The New Normal


Where I noted yesterday that the Paul Simon episode marked the new benchmark as to what I would consider an average episode as far as the entertainment value of the content, there was still a feeling that it was a Paul Simon special over being a normal show. That said, it did feel like a Saturday Night Live Special and not a concert that just seemed to be taking place in the SNL time slot.

This episode hosted by Jodie Foster felt like the standard for the new normal episode. There was no behind the scenes uncertainties, the scheduled host showed up and wasn't cut with a sword or was too big of a star to affect the structure of the show. 

No, Jodie Foster was just a normal host, too young for special treatment, allowing her to be the featured member of an ensemble, providing balance to make it feel like an actual show. This episode still doesn't make the top of any of my list of favorites, but it was still pretty solid, enough so that my enthusiasm is growing for the episodes to come.

Now that I've explained my outlook on this episode, it's time to tell you what else I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Gilda Radner opens the show complaining that she wasn't given much to do this episode and as she rants about it the subtitles explain that they are phasing her out of the show. She goes as far as telling her friends to turn off the show if they're there to see her, then changes her tone as she shouts, "Live from New York..."

  2. Jodie Foster opens the show with a little monolog about being the youngest host to date then reads a note from her mom giving an excuse as to why the show started a little late.

  3. This was followed by a filmed commercial for Pilson's Feed Bag Dinner starring Chevy Chase and is about eating dinner on the go.

  4. Jodie Foster then plays a stoner teen in her room who think she's tripping balls when the Bees enter the room in a Peter Pan parody of sorts.

  5. Brian Wilson sings Back Home.

  6. Jodie Foster then does a fake ad for Puberty Helper which is just a giant potato sack to cover up kids during their awkward stage.

  7. This was followed by an airport security sketch where Aykroyd played a mettle addict trying to get past the metal detector. It's interesting to see them complaining about this level of security at that time.

  8. Once again, Jane does the news, and I'm not sure if they are messing with her sometimes by changing the camera without warning or if she's just not used to it yet.

  9. The news's commercial was a sample of the average SNL fan, which was Belushi playing a manly man who runs a flower shop, in a way that felt aggressively closeted over being a homophobic attack.

  10. Back to the news where they read some of the calls to action asking for alternative ways for Morris the Cat to commit suicide.

  11. Brian Wilson then sings Love is a Woman.

  12. The was followed by a sketch called Little Know Talents of the Not Ready For Prime Time Player, this week was Laraine Newman's week, and she showed off her ability to imitate sounds.

  13. Next was a sketch called Salute to Don Pardo which was a tribute to the announcer's life and career, flashing all the way through his life with him always having that magical voice.

  14. Jodie Foster then plays a student flirting with her teacher on her last day in Jr. High. This was pretty creepy, but at least they didn't have Aykroyd even hint at giving in to any urges. The most disturbing part was the sketch didn't come across over the top enough to be funny so it felt more like a writer's perverted dream, and for some reason, I feel that writer is Michael O'Donoghue, who has a similar creepy move later in the show.

  15. The short film of the week was kids talking about their dreams.

  16. This was followed by the King Kong Dirge which was once again an excuse to let Garrett Morris show off his operatic voice.

  17. Next was a sketch where Garrett Morris was arguing with Jane Curtin who was playing his wife. It turns out he disappointed that she's finally come out of the closet and has admitted to not being black. They discussed the telltale signs in a funny way, but it's finally revealed that it's actually Garrett Morris that thinks he is white.

  18. Mr. Mike returned to do his Least-Loved Bedtime Tales which is where I mentioned he gets creepy. He calls Jodie Foster up onto his lap as he tells this week's calculatedly creepy tale. I was too bothered by the imagery to really listen to the story of the week.

  19. Brian Wilson then sang Good Vibrations.

  20. Finally Jodie Foster finished off the show by saying good night.

Once again, I wouldn't say that there was a best of in the bunch but here are my top three moments of this episode. First, I laughed several times during the Tribute to Don Pardo. Next, I loved that they had a teenager acting high as a kite when she meets the Peter Pan Bees. Finally, I was a fan of Garrett Morris and Jane Curtin's take on race relations.


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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.