Pilot Season: Super Fun Night (Enough With the Fat Jokes Already)
Guys, I want to like Rebel
Wilson. I really, really do. She seems super rad. I appreciate most of the
projects she’s involved with, like Bridesmaids
and Pitch Perfect. But despite
all of this good will, I can’t actually really get behind her, because it seems
that when you leave Ms. Wilson to her own devices to create a show, she makes Super Fun Night, an intoxicating
maelstrom of self-hate, discomfort and fat jokes.
But before we get into all of
that, what is Super Fun Night
actually about? Well, that’s kind of a complicated question, as I’m not sure I
From what I can tell, however,
it follows the adventures of perennial loser Kimmie (Wilson) and her two
roommates, Helen Alice (Liza Lapira) and Marika (Lauren Ash), all social misfits
with reasonably good jobs but no real social skills to speak of. The three
friends have a tradition – going out for Super Fun Night, a weekly (I think)
group night out.
Our pilot kicks in when the
girls decide to go out to a piano bar. Kimmie loves singing, but she has
terrible stage fright as a result of bullying when she was in middle school.
Somehow this has not kept her from working as a lawyer at a top firm, but now
that she’s been promoted it could be a problem. So, Kimmie has to learn how to overcome
her stage fright, and singing at a piano bar seems the best choice.
There’s a love interest, of
course, in Richard (Kevin Bishop) a fellow lawyer at the firm, and the boss’
son. Richard is British in all the senses of the stereotype. He’s foppish,
sweet, and completely unsure of himself. Kimmie likes him to distraction, but
has no idea how to get him, and Richard seems a bit oblivious.
Complicating matters is our
traditional villain, an attractive, Type-A she-beast lawyer, Kendall Quinn
(Kate Jenkinson). Kendall is a winner who believes in winning. She wants
Richard because he’s the boss’ son, and she hates Kimmie, because Kimmie
everything that’s wrong with the world. Kimmie is a loser. Kimmie is fat.
Kimmie cannot be allowed to win.
Maybe it’s because we’re only
one episode in, but everything in this is too easy, too simplistic, and way too
offensive for me to get involved.
Anyway, Kimmie gets ready to
sing at the bar, and finds that Richard has joined her friends in support of
her. Unfortunatley, Kendall’s shown up too, and decided to compete, because
hell if she’s going to let Kimmie win.
There’s singing, there’s ritual
humiliation, there are some gay jokes, Helen-Alice gets super drunk, and I
guess a good time is had by all. Kimmie finds some confidence, but Kendall
still wins the contest. Oh, and there’s consolation pizza for the losers.
I rather dislike this. It’s not
just that it’s a show about losers, or a show with a completely boring and
unoriginal antagonist, or that the whole premise makes me sad. It’s that when
you put it all together, you’re left with a show that makes you feel like crap
in the name of rooting for the underdog.
Kimmie, for all that she’s an
inspirational tale and clearly the underdog who will triumph, makes me very
sad, because she’s pretty much a one-note joke about fat people. Oh, she’s got
a little bit of character development. She isn’t just fat, she’s fat and
socially awkward, which makes it so much better. She deals with anxiety by
eating, makes jokes about her boob sweat and spanx, and is so uncomfortable
with herself that she uses pictures from five years ago.
I don’t mind having a plus-sized
female protagonist. Actually, I think it’s great. But I’d really rather have a
plus-sized female protagonist whose sole defining feature was not “funny
because she’s fat”. Or possibly, “awkward because she’s fat”. No seriously.
That’s it. We have no idea what Kimmie’s job is, other than that it somehow
involves law, because whenever we see her at work, she’s running to the break
room before they run out of jelly donuts.
We don’t know about her family
life, just that her idea of a pity party is eating four large pizzas. And the
entire tag to the episode was her trying to put on spanx. As a side note, have
any of you actually ever worn spanx? I’ve never met anyone who has, except a
couple of brides. Weird.
Kimmie’s life is one big fat
joke, and it’s awful. Her last name is actually Boubier, because it’s said “boo-bee-ay”
but it’s a way to make you think about her breasts every two seconds. Because
obviously that’s the name everyone uses for her. Did I mention that there’s a
throwaway joke about Kimmie winning a contest for guessing the weight of her
own breasts? Because that was also a thing that happened.
There’s a small part of me that
wants this show to die quickly so that Liza Lapira, whom I adore, can get
another job sooner rather than later, but I’m trying to ignore that voice for
the sake of the greater good. Why? Because this show has potential.
If it can manage to stop making everything
about Kimmie’s weight for two second, then this could actually be a show I
enjoy. A group of awkward but endearing women becoming more confident in
themselves and succeeding in life while overcoming the obstacles society and
other women put in their way? I’m down for that.
What I’m not down for is the
show right now. I’m not going to watch it, because it makes me sad, and I try
to only let brutal documentaries about the state of the American prison system
make me sad. So shape up, show, or else. And stop talking about spanx. No one
cares that Kimmie is fat. Make her interesting instead.