In the first episode of ABC's new sitcom Super Fun Night, lawyer Kimmie Boubier (Rebel Wilson), pronounced BOOB-ier, gets a promotion and decides to celebrate with her two best friends in an unusual way. Instead of convening at Kimmie's house and spending the evening indoors as they have every Friday night for years, the three socially awkward women decide to hit up a nightclub. The excursion does not go well: The bouncer refuses to let the not-cool-enough trio in, and Kimmie's very tight bandage dress rips open to reveal her heart-emblazoned underwear and bra set to Richard (Kevin Bishop), the kindly colleague on whom she has a crush. Yet despite this fiasco, the indefatigable Kimmie resolves to try again: Every Friday from then on, she declares, she and her friends will force themselves to go out and have a super fun night.
I provide this synopsis because the above episode is not the one you will see tonight, when the series premieres. Last week, ABC decided to swap the airdates of the pilot and the second episode, hoping that the latter would make a better first impression on viewers than the former. (The second episode has the virtue of being less cruel--Kimmie getting over her stage fright and singing karaoke vs. Kimmie being deemed too unattractive to enter a club--but the first has the virtue of explaining what the show is about.) It's the sort of last-minute vote of no confidence that exposes the dysfunction of the fall TV season, when shows get rushed to air whether they're ready for it or not. Super Fun Night has the distinct feel of being taken out of the network oven only half-baked. Wafting off of it is the very faint smell of a surreptitiously radical sitcom, one of the first to treat lady fat like man fat--that is to say, as funny, not as an affront--but it's way underdone, a gloppy mish-mash of incomplete characterizations, uplifting messages, and fat jokes.