Super Fun Night: Wednesdays at 9:30 Eastern On ABC
Super Fun Night has an interesting development history. The show was originally shopped to CBS last year, only for the network to pass on it, only for ABC to swoop in and pick up the series. While this would normally seem like the sort of sign that would doom a show, ABC has shown a surprisingly high amount of confidence in the show, giving it both plenty of hype and the strongest possible comedy lead-in one will find on the network: Modern Family.
Super Fun Night was predominantly conceived as a vehicle for Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect), who plays Kimmie Boubier, a shut-in junior attorney, whose weekend routines always involve her friends Marika (Lauren Ash) and Helen-Alice (Liza Lapira). The three typically take the introverted route, and don’t go out much until they feel compelled to do so to celebrate Kimmie’s promotion. At that point, as she meets Royce (Kevin Bishop), a British attorney. From there hijinks ensue as the three introverts are thrust into new social situations.
So, is this show worth the hype? In short: an unequivocal no. However, since the whole point of a review is for me to tell you why Super Fun Night is lacking, let me count the ways. First and foremost, this show is not funny. This is due to a reliance on banal jokes, hacky and physical comedy (oh my god, someone had an elevator door eat their clothing? I’ve NEVER seen that before!). When it doesn’t rely on those dated premises, it instead tries to rely on going to a well of awkwardness that falls flat at every turn.
On top of not being funny, the show seems to rely on a lot of clichés to fill out the plot, which fits the arc of every underdog story ever. This is made even worse by the fact that Kimmie’s rival, Kendall, is the one stuck behind the 8-ball. The closest analogy to this sort of awkward plotting comes from the world of professional wrestling whenever John Cena is forced to play the underdog while being the dominant champion. It doesn’t play well with WWE audiences and it doesn’t really play well here. I also wasn’t thrilled at the lack of a real B-plot, as a show built around a group of three friends didn’t really spend any time with Marika or Helen-Alice.
There are some positives that the show can build on. In particular, the one-upsmanship that occurred during the musical number at the end felt stronger than the rest of the show. Additionally, while the writing felt off, it seemed like the cast did the best it could with the material, with Kate Jenkinson in particular really standing out as Kendall Quinn, seeming to love every super-villainesque moment thrown her way.
The Final Verdict: It’s pretty clear why CBS ended up passing on Super Fun Night. This pilot felt half-baked and the writing seems sloppy, laser-focused on an A-Plot that felt very mundane. While normally with a sitcom it takes a few weeks to get into a groove, even a fully realized version of Night would be unappealing. Skip this one, Wednesday is a strong enough comedy night right now that you can find something funnier anywhere else on the dial.