Super Fun Night Creates a Super Sized Issue

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Super Fun Night star Rebel Wilson as Kimmie Boubier

I watched the pilot then read the reviews….and now I feel like I need to write some sort of an open letter to the media critics who have written about the show.  Actually, not about the show per say, more about star Rebel Wilson’s weight – see This New Work Times article or this E! Online article or this LA Times article.

What I find obnoxious and tiresome are the critics who, for some reason, still to this day, don’t know how to handle seeing someone of Wilson’s size on screen sort-of poke fun at themselves without it being emotionally destructive or even a fat joke at all.  References to Wilson’s character – Kimmie Boubier, who makes a scene when jelly doughnuts are discovered in the office break room, when she recalls getting her hand stuck in a vending machine or the topic of Spanx are not fat jokes but jokes in general when other characters like her boss Richard are in on the joke.  I question, had the same scenes, same lines and same co-characters had the same humorous effect had Wilson been replaced with Malin Akerman?  To be blunt, these people call it a ‘fat joke’ because Wilson delivered the line, not Akerman.

So, I removed myself from those emotionally harmful reviews and hit social media.  I wonder what the people watching had to say about the issue because we all know on twitter and places like it, everyone is free to say what they want (and usually do) and it turns out – they didn’t say much at all.  After reading tweet after tweet, forum posts and Facebook comments, only a few people took it as a show of “23 minutes of fat and spanx jokes”.  It appears the only real offensive issue presented in Super Fun Night is Rebel Wilson’s American accent.

Like any new show, people were divided.  Yes I liked it….thought it was hilarious, not my thing, didn’t like it…it goes on and on, but when it really comes down to it, the issue of Wilson’s size or these self depreciating fat jokes was barely mentioned yet to quote The Associated Press’ Frazier Moore “Wilson has burdened Kimmie Boubier with constant tiresome references to her less-than-perfect physique. Wilson doesn’t put Kimmie’s high spirits center stage, but instead her girth.”

All I can say is “Bitch please”.

Kimmie Boubier is a socially awkward girl who at times, suffers from foot-in-mouth but will happily talk to anyone.  She’s a lawyer who just received a promotion but isn’t confident with public performances thanks to a traumatic experience at a middle school talent contest.  She’s clumsy but isn’t afraid to entertain the possibility of having a secret crush on her boss and like most women, she has trouble putting on spanx.

I liked Super Fun Night.  I found it entertaining and quite funny.  There’s a fun dynamic between the main characters and no one (not even the shows bad girl character Kendall Quinn) is unlike-able.  Yes, Wilson’s American accent will make you pause and ask “what the?” and yes, seeing Wilson portray a character who isn’t ballsy is giant leap to the left (we all love Pitch Perfect’s Fat Amy) but by the end you will find yourself rooting for Kimmie Boubier to come out on top.

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Sean Saves the World, but Barely

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Sean Hayes and Samantha Isler in Sean Saves the World

Remember when, after FRIENDS, Lisa Kudrow tried to move on and leave Phoebe Buffay behind with The Comeback?  Probably not right.  Not many people watched, (you should have though – very funny) but people were not ready to see a popular actress portray another role other than the one they love.  Heck, Megan Mullally’s next venture after Will & Grace didn’t fare any better.  Courteney Cox, Matt Le Blanc, Doug Savant, Matthew Perry, Debra Messing, Laura Leighton, Jason Alexander…most have had numerous failed attempts at moving on before finding the right program for them

This is where some of Sean Saves The World finds it’s problems.  Sean Hayes almost went into hiding after the end of Will & Grace until showing up in this so-so comedy and while watching the pilot, it felt like I was watching Sean Saves the World starring Jack McFarland.

Yep, I said it.  This is a poor man’s Will & Grace where Grace is Sean’s teenage daughter Ellie, Karen is his loveable/hate-able mother Lorna and Hayes picking up the Will and Jack roles.  The whole thing does not feel right at all.  Strip everything back, you’d be left with a run of the mill sitcom about a gay man whose teenage daughter suddenly moves in with him while at the same time his work life becomes more demanding.  It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a sitcom after all.  The heavy themes never really come into play here.

Blame however cannot be put solely on Sean Hayes.  In the end, he is a master of his craft and works with what has been given to him (including the copious amount of make-up he sports in the pilot episode).  The set-up of the teenage daughter suddenly appearing to live with him is confusing.  I honestly don’t really know if they had much of a father/daughter relationship before this – I think there may have been a weekend on and off situation going on.  They both act like they haven’t (insert awkward conversations about her conception here) yet Sean’s daughter Ellie (Samantha Isler) comes to his aid to help with save his job and Sean finds himself with literally no idea on how to parent his daughter.

Also, don’t get me started on Sean’s new boss, Max (Thomas Lennon).  Yes, Max is supposed to be a character we’re not going to like but Lennon portrays Max with such evil boss cliques it’s like he is the new bad guy in the next Bond film – all he’s missing is the white fluffy cat on his lap.  While i’m on it, the rest of Sean’s co-workers were pretty ‘bleh’ as well.  I guess they are only fillers but I felt like Megan Hilty (Smash) as Liz was a bit of a wasted role.  The only real saving grace here is Linda Lavin as Sean’s loud mouthed mother Lorna.  She’s nabbing most of the laugh quotes and plays well off Hayes.

Look, If you can ignore Hayes’ over made face full of make-up and the laugh track that’s set on to loud you might like it. While there is nothing really ‘new’ or ‘fresh’ here, there are some (some) funny scenes and yes, it is great to see Hayes not only back on our screens but also exert some physical comedy but my advice to those behind the scenes…to make the show somewhat more watch-able, loose the laugh track and loose either the character of Max or remove Thomas Lennon…one or both are really hurting.