‘Up All Night’ won’t put to sleep

Fans of comedy with a dash of realism and a sprinkle of family-orientation will appreciate “Up All Night,” NBC’s new Wednesday night comedy. Brought to us by Lorne Michaels, creator of the legendary “Saturday Night Live,” this show is a keeper. While it borders neither the ridiculous nor the passive, the show finds a happy medium through which the humor in being new, inexperienced parents is fruitfully shown.

Will Arnett and Christina Applegate play Chris and Reagan Brinkley, a husband and wife who have recently left their old partying ways because of their new baby daughter. Maya Rudolph plays Ava, Reagan’s third-wheel best friend who has her own TV talk show. Nick Cannon and Jennifer Hall also star in the recurring roles of Calvin and Missy, characters who serve to give the show a shot of hilarity in weak moments. Though lulls are natural in any show, the cast comes together to make sure that these moments are rare.

Whether it’s dealing with Ava’s wild and ill-advised behavior or deciding how to make the coolest impression on their new neighbors, Arnett and Applegate keep us entertained. The humor arises namely from Chris and Reagan’s struggle to remain hip and maintain the fire that once ruled their relationship while also transitioning into parenthood.

This often results in hilarious failure, like when they decide to celebrate their anniversary by going clubbing and end up with the worst hangover of their lives or when Chris tries to suggest to Reagan that she’s lacking on the sexual front and it blows up in his face. At times they argue and can’t see eye to eye, but the beauty of the relationship lies in the fact that they are a unit and always support one another.

Arnett, who has been known to play eccentric characters, portrays a loving and understanding stay-at-home husband. His adventures while at home during the day are hilarious and painfully realistic; he connects with other fathers at the park and even cooks sophisticated recipes. As the mom of the show, Applegate is the kind of person everyone counts on because she never lets them down. She is a producer on Ava’s show and keeps everything under control both on set and at home.

The show has a good feeling; there is an upbeat ambience to it that makes the show easy to feel at home with. Every character is relatable in some way, even the minor characters like the Brinkley’s neighbors or the people Chris meets at the park. Everybody seems essential and conducive to the story.

This does two things. First, it makes the show enjoyable to watch. Secondly, since we know and love the show, we are more lenient to overlook certain loose ends that, in another show, we would be quick to judge.

Personally, I love “Up All Night.” It provides the great humor expected of NBC while incorporating real-life family dilemmas and struggles. Chris and Reagan’s relationship feels very natural and real. Arnett and Applegate’s characters are the kind of people we all wish to find for ourselves. Ava is the best friend who we love and tolerate no matter how crazy or ridiculous she may become.

For a show so young, it already seems that “Up All Night” is a hit with a very bright future. It sets out to show the truth that comes with being new parents while remaining humorous and achieves this with flying colors. The audience understands and relates to the fact that the Brinkleys love their daughter with all their heart but also have trouble letting go of their former carefree lives. Although they haven’t been able to find a happy medium between these two poles, their attempts make for very funny situations.

Rating: 4 out of 5