cast in a multi-episode arc as Ava’s former accompanist seems similarly a pandering move. I have news for you NBC - guys prefer to watch women over men. My guy friends here in NYC love the show, and they think Ava is hilarious and Will is cool; everyone loves Reagan and her craziness.
Wasn’t Ava supposed to stand for girl power? Wasn’t she in a rap duo with Alanis Morisette? Bring back Alanis if you want to bring on an accompanist! Reagan and Ava love Stevie Nicks! Let’s have more of that! Come on NBC, don’t worry, there’s no such thing as being ‘too’ Bridesmaids. Reagan is the heart of the show, and her story is being a great Mom to her daughter by being a kickass producing role model and juggling that with being a kickass Mom at home too. So keep showing us our real lives! Work, babies, relationships and best friends. Don’t dumb it down for the sake of a few critics who don’t want to see the truth on TV.
Why don’t they want the truth? They can’t handle the truth!
“Up All Night” Season 2 premieres Thursday, Sept. 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.”