SNL: S32E20... HOST: ZACH BRAFF... DATE: MAY 19, 2007

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A Scrub Of A Season Finale

 

Scrubs might have been one of the last few sit-coms that I watch on a somewhat regular basis, or at least it was heavily syndicated while I was still using broadcast TV for random entertainment instead of turning to YouTube or various services that stream. I was also a fan of Zach Braff in his movie Garden State because I love mopey male pseudo-indie movies. Even though these movies seem cheesy to others, they’re actually relatable to me as a mopey male with manic pixie girl dreams.

I don’t know why I’m supposed to feel guilty about buying into this fantasy when I see it as the male equivalent to the traditional young girl fantasy to find their Prince Charming. It’s almost like there’s a lose/lose situation where you write about alpha males, and there’s a problem while at the same time writing about hopeless romantics leads to issues as well.

I get the deeper point that male writers aren’t the best at developing their female characters, but that’s just because a writers baseline perspective is through their own eyes so none of us, male or female, black or white, get any perspective other than our own one-hundred-percent correct. Especially when we are taught not to stray too far away from already established character types to appeal to a broader audience, which I feel is the real reason that writing can end up seeming generic in many areas.

All of that aside, I had mixed feelings going into this viewing because I felt like Zach Braff has the potential to be fun but also has the potential to be the next Topher Grace, who I’ve loved in many of his projects but found him to be too dry while hosting Saturday Night Live. Thankfully, Zach had more of an outgoing charm and eased my concerns from the very start of the show. To me, it felt like Zach was genuinely honest during the monolog where he claimed to be a lifelong fan of the show, which once again, may have saved several sketches from getting a bit boring.

As much as I liked Zach as host, aside from his energy, this was just another average night and nowhere near what I would have expected from a season finale, which I’ve finally given up expecting to be more of a special event. So I guess tonight actually did end up being exactly what I expected but still think that sight unseen, Molly Shannon would have made for a much better season closing host.

Oh well, that didn’t happen, which is fine because even with my claims of average entertainment Braff’s energy alone made it so the views with just fine no matter how this review makes it sound. Keep in mind, that I’ve grown to be a bit jaded by life so average can be outstanding to me as long as it fills the time. With all of that said, it’s now time to shift gears to share what I saw, and in order to do so, I now give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From The President Of The United States where once again, Jason Sudeikis played George W. Bush to address the nation this time to announce his plans to go on vacation and leave Maya Rudolph, as Condoleezza Rice in charge while he is gone. Not only did he announce his upcoming vacation, he also gave a progress report to show why he deserved the time off.  To do so, he used many of his flawed outcomes as evidence that he was doing something right, like how people claimed that we were only in Iraq to bring down the price of gas to American consumers, pointing out that this was a lie with oil prices reaching an all-time high around this time. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Zach Braff then officially opened the show with a monolog about how honored he was to host the season finale. This then got him talking about how he was raised nearby which led him to sing a New Jersey State Of Mind which he dedicated to his home state of New Jersey. He also sprinkled in a few fun facts about his home state as he took mini-breaks throughout the song.

  3. We then got another SNL Digital Short called Dog Love where Andy Samberg played a man looking into a room for rent only to find himself being seduced into some “Dog Love” by his potential new roommate, Zach Braff and his furry pal whose voice was played by Bill Hader.

  4. Prom Committee Meeting had Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph as two snobby committee leaders who shut down every outsider’s idea for the prom’s potential theme that were being thrown out by their less-than-demure classmates.

  5. Deep House Dish then returned for more of Kenan Thompson and Andy Samberg as two MTV-4 V.J.s who introduced more hip-hop and house acts to their deep cable watching fans.

  6. TV Funhouse then gave us a cartoon called Decision ’08: Spring ’07 Cleaning in which various Democratic and Republican presidential contenders came clean with the dirtiest secrets while on a visit to Oprah.

  7. The Weight had Zach Braff, Bill Hader, Will Forte, and Jason Sudeikis as four buddies in a bar who each get spurned by memories of increasingly unusual life-changing events, as they sang along to the song The Weight when it came up as the song on the jukebox.

  8. Maroon 5 then took to the stage to perform Makes Me Wonder.

  9. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Kristen Wiig returned as Amy Poehler’s crazy aunt to give more of her one-word movies reviews. Fred Armisen then played Sam Waterson to share how he took offense to a joke about NBC’s renewal of Law & Order. Finally, Maya Rudolph wrapped things up as Whitney Houston who made a surprise visit where all that she did was ramble incoherently about Bobby Brown.

  10. La Revista Della Televisione brought back Bill Hader as the fast-talking Italian TV host who this time interviewed Zach Braff as himself, who struggled throughout the entire interview because he couldn’t speak or understand a word of the foreign language.

  11. Bronx Beat With Betty And Jodi then returned with Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph as the Bronx-based public access hosts who chatter their way through their interviews, this time with their guest being Zach Braff as one of the public access broadcaster’s interns.

  12. Maroon 5 then returned to the stage to perform Won't Go Home Without You.

  13. Melissa, The Receptionist, had Fred Armisen as the titular receptionist who had Bill Hader as her boss in order to hit on Zach Braff who was waiting for an important meeting.

  14. Finally, Zach Braff closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though this wasn’t the best of the season finales I’ve seen, leading me to say it was average, it was actually still rather good thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved The Weight sketch because just like the last sketch from this series, I couldn’t help but sing along with the four buds hanging out at the bar. Next, I really liked this week’s installment of La Revista Della Televisione because unlike every other week where they just play off the language barrier, I liked how this edition got a little more twisted and dark towards the end. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s Bronx Beat With Betty And Jodi even though it’s also a series that I don’t usually like but with Zach Braff playing an intern there was a lot of shop talk that reminded me of my days working in film and television which only added to the appeal.

 
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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.