Never has there been a sitcom as confusing as “Super Fun Night.” OK, that’s probably an exaggeration, but what a frustrating show this was in its first (and likely only) season, which wrapped on Wednesday (Feb. 19).
When the Rebel Wilson-created sitcom premiered on ABC this fall, it seemed like such a wasted opportunity. Fresh off “Bridesmaids” and “Pitch Perfect,” Wilson’s star was white-hot, so a sitcom built around her brand of comedy felt like a sure-fire hit. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
First, there was the issue of Wilson insisting on making her character, lawyer Kimmie Boubier, an American, forcing the actress to rely on a shaky accent. Why couldn’t Kimmie just be Australian? Who knows.
Then there was the plot of the show. Originally about Kimmie and two best friends Helen-Alice (Liza Lapira) and Marika (Lauren Ash) embarking on a new fun night out each week in the hopes of coming out of their shells, it eventually tried to cram too much into each episode by way of Kimmie’s work life (which included a crush and a nemesis) and her besties’ love lives.
The show never really found a way to balance all of its disparate parts, which was also reflected in its comedy. Clever wordplay was often jammed up against broad physical comedy, all usually topped off by a near-weekly absurdist musical moment. Much of the season felt like Wislon and her writers throwing everything they had at the wall, hoping that some of it would stick. In the end, all that accomplished was a big mess.
That’s not to say it was all terrible. Marika’s coming out story, however rushed it may have felt, grew from lazy, stereotypical lesbian jokes into something that felt as respectful as possible in a show that also insisted on joking about its central character’s weight as often as possible. Marika’s admission of her sexuality to her two friends tonight was a lovely moment.
In the end, though, “Super Fun Night” never fully settled into its groove. There were some good moments throughout — those absurdist musical tags, like tonight’s fun performance of “Fat Bottom Girls,” were so off-kilter and well done that perhaps a sketch show would be a better use of Wilson’s talents — but it never amounted to much.
In the end, the season wrapped neatly. Each of the three girls found their love, Kimmie’s frenemy Kendall (Kate Jenkinson) found her success and bland crush Richard (Kevin Bishop) was shipped off to Berlin. With no real burning question left to ponder, there shouldn’t be too many complaints should “Super Fun Night” fail to earn a renewal.
What did you think of the Season 1 finale of “Super Fun Night,” and the season as a whole? Are you hopeful for a Season 2? Sound off in the comments below!