SNL: S26E08... HOST: LUCY LIU... DATE: DECEMBER 16, 2000

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or...

I Love Lucy Liu-Bot

Lucy Liu is another one of these actresses who I assumed that I was more familiar with her work than I actually am. Again, this is due to the fact that her career took off when I was on top of my pop culture game and was aware of anyone who was famous thanks to my love of late night talk shows where they would go to promote their projects. Also, keep in mind how this was a time before TiVo so there was no fast-forwarding through any commercials for their work.

It turns out, I mainly knew Lucy Liu in animation form when she played Lucy Liu-Bot on Futurama. I also saw the first Charlies Angels which I was the movie she was on to promote. I did see her in the Kill Bill series but as a non-action fan, I only watched those movies with friends so I forgot most of the details.

Whether or not I actually know her work, I always saw Lucy Liu as a non-comedic actress who can be pretty funny, so if it were any other season, I would have been pretty confident that the show would pretty good. That said, I’ve stopped trusting this season long ago, after an unfunny night with Dana Carvey as the host.

I hate that I hate this season because I still love this cast but, just like with politicians there need to be some term limits in order to avoid ideas getting old while everyone thinks that things should be better due to the collected amount of experience. Meanwhile, these old timers have changed and are so busy with their side deals that they can’t give one-hundred-percent to the show.

I feel that this is why after a while with the same cast, it’s not that the show get terrible but it does lose its edge as everyone settles into their comfort zone, which was the main problem that I had with tonight. It wasn’t that anyone did badly but this was another case where most of the night was made up of reoccurring characters that didn’t stray far from the formula that made them great when they were introduced.

As I said in the past, I really don’t mind reoccurring characters as long as they limit the amount that they have in one night and are written for a reason specifically for the host and not just crowbarred in as filler. Like tonight’s Celebrity Jeopardy sketch, which is normally a hit no matter what but tonight it felt like it was done purely because it was popular without all that much thought involved.

Unfortunately, even though I give her an A+ for trying, Lucy Liu just wasn’t funny enough to save the show. That said, she’s the host so I don’t put the blame on her I found myself zoned out through most of this episode which is a growing trend this year. Hopefully, since this was the last show of the season they will make some adjustments over the Christmas break as the show often does, but we’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s review to see if that’s how it ends up going down.

Until then, it’s now 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 Darrell Hammond and Will Ferrell as Al Gore and George W. Bush who had met at the local D.C. Chi-Chi's for lunch in order to discuss how to heal the nation following the disaster of an election that was just held. After talking shop for a bit, Bush tricked Gore into eating a super-hot chili pepper before he announced, “Live from New York…”
  2. Lucy Liu then officially opened the show with a monolog about how she was excited to be back in her hometown. She then went on to share a video of her doing a bunch of stereotypical Asian tasks for the cast like cooking, dry cleaning, and even running with a rickshaw.
  3. This was followed by a parody priceline.com ad where Darrell Hammond as William Shatner was freaked out over how the recent stock plunge had affected his priceline.com stock value that was the whole reason he took the job.
  4. We then got a parody of Total Request Live where once again, Jimmy Fallon impersonated Carson Daly for another interview with the fake female group called Gemini’s Twin that still had Maya Rudolph and Ana Gasteyer as the main Twins and Lucy Liu as the new group member. Just like last time the sketch started with a TRL introduction, then shared a new Gemini’s Twin music video, followed by a Carson Daly interview, ending on a live performance of their latest song.
  5. This was followed by another installment of Celebrity Jeopardy where this time Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek attempted to wrangle Jimmy Fallon and Robin Williams, Lucy Liu as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Darrell Hammond as the great Jeopardy guest, Sean Connery while trying to get through the game
  6. Pretty Living also returned were once again Ana Gasteyer’s special guest was Molly Shannon’s, “I love it, I love it, I love it,” character, who this time showed off Lucy Liu who was playing her new lumberjack girlfriend.
  7. Jarrett's Room then debuted with Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz as Jarrett and Goby who were two college stoners who hosted a webcast from their dorm. For this first installment, the two goofballs introduced themselves while Goby ate all the M&Ms that he intended to use to make a hacky sack which was going to be the main feature of the segment. We also met Lucy Liu who dropped by for a bit as Jarrett’s raver girlfriend who broke up with him by the end of her visit.
  8. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Rachel Dratch dropped in as fourth President James Madison to share his commentary on the horrific 2000 election only to be constantly sidetracked by all of the modern marvels like lights and her spinning chair. Chris Kattan also stopped by as the Baby New Year’s because he needed a diaper change and Jimmy Fallon sang a collection of parody pop songs about Christmas presents.
  9. Jay-Z then took to the stage to perform I Just Wanna Love U. 
  10. Christmas Ornaments had our host along with several members of the cast act like ornaments Toy Story-style in order to share how they longed to be on the family Christmas tree. They all got a little desperate after hearing the family’s father announce that this was going to be the year that they will finally get rid of any ornament that was old, broken, or never used.
  11. Murder In The Make-Believe Ballroom brought back Will Ferrell as Robert Goulet to promote his new rap album featuring Jay-Z, who joined Goulet in the fake ad along with the rest of his crew.
  12. Happy Holidays From "Weekend Update" was a quick segment where Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey tried to share their Christmas wishes only to be interrupted by a random New York City homeless looking man.
  13. Jay-Z then returned to the stage to perform Is That Yo Bitch? 
  14. Season’s Greetings From "Saturday Night Live" wasn’t a repeat in that it wasn’t pre-recorded but Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan returned to the stage to re-perform the song I Wish It Was Christmas Today that originally aired last week.
  15. Finally, Lucy Liu closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Though this was far from my favorite episode, it still had its moments, like these which turned out to be my three favorites of the night. First, I loved the Christmas Ornaments sketch not really because it was funny but because it was Toy Story-style adorable. Next, I really liked the debut of Jarrett's Room because I like whenever Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz get a chance to goof off together in a sketch. Finally, I was a fan of the Re-Performance Of I Wish It Was Christmas Today because it cracked me up how they redid a bit from the week before without changing a single thing other than their clothes.

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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.