(Television Without Pity) — Full disclosure: We love Will Arnett. Frankly, we don't know many people who don't think he's hilarious and wonderful, with the perfect family. But this relationship -- ours and his, not his and Amy Poehler's, obviously -- can be one-sided for only so long: We've been giving him chances to have a new and interesting character in a funny and likable series for years now, and every time he sorely disappoints. Maybe it's not fair to blame him for his failures in the past few years, but it seems like every job he takes, he refuses to play a different character. In "Up All Night," there are pangs of change and a small glimmer of hope that he'll finally broaden his range, and if he learns from his former mistakes, he'll be golden. Here's our advice:
Quit Playing Gob
There will always be a place in our hearts for "Arrested Development," especially considering its language has seeped into our vocabulary, but come on! Give it a rest with the Gob act, already. From the self-obsessed idiot Ennis Hofftard on "Sit Down, Shut Up" to the flat-out replica who was Steven Wilde on "Running Wilde," we've seen enough of the selfish man-child routine. The immaturity has got to go, especially now that Arnett's a father (both in reality and on NBC). We know he's more than just a pretty face and voice, which we hope to see for a long, long time on network TV... with spicy club sauce.
Chemistry Is Key
If you're going to have a love interest -- especially a wife -- there's got to be a real spark between the characters. One of the downfalls of "Running Wilde" was the complete lack of chemistry between Steven and Emmy (Keri Russell). Need proof? Look at the "Best Man" episode if you don't believe us: It was arguably the highlight of the series, and that's because you could see a real connection between the two characters. Also, there were some pretty good Renaissance puns. But the only believable romances we've seen with Arnett have been horribly unsuccessful (remember Jack the exhibitionist and Miranda on "Sex and the City?") and/or underplayed (have we even met Devon Banks's partner on "30 Rock"?). We're glad to see that at least he made a real commitment with Christina Applegate's character on "Up All Night."
Give Up the Bromance
OK, OK, we get it: Arnett and David Cross are buds. We respect the buddy love and give props to Mitch Hurwitz for trying, but "Running Wilde" and the inexplicably not canceled "Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret" have taught us that the two of them should not be on TV together unless there's an extremely strong cast around them. Arnett should take a page from Cross's "Mr. Show" former co-star Bob Odenkirk and cut that cord... and if he's offered a role on "Breaking Bad" alongside Saul Goodman, for the love of Gus, take it!
Show Us the Amy
Our biggest request is that Arnett and his fantastic wife keep appearing on each other's shows. Her stint on "Arrested Development" as Bride of Gob and his work as Chris (the creepy guy who gave Leslie Knope an MRI) on "Parks and Recreation" have proven that they can make on-screen magic. Were it not for how much we love Adam Scott, we'd be disappointed that Will isn't playing Ben Wyatt. And if we could have any inspirational Web series for young women back in our lives, it would be "Smart Girls at the Party," in part so that we could watch Will and Amy dance at the end of every episode.
Get a sneak peek at Will in his new series "Up All Night" right here:
"Up All Night" premieres Wednesday, 9/14 at 10pm ET on NBC.
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