Saturday, September 17, 2011

BuboBlog Reviews 'Up All Night'

We just watched the first episode of "Up All Night," a show about a formerly hard-partying couple who have their lives transformed by a new baby.

The series stars Will Arnett as Chris, a lawyer turned stay-at-home dad, and Christina Applegate as Reagan, a mom who goes back to work. It got fairly good reviews (at least in the Chronicle and Hollywood Reporter), and Arnett is awesome in everything ("Arrested Development," "30 Rock"). So I had high hopes.

The pilot didn't quite deliver on those expectations. The jokes surrounding Reagan's work at a talk show mostly fell flat (this is a Lorne Michaels production, so of course it has to involve an unfunny sendup of a talk show), and the pacing was inconsistent. Still, it has potential and I think it may develop a nice groove after a few episodes. For now, I prefer Arnett's last project, "Running Wilde" (that show was canceled after 13 episodes, sadly).

Oddly enough, the baby in "Up All Night" is called "Amy." That's a fairly low-probability name for a person born in 2011. Amy peaked in the 1970s at No. 2, and then plunged in popularity in later decades.

It would be like naming a baby Jennifer. I suppose people somewhere are still doing that (Jennifer ranked 120th in the U.S. last year), but its time has clearly passed. Ironically, Maya Rudolf's character on the show is "Ava." That would be a perfect name for a baby in 2011 — much less likely for a woman in her late 30s.

I suppose "Up All Night" wasn't aiming for realism with its names. Applegate's character is called Reagan — spelled like the president, not the Shakespearean character. The variant didn't really exist as a first name when Applegate was born. (She's nearly 40.)

I suppose this post would have been more accurately labeled, "BuboBlog Reviews the Names in 'Up All Night." Oh well.