2
Nov
2011
Up All Night: Season 1, Episode 7
Parents
Gaila
This week's episode of Up All Night was slightly less memorable than last week's, but enjoyable nonetheless. The primary plot revolved around Reagan's relationship with her parents, particularly her mother, played by Blythe Danner, who has played the unhelpful/crazy mother in more television shows than I can remember at this point. At the end of last week's episode, when Chris and Reagan stared hopelessly at Amy without a clue of what to do next, I thought about the lack of parental figures in the show, people who would ideally be showing the new parents what to do. This episode answered that stray thought, showing the fissures in Reagan's relationship with her psychologist/writer mother, and bringing some potential worries about Reagan's future relationship with Amy as well.

This plot was interesting, as I have often felt that Chris and Reagan have been adrift in their newfound parenthood without any role models, but it is easy to see, after this episode, why Reagan wouldn't really want her parents around. Blythe Danner plays Dr. Chafin hilariously, as an egotistical and slightly disturbing touchy-feely sort, kissing Reagan on the mouth and discussing the naming of Amy's genitals at length. I was definitely appropriately creeped out, uncomfortable, and indignant on Reagan's behalf, and Christina Applegate was, as always, delightful and hilarious, whether whining in the best impression of a 14 year old girl I've ever witnessed, or stomping out of the book signing screaming nerds indiscriminately.

The second plot of the episode, I suppose, was Ava's disconnection with the crew of her show, which emerges out of her mishandling of the death of her microphone man, Dale. Maya Rudolph was hilarious, as ever, but this plot seemed kind of silly to me, honestly. We've been over the fact that Ava is incredibly self-absorbed, and this episode just emphasized this once again, especially as her concern about the crew's feelings about her stems only because their anger at her is messing with her appearance on the show, not because she actually cares about them or their perception of her. Also, once again Ava felt entirely separate from the other parts of the show, and maybe even more in this episode because Reagan was dealing with other stuff on her own. I definitely hope the show can figure out how to make all of its elements more cohesive at some point in the near future.

The final aspect of the show was Chris's freakout about dying and his attempt to bond with Reagan's dad (Richard Schiff from The West Wing, who is apparently old enough to play "grandfather" roles now). This all felt very slight, and though I did get some good laughs out of Chris's time, I wasn't really impressed by this very small plot. The scenes with Reagan's dad were relatively funny, especially the sight gag of the weight in the way of their impromptu therapist session, but overall this felt too small to even be effective.

Overall, this was not a terrible episode, but it felt a little insignificant, especially considering how important last week's episode was. And though it was definitely interesting to see the relationship Reagan has with her parents, I don't really feel like I learned a whole lot about her character, or even about her mothering skills.

Grade: B

Strays:

-"Hand to god I thought it said priceless"

-"He's never gonna get to see IPhone 5"

-"I call my lady garden Janine"

-Maya Rudolph is amazing. I laughed out loud at her singing during the "memorial".

-See you soon!
Tags: Up All Night
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