Rebel Wilson almost rescues ‘Super Fun Night’ from mediocrityPosted on October 2, 2013 | by Connor Wright
Rebel Wilson is one of those actresses who you like not for what she says, but how she says it. After co-starring in comedies like “Bridesmaids” and “Pitch Perfect,” Wilson has nailed the art of the reaction shot, pulling out the perfect expression at the least expected time. In ABC’s “Super Fun Night,” Wilson uses those expressions to full advantage, and most of the audience’s enjoyment comes from merely wanting to see how Wilson will react next.
After the pilot received unfavorable early reviews, ABC chose to air the second episode tonight as the premiere. And while this second episode lacks concrete introductions to the characters, it still manages to showcase the cast’s talents. At the center, there’s Kimmie (Wilson), a socially clueless, and recently promoted lawyer who invites her charming co-worker Richard (Kevin Bishop) out for a night on the town alongside her two geeky roommates, Marika (Lauren Ash) and Helen-Alice (Liza Lapira).
There’s also Kimmie’s co-worker Kendall (Kate Jenkinson), who decides to tag along to win over Richard. The episode culminates in a karaoke competition between Kimmie and Kendall.
While this may seem predictable — and it certainly is — there’s an undeniable charm that elevates the episode above its mediocre material. It plays to Wilson’s talents and sports a cast of likable characters that have the potential to grow.
Richard, for example, is not the cliche unattainable office hunt, but instead a supportive friend to Kimmie who motivates her to carry on with the singing competition. Their back-and-forth dialogue is fun to watch and offers the possibility of an interesting relationship that has not been seen on many sitcoms before.
The true problem is keeping the hit-to-miss ratio of its jokes favorable — some work, many do not. While most are forgivable, thanks to the charm of Wilson’s delivery, the other actors need to be used in more surprising ways. “Night” also seems too eager to throw out a fat joke every few minutes, to the point where Wilson seems to vacillate between ordering consolation pizzas for the karaoke competition and stripping down to her Spanx, a joke used more than you would expect.
Nothing is truly offensive about “Super Fun Night.” The actors hit their marks, Wilson does her best with what’s given to her and the show carries on with a quick, light pace. But it’s almost too light. If the show could manage to punch up its jokes and try some new things, it could rival some of network TV’s most popular comedies. For now, the show has set a good foundation for its future.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 2 print edition. Connor Wright is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.