Ho-hum sitcom no fun

NICK WARD
Last updated 14:26 16/01/2014
Super Fun Night
NOT FUNNY: Rebel Wilson’s Super Fun Night deserves its lukewarm reception.

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REVIEW: Super Fun Night Monday, 8pm, TV2.

When you live in a country that depends on America and Britain for a large portion of its televisual diet, one of the benefits is that people there get to watch the rubbish shows first, so we know they are rubbish long before they reach our screens.

Which is why it is always fun to watch New Zealand networks vigorously promoting new shows that did about as well as the American remake of Kath & Kim.

The latest example is Super Fun Night, which aims to launch plus-size Aussie comedian Rebel Wilson as a sitcom star in the States. It has received a lukewarm reception, and it is not hard to see why.

Wilson has been a "bubbling-under" talent in the movies for a while, and her previous TV work over the ditch is worth seeking out. Her breakthrough show Bogan Pride and her appearances on Thank God You're Here show that she is a clever talent with a wicked sense of humour, but the American sitcom gods appear to be the ones in control of the Super Fun Night scripts.

Wilson stars as young lawyer Kimmie, who is sweet but accident-prone and try-hard. She and her besties, mannish Marika and nerdy Asian-American Helen-Alice (Liza Lapira, from the equally blah Don't Trust the B.... In Apartment 23), try something new when they hit the town every Friday night in search of good times and guys.

Kimmie has a crush on her workmate Richard, a nice, thoughtful English chap, but he is the target of the office's man-eating queen bitch, Kendall (fellow Aussie Kate Jenkinson, lately of Offspring). It is a familiar sitcom situation, but any hopes that Wilson can lift it above mediocrity are swiftly dispelled.

Super Fun Night throws a bit of everything at the wall and hopes most of it will stick - wisecracks, awkward moments, weirdo moments, slapstick, more cutaway gags than Family Guy, and plenty of gluttony and weight jokes.

It is mildly enjoyable, but the klutzy fat-girl humour - and Wilson's willingness to go along with it - is disappointing, considering that the show is trying to convey the familiar message of encouraging women to have self-confidence, no matter what their size, appearance or childhood issues.

A cameo by Wilson's good mate Matt Lucas was the best thing about Super Fun Night's premiere episode, Still, it is more bearable than The Millers, which provides further proof that a good cast cannot rise above lazy writing. Actors need to earn a living somehow, but watching stars from three acclaimed shows - Arrested Development, Justified and Glee - slogging their way through limp gags about bodily functions and the generation gap is too sad for words.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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