I don’t blog about most of the shows that I watch because: A) I don’t always have much to say about them; and B) I have a life outside of blogging. That being said, I do want to write about Up All Night, which has evolved from its shaky beginnings to become what is probably this season’s most solid new comedy.

There are a number of sitcoms that make me laugh out loud several times an episode. Up All Night isn’t one of them. In fact, I rarely laugh at all when I’m watching Up All Night. But it’s the only show on the air right now that puts a smile on my face for half an hour straight. That’s no easy feat.

I’ve come to appreciate the show’s low-key humour. Up All Night doesn’t go for big laughs. It doesn’t need to. Instead, it finds humour in simple, mundane things, like strollers that won’t fold or disorganized kitchen drawers. Warmth and gentleness underlie the jokes; they rarely come at the main characters’ expense. The humour tends to come from people acting silly, not from people acting stupid.

I didn’t expect Up All Night would end up being a sweet, subtle show, especially with Will Arnett (the erstwhile Gob Bluth) and Maya Rudolph (SNL’s former Oprah impersonator) in the cast. But Arnett gives a remarkably restrained performance as Chris, and Rudolph has shed the more cartoonish facets of her performance in recent weeks. Rounding out the cast is Christina Applegate as Reagan, and she’s a well-known comedic powerhouse.

It’s not surprising how believable Arnett and Applegate are as first-time parents; both of them have young children at home in real life, after all. What is surprising is how believable Chris and Reagan are as a married couple. Arnett and Applegate play so naturally off each other that you’d think all their scenes were ad-libbed. Chris and Reagan are also a refreshing TV couple. It’s distressing how many TV shows operate under the impression that the only way to make couples interesting is to have them fighting or bickering all the time. The couple at centre of Up All Night, however, gets most of its laughs from Chris and Reagan’s mutual dorkiness or their gentle teasing.

Up All Night will never be the greatest comedy on television, and that’s fine. It’s just nice to have a sitcom that is built on warmth and positivity, not cynicism and world-weariness. Up All Night is the televisual equivalent of chicken soup. It’s not what I’d want for my last meal, but it’s the perfect pick-me-up, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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