Tuesday, January 24, 2006

[ tv review ] SNL - Peter Sarsgaard guest hosting or... why do I keep watching this show?

Why do I make it a point to watch a show that I know I'm going to hate? Or at best, be supremely disappointed in?

Every week, I make sure to record Saturday Night Live, and I always eagerly watch it the first chance I get. I record it on DVR, and then edit out the parts I didn't like, leaving a shortened version of the show that I later burn to a DVD.

This season, I don't think I've even filled half a DVD yet with stuff worthy of watching ever again. If there's anything that's generally guaranteed to make it to the DVD, it's the fake commercial they usually do. But even that's only about a minute long at most.

But this season has been abnormally abysmal. It's been said often in the past, but this year I think it truly does apply- -

This is the WORST season of SNL ever.

This past week's episode was the worst of the worst. Peter Sarsgaard is a "who is that guy again?" level of movie star, and he didn't help himself with his performance on the show. In nearly every sketch, he stumbled over numerous words, often causing me to lose entirely what the point of the sketch was supposed to be about. What's worse is that more than most hosts, he was STARING at the cue cards, making his constant flubs all the worse.

The best/worst part was a skit where he was watching a TV newscast featuring one of the other cast members, meaning that the newscast was being shot live on another set with the image being fed into the TV monitor. So halfway through the skit Sarsgaard accidentally bumps the TV causing the image to disappear, but we could still hear the newscast going on from the next set. They had to cut to an emergency camera angle were we couldn't see the TV, and that would be intercut with a direct feed from the 'newscast'. The highlight of all of this is when on the bottom of the screen you could see crew members scrambling to figure out why the TV wasn't working anymore. They got it kinda fixed in time for the last thirty seconds or so of the skit, but by then it was too late.

Yes, it's a LIVE show, but this is par for the course this season. Every episode has some major technical screw-ups that I don't recall the show ever having this bad before.

In spite of this, I can't stop watching the show (Steve Martin hosts next week!! With Prince as musical guest!! Surely THIS episode will be a classic! hint: no it won't)

Why do I keep on watching? Because every once in a while they DO have a classic skit. Something that redeems the whole show... for at least another episode.

Case in point, the one good thing from last week's show was the fake commercial for "Baby Toupee's." Brilliant. The cure for 'male infantile baldness'. If I don't find it online somewhere, I'll post it for all to see.

They TRIED to capture lightning in a bottle for a second time with their latest "SNL Digital Short", but it didn't have the magic this time. As many of you have seen by now, SNL garnered a lot of buzz last month due to their "Lazy Sunday" digital short film, otherwise known as "The Chronicles of Narnia Rap". This was a brilliant little short film that was perfect for the moment in time it premiered.

This week the digital short was another musical parody, this time of a typical 80's power metal rock song, called "Young Chuck Norris". It was amusing, but not nearly the cultural event that "Lazy Sunday" was. (It didn't make it to my SNL highlight DVD).

So for now, I'll keep eagerly watching (and fast-forwarding through) every new episode of Saturday Night Live. When it gets it right, it gets it really right. And one classic skit outweighs the other 85 minutes of crap.

1 comment:

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