|Amy is definitely one of the top five cutest babies on TV.|
I’ve said a few times now that I really like Up All Night, and that of the new shows I started watching this season it’s probably my favorite so far. I think the bones of the show are good, and it seems to be making an effort to correct a few of the things that weren’t working early on. One of these things is Ava.
I like Ava’s character, and Maya Rudolph is basically always funny. The problem Up All Night has with Ava is that it’s difficult to incorporate such an over-the-top character into Reagan and Chris’s daily lives. If last night’s episode was their attempt to tone her down and humanize her, then I can be on board with that.
When Reagan and Chris’s babysitter cancelled and threw a wrench into their plan to spend their first night away from Amy and rekindle their romance, Ava stepped up to the plate to fill in. This seems unlike her, yes? Well, as it turns out, Ava was looking to do normal-people things because she wanted to meet a normal-person guy. Desperate to go through with the romantic night that had been planned and afraid of hurting Ava’s feelings, Reagan said yes.
Obviously, the problem with this episode was that it seemed unlikely that Reagan or Chris would trust Ava with their baby. Why didn’t they just call Kevin, their #1 emergency contact? He clearly didn’t have anything else going on. But Ava made such an effort to be a good babysitter, getting certified in baby CPR and all, that I was willing to overlook that. I can deal with a few inconsistencies early on in a show if tweaking a character is necessary to make the show good. Take 2 Broke Girls – the show did a good job of adjusting Max to make her a little more likable as time went on, but they did nothing to deal with the racial stereotypes that turn so many viewers off of the show. I could have overlooked the idea, for example, that Han used to have an accent and doesn’t anymore because ridding that character of an accent would improve the show overall. So if making Ava a little less self-centered and a little less over-the-top helps the writers on Up All Night find more interesting ways to keep her in Reagan and Chris’s lives, then I can be on board with that.
And frankly, Ava As Superbabysitter was funny. It was fun to watch her go from feeling competitive and jealous of Kevin’s #1 spot on the emergency contact list to actually kind of falling for the guy. Things don’t need to work out between Ava and Kevin for this to be a good thing – just the fact that Ava wants to meet a nice guy, a Stedman, has prevented her character from becoming too cartoonish. And the fact that Ava didn’t completely screw up her babysitting gig but still had some funny misadventures like asking Chris “Where does Amy usually like to hide?” and getting her stuck in the highchair, added to that.
Meanwhile, the material with Reagan and Chris spending the night at the hotel (and briefly spying on Ava) wasn’t the funniest we’ve ever seen from them, but I did get several laughs out of it. Overall, another solid episode from Up All Night. Here are some of my favorite moments and quotes from “First Night Away”:
- Ava: “How did Oprah meet Stedman?”
Reagan: “No one has that information.”
- “Looks like you’ve grown that man scruff to hide your shame.” – Ava
- Chris sliding Reagan’s hands from his butt to his back at the homecoming dance they crashed.
- “I have a Glock in my purse and superb night vision.” – Ava, when she hears Chris and Reagan spying and thinks it’s a home intruder
- The stuff with guest star Jason Lee was great, but the real star was the character’s kid McKenna.
- The baby sock! It’ll get you every time. It’s just so little!