Just as I was starting to think that Will Arnett might never again be objectified for my viewing pleasure, the "Up All Night" writers came to the rescue! This week, we got to see Chris in the tub, in a towel and in his undies. And even though it was only a C-grade episode as a whole, I'm grading this one on a curve since it featured Arnett 1) in various states of undress and 2) uttering a classic Gob-ism.
The problem with this episode was that each of the three main characters had a separate storyline, and while there were times when they meshed to make some good moments (Chris and Reagan arguing about her job; Ava providing guidance to her friends after failing with a not-so-troubled teen), it all just felt too disjointed.
Ava's plot revolved around her getting involved with Little Pals, a Big Brothers Big Sisters-type program endorsed by Yvonne. After seeing the positive influence Luke has had on his Pal, the formerly tear-tattooed Javier, Ava signs up to help Jamie, just your average sullen, disaffected teenage girl whose parents are going through a divorce. Even though Jamie doesn't seem to want or need Ava's help, Ava tries desperately to tap into her inner Oprah to make a difference in this lady girl's life. She finally does, albeit not in the way she wanted or hoped. During a run-in with a snobby clique from Jamie's school, Ava attempts to put the brats in their place with promises of future divorce and pill addictions. To Ava's surprise, this move doesn't win Jamie's affection but rather her betrayal, as the girl seizes the opportunity to stick up for her former enemies. Jamie is invited to join the mean girls, who now have a new favorite activity: bullying Ava via nasty texts.
Reagan's story is the weakest, as it finds her still acting like an over-eager lap dog to her new boss, Yvonne. Reagan is excited when Yvonne seems to show a personal interest in her, and their cocktail hours, shopping trips and work out sessions together convince her—and a very jealous Luke—that she's the boss's new pet. However, during a Skype session, Reagan is left reeling when Yvonne acts like a completely different person, blowing her off to talk to Luke. (Sad trombone.)
The meat (or beefcake) of the episode focuses on Chris, who comes down with "baby fever" after trying unsuccessfully to give away some of Amy's old clothes to one of his mommy friends. Faced with the cuteness of all the tiny little onesies and booties, Chris is overwhelmed by the urge to have another child—an urge that Reagan definitely does not share. Chris pulls out all the stops to win his case, including a tear-jerking (for Ava, at least) baby slideshow set to "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" and a trail of baby paraphernalia that lead the way to a fedora-wearing Chris in a bubble bath. When his seduction attempt fails, Chris gets angry, leading to one of the more real moments between the Brinkleys, in which Chris accuses Reagan of loving her work more than her family.
Having broken in once again, Ava emerges from the living room to take on a rare role: the voice of reason. She assures Chris that Reagan always puts family first, and essentially suggests that being insecure is no reason to have a baby. For saving the day, Ava is shooed out of the house so that Chris and Reagan can get down to biz-ness. Hopefully, they remembered to use protection!
• Uh, why didn't NBC make any half-naked Will Arnett pictures available??
• I realize that Chris's sexy act was a bit on the cheesy side, but when Reagan rebuffed his offer to wash her hair in the tub with "That is no one's fantasy," I had to disagree. That guy can wash my hair any day. And he can leave his hat on.
• Best quotes:
Chris: "I've made a huge mistake."
Reagan (upon trying on Yvonne's coat): "It's like wearing a big power cloud."
Chris: "Just try to resist me, Reagan. As a sexual being and as a sexual lawyer, it's impossible."
Chris: "Oh, I'm sorry, is looking exactly like Frank Sinatra not sexy anymore?"
Chris: "Let me guess...you're having a baby with Yvonne and you're naming it Work. 'Cause that's who you love, little baby Work!"
Ava: "Your insecurity belies your Michael Phelpsian upper body." (Chris's annoyed but clearly flattered reaction to this was priceless, as well.)