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September 21, 2011 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-09-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2011-- 7A

TV REVIEW
Stars make 'Night'

COURTESY OF FX
The wine-in-a-can shortage hit the Gang particularly hard.
Sunny keeps shining

By KELLY ETZ
Daily Arts Writer
There's just something about
"It's Always Sunny in Philadel-
phia." It's that over-the-top, noth-
ing off limits,
how-far-can- *****
they-possibly-
go quality. And ItS AIWayS
the new season Sunny in
really runs with
it. Philadelphia
It all starts Season Seven
at Paddy's Pub Premiere
with Charlie
(Charlie Day) Thursdays
and Dee (Kait- at1 p.m.
lin Olson) try- FX
ing to adopt a
stray junkyard dog for the bar.
Enter Mac (Rob McElhenney),
or more appropriately "Fat Mac,"
with a garbage bag full of chimi-
changas and an extra 50 pounds
or so. That leads to Dennis (Glenn
Howerton) lamenting how
they've ended up as "the gross
crew" All that's left is for Frank
(Danny DeVito) to announce that
he's going to marry the prostitute
Roxy (Alanna Ubach, "Hung") in
24 hours. And "Sunny" is off and
running.
It's as if each scene attempts to
top the one before, and it's work-
ing. Each new twist feels almost
too outrageous, even for "Sunny,"
but it manages to all come

togeth
shocki
priaten
Now
sevent
in som
season
"Sunny
ongoin
reeme
star G
Show"
TigerV
YetD
guests
stealst
Roxy.S
ing, an
spoofc
Robert
the fin
lying i
sings h
is the p
The
it thei
memoi
tends t
then c
amoun
date (a

er in the perfect amount of of blood capsules) while yelling,
ngly selfish, crass inappro- "I think I've been poisoned by my
sess. constituents!" Oh, Charlie.
that "Sunny" has hit the And who knows commitment
h season mark, it has added like Rob McElhenny, who gained
se throwbacks to previous a very real 50 pounds for the sea-
s, a delight for longtime son just for the hell of it. The com-
y" fans. There's Dennis's edy generated by "Fat Mac" is a
ig love of crack and the feather in McElhenny's cap, and
rgence of previous guest thankfully he's lost most of the
eoffrey Owens ("The Cosby weight since wrapping filming.
) as the very obviously fake As for the other regulars, DeVi-
Woods. to's comic timing is perfect. While
it's Alanna Ubach, the other Charlie is vomiting blood on his
star for the premiere, who date, Frank's in the front (posing
the show as the prostitute as the limo driver) trying to offer
She's unflinchingly disgust- her a hard-boiled egg he found
id Ubach goes all out. The in "perfect" condition under a
of the Richard Gere/Julia bridge.
:s romance is hilarious, and As for Olson and Howerton,
al scene, with a dead Roxy they'll have more chances to
n the hall as Roy Orbison shine in upcoming episodes, but
is classic "Pretty Woman," both did throw out some memo-
perfect "Sunny" ending. rable lines in the premiere. Most
notable are Howerton's assess-
ment of Mac ("You look fat as
M a et shit") and Olson's admission that
she "smoked a little crack on the
Big M ac. way over" at Roxy's makeshift
funeral.
All in all, "Sunny" has proven
it's willing to go just about any-
series regulars also give where for the sake of a laugh. And
r all in the premiere. In a while it's crude, disgusting and
-able scene, Charlie pre- filled with characters that lack
to be a Texan millionaire, any sense of morality at all, we
oughs up an astonishing still love it. Here's to the new sea-
it of fake blood all over his son - every glorious, ridiculous,
fter swallowing a boatload unseemly moment.

Applegate and
Arnett's chemistry
brings the laughs
By SAM CENZHANG
For the Daily
NBC's foray into Wednesday
night comedy begins with "Up All
Night." The premise of the show
is simple: Chris-
tina Applegate ***
("Samantha
Who?")hand Up AllNight
Will Arnett Pilot
("Arrested
Development") Wednesdays
are a happy, NBC
carefree couple. NBC
They have a
baby. Hijinx ensue.
"Up All Night" is a show that
shouldn't fail, considering its
impeccable pedigree. Lorne
Michaels is the executive pro-
ducer, and the showrunner
Emily Spivey is a former "Satur-
day Night Live" writer who also
wrote an episode of "Parks and
Recreation." Christina Applegate
has comedy chops to spare, and
on an unrelated note, she has an
Emmy. Basically, if the show can
stay out of its own way, it'll be at
least a solid half hour every week.
The "Up All Night" pilot large-
ly lives up to its promise. Arnett
and Applegate have a great rap-
port, and Maya Rudolph ("Sat-
urday Night Live") hamming it
up is always fun to see. Spivey is
a sharp writer, as her "Parks and
Rec" episode, "Eagleton," demon-
strated. There weren't too many
laugh-out-loud moments, but the
incisive and observational stuff is
there. Chris and Reagan Brinkley
(Arnett and Applegate's charac-
ters, respectively) have a lengthy
one-up contest over who slept
less, and while most of us have
never raised a baby, the bit is reso-
nant enough. The show also gives,
Will Arnett a chance to be a nor-

t sh h
"Eh ... well, it's cuter than the one I had with Amy Poehler."

COURTESY o NBC

mal human, or at least one who
doesn't ride around on a Segway
performing illusions. His reaction
mugs are great, and the high point
of the pilot is probably his cheese-
finding frenzy in a supermarket.
There's a lot of embryonic stuff
here, and it augurs well for the
show.
. All that said, "Up All Night"
is by no means a can't-miss. The
"busy new parents find balance
between work, life and adorable
baby"premise has the potentialto
be cloying, and we see a glimpse
of how saccharine this dynamic
can be during the end of the epi-
sode, when Reagan makes her "I
choose work and family" stand.
But Spivey doesn't write with too
heavy a hand; the hangover scene
("You know who doesn't have a
hangover? That baby!") is enough
to assuage any doubts about that.
Another potential worry is
the incongruity between what
is a fairly grounded home life
for Chris and. Reagan and a
workplace environment that
seems almost cartoonish. Maya
Rudolph is a bit of an "it girl" at
the moment, and her success in
"Bridesmaids" led NBC to greatly
expand her role. While Rudolph
is a gifted comic actress who can
do full ham and sardonic subtle-
ty with equal aplomb, it doesn't

seem like the show knows quite
what to do with her. Her scenes
are very different tonally from
the low-key domesticity we get
in the Brinkleys' home scenes.
To be sure, Rudolph is the funni-
est part of the pilot, in the "elicit-
ing audible laughs" sense. But it's
not entirely clear how the show
will mesh her Jack Donaghy-like
crazed mentor role with the wry
and observational tone of the
baby shenanigans. This is some-
thing to keep an eye on.
Comedy pilots don't have to be
transcendent, fully formed piec-
es of television. All a pilot needs
to do is establish that, hey, the
premise has potential and the
characters are enjoyable. After
that, would it be too much trou-
ble to ask you to plop yourself on
the couch for another pleasant
half hour next week? In the case
of "Up All Night," the answer is
a resounding "yes." There are
laughs, both belly-laughs and
"heh, yeah, totally" laughs. It's
sentimental, but it also features
Arnett and Applegate calling
their baby "f***ing beautiful."
The pilot is good, and really,
that's more than a pilot needs
to be. It's an encouraging begin-
ning from an excellent cast and
crew. Keep this one on the DVR
schedule.

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