Family Redefines Fall TV
From "Parenthood" to "Guys With Kids," the fall season holds a mirror up to the American family's new normal
The show: “Up All Night” (NBC)
Reagan and Chris Brinkley (Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) are the couple everyone wanted to hang out with back when they had an empty nest, a period during which they probably would have mocked those parents who manage to work something about their kids into any and every conversation. So it takes some getting used to when, after the birth of their daughter Amy, they quickly realize how a little one sprawls out all over your life. Reagan works long hours as a television producer, while Chris is a stay-at-home dad, and both are torn between excitement about their new lives as parents and the old lives they left behind. This dynamic is best on display in the show’s second season, particularly the episode “Cool Neighbors,” in which the Brinkleys develop an unhealthy obsession with the new couple next door, who still live the life of Radiohead concerts and two-dollar shots they had to leave behind.
The takeaway: Having a baby changes everything. No, for real.