Up All Night – Episode 1-13 Review – “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!”

OK, it’s official: The reason I enjoy Up All Night so much is because it’s the TV show that comes as close as possible to mirroring my actual life. OK, not my life – I’m not married, don’t have a fancy job working for a daytime talk show, I don’t have a baby and my hair will never look as good as Christina Applegate’s. But Reagan and Chris? Their personalities and the dynamic of their relationship are eerily similar to my boyfriend Rob and I, from Chris’s love of hockey to Reagan’s over-competitive spirit to the significance they place on watching Friday Night Lights.

I mean, as soon as I heard the FNL theme music, I had to laugh. You have no idea how much I love that show, so I loved that watching the series finale was an actual plot on a sitcom I watch.

OK, here’s what happened: Reagan and Chris had been watching the whole series on DVD together, but when it came time to see the finale Reagan kept getting held up at work or coming home late and nodding off during the show. Chris was dying to see it (obviously) and when his pal from a playgroup said she was in the same boat, they committed the second worst thing you can do in a relationship and watched it together. (Cheating is still worse, of course. But it’s damn close.) 

The one flaw in this storyline is that the series finale of FNL was so good that Chris shouldn’t have had a problem watching it a second time. Anyway, he managed to fake his way through it but when his pal Laura and her husband come over for a BBQ later she accidentally spilled the beans. I thought the whole storyline was pretty funny, and it was rooted in a pretty realistic concern – there aren’t a lot of stay-at-home dads out there, and when they form bonds with other stay-at-home moms it can be a little intimidating. It wasn’t that Reagan really thought Chris would cheat (note her relief when she realized that Laura was not the Real Housewife looking mom in the playgroup), but even without that concern it would be normal for Reagan to feel twinges of jealousy over Chris’s special connection with another woman, even though it’s based on inside jokes rather than actual flirtations.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this was supposed to be the main storyline of the episode, and the actual A-plot fell a little flat for me. I love Megan Mullally, so I thought her guest appearance would be really funny. She was playing a woman who used to be on Ava’s show all the time, and left to create her own show. She kept poaching episode ideas from Ava, and Reagan wasn’t having it. The thing was, it just never seemed to go anywhere. The writers needed to turn it up a notch – I didn’t get the idea that Mullally’s character of Shayna was particularly evil or particularly nice.

Even though I felt like the guest appearance from Mullally was a bit of a missed opportunity, I liked the episode overall. What did you guys think?