"Super Fun Night" is neither super nor fun for many viewers.
Before the new ABC comedy starring Rebel Wilson even premiered Wednesday night, it was hit with an avalanche of bad buzz and scathing reviews.
An "enormous mess," wrote HitFix's Alan Sepinwall of the show, which follows three socially-awkward women as they hit the town every Friday night. Most critics savaged the show's reliance on weight jokes. There are four (!) Spanx jokes, including an extended sequence where Wilson's Kimmie struggles to get a pair on (watch Jezebel's compilation of all the "fat jokes").
As E! Online bemoaned, "Why does weight have to be such a gigantic punchline for this show?"
The majority of Twitter opinions on "Super Fun Night" agreed:
I dig Rebel Wilson but Super Fun Night is 22 minutes of bad jokes & fat shaming. Wish we could move beyond lowest common denominator humor— Bruce Mann (@brucebmann) October 3, 2013
Super Fun Night should be called "How many times can we make tired fat jokes while repeatedly humiliating the fat/weird people." #disgusted— Rachel Griffin (@moopigmoo) October 3, 2013
Despite the negative early word, viewers still tuned in, mostly thanks to a lead-in from the Emmy-winning "Modern Family." "Super Fun Night" debuted to solid ratings — 8.2 million viewers, 3.2 million of them in the coveted, advertiser-friendly 18-49 age range.
But will those numbers continue to hold?
[Photos: See More 'Super Fun Night' Pictures]
Wilson — who broke out with hilarious turns in "Bridesmaids" and "Pitch Perfect" — seems to be aware of the bad buzz. When she spoke with Yahoo TV at the comedy's premiere (co-sponsored by Cosmopolitan magazine), Wilson highlighted the changes that will take place in Season 1.
"There's super dramatic stuff coming down. I just did some very racy stuff Friday before I flew here to New York ... and I am very anxious to see how people react," she said. "I like to push the boundaries. Obviously people expect the comedy, but when they see the more serious storylines coming down the pipeline, I think it will be interesting."
And, as Wilson pointed out, it took "Seinfeld" a while to find its footing and become a hit. Already, critics and viewers felt that the second episode (which actually aired first; ABC moved the pilot back) was a huge improvement:
Tonight's episode of SUPER FUN NIGHT was so much better than the pilot ABC sent critics. As in: I found it quite funny and charming.— Joe Adalian (@TVMoJoe) October 3, 2013
Co-star Lauren Ash echoed Wilson's belief that viewers will fall in love with "Super Fun Night," which she compared to "Bridesmaids." "[The movie] was over the top, there's raunchy stuff, there are all these jokes, but there are moments of real heart, real relationships. And I think that is something you can expect from this show," she said.
Ash continued, "Yeah, there are going to be big broad jokes, but there are also many moments where you see real relationships and real friendships, and I think that's really exciting because I don't think that there's necessarily a lot of that on TV right now — women who genuinely love each other and are genuinely loyal to each other."
Watch the full episode of "Super Fun Night":
"Super Fun Night" airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.