SNL: S35E06... HOST: JANUARY JONES... DATE: NOVEMBER 14, 2009

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Did I Just Watch The Dressed Rehearsal?

 

I really hope this turns out to be a good episode, but I have my fears because, of the hosts who I’ve known little about, I don’t even have a story that loosely has to do with January Jones. To make things worse, I actually watched her weekly when I was still keeping up with The Last Man On Earth and still feel like I know nothing about her. I think this is due to the fact that, at least in the early episodes, her character was more to facilitate the joke of her hooking with the balding old fat guy even though she’s way out of his league. This is why I somewhat fear that she will get the hot host treatment for tonight's episode, even though I really hope that is not the case.

With that, I’ve got nothing left to say for my intro, so let's just get into the real-time viewing experience. Though I appreciate the silliness level of this week’s political opening sketch, I wasn't entertained because it just reminds me just how long there’s been a lot of talk about health care and yet here we are still dealing with the same exact discussion with nothing being done about the issue. I was unimpressed with January Jones’s opening monolog where she was clearly reading her lines as if it were a dressed rehearsal and had the cast jump in to provide the funny before she could get out a single joke, which created concerns about the rest of the night.

I’ve never been a fan of the Today parodies, so I wasn’t excited to see it as the first official non-opening sketch. January’s delivery during her two seconds that she was involved in the scene was just as bad as her intro. She tripped over a couple lines even though she only had four or five. It was fun to see the Black Eyed Peas get involved because I do love when the musical guests get a chance to play along.

I was excited to see the Rear Window parody because I that’s one of my favorite Hitchcock movies. Right away I noticed January’s acting was ten times better than she’s been throughout the rest of the night, only the fart joke was super lame, and this is coming from someone who still laughs at this sort of stuff. I take that back, her acting was great during the first half, but then for the second half she would smile and laugh as if she was just having a good time hanging around and not actually treating it like a legitimate scene.

Like with the today sketch, I’ve never been a fan of Kristen Wiig’s reporter character who flirts with the women she interviews while reporting from crime scenes. This installment was more of the same, and again, January Jones mainly stood there and smiled while she was supposed to be looking uncomfortable. I liked the ‘50s style educational film because it was fitting for January Jones’s reading/acting skills that I’ve seen throughout the night.

Black Eyed Peas are a group that I like for novelty reason, so it was fun to see their first performance. The first half of the show has been so disappointing that I was a bit zoned out for the news and none of the guests really caught my attention, that is until Jon Bovi made their triumphant return. As someone who is bipolar, I’ve always loved the story of Jekyll and Hyde, so I was interested to see the parody of the classic tale that followed, but like with every other sketch from the night, the idea was more interesting than the delivery. At the same time, January Jones is much better in these sketches that take place in black and white days because it just seems a better fit for her acting.

The SNL Digital Short with Fred Armisen walking in on his roommate Andy Samberg sitting on the toilet no matter what room he entered was fun, and I probably would have liked it more if I wasn’t somewhere else in my head from being bored by this episode. The second Black Eyed Peas song wasn’t one of their big songs and wasn’t even a high tempo one that usually makes them pretty fun. I was hoping the final sketch would be one of those sentimental, cute ones to end the night, but instead, it was just our host and Jason Sudeikis as two talking heads with January continuing to smile and laugh through her lines as if this were a rehearsal. I was happy to find the next segment was the goodnights. I was excited to see the Black Eyed Peas return to perform Boom Boom Pow, but their tempo live compared to the speed of their songs on the radio sort of made it seem like a rehearsal as well.

So, this turned out to be the night unmemorable night that I feared, but at least it wasn’t a hot host episode of old where January Jones would have been groped in every other scene. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but even though I didn’t like tonight’s episode, it didn’t leave me feeling upset by how bad it was. At least the extra bad shows that get me mad, they’re memorable, where I’ll forget what I just watch the second I publish this post.

With that said, it’s now time to move forward to get to the point, so let’s dig into the details as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From The Vice-President Of The United States where, once again, Jason Sudeikis as Joe Biden stole President Obama’s seat in The Oval Office while he was out of the country on another one of his tours. While pretending to be the leader of the “free world” Biden thought he would use this opportunity to quickly solve the Health Care dilemma which mainly involved caving in to anything that would get the right to agree just to accomplish something. With this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. January Jones then officially opened the show with a monolog where she struggled to read through a description of her show Mad Men. She was then quickly interrupted by a bunch of cast member dressed as Mad Men fans who shared that they referred to themselves and Mad Mennies and dressed just like the Mad Men cast.

  3. This was followed by another parody of Today with more of the same only this time Hoda was played by Jenny Slate. Kristen Wiig continued to play Kathy Lee who was assaulted by tonight’s musical guest The Black Eyed Peas as she sang one of her atrocious songs while they were waiting backstage in the green room.

  4. We then went behind-the-scenes for the making of Rear Window where January Jones was on set to shoot her very first scene as Grace Kelly with Jason Sudeikis in the Jimmy Stewart role and Bobby Moynihan directing as Alfred Hitchcock. This was supposed to be a pretty intense scene only Grace Kelly kept ruining each take because she just could not stop farting.

  5. WIIX News brought back Kristen Wiig’s recently divorced reporter character who flirts with her female interviewee while reporting from the scene. There was nothing new with this installment other than the interviewee in question was January Jones.

  6. A Lady's Guide To Throwing A Party was a parody of an informative short film from 1952 where January Jones played a housewife who demonstrated the proper party-throwing etiquette to make her husband, Bill Hader, look good in front of his friends.

  7. Black Eyed Peas then took to the stage to perform I Gotta Feeling.

  8. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Darrell Hammond dropped in as Lou Dobbs to use racist remarks while attempting to explain why he was leaving CNN. Nasim Pedrad then stopped by as Kim Kardashian but only talked about herself when she was supposed to be discussing her sister Khloe’s celebrity-studded wedding. Jon Bovi the returned to sing their commentary on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Clip 2) (Clip 3)

  9. This was followed by a parody of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde where Bