Super Fun Night 1×10-11 ‘Li’l Big Kim’ and ‘Dinner Party’: Worth it?

Source: ABC

Maya is off for the holidays, so I’ll be filling in. I’m John, writer of such fabulous things as reviews of Scandal, Reign, and Siberia (ha, remember that show? No, you probably don’t), and my idea going into this was treat it like someone who was new to the show, which was easy, seeing as I haven’t seen any episodes before these two. I’ll try to catch up for next week, but for now, consider me the kind of person this show needs to win over if it wants to be renewed. Or consider me lazy. Dealer’s choice!

So: Super Fun Night. The weight of the names behind this show is impressive; ignoring Conan O’Brien and Jeff Ross’ posts as producers, I was a huge fan of Pitch Perfect and Bachelorette (which everyone should watch, by the way), and Liza Lapira is always funny and this show has been racking up some notable B tier guest stars. A lot of awesome Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 alumni never hurt, either.

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Source: ABC

That said, this show is really weird. And I’m not sure if it’s weird in the positive, funny weird way, or whether it’s weird in a half baked kinda way. The editing is pretty consistently awkward, which is funny if you like reaching cringe humor, I guess, but it’s distracting and makes it seem like the show itself is always stepping on its laugh lines. I can’t tell whether it’s this penchant for delayed cuts or Rebel Wilson’s technically accurate American accent that makes it seem like her timing is all off, but her delivery is definitely missing something in most scenes.

Super Fun Night also appears to have a few too many conceits behind it, ranging from Kim Boubier’s video diary, to her relationship with her friends and their weird secondary tier of friends (are all the characters in the dinner party repeats? That’s a pretty big ensemble for a show half a season in), to her work and friends pulling her in different directions, to her attempts to find a man in the big city. The show feels a little awkwardly lived in at this point, and parts of that, such as Kimmie’s supposed succession of male love interests, makes it seem like the show is casting about for a anchor beyond Rebel Wilson occasionally acting silly. And that’s a problem: Rebel Wilson should either always be acting silly (a la Pitch Perfect or Bridesmaids) or be the straight man (a la Bachelorette).

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Source: ABC

The first episode is mostly job-centric, as Kimmie follows a cross between Nikki Minaj and Tracey Jordan around, trying to get her to sign a contract. Big Kim was mostly gold, and her bouncer’s (who I think was played by Huell from Breaking Bad?) one-liners consistantly landed. Marika and Helen-Alice’s desperate attempts at the club were valiant, but most of the hip-hop club jokes were lazy and pretty hacky, and it showed through the delivery. I feel like those two have a good fish-out-of-whatever somewhere, but they need to work on it a bit more to make it seem like it’s actually a viable subplot and not just a bunch of sounds and pretty lights breaking up Kimmie’s plot into simpler chunks.

The second episode of the night had me much more confused, but there’s a lot to like in the ensemble that was displayed. The generic British dude and blonde lady dragged, rather predictably, and the dumb boyfriend subplot looks like it’ll get an arc, but at times it kinda reminded me of the deep ensemble parts of 30 Rock, whatever hilarious nonsense the writers and actors get up to while Liz and Jack have “serious” plots about Isabella Rossellini and whatnot. This show drags a lot, and I don’t know if it can be saved (or whether it should), but I laughed at times, and there are encouraging bits and pieces.

John M.

works for a legal newspaper in Baltimore and lives within three blocks of Tilghman Middle, the alley where Omar and Brother Mouzone have their showdown, and Pearson’s Florists. He enjoys putting his liberal arts degree to good use by watching a lot of TV and reading a lot of internet. He occasionally blogs (about Dawson’s Creek) on tumblr.

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