Super Fun Night is primarily a vehicle for Rebel Wilson, current comedy darling thanks to her scene-stealing breakout roles in Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, and a turn hosting the 2013 MTV Movie Awards that received broad critical and audience acclaim. The Australian actress has plenty of TV experience from back home, most of it hilarious, but struggles to bring her feisty, edgy humour to Super Fun Night. The opening episode of Wilson’s show has received an overall “meh” response, but hopes are high that things will improve as the season progresses.
The set-up for the sitcom is a pretty standard one: Rebel Wilson plays American lawyer Kimmie Boubier (complete with an American accent, which is mostly convincing), an underdog figure with big ambitions, trying to make it in the legal world. Her friends, Helen Alice (Liza Lapira) and Marika (Lauren Ash) are equally socially awkward, and they vow to bust loose from their humdrum weekends and make every Friday a “super fun night.” With opposition from nasty office enemy Kendall (Kate Jenkinson) and lots of outcast anxiety, Kimmie and her friends set out to face their fears, with plenty of slapstick humour and fat jokes along the way.
Although the first episode of Super Fun Night is nothing great, it’s not terrible either, and it certainly shows promise. In the moments that are more dialogue-focused, there is some genuine hilarity, with all of Rebel Wilson’s cutting deadpan humour on show. At other points things feel more strained; the plot setup itself is pretty fragile and leaves you wondering how far Wilson can take things before the premise falls apart. The whole “misfits try to fit in” thing also feels a little old-fashioned at this stage, with so much American sitcom television having run over this ground before. In a culture where Rebel Wilson can be a successful mainstream actress, where it’s largely deemed cool to be un-cool, the whole premise of Super Fun Night doesn’t quite hold. Hopefully Wilson will ease into this role in future episodes and live up to the high expectations that so many initially had for this sitcom.