NBC rolled out its brand-new Wednesday comedy block last night with “Up All Night” (starring Will Arnett, Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph) and “Free Agents” (starring Kathryn Hahn and Hank Azaria).
“Night” navigates the new-parent rollercoaster, while “Agents” finds two recently-single coworkers hooking up.
Both are comedies that have a premium channel pace and look (thanks to new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt, who honed content for years at Showtime). Both focus on the emotional lives of a few characters, not a sprawling, wisecracking ensemble.
Here’s how they did in their respective debuts.
We like the show's angle of parents struggling to move on from their old, fun life and their friends-centric schedule -- but it seems like the strongest moments in the show are straight parenthood jokes, like Arnett trying to escape the eerie old lady in the supermarket.
Verdict: we'll keep watching. Arnett and Applegate are the king and queen of likable. They're just going to have to work hard to make sure Rudolph doesn't outshine them.
That's the show's first challenge. The second will be trying to grow storylines beyond the will-they-or-won't-they: in the pilot alone, Hahn sleeps with Azaria, vows to never do it again, and (surprise!) does it again.
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