Tuesday, October 8, 2013

TV Snap Judgment: Super Fun Night

I really wanted to love "Super Fun Night," ABC's new sitcom created, written by and starring Rebel Wilson.

Ugh, but I really didn't love it. In fact, I kind of hated the whole experience of watching it.

"Super Fun Night" follows lawyer Kimmie and her two best friends, Helen-Alice (Liza Lapira) and Marika (Lauren Ash), as they try to have a super fun night every week. In the first episode, they decide to go to a piano bar so Kimmie can get over her stage fright.

The ensemble cast didn't really gel for me, but I like to give sitcoms the benefit of the doubt and watch more than one episode before I judge on that sort of thing. I have been rewarded for that persistence before - "New Girl," which was rocky for half a season, is now one of the most consistently hilarious shows I watch - but I'm just not going to persist with "Super Fun Night."

The main reason I really wanted to love "Super Fun Night" was because of creator/writer/star Rebel Wilson. She was a scene-stealer in her bit part in "Bridesmaids," and she was a scream as Fat Amy in "Pitch Perfect." I think that Wilson has the chops to lead a show - she's charismatic, hilarious and pretty - but "Super Fun Night" was a huge mess. I'm really tired of this stupid trope where a bigger girl has to be awkward in some way, even if she's hugely successful, wonderful and gorgeous. I mean, Kimmie is a lawyer! She is clearly an intelligent person, and yet the entirety of her character is "awkward fat chick." I'm perfectly OK with her being flawed, because if she wasn't, the character would be super dull, but it feels like the show is like, "OF COURSE SHE'S AWKWARD! SHE'S FAT! LOOK SHE WEARS SPANX! HAR HAR!" That's something we've only seen about 7,000 times before.

It would be much funnier if Kimmie were awkward for some other reason totally unrelated to her weight. That's why Fat Amy in "Pitch Perfect" is such a brilliant character. The fact that she's not skinny like the rest of the girls is front and center - her name is Fat Amy, and everybody calls her that - and yet, she's funny and awkward in other ways completely unrelated to being bigger than everyone else. In fact, I can't remember any other jokes relating to her weight except for the fact that she's called Fat Amy. It's the same way with the Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy movie "The Heat" - McCarthy's character, Mullins, isn't defined by her size. In fact, "The Heat" took it one step further and had the skinny character, Bullock's Ashburn, wear Spanx and have Mullins comment on it. After watching an extended scene of Kimmie trying to pull on a pair of industrial-strength Spanx, I realized how subversive that scene in "The Heat" really is. And that's what makes comedy funny, kids!

"Super Fun Night" really might get better, but I just can't wade through anymore stupidity and lame fat jokes. I'm definitely not watching episode two!

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