A Standard Slow Season Start

Or A Self-Fulfilling-Prophecy


Keep in mind, part of me is still struggling to focus thanks to the booze bender that I went on this weekend which might also be why I'm struggling to get into this season of the show. Then again, I predicted that this would be a weaker season a little while back, after the last major changes to the cast. Thanks to my history with doing these reviews, I’ve learned that the third season with any collection of cast members seems to be my least favorite.

I think this stems from the fact that when an entire cast comes back for multiple years in a row, that’s usually a sign that the Not Ready For Prime Time Players are actually doing good. Since most cast members are undiscovered when they start to work on the show, it seems that by year three, they seem to default into their comfort zones as they shift their focus to movies.

This is the attitude that I had going into this year so I’m not sure if I’m actually disappointed by what I’ve seen so far or I’m just witnessing a typically slow start to the year, since it’s usually not until episodes three or four that they seem to iron out the issues that come with a long middle of the year vacation.

As I said with every other Friends cast member who’s hosted the show, I was a big fan so this isn’t a case of me being extra critical like I was last night with Sylvester Stallone since I’m not a huge fan of his work. No, I went into this viewing with higher expectations because I also like Matthew Perry in the few movies that I’ve seen him in and actually think he’s funny.

The problem was, for some reason, even though there were seventeen segments to this night many of the sketches seemed to drag on. It didn’t help that the more long-winded feeling sketches all featured reoccurring characters that were still pretty fun but at the same time felt like the writers were avoiding any heavy lifting. Hell, they didn’t even come up with a new event for the Spartan Cheerleaders to cheer for and just had them randomly practicing their routines for an audition to join the team in the morning.

I thought this would be impossible but, I didn’t even end up laughing at the Celebrity Jeopardy! scene which usually has me cracking up. Again, I just can’t tell if it’s my mood or this season because even though there was little laughter, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I didn’t find myself being entertain.

Hopefully, I’ll be done with my funk by this time tomorrow so that I can get a genuine read on how I’m feeling about this season. Until then, it’s now that time for me to shift gears in order to share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with another installment of the Spartan Cheerleaders where the two wannabe spirit squad of two broke into the school gym in order practice their routines for the cheerleading tryouts in the morning. As always, this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Matthew Perry then officially opened the show with a monolog that started out with the normal small talk about being excited to be hosting the show while promoting his role on Friends. He then shared how Friends is filmed in L.A. though it’s set in New York and went on to share a few differences. The monolog then cut to a prerecorded bit where Matthew Perry tried to get New Yorkers on the street to jump into a fountain in order to recreate the Friends opening montage in an effort to prove that the people of New York are so uptight that they won’t play along.

  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Cookie Dough Sport which was a Gatorade-style drink that was actually nothing but raw cookie dough.

  4. Celebrity Jeopardy! then returned for another installment where this time, Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek had to handle Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds, Darrell Hammond as John Travolta and Matthew Perry as Michael Keaton in order to guide them through the game.

  5. Sarcasm 101 was a sketch where Ana Gasteyer played a new student of a sarcasm class only to end up offended by the sarcastic words that came out of the teacher’s and her classmates’ mouths.

  6. The Ladies Man then made its show debut with Tim Meadows as Leon Phelps who is almost just a funny version of Tim Meadow’s Quiet Storm, overnight radio D.J. only Leon takes more calls and isn’t just about talking up his sexy playlist in a romantic tone.

  7. Space, The Infinite Frontier then returned for another installment with Will Ferrell as Harry Caray who discussed the Russian Space Station with Matthew Perry who played a NASA astronaut.

  8. Oasis then took to the stage to perform Don't Go Away.

  9. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, Norm went alone and just delivered the news without any special guests.

  10. We then got a parody of M-TV News where Ana Gasteyer’s news anchor character Kinkaid introduced a segment where Goat Boy announced an upcoming music tour with opening guest “Julio Iglesias” and “Willie Nelson.

  11. The Kevin Franklin Show was a fake ad for a new late-night talk show hosted by Tim Meadows that promised to be just like every other late night talk show that was already out there.

  12. We then got a parody of Friends which was intentionally mundane since the scene was meant to be broken by Matthew Perry who objected to how gay Colin Quinn was portraying the Chandler Bing character to be.

  13. We then got introduced to the awesome stop animation/puppet show-style sketch called The Go-Lords who were a religious couple who defended Bill Clinton against the Chinese following yet another Clinton campaign finance scandal.

  14. Oasis then returned to the stage to perform Acquiesce.

  15. Good Morning With Liza was a morning talk show sketch hosted by Liza Minnelli who frantically interviewed her guest while sneaking in sips of boozes and pulls from a cigarette in an effort to hide her nerves as she rambled on like a madwoman.

  16. The Kevin Franklin Show was a follow-up to the first fake ad that announced Kevin Franklin already had to go into rehab meaning it will debut in a mellower format than what was originally planned.

  17. Finally, Matthew Perry closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Again, my hungover head has me confused about this episode but it was still at least pretty fun thanks to moments like these three of my favorites of the night. First, I loved the Cookie Dough Sport since I’m a fan of both Gatorade and raw cookie dough so this actually looks appealing to me. Next, I really liked this week’s installment of Space, The Infinite Frontier because I think that Will Ferrell as Harry Caray might be my favorite of all of Will’s characters. Finally, I was a fan of the debut of The Ladies Man since it’s another Tim Meadows character that I love.


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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.