NEW YORK (AP) — Too often, Rebel Wilson flashes a huge, embarrassed grin that eerily recalls another portly comedian, the late John Candy.
That’s off-putting enough, coming from the character she plays on her new ABC sitcom, “Super Fun Night”: an over-eager young woman entering the social whirl.
Worse, Wilson has burdened Kimmie Boubier with constant tiresome references to her less-than-perfect physique. Wilson doesn’t put Kimmie’s high spirits center stage, but instead her girth.
Enough is enough, and then some.
“Super Fun Night” (which premieres Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. EDT) centers on Kimmie, an unaccountably successful New York lawyer who after work exists in a sort of bubble with two gal pals, wispy Helen-Alice (Liza Lapira) and mannish Marika (Lauren Ash), none of whom have gone out socially, they note, since joining forces for Prom Night 13 years before.
Instead, they convene at one of their apartments ritually each Friday for a private, themed date with themselves.
But now Kimmie is moving up in her law firm. She decides it’s time to break out of her social cocoon and take her two friends along for the ride as she lives life and chases romance.
Getting there, at least in the premiere, calls for Kimmie to engage in brutal sight gags, like accidentally ripping her dress at the office and attempting to repair it with a stapler, while stapling herself, and having her dress ripped off on a sidewalk to expose her blinking panties and bra.
This brand of constant, graphic self-abasement would make “Girls” star-exhibitionist Lena Dunham cringe.
Wilson (“Pitch Perfect,” ”Bridesmaids”) has charm. But she undermines Kimmie with an air of desperation, then seals it with the fat jokes.
From Jackie Gleason to Melissa McCarthy, the verdict is in: fat people can be riotously funny. But there is nothing funny about fat, per se, any more than skinny, tall or short.
Wilson should let Kimmie be more than a vehicle for fat humor. Maybe then “Super Fun Night” would be fun.