Despite being a fan favorite in past movies like “Bridesmaids” and “Pitch Perfect,” Rebel Wilson has failed to excite viewers with her TV debut, “Super Fun Night.” Wilson’s comedic talent falls short in the show, which sports a generic plotline and uninteresting supporting characters.
Wilson’s character, Kimmie, has the same awkward-girl vibe that has worked for Wilson in the past. Her deliberate delivery of hilarious lines gained her a real following in the past few years and made her stand out in movies where she was not even integral to the plot line. Starring in her own show seems like a promising endeavor, but Wilson will have viewers staring blankly at the screen instead of laughing out loud.
Wilson described her show as “the anti-‘Sex and the City’” on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” the night before its premiere. The show’s premise concerns a group of three girlfriends who want to step out of their comfort zone and experience more in life than watching movies and eating pizza all night.
Neither of Kimmie’s best friends are intriguing characters. This makes it difficult to be entertained by their adventures. Marika, played by Lauren Ash (“Lost Girl”), doesn’t have a consistent character. At times, she seems to be channeling Melissa McCarthy’s character in “Bridesmaids,” but this does not work and ends in nothing but awkwardness and confusion.
The other friend, Helen-Alice, played by Liza Lapira (“Royal Pains”), is supposed to be funny because she gets really drunk during the first episode. Lines like “If I were a pony what color mane do you think I would have?” don’t accomplish the funny-drunk-rambling goal of the character and contribute nothing in the way of entertainment value. Between two not-funny sidekicks and Wilson’s horrible American accent, it’s no wonder the comedy doesn’t come across.
The plot of the premiere is yawningly predictable. Kimmie overcomes her stage fright in a sing-off with her bombshell co-worker, and, of course, they’re competing over a guy. It’s clear that future episodes will have many moments of the underdog coming out on top and prevailing over the bully.
The show’s original pilot, which Wilson wrote, was replaced with the second episode for Wednesday night’s premiere because of horrible reviews. The pilot probably explained more about who each of the characters are — which isn’t made entirely clear — and contained scenes from the show’s trailers that were nowhere to be seen.
The expectations of “Super Fun Night” were similar to that of “The Mindy Project” last fall. Mindy Kaling shines bright in small roles and was rewarded with her own show. Both shows star women who have high profile jobs, get themselves into awkward situations and address body image issues. “Super Fun Night” should learn from the success of Kaling’s show by adding more unpredictability in the story lines and a dash of confidence to complement all the self-deprecation.
There is obviously room for improvement here, and with Wilson’s talent maybe the show can turn it around. She has a doting fan base that would love to see her have a successful television presence. With Wilson’s craft, however, delivery is everything. With her accent stripped away, perhaps the magic is gone.