Desperate Writing Staff
It's amazing how often my favorite episode of the season is followed by, what turns out to be, the worst show of the year. Just yesterday, I was not only excited to see five solid shows in a row, I was extra pleased by the fact that Jason Lee seemed like he brought back a bit of missing edginess to the overall show. Though this led to low hopes that tonight's episode would be able to top last night's, I was still expecting for this viewing to be a lot more fun.
First off, Eva Longoria is one of the rare hosts up to this point where I only really know her name, having seen absolutely none of her work. To add to the unfamiliarity, Eva started to come into fame around the time that I started to lose my interest in late night talk shows. Where these talk show visits used to help me with my awareness of all celebrity hosts, whether or not I was aware of any of their work, from this point on I will have a lot more blind spots when it comes to the hosts.
This unfamiliarity wasn't a problem on its own but, it didn't help that three of the sketches that made up the night all made reference to Eva's show Desperate Housewives. Even when I am aware of the host work, I don't like repetitive references within one show, unless it's a running gag that lasts all throughout the night. If these three repetitive sketches weren't enough, tonight's episode had TWO repeated ad from earlier in the year, keeping in my we're only six episodes into the season.
I really wish those were my only complaints but as I also point out throughout the past couple of reviews, while watching the show daily, I'm really burnt out on the fact that the show now mainly opens with a parody of the news. Of course, this was the case tonight as well, but even worse, it was the third show in a row that opened with the same Q&A sketch concept where the biggest difference was the location and who the questions were coming from.
It was then up to the monolog to win me back but all of those jokes were focused on Eva's show Desperate Housewives. Not that I blame them, considering it's the show she was there to promote but this intro was quick and was then followed by our first rerun commercial. You'd think that with this week of a build up, the first non-opening/non-monolog/non-fake ad sketch of the night would be the funniest sketch of the night?
The next sketch was an award show parody, which is a genre of sketch that can be fun but more often than not, just like tonight, they can feel like filler while giving cast members to trying out random impression. The sketch that followed was almost the same, only instead of it being an award show, it was a music talk show that also felt like filler while giving the cast member a chance to try and impersonate people who sing and was followed by the second rerun ad and we're not even halfway through the show.
The rest of the night was just as disappointing, with the remaining two Desperate Housewives sketches, more filler that was filled with impersonations that barely made an attempt to tell a story, and the newly named Needlers which is a series of sketches that I have yet to enjoy. With all of this said, I don't feel I would have hated most of these sketches on their own but as a collection of segments to make up a night, this was the first time in a while where I just wanted the episode to be over.
Thankfully, the next several hosts are all comedic-actors/actresses and this isn't the start of a string of non-comedic talent on the same level of Eva Longoria, just like last season that was filled with actors who weren't known for their humor at all. In fact, I have no concerns until six episode from now but this confidence streak only ends because I'm unfamiliar with the work of Peter Sarsgaard making me unsure of his ability to generate any laughs.
Oh well, we'll see what happens but until then, it's now time for me to switch gears in order to wrap up this review, and to do so, I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with another parody of Fox News Special Report with Darrell Hammond as Brit Hume that continued the trend of starting the show of this season when Hume through to another Q&A session on the Iraq war, and other White House scandals, this time while on a trip to China. I probably wouldn't be as annoyed by this if it was still relevant and spread out over weeks, but these running political commentaries can get old much quicker when it happens several days in a row. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York...”
Eva Longoria then officially opened the show with a monolog about her role on Desperate Housewives and then went on to make a couple more jokes that referenced her hit show before introducing the voice of Kristin Wiig as the narrator of Desperate House to the voice of Don Pardo because she thought they would hit it off. As someone who's never seen a second of the show, aside from Don Pardo's involvement, I didn't get, and/or care about a bulk of these jokes
This was followed by a repeat of the Totally Rad Smoke Detector 3000 commercial from earlier in the season which was a smoke detector that played '80s pop hits instead of a siren.
The Spammies allowed our host and the cast to impersonate random celebrities and scum for this award show devoted to the best of the best of distributors of junk e-mail.
Deep House Dish had Kenan Thompson as DJ Dynasty Handbag who mocked the dullness of his hipster co-star, played by Rachel Dratch, while the two introduced new hip-hop and house music stars to the audience of an MTV 4 event.
We then got a repeat of the Morgan Stanley commercial from earlier in the season where Will Forte played an investment banker who yelled at Amy Poehler for wasting money by not studying because his client/her dad was too timid to criticize his daughter himself
The Needlers turned out to be the new name of “The Couple Who Should Get A Divorce” series, that I have yet to enjoy. This time Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler were fighting at a college reunion, where the two ended up making out after a having a run in with Eva Longoria who was an ex of Seth's and was now a marriage counselor who tried to help. Of course, this doesn't go well because it makes Amy jealous, which only add to the passion of their make up sex session that went down in the coatroom.
Variety Vault then shared a “lost television show” that for the first time wasn't the Hee-Haw meets Laugh-In sketch but instead was a Thanksgiving special hosted by Vincent Price. Price's guests for this special were Darrell Hammond as Clark Gable, Horatio Sanz as Alfred Hitchcock, Kristen Wiig as a drunken Judy Garland, Fred Armisen as Ricky Ricardo and Eva Longoria as Lucille Ball.
Korn then took to the stage to perform Twisted Transistor.
Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gave us the news. This week, Rachel Dratch checked in via satellite as Ohio Republican Jean Schmidt only to get booed out of the House Of Representatives while trying to retract a scandalous remark the real Schmidt made during a recent address to the House. Fred Armisen also stopped by as Steve Jobs to share the tiniest of iPods that hold more and more songs as the shrink.
What Really Happened at the Vanity Fair Photo Shoot was a sketch where, as the title suggests, Eva Longoria along the female members of the cast impersonated to women of Desperate Housewives so reenact the chaos that took place during a photo shoot for Vanity Fair that jokingly confirmed all of the behind the scenes feuds that the tabloids were talking about at this time.
Trapped In The Closet Two had Finesse Mitchell as R. Kelly for a reality show spoof follow up to Kelly's epic, multi-segmented song/music video. The only problem with this sketch is, though it's sort of fun, the original is so over-the-top that this parody felt like the more reasonable of the two.
We then got a fake ad for an album featuring a German family quartet called The Englehart Five where a majority of their songs focused on the negligent homicide of their fifth sibling named, Klaus.
Korn then returned to the stage to perform Freak On a Leash.
Eva Longoria then pitched a pill called Firmium that she claimed to use to prevent any potentially embarrassing diarrhea outbreaks while on the set of Desperate Housewives.
Finally, Eva Longoria closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.
Unfortunately, tonight's episode ended a pretty solid streak but thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments the viewing wasn't a complete bore. First, I loved Vincent Price Thanksgiving Special 1958 but more because I liked the people being impersonated than really liking the sketch. Next, I really liked the fake ad for The Englehart Five album because I felt the joyful German singing was kind of funny considering all of the songs focused on the story of a missing kid. Finally, I was a fan of Trapped In The Closet Two, but again because I find the reference material funny and not that I really liked the sketch.