‘Up All Night’ Reverses The Gender Roles

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Everyone was waiting to see just how realistic Up All Night could be. The NBC comedy with Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph promised a fresh and honest look at parenting. Judging from the previews, I didn’t realize just how modern it would be. This show doesn’t just deal with working motherhood, it also shows an involved stay-at-home dad. So how does a TV sitcom portray co-parenting?

In this new series, it’s the husband who gets stood up on their anniversary as Applegate deals with an emergency at the office. And Arnett’s character Chris handles it pretty well. I mean, he eats an entire pizza, but other than that he was fine. The funniest part is that they showed Rudolph’s character, Ava, eating her emotions just minutes before that.

 To be honest, it was almost shocking just how completely Up All Night flipped the script on gender roles. From Reagan’s admonishments not to “sit on the couch watching hockey all day” to Chris’s goal to regain his figure during his time at home with the baby, this show clearly wants to poke fun at all the common stereotypes that come in to play for new parents.

In the previews, every parent related to the bickering back and forth about who would get up to take care of the baby, who was more tired and who dared have the audacity to sleep while their child cried. I’m pretty sure we’ve all promised unspeakable things for just a couple more hours of rest. The truest part of that scene came at the end though. Reagan utters the almost infamous, “Yea, but I have to work in the morning.” In a very un-housewife manner, Chris retorts, “Yea, because raising a human isn’t work at all.”

As the show progresses, I’m hoping that they show more of the happy aspects of parenting. So far, the biggest upside to procreating is that they’ll visit you in your nursing home. But having a child can actually be fun! Up All Night spend so much time being the anti-Leave It To Beaver that they missed on the actual upsides to having children. The show worked very hard to prove that it could relate to exhausted and overwhelmed parents, struggling to stay positive as their lives changed overnight (or in the course of five minute montage).

Up All Night shows a new type of sitcom family, but it’s one that many of us recognize. With a hysterical cast, decent writing and a whole lot of material to work with, I think it will be making an appearance on a lot of parent’s DVRs. After all, it’s moving to 8 o’clock, and who can actually get their kids to bed before 9?