Fall TV First Impression: ABC's Super Fun Night

Super Fun Night PreviewThe broadcast networks have almost 30 shows debuting this fall, including new sitcoms from Michael J. Fox and Sean Hayes, a futuristic tale from the Fringe team and Marvel-ous adventures for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

THE SHOW | ABC’s Super Fun Night (Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c)

THE COMPETITION | CBS’ Criminal Minds, Fox’s The X Factor, NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and The CW’s The Tomorrow People

THE CAST | Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect), Liza Lapira (Don’t Trust the B—-in Apt. 23), Lauren Ash (Scare Tactics), Kelen Coleman (The Newsroom) and Kevin Bishop (The Kevin Bishop Show)

RELATED | Fall Preview: TVLine’s Grid Showing What’s On When and Versus What!

THE SET-UP | This single-camera comedy stars Wilson (sans Aussie accent), Lapira and Ash as Kimmie, Helen-Alice and Marika, longtime besties who have a tradition of making every Friday night a “super fun night.” Their sad weekly mantra, “Always together, always inside,” is threatened in the pilot when Kimmie’s job promotion scores her an invite to a trendy club populated by beautiful, less loser-y people. Bishop plays Kimmie’s law firm crush Richard, a British bigwig who likes “a bit of chunk” on his ladies, while Coleman is her boss/rival for Richard’s attentions.

RELATED | Fall TV Preview: TVLine’s Snapshot Guide to All the New Shows

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | I typically don’t give comedy pilots a second viewing — I trust my noggin to retain 22 minutes’ worth of data — but I had to be sure I wasn’t “missing” something here. And… I wasn’t. This is TV’s second stab at making Super Fun Night happen (CBS last year tried/failed with a multi-camera version), and it lands wide of the mark. Most simply said, Happy Endings (and alllll the Modern Family lead-outs that came before/after it) has been replaced with a live-action cartoon, a series with three lead characters that are so off the wall they are not to be believed, let alone rooted for. (Marika uses a tennis racquet bag as a purse, for heaven’s sake, and every line out of her mouth hints at family incest and/or bi-curiosity.) Wilson’s fleeting scenes with Bishop have an undeniable sweetness, but the over-the-top awkward antics surrounding them impede any potential. Maybe a bit more tinkering, ASAP, can give Wilson the TV vehicle that best delivers on her potential.

RELATED | More Fall TV First Impressions: The CW’s The Tomorrow People, Fox’s Almost Human, CBS’ The Crazy Ones

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | As much as ABC’s other new Wednesday comedy, Maggie Lawson’s Back in the Game, is a perfect hammock for the Hecks and the Dunphys, it’d be hard to find a Modern Family/Nashville bridge less apt than Super Fun Night. Best case scenario, ABC promptly swaps its time slot with the superior Back in the Game, trusting that Modern Family is (relatively) lead-in-proof.

Watch a video preview for Super Fun Night, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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49 Comments
  1. The pilot is a miserable mess. I usually give sitcoms a second chance. This one lost me halfway through (but I kept watching until the end hoping it would get better). However, ABC’s other three comedy pilots are all quite good (“The Goldbergs,” “Trophy Wife” and “Back in the Game”). Will DVR those, skip this one entirely.

  2. Cherry says:

    Rebel Wilson is great in small doses, loved her in Bridesmaids, Bachelorette and even in Pitch Perfect. But having her as the lead is just far too much.

    • lariet50 says:

      Oh thank God, I thought I was the only one who felt this way!

    • Steven says:

      Exactly. When she hosted the MTV Movie Awards it was just too much.

    • Philipp says:

      The thing is, I think she’s a terrific scene stealer. She’s not the reason you went into Bridesmaids (you didn’t even know about her probably) but you’re probably quoting her part the most. Her few minutes of screen time were real gems but, as you said, worked for appearing in small doses.

      A big part of why she’s funny may also lie in her accent, which adds a certain… something. Stripping her from it here might take away A LOT of her charm.

      When I first heard this was headed for production I was worried that she was gonna be too overexposed because of it, there was a time where she was almost everywhere (Pitch Perfect promo plus Bachelorette at about the same time) and I started to realize a lot of Rebel Wilson is a tad too much of her. I don’t mean this to sound like she can only take the quirky best friend part that’s never really the center of the story, but making a show that revolves around her funny and awkward antics can get real old real fast.

  3. Anna says:

    This show looks awful and terribly awkward from the trailer alone, so hearing that the pilot is just that… well, I guess the trailer didn’t misrepresent the show after all.

  4. Boiler says:

    Yet we lost Happy Endings, Malibu Country and untold other ABC comedies that were much better over the past few years and delaying Suburgatory

  5. Jared says:

    People really don’t seem to be interested in this show at all. Rebel Wilson is funny at times but this show just looks like a trainwreck. I’ll probably watch an episode or two just to check it out but the trailer doesn’t do the series any favors.

