Pilot Review: Super Fun Night (★½)

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Super Fun NightHype much? With Rebel Wilson having the year she’s having, an icon of great laughs, ‘Super Fun Night‘ promised to be a super and fun series. Starring our Aussie girl of comedy as Kimmie Boubier, she leads Lauren Ash as Marika and Liza Lapira as Helen-Alice on a quest to get a social life, with Kevin Bishop as Richard and Kate Jenkinson as Kendall. The premiered pilot is rumored to, actually, be the second episode, but after the original pilot received terrible reviews, ABC decided to make the change, hoping for a better response.

In this episode, Kimmie has the hots for her co-worker Richard but isn’t cool enough to nab him, so she plans a series of activities with her friends to up her social game and reputation to impress Richard, all of which Kendall is bound to attempt to ruin. Despite their great efforts, the night starts as a dream and it would be great if it turned into a complete nightmare, but lands just short of anything of real significance due to their introverted awkward mannerisms. They end the night with the new resolves for the next super fun night.

As great as Wilson is with her quirky personality and great comedic timing, ‘Super Fun Night‘ is NOT what she should be doing. In the aired pilot, her sweet rough-ness wasn’t here, along with the ability to make the show funny. Her usual saturated humor and witty remarks were left high and dry, slowing down the pace of the very much lacking story. Without deep rooted issues introduced to the story from the beginning, the writing, execution, and acting were all lazily done. It was just another Wilson that audiences weren’t used to seeing and hadn’t fallen in love with.

This sitcom reminded me a lot of a bad ‘Sabrina the Teenaged Witch‘ starring Melissa Joan Hart, which was a story about a young witch, Sabrina, who had to deal with being a witch while living amongst human. Unlike Sabrina, however, Kimmie has no excuse in her life, no great mystery to uncover or secret to hide. In fact, Kimmie’s character is very incomplete and, therefore, unsatisfying and, at times, downright confusing to watch. This sitcom doesn’t radiate with Wilson’s usual hip-slanty humor and the rest of the cast just didn’t vibe with her which made the close friendship between the girls even stranger to watch.

Super Fun Night Still

A much better and easier to watch performance is that of Kevin Bishop, the sweet and handsome co-worker and Kate Jenkinson, the sexy co-worker with ulterior motives. Bishop is fun and friendly, quite the best friend type of guy while Jenkinson toes the line bravely, pushing Kimmie to the top of her game. Lauren Ash was confident and much too quirky, sometimes almost taking the show in another direction. The performance of Liza Lapira was either very over the top or the writers had too much fun butchering the Asian stereotypes. (Yes, this is why many Asians don’t watch television anymore.) The entire show was shot in a sitcom style with quick cuts and snappy edits, but there were too many theatrics going on and not enough story. As if trying for the dynamic and entertaining chemistry between Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe from ‘Friends‘, it’s obvious how these characters ought to mesh together, but none of that ends up on the screen. I blame either poor directing, weak performances, or a terrible story.

For a super funny gal like Wilson, a super funny cast is necessary and greatly needed, so as to downplay her social awkwardness and amp up her sense of humor. ‘Pitch Perfect‘ consisted extreme characters of all types who were forced to communicate and get over their differences to get along. By the end of the film, they were all friends, bonded by their weirdness and grew to become winners in each of their lives. Wilson was funny and so deeply loved because of her spoiled sweet brat personality that shined brightly along with the brilliance of the cast around her. That is not the case in this new sitcom series. A much rougher group of people who seem to understand their characters as much as the audience surround Wilson and just helps it plunge into the abyss of failed show premiering this Fall.

Personally, I was looking forward to see what Wilson would bring to television. The show could be saved but it would be more important for Wilson to choose a certain style and format she likes instead of mashing together ‘Glee‘ and ‘How I Met Your Mother‘ influenced by ‘Sex and the City‘. Out of film and into the world of television, she can either get it together or get out of the game.