19
Oct
2011
Up All Night: Season 1, Episode 6
Birth
Gaila
I've been wondering for a while about when we'd get to see/hear about the miraculous birth of that little bundle of joy, Amy, so it was exciting to see all of the events leading up to and during the birth itself in this week's episode of Up All Night. While I was slightly taken aback by the fact that the birth itself was not really addressed until this sixth episode, I think this week's episode does a good job of establishing where our characters were at, and who they were, before Amy's entrance, and does a lot to fill in the blanks of their development since.

The episodes begins with Reagan explaining what's going to happen on Ava while she's on maternity leave, and established that Missy had long hair, and Nick Cannon was just a driver way back when. I really enjoyed the subtle ways the show reminded us that this is the past, and these two were particularly hilarious. Also established at this point in the episode: Reagan has a very detailed and specific birth plan. I'm sure no one was surprised when nothing went according to plan, but the ways that Reagan freaked out, and all the stuff that went down during the labor, were really amazing. Christina Applegate was a superstar in this episode, and I was laughing out loud at nearly every single one of her lines during the actual birth, from her discomfort with a hot doctor (which makes total sense) to her obsession with the headband, and everything in between. The angry woman giving birth thing has been done many times, as has the whole nothing-going-according-to-plan, but once again Up All Night managed to hold my interest, keep me laughing, and make me completely invested in what's going on with each and every character.

While Reagan was having her meltdown and giving birth, Chris is dealing with the implications of being a dad on his career. I think this was an interesting aspect of the episode, because normally it's the mother that has to deal with colleagues and bosses treating her different once she becomes a parent. Will Arnett was great in this episode as well, especially towards the end when he demonstrates his insane husband skills and reassures Reagan of her wonderfulness. Chris is probably the best TV husband ever. I'm glad he exists.
Ava felt much more like a supporting character in this episode than usual, which was interesting. Her freak-out was great as well, especially in the earlier scenes ("she's crowning! she's crowning!") Maya Rudolph is amazing, and did a good job of letting us all know just exactly how much she worries about the changing dynamics of her friendship with Reagan. While Ava is often a caricature of a famous and self-absorbed celebrity, I think this episode did a good job of showing the real vulnerability she felt when Reagan gave birth, not because of her fame and insecurity, but because of her love for her friend. Her interaction with Chris toward the end of the episode was touching, and I was also glad to have Missy be an actual contributing person as well.

Overall, a really cute, funny, and adorable episode. I'm glad to finally understand the real import of this moment, and I was really impressed by the last scene, in which Reagan and Chris find themselves at the side of the road, with a baby, entirely new roles, and no instruction manual. Up All Night may be employing familiar TV moments, but it is definitely creative in representing the very real emotions associated with new parenthood.


Grade: A

Strays:

I really liked the headband Ava got for Reagan. Inappropriate for the occasion, but so cute!

"So this hair was on your head when Tupac was alive?"

"I don't know about you but I feel super vulnerable like this.

"Yeah, try it with your pants off."

Misty's hair was ugly both long and after Ava's haircut. I will definitely be happy to see her with normal hair again next week.

Tags: Up All Night
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