  6. Babygate says:

    I was really looking forward to this because of Rebel but, wow, what a mess. Literally, anything that ABC has had on that slot for the last four or five years would be better than this mess. I am deeply disappointed. I think that their inability to find a suitable companion for Modern Family is actually hurting its ratings as its more convenient to watch an hour show you like than a half hour show you may love that has no follow up. Imo.

  7. Rob says:

    Once I realized she was playing American I knew this was a train wreck. She could do it for a movie but keeping it going for a series that is presumably going to be going on for a few years is so dumb. I think she’s better suited to star in a comedy on HBO or Showtime. I love Rebel and I think she’s a superstar talent, she just needs the right material.

  8. anawesomeweirdo says:

    Isn’t Rebel Wislon known for her “off the wall”-ness? Every movie she’s been in has her being a mess, but she still makes people laugh. That’s what people expect from her, so she’ll probably attract an audience. I don’t really know how much of an audience that is, but SFN might end up a surprise hit just like Pitch Perfect was – even though comparing movies to tv shows is like apples and oranges, but still.
    I haven’t seen the pilot, but from the trailer it really seems fun. It might not be for everyone, but there’s still a lot of people who like this sort of comedy.

    • MLO says:

      You’re implying that Pitch Perfect was a hit because of Rebel Wilson; whereas I would have to say it was a hit in spite of her.

      • tripoli says:

        That movie was atrociously bad, with the exception of Rebel Wilson. She’s not everyone’s cup of tea but she’s got some comedic talent and it was the only redeeming thing about that crap excuse for a movie.

  9. Zach says:

    Her accent seems flawless. This show does not.

    • scooby says:

      Mostly, but I definitely heard her say parts of “best night of our lives” in an Aussie accent about :53 into the clip.

  10. Tom Charles says:

    Cancel Happy Endings and put this on? Really? Don’t get me wrong, Rebel Wilson is talented, but this isn’t using it right. Know where she could be good? Put her on Community as Pierce’s replacement in the Study Group.

  11. Rebel Wilson should go back using her Aussie accent sometime in the near future but I hope Super Fun Night won’t last that long giving no less than four episodes. :-(

  12. MK says:

    If Maggie Lawson has a new sitcom this fall, then I guess that Psych won’t be coming back. That’s sad. All the good shows are going…like Psych and Vegas and all the networks have are sitcom dreck.

  13. Midori says:

    They canceled all their new (but one), and a lot of their older, sitcoms for this mess?

    • Mellie says:

      I’m so tired of this lame complaint. No, they didn’t cancel anything specifically for this show. They canceled all those shows because their ratings were not good. If something is failing you get rid of it and try again.

  14. Brent Reed says:

    This review actually made me want to see the show now. I didn’t really care about it before, but I think TV is lacking this sort of comedy where everybody is just completely unbelievable. TV’s supposed to be escapism. Let’s have weird, awkward, and absurd. Instead of being told that the world is only populated with pretty people who have their acts together and anything outside of that is not to be believed. The thing is, believe it or not, there are women out there who do use strange things for their purses. There are people who don’t feel the need to conform to what is on TV. Sadly though I believe that Matt is right and this show will fail only because too many people will see the weirdness in it as a bad thing, instead of a celebration of people who are different and don’t fit into society or the way at least that it’s portrayed on television. It’s too bad. Because let’s face it, in most really good sitcoms its usually the freaks that are the funniest, most entertaining part of the show especially the extreme freaks, Sue Heck, Ron Swanson, Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler, just to name a handful. And perhaps that is the problem with Super Fun Night, too many extreme freaks and not enough ‘normal’ people to offer that juxaposition, but still it’s a shame that we can’t appreciate awkwardness, freakiness, weirdness whatever you want to call it-ness and not constantly be reminded that they are the weird ones and just to prove it, here are a bunch of cool pretty people. The world is not made up of cool pretty people, in fact, they are the minority and so technically the weirdos. Just saying.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Nope, nope, nope. I love weird/awkward/absurd. I am weird/awkward/absurd. This is unwatchable, dares-you-to-look, unfunny weird/awkward/absurd. But you are correct in that it is just too much of that. If only Kimmie was off the wall, or if only her friends. But asking us to invest in all three characters, when they are so wholly unrelatable, is a losing proposition.

      • Zach says:

        Right said. I could not agree with you more.

      • Brent Reed says:

        I am going to keep an open mind about it, but if you’re right Matt, I hope they realize they need to tone down some of the other characters to balance Kimmie’s uniqueness. But just so long as it doesn’t devolve into pretty people taking pity on their fat friend. Which is what I would expect as a result of any network tinkering.

        Now, can we talk about all these discount leather goods I have for sale? They’re cheap, cheap, cheap!!

      • scooby says:

        Totally. It’d be like if all of the roommates on New Girl tried to be “adorkable”–you’d lose your sanity. We’ve seen scenes/eps when they all go nuts, and it’s too much. Someone’s gotta ground the scene. Hannah Simone doesn’t get enough credit.

      • Emily says:

        Yeah you are just great. Never forget that.

  15. Ram510 says:

    I can’t believe ABC even bothered picking this up what a dumb decision. I usually give almost all the broadcast comedy pilots a try put this (along with Dads and Mom) will be an automatic pass for me, it just looks awful. They could’ve kept Cougar Town or Happy Endings over this crap. I think ABC would benefit from finding a comedy to put post MF and actually keep it there for longer than just a season or 2. Clearly with this mess of a show that probably won’t happen this season. And with MF aging it may never happen. ABC just doesn’t learn it’s lesson sometimes

  16. Kristina says:

    Looks terrible just from the little bits that I’ve seen. No way.

  17. unicornwasp says:

    i was really stoked about this show based on the trailer when i first saw it a few months back. i’m still gonna give it a chance, matt! maybe it gets stronger after the pilot.

  18. breealashon says:

    Well, the trailer made me laugh. I’ll give it a shot. I welcome the ridiculous.

  19. Hurding Katz says:

    There’s a point past “tinkering,” tweaking, fine-tuning or adjusting. The title doesn’t even bring me in. If Wilson needs a better (or more suitable or better-deserved) vehicle, it’s not back to the drawing board. It’s back to the blank page. Wingnut/quirky comedy is hard to create and maintain. It also wears out its welcome suddenly if the audience drops its suspension of disbelief for even a second. Every element has to be played straight and underacted. There never can be a wink to the audience. Tough act. (Which is why I never direct comedy.)

  20. Nero theTVFiddler says:

    ABC has other comedies that they can maneuver into the 9:30 slot when Fun Night runs out of steam. I’m guessing it will take about four to six episodes, and sometime just before November, ABC will make a move. I still wonder if this show would be better off on Tuesday at 9pm; maybe younger viewers who watch SHIELD might stick around to watch Wilson, who they have seen in recent movies.

    That’s my guess – a switch of Goldbergs and Fun Night. I doubt that switch will work much better for the 9:30 post-Modern Family slot, but ABC will probably have to give that a try. I think ABC would be much better off switching Fun Night and Trophy Wife. I could be wrong, but I’ve thought Trophy Wife and Modern Family might be a good pairing. Back in the Game moving to 9:30 would be great, but I think BitG will do well at 8:30/Wed., so ABC may not want to move it until later in season.

    Either way, I think ABC will have a relative hit with Back in the Game, either at 8:30 or (eventually) 9:30 Wed. We may eventually see Suburgatory back at 8:30/Wed, and that would give ABC a chance to move BitG into the post Modern Family slot, maybe around mid-season/Jan, or late February after the Olympics on NBC.

  21. Dave says:

    I can’t believe they got rid of Happy Endings for this mess. I hate ABC so much.

  22. Sam says:

    Like Rebel Wilson, and a times, Conan O’Brian is funny (he was really funny when he wrote Simpsons episodes way back when…). Unfortunately, this has train wreck written all over it. Malin Akerman’s show placed on (unfortunately) Tuesday night is much better, and will die from a bad time slot. This show, despite a good time slot on ABC, will die from the quality of the material. Two shows that will not make it. NEXT!

  23. Justin says:

    whateva twig bitches, shes the bomb.com, if she were any cooler shed be pissin icecubes.. you wont watch it if u dont like it but I am sure you will tune in from time to time if not everyweek. We all need a lil fat amy in our lives, I am an inshape male in his late 20’s and I strongly feel that she portreys the inside of people which I think the generation watching all need a lesson in. She is refreshing and I Will always enjoy watching her in all of her endevers.

  24. Lee says:

    Re Super Fun Night-I think making Marika more of the central character with Rebel as supporting would be better. Lauren Ash has the background to carry this show.

  25. jbl says:

    i write for it. it gets better after the pilot. everybody be cool.

    • Pat says:

      I think the show is great. It’s got lots of laughs. It has some insightful moments too. The characters are funny. I don’t know why everyone isn’t warming up to it yet. It took Cheers a very long time to get going. There is some awkwardness to it but that’s because of the awkwardness of the characters. Again, not sure what people are complaining about. I hope it keeps going.

  26. Laserian says:

    I was hoping for a resurrected “Happy Endings” after watching this. It is simply awful. Unwatchable. And it was supposed to be a more mainstreamed version of “Happy Endings,” but it is just a horrible, unfunny sitcom. And I 2nd/3rd/4th what everybody has said regarding “Cougar Town” and “Happy Endings.” Neither were broken after “Modern Family,” but ABC keeps making dumb decisions. Not letting a show grow for multiple seasons after MF is simply a dumb decision, just like expecting everyone who watches MF to test out / be the same audience as the show that follows.

  27. Sammy Paulus says:

    Who is the idiot that let this show even get on television? I was cooking last night and the TV was on and this stupid show was on. HORRIBLE!

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