Up All Night Review: "Cool Neighbors" (Episode 1.02)

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<i>Up All Night</i> Review: "Cool Neighbors" (Episode 1.02)

Here’s a brief preview of what we learned from last night’s episode: Jamiroquai, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Train aren’t okay to like, and wearing a Huey Lewis and the News shirt is okay, but only if it’s ironic.

If there’s one thing that I absolutely love about sitcoms, it’s the pop culture references, and at first I didn’t think Up All Night, whose Facebook page is littered with new moms discussing how they’re glad that there is a show geared towards them, would be as fresh as it was. However, the NBC comedy stepped into that realm quickly in only its second episode. Last night we saw Reagan and Chris struggling to impress the cool, indie couple that just moved in. I laughed at the back-and-forth discussion throughout the episode and realized that maybe I love un-cool things.

The episode opens with the new parents in awe over a hip couple that moved in across the street and standing at their window staring and dancing, making fools of themselves because they think they can’t be seen, but when an awkward eye-lock occurs, Reagan and Chris realize that just looked lame and do what we would all do and try to play it off. Reagan isn’t sure if the woman is the man’s wife because of how young they are, but Chris just thinks they’re two friends and one is just really skinny with long hair. Reagan points out that the wife is androgynous and that’s cool. We discover they had back-row tickets to a Radiohead concert, but it would end too late and they’d just be tired; proving no matter what they think, maybe the Brinkleys just aren’t that hip anymore.

Meanwhile, the baby Amy is brought into the talk show’s offices, and Ava wants to hold her but doesn’t know how. It’s pretty clear that her character will continue her lack of baby-awareness and serve as the complete imbecile when it comes to how to handle those interactions. When the baby starts crying in her arms, she freaks out and claims it’s because Amy had “never been around a person of color before.” Sure enough, Nick Cannon’s character, Calvin, makes his real debut and the baby falls in love with him. In the first episode Ava, although she was funny, was obtrusive. In this episode she’s sort of annoying; the writers need to find a way to balance her better as the season progresses.

Eventually the cool neighbor comes over to introduce himself as Trent and to Chris’ excitement, Trent has a British accent. For some reason Chris instantly starts saying “mate” at the end of every sentence. The parents are invited to a party, but it’s starting too late for them, so they make up an excuse. After Trent says he will find them on Facebook the two go back and forth critiquing each other’s “likes.” They later go to the party and end up embarrassing themselves. The party is cleverly written, and I’m pretty sure we’ve all felt and acted the way Reagan and Chris do at one point in our lives or another.

It’s clear the main focus of “Cool Neighbors” is Reagan and Chris’ infatuation with their cool neighbors, which makes for great television. In the first episode, I voiced concerns that the show wasn’t going to focus on their struggles equally and be more about Reagan’s work life with Ava, but this episode balanced it better than the pilot. This episode showed way more promise than the already promising series opener and in short was very exciting.

In the end it’s possible that the Brinkleys can strike up a new friendship with their cool neighbors, but it seems like Trent and his wife were written into the episode as a plot device. I think that introducing them as reoccurring characters would open a world of possibilities.

Oh, and did anyone else ironically get “Hey, Soul Sister” stuck in their head?