THE SHOW "Super Fun Night"
WHEN|WHERE Wednesday night at 9:30 on ABC/7
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Three longtime pals have avoided the weekend dating-cruising scene and instead have a "standing date" with each other every Friday night, which they have declared Super Fun Night. They are Kimmie Boubier -- pronounced "Boob-EE-AY" (Rebel Wilson), Helen-Alice (Liza Lampira) and Marika (Lauren Ash). But work intrudes on this happily nerdy threesome, because Kimmie works at a law firm where Richard (Kevin Bishop) may or may not have a crush on her, and jealous Kendall (Kate Jenkinson) just wants to crush her.
MY SAY ABC launches "SFN" with the second episode instead of the first, which means we'll all have to wonder just how terrible the pilot was. (If I remember correctly, what I saw of it was pretty bad -- but I've brain-dumped some of the memories, as a defense reflex.) But in TV, as in life, you do want to make a good first impression, and tonight's "Anything for Love" makes a reasonable attempt. "Super Fun Night" was created for one person, and only one person: Buy her shtick, you'll buy this. Honestly, the transaction's not all that hard. Wilson is a gifted comedian who doesn't always use her plus-size stature to get cheap laughs here, though, when she does, the effect can be both grating and degrading. (It is part of that shtick -- her character in "Pitch Perfect" was Fat Amy.)
There's still an amusing everywoman/everyman quality to her, and even though she has lost her Aussie accent for this role, her voice still has that peculiar singsong lilt that makes you wonder what word (or thought) will come out of her mouth (or head) next. In the spectrum of TV funny women, Wilson is decidedly unusual -- but in a good way. The show needs to be smarter, funnier, faster and more sophisticated. Get all that, with Wilson in the mix, and ABC has a hit.
BOTTOM LINE There's a glimmer of hope here, and her name is Rebel Wilson. Now, the show needs to match her talents.