SNL: S30E20... HOST: LINDSAY LOHAN... DATE: MAY 21, 2005

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or...

An Underwhelming Send-Off

To An Underwhelming Year

 

Even when I started to watch this season, back when I still had high hopes for this year, I thought it was strange that they opted to have Lindsay Lohan as the finale host with Will Ferrell hosting just one week behind. It would be one thing if they had special plans for our second-time host to close out the year with an extravagant event, but once again, we ended up with another average episode to send us into the summer vacation.

I know I say this almost every year but, I'm still surprised by the fact that I'm this late into the SNL archives and they have still yet to make the finale a special event. I thought for sure that this would be the year, considering how the opening show felt more like what I would expect from a season premiere, a night filled with cameos from alumni and stars connected to the show. Then again, the premieres have a much rangier when it comes to how special they feel but that usually depends on the quality of the host.

Where the premiers have been rangy, the finales have been pretty consistently average, often times feeling like the writers are clearing out their surplus material. Another sign that I thought this season would break the mold was how the holiday episodes seemed more themed than usual. Up to this point, if the show were to land on a holiday weekend, they might mention the celebratory day during the monolog, maybe once during the news, and, at best, the day would be honored with maybe one special sketch.

This makes sense because even though these holiday references are highly relevant on the day, I could see how the specificity could make it hard for syndication when schedules the dates when the episodes will replay. That said, if this is the case, why even mention the days at all. Either way, this season seemed to have way more themed episodes than any season in the past which led me to think that the season finale would also follow this pattern.

Instead, we just got another average episode for this year, that was perfectly fine to watch but other than the above ramblings about finale shows in general, the actual episode didn't inspire any insights to write about. It didn't help that the show start right off with another filler Hardball routine, that I just praising yesterday's episode for avoiding, and also feature a repeated fake ad and installments for both TV Funhouse and Bear City.

Though I love both TV Funhouse and Bear City, I'm not a huge fan of there being more than one non-cast-starred prerecorded bit per episode because it adds to the filler feeling. So, we have the Hardball that felt like filler because it's such a go-to opening sketch, a repeated ad, which is filler by default, and these two prerecorded segments with no sign of the cast. To add to that, the Appalachian Emergency Room sketch, The Prince Talk Show and Chris Parnell acting like a perv all have the potential to be funny, but even at their best, these three reoccurring sketches can be extremely repetitive, which was the case tonight.

With all of that said, I still stand by my belief that I would have taken very little work to take this season from average to good because the parts were all there it's just that something was a little off. Since they were so close to hitting the target, and most cast members are coming back, I'm very excited for tomorrow where I will see what the next season has to offer.

We'll have to wait to see what happens. Until then, let me wrap this thing up by sharing what I saw, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with another parody of Hardball where once again Darrell Hammond played Chris Matthews in order to badger his guest. This time the topic was the fallout that The New York Post and Newsweek received for publishing the Saddam Hussein underwear photos following his capture, as well as other false facts that left people thinking that the media might have gone too far. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York...”
  2. Lindsay Lohan then officially opened the show with a monolog where, after showing off her new dyed blonde look, our host went on about being blonde actually is more fun and then went on to share some examples of her party girl life. Before she could get too far, our host was interrupted but Amy Poehler who played a party haggard Ghost Of Lindsay Future to suggest a less outgoing new image in an effort to avoid this burnout of an outcome. Though it was set up for us to assume that this future Lindsay was from the distant future, we found by the end of the bit that that this haggard version of our host was only two years away.
  3. This was followed by a repeat of the Woomba commercial from earlier in the season which was a Roomba designed to automatically take care of that “not so fresh feeling” of its female users.
  4. This was followed by a parody of America's Next Top Model where Amy Poehler's one-legged character, Ratch Dratch as a punk with a mohawk who was overconfident simply because of her hair, and a low self-esteem having Lindsay Lohan competed for the Top Model Title. The sketch was also interrupted by a fake commercial for a fake reality show called Chaotic starring Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers as Britney Spears and Kevin Federline who shared their shut-in wackiness with the world. When we came back from the fake commercial, Lindsay Lohan was announced as the winner of this years ANTM cycle of the show which led Poehler to storm/hop off the set, farting all of the way.
  5. New Park Cinema had Lindsay Lohan, Seth Meyers, Rob Riggle, Will Forte, Fred Armisen as a bunch of Star Wars nerds who had to sit through the movie Monster-In-Law after discovering that all of the tickets for the latest Star Wars flick were sold out for the day. The main joke being that these costume-clad fans ruined Monster-In-Law for all of the legitimate chick flick fans who were there to watch it as their first choice.
  6. TV Funhouse then gave us a cartoon called the Divertor about a Republican superhero whose superpower was to divert the issues created by the GOP by sabotaging the public lives of minor-league celebrities in the party's attempt to hold on to their control.
  7. We then got another installment of Appalachian Emergency Room where once again, the host and the cast made fun of Hillbilly antics that would lead to the type of injuries that would send a yokel to the emergency room.
  8. Coldplay then took to the stage to perform Speed Of Sound.
  9. Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gave us the news. This week, Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch dropped by as two lesbians who recounted their extremely average lives now that it's been a full year since gay marriage was legal in Massachusetts and they were celebrating their first anniversary. Fred Armisen also stopped by as Mexican President Vicente Fox to apologize to Kenan Thompson as Al Sharpton, for a statement he made where he claimed that his people took jobs in America that not even a black person would want. After the apology, everyone at the news desk made light of the situation by sharing their favorite racist jokes.
  10. The Prince Show also returned for another installment with Fred Armisen as Prince and Maya Rudolph as his quirky sidekick Beyonce. This week, the two were weird with Will Forte and Lindsay Lohan as Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson who were weird enough on their own. To add to the quirkiness, Kenan Thompson also dropped in as Wanda Sykes who had an allergy attack right in the middle of her stand-up routine.
  11. We then went to Little Italy where, to get back at her mafia boss of a boyfriend, Horatio Sanz, for opting to hang out with his friends, Lindsay Lohan trashed his gangster hideout while everyone in the scene made fun of mob cliches while talking in exaggerated New York/Italian accents.
  12. Coldplay then returned to the stage to perform Fix You.
  13. The Babysitter had Chris Parnell in the creep role once again, this time to hit on his kid's babysitter, Lindsay Lohan, while bashing his wife Maya Rudolph during the car ride to take Lindsay home.
  14. Bear City also got another segment tonight where this time we saw a teenage bear who tried to sneak peeks at his father's pornography while his mother left for the store. Unfortunately, this alone time didn't last long as mamma bear forgot her grocery list only to reenter the house to create an embarrassing situation for the both of them.
  15. Finally, Lindsay Lohan closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

This turned out to be another night of averageness to represent this year that was still pretty fun for the watching thanks to these three sketches that contained my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the New Park Cinema because there is nothing funnier to me than people doing cosplay out of context, and this collection of Star Wars nerds kept cracking me up. Next, I really liked the TV Funhouse: Divertor sketch because it's another example of a Robert Smigel sketch where all it would take is a couple of character changes for this to be completely relevant today. Finally, I was a fan of Little Italy because I always like a sketch where the host gets to trash the set.

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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.