Up All Night
TV Series Review
Months before this show premiered, a satirical and profane "children's" book for frustrated parents grabbed the media spotlight and rocketed up the best-seller list. It's title? Go the F‑‑‑ to Sleep. Apparently, that sordid sentiment resonated with more than a few frazzled folks trying to balance the overlapping and sometimes overwhelming demands of parenthood, marriage and work. Those are the same people NBC is gunning for with its sitcom Up All Night.
Marveling at their baby girl as she sleeps, new dad Chris Brinkley gushes, "She is so beautiful!" "So f‑‑‑ing beautiful," equally new mom Reagan adds (with the f-word only partially bleeped). Then the two begin spouting a stream of other bleeped profanities to "articulate" their wonder at little Amy.
"Ah, Chris, you know what?" Reagan realizes. "We should probably cool it on the cussing."
They don't. And that's not the only aspect of their pre-baby life they're having a hard time relinquishing.
Reagan, we discover, is on her way back to work as the producer of an Oprah-like talk show called Ava. Chris has decided to leave his job at a law firm to be a stay-at-home daddy, which, conveniently, gives him plenty of time to watch the tube and play video games.
The TV-enhanced free-for-all—otherwise called a balancing act—has begun. The needs of the baby. The demands of work. The desire to party like it's 2002. About 2% of the decisions Chris and Reagan make are good ones. The rest range from crude to idiotic. Let's just say this young couple still has significant work to do when it comes to nurturing their nurturing instincts.
And I don't trust NBC to provide them with much space to do so.
Still, I suspect many parents who tune into Up All Night will identify with at least some of what they see. What new parents haven't, at some point, argued over whose turn it is to get up in the middle of the night? As the father of three children under age 5 myself, I've been up all night for years now. And I'll freely admit that I can all too easily drift into self-centered daydreams about the carefree days and nights of B.C. (before children) life. Sometimes I truly struggle to put their needs above my own.
Up All Night is in touch with that reality. But far too often it doesn't even bother to struggle. It just gives in to the crazy.