Last night on ABC, Rebel Wilson’s new series, Super Fun Night debuted. Despite lackluster reviews and reading about a few missteps (like having to scrap the critically panned pilot), I tuned in last night.
I missed the first few minutes because my DVR is stupid, but I came in just in time to see Matt Lucas’ cameo, and from there I was in. Yes, I’m still a little troubled by Rebel’s choice to do an American accent, especially when she’s playing opposite Lucas and Kevin Bishop, who plays her colleague and crush, Richard. However, this was Rebel’s choice, not the network’s, so I have no righteous indignation toward the decision.
To address one of the main issues critics had, yes, there are fat jokes. Yes, they’re self-deprecating, and maybe they’re heavy handed (no pun intended), but I get it. Being a fat girl, I understand the urge to make fun of yourself before someone else gets the chance. I remember when I was in middle school and some guys made fun of me by giving me a note supposedly written by another guy. (My favorite quote was a “compliment”: “I like you because your body is shaped like a bowling pin.”) Pair that with being ridiculed by other girls because I dressed kinda dorky or because I was smart and not athletic, and you have a girl that today is still self-conscious about most everything I do, especially when it comes to physical appearance. (It’s why I’m much more confident online. I can be charming and witty without being fat.) I wish back in the day I’d had more guts to be able to make fun of myself. I compensated by being funny and sarcastic around guys and a shrinking violet around most girls. (That led to having lots of guy friends and being intimidated by most of my female peers.)
I tell you this not to make you feel bad for me. In the past few years I’ve come to terms with a lot of my anxiety and self-image issues, and I realize that not living my life because I’m afraid someone’s going to make fun of me is stupid. I bring those things up because Rebel Wilson did in last night’s premiere. Among the fat jokes and wacky mishaps, Rebel Wilson touched on something that struck a chord with me. After fainting just before her karaoke performance, she and her misfit friends are in the bathroom talking. Kimmie (Wilson) and company mention girls that bullied them in their childhood, and she says that Kendall, her present-day bully/nemesis is all of those people rolled into one. Of course, Kimmie decides to show that she can do it, and we get her rousing rendition of Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”. (Wilson’s delivery of the joke at the end of the show about what “that” is made me snort.)
The show closes with Richard, Kimmie, and her friends heading back to Kimmie’s apartment for consolation pizza, and Kendall asks if she can come. Richard says, “It’s consolation pizza. It’s not for winners.” Take that, Kendall!
Cheesy? (OMG NO PUN INTENDED!) Sure. But it set a tone. To me, it said, “Hey, we get that there are a lot of fat jokes, and Kimmie’s going to get in some madcap situations, but know that there’s some heart here, too.”
So what’s the verdict (no lawyer joke intended–somebody stop me!)? I’m in. I want to see more. It’ll be nice to spend a half hour with Rebel Wilson each week. I like seeing someone on TV that’s like me. (Yes, Melissa McCarthy is, too, but I can’t bring myself to watch Mike and Molly. I can’t stand Mike.)
So what are the show’s survival chances? Honestly, I’m not sure. I like it, so that probably dooms it. (I’m still bitter about Ben and Kate. That show was so cute.) It has a fighting chance. I’ll say this–if Super Fun Night gets cancelled before Dads, I’m going to riot.