Lisa and Danny are best friends who have issues. And those issues have nothing to do with their insomnia.
As a matter of fact, I wonder if their strange relationship somehow incentivizes them to be up all night.
But it all seems harmless enough during Still Up Season 1 Episode 1 as Lisa chats away with Danny and runs out to the pharmacy to get her daughter, Poppy, some calamine lotion for her chicken pox.
I couldn’t help but wonder if they have the chicken pox vaccine in the UK because I don’t know any kids who get chicken pox anymore here in the US.
But I digress.
The bigger issue is Lisa’s slightly askew moral compass.
When Poppy first showed symptoms of the illness, instead of taking the child to the doctor or putting her to bed, Lisa made a special sheep mask Poppy could wear on her class trip so no one would see she had pox.
Lisa didn’t even do it because she didn’t want her child to be disappointed, which would still have been irresponsible, but she did it because she didn’t want another kid’s mother to have something to hold over her.
That type of twisted logic makes me want to know more about Lisa.
At home, Lisa has Veggie. I’m still unsure if Veggie is her husband or her live-in boyfriend, but he refers to himself as Poppy’s stepfather, and he takes care of the child when she’s sick.
But when Lisa stumbles upon the dead pharmacist behind the counter, she calls Danny to give him all the details, not Veggie. Perhaps that’s because she’s been on the phone with Danny all night, but it feels like Danny would have been her first phone call, even if that wasn’t the case.
Meanwhile, Danny can’t make it out of his apartment without having a panic attack. That’s been the case since his relationship with Chloe ended three years ago.
But it’s ambiguous how that relationship ended, and that’s another question I long to have answered because it likely explains Danny’s behavior.
Oddly enough, Danny isn’t even the weirdest person in his building. He’s got Cat Man winning that category.
And then there’s Adam, a fireman and seemingly nice guy who takes care of everyone, including doing any of Danny’s shopping that can’t otherwise be delivered. I’m not sure what Adam’s issues are, but it’s clear there’s something a little off with him, too.
But Lisa and Danny are so close that during Still Season 1 Episode 2, Lisa is able to complete a dating app profile for Danny without asking him a single question.
Lisa: Okay, spill it.
Lisa: Well, you’ve obviously got something you want to tell me, so out with it.
Danny: How did you get all that from just hello?
Lisa: Because I’m fluent in Danny.
And this is where we get back to Lisa’s issues. She has to return a dress that her late Aunt let her borrow years ago because her Aunt Em wanted to be buried in it.
Now, Lisa could just call the family and tell them she has the dress, but that’s not what she does. Feeling guilty for holding on to it, she sneaks into Aunt Em’s house to hide it somewhere the family can find it.
But before she even gets to do that, she falls asleep on the bus, which is ironic given that she’s an insomniac, and a group of friends steals the dress.
It’s the same group she shushed earlier. No one likes to be shushed. Some just take their displeasure further than others.
Granted, neither side is in the right on this one. The guy who stole the dress is actually wearing it! But Lisa could have apologized for shushing them and explained that it was her late Aunt’s dress and how she wanted to be buried in it.
There are no guarantees that the truth could have worked, but telling it didn’t even seem to cross Lisa’s mind. Instead, she remembered Aunt Em’s advice years ago and started stripping down until Tyler gave her the dress back.
Never let the bastards win, Lisa.
Again, Danny was on the other end of the phone to hear or witness the entire incident. I doubt poor Veggie heard a word about it as he got Poppy off to bed back at home.
Speaking of that dating app, Lisa gets a notification that she has a 91% compatibility match, and it’s Danny! Is that because she filled out his profile? Is it that these two are best friends already? Or are they supposed to end up together?
But Lisa deletes her profile from the app before Danny, Veggie, or anyone else will ever know.
Meanwhile, Danny is a 71% match with Amy. When Danny means to send Lisa the photo of his ingrown hair to ask if she thinks it’s cancer, he accidentally sends it to Amy.
But was this really an accident, or was Danny sabotaging the only possibility of a date he’s had in three years?
Either way, it doesn’t matter because somehow this photo doesn’t scare Amy off, which leads us to Still Up Season 1 Episode 3.
And Danny’s date with Amy is where things get really interesting because, despite all of the obstacles, this date appears to go great!
Danny manages to avoid revealing his agoraphobia by inviting Amy to his place for dinner. The only reason I can figure out that any woman would agree to that is that Amy is a personal trainer and feels confident enough that she could literally kick his ass if Danny got out of line with her.
But the two hit it off splendidly. They talk, laugh, and flirt, which is why Danny is blindsided when Amy turns him down for another date.
There had been so many mentions of Lisa that Amy mistook her for Danny’s ex. Between Lisa’s constant phone calls to check in and Danny’s frequent mentions, Amy can see the writing on the wall and cuts her losses.
Unfortunately, not before losing the tip of her finger in Danny’s door, which is something I could have lived without.
What was weird was how when Danny was asked about bad date experiences, he’d tell Lisa’s stories instead of his own.
What was telling was that the bad date stories all seemed to circle back to Veggie.
This leads us to this enlightening Still Up quote between Lisa and her mother:
Mom: What that man lacks in personality, he makes up for in reliability. I think he’s great.
Lisa: Yeah, I know he’s great.
Mom: But you don’t owe anyone anything in this life, Lis. If you’re questioning things, if you’re having doubts, if that’s what this is, then it’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
Veggie is a great guy. He loves Lisa and Poppy. He seems happy to be home with them, but Lisa’s insomnia keeps her up all night talking to Danny.
So is Veggie okay not being Lisa’s go-to guy when she needs to talk about things? Veggie and Lisa don’t connect the way that Danny and Lisa do, but can the two relationships really be compared?
Because Veggie is in the real world, he’s there, face to face with Lisa and taking care of a home and her child. And he makes sure she doesn’t set the house on fire.
Danny is on a video screen or the other end of the phone. Is it easier to have a connection when the minutia of the real world doesn’t get in the way?
I don’t know where Still Up is going, but I find this quiet character study intriguing. There are no villains here, just flawed people doing their best.
And perhaps that’s why I’m not shipping either couple. I like all of these characters, and I just want to see them be happy, no matter who they end up with.
So what did you think, TV Fanatics? Do you find this AppleTV+ series as strangely charming as I do?
If so, check back for my Still Up Season 1 Episode 4 review.
And hit that SHOW COMMENTS button below to tell me what you think of Still Up.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.