I try not to get overly invested in any of the many, many shows the broadcast networks are frantically trying to pitch to advertisers, television critics, and ultimately to audience during upfronts week every year, because so many of them will turn out to be dreck, to be abused by the networks that currently claim to love them by means of scheduling shenanigans, or to simply fail to connect with mass audiences. But every year, hope flares up again about one or two of the trailers I’m seeing, and this year, I’m excited about Super Fun Night, Wilson’s comedy for ABC, which looks like it could be one of the more entertaining and honest portrayals of nerdy girls out there, because it seems like it will use their awkwardness not to make fun of them, but to reveal some of the weirdness of social convention:
If the characters act weird while trying to get into a club, it’s partially because standing in a line for hours to go to a place where there is music and alcohol, and where a strange set of rules governs who gets in and who doesn’t, is actually a strange, not incredibly fun experience. If Rebel Wilson underwear with light-up hearts on it to impress a guy she’s supposed to meet, maybe it’s because the rules governing what counts as sexy female attire are actually sort of strange. And maybe if you spend some weekend nights in with your friends or roommates, it’s because nights in are fun not only for freakish losers, but for actual humans.
Female-created comedies in recent years have tended to go in one of two directions, aiming squarely for raunch like Whitney or 2 Broke Girls, or making their characters odd in some way. The Mindy Project‘s Mindy Lahiri is hilariously self-absorbed about everything except her hypercompetence as an OB/GYN, while New Girl‘s Jessica Day is squeamish about sex and whimsical in ways that can be socially inappropriate. I’m sort of curious to see what happens when women from the second character try to become the sort of people who can capably participate in the first. I just hope that Super Fun Night gives its female characters compelling reasons to stay in, as well as to start going out.