After Midnight w/ Taylor Tomlinson

The first episode of Taylor Tomlinson’s new hosting gig has aired and it’s… not what I was expecting. I guess I didn’t know this was a reboot of @midnight, which was apparently a game-show style TV show featuring comics telling canned jokes about the internet. I honestly couldn’t get through more than a couple of minutes. This seems way below Tomlinson’s grade honestly. She’s an outstanding and very popular comedian and this seems like the kind of gig you get when you were 3rd billing on a popular sitcom a decade ago. The show isn’t unfunny but I’d hoped this would be a late night variety show.

@midnight was frequently a lot of fun, but it depended strongly on the guests (sorry, “contestants”) they had on a particular night. It used to be one of my regular watches with the wife, but an insomniac 3 year old makes a return to that kind of unlikely for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the show.

Conversely I’m delighted it’s this and not another late night show. I’ve never understood why the US doesn’t have more panel shows, or just generally more TV/radio outlets for comedians to be funny outside of sitcoms and specials. @midnight wasn’t perfect (even aside from his other issues, Hardwick always came across as super needy, which is a weird vibe for a host), but it was a great way to find about new comics and to get to see familiar ones.

Agree 100%. Panel shows seem perfect for todays drive toward “unscripted” programming. Part of the magic of those shows is the interaction among the guests – which is a big reason why even something like the Graham Norton Show is so superior to our late night one-guest-at-a-time plugfest talk shows.

I’m a big Taylor Tomlinson fan; her comedy is so sharp and self aware. I’m sure she will make After Midnight as good as it could be, but the forced game show format is unnecessary and the whole thing already feels a bit dated. Something like that David Spade late night show Lights Out (which was a blip about 4 years ago, killed by Covid probably) would be better – ditch the gameshow facade and just have the comics sitting in comfy chairs riffing on the same internet/pop culture stuff and each other or whatever.

I disagree, the game show format helps a lot with panel shows (the alternative has been tried in the UK* and it mostly doesn’t work). The important thing is that the show doesn’t take the scoring seriously. It’s just a vehicle for comedy.

  • And I suppose to a limited extent in the US - the Larry Wilmore show had a discussion segment.

I really liked @midnight and this new version has been OK - not great - so far, but these shows always start out rough IMO. I don’t think they did themselves any favors by seeming scared to explain the show at all - Colbert plugged it several times as just “a new late night show” and even when he interviewed Tomlinson she was super vague about it. The only hint I had that it was a remake of @midnight was the name and I wasn’t sure until I watched it. From some comments I saw online a lot of people went into it thinking they were getting Late Show part 2. Seems like an unforced error; hopefully doesn’t get it killed before it can get going.

I think this was a mistake. I definitely was expecting a variety show. Tomlinson could have explained it well I think and made it sound compelling.

Pretty mixed-to-negative feelings on the first episode. I’m glad that somebody in the US is taking a stab at a UK-style panel show, where the game and score are purposely stupid & absurd excuses to get fun people together and talking.

But the Internet meme driven format they chose is SO forced and instantly forgettable. It constantly gets in the way, and the writers don’t yet have the confidence ignore it when necessary. IMO those digressions where the show goes off-the-rails are often the best parts of Cats Does Countown and similar programs.

Hope it find legs, because Tomlinson herself is charismatic and fun to watch.

Agreed. As a viewer, this feels like a bait and switch. You can almost feel her disappointment even in the first episode, although she is of course very professional about it. I’m certainly disappointed it’s not a talk show. This would be fine as a regular segment on a traditional variety show, but her crowd work skills would shine in audience interaction and celebrity interviews.

First episode was god awful. I couldn’t help but think it was an extremely poor version of Game changer or Make Some Noise. It felt like a show centered around 40+ somethings that have a vague understanding of younger folks and their wacky Internet stuff.

Had no idea that this is what the show would be. Taylor definitely deserves a lot better.

Finally got around to this.

Good lord, this is bad.

No thank you.