Undateable is filmed before a live studio audience, and broadcast too! Usually a production stunt, having a pre-taped show turn to a live broadcast has been used by The Drew Carey Show, 30 Rock, and even Scrubs. For Undateable, it made the show bounce back after a creatively lackluster season.
Sadly for the show, it’s live on Friday or as they recently deadpanned on the show, a night everyone should be at home watching tv.
The first two seasons were taped but a live stunt episode was able to reign in multiple special guests including Ed Sheeran and Scott Foley. More than that, it was able to bring out the cast’s chemistry in a way the second season had lost from the first season, due to the departure of the main romantic interest.
Replacing Briga Heelan on the show is former Good Luck Charlie star Bridgit Mendler. The majority of the second season was spent trying to convince the audience that one waitress would fall in love with our co-lead and another would replace her and do the same.
The co-lead in question is Brent Morin who plays Justin, the complete opposite of his own stand-up persona. Where Morin’s stand up is very every guy bro, Justin is the musical loving, sporadic dancing, neatly dressed, and extremely awkward dork who is the nice guy all the girls ignore.
Morin’s performance of Justin has a realness brought to life by his intonations and ticks, that make you think of a few people you know who are just like him. He’s the affable center of the group and very willing moral compass.
The other co-lead is Chris D’elia as Danny, a self-professed ladies man and adult in stasis. The character has the potential to just be an annoying jerk, but thanks to the magic of the ensemble, he comes off more as reluctantly lovable, no matter how much he puts down everyone else for not being as cool as him.
In fact, one of the best things about the new live season is seeing the cast chemistry in action, with plenty of personal jabs at cast mates, including D’elia’s Danny burning Morin for a fear of his newly released Netflix stand up special not doing well and calling out castmate Ron Funches’ love of weed.
The live season gives them a chance to be more timely than other shows, allowing them to go meta as commentary on anything from binge watching (while spoiling the premiere of Empire) and the Paris terror attacks going off air and the next week returning to say “I’m not scared of terrorists, I’m from Detroit!”
Funches is the gift that keeps on giving on this show. He is like a magical teddy bear that sprinkles infectious warm fuzziness and laughter whenever he graces the screen with his non-sequiturs.
Something else new this season is the rotating bands that serve as the theme song. Meghan Trainor and Saint Motel have both shown up on the show to play their songs while the cast does a “starring” montage where they get to play along with the live audience. And there is this kid, almost surely the son of a producer, who I just want to see have a role on the show already.
One of Danny’s highly likely illegitimate children?
Undateable airs live on NBC at 8p.m. on Fridays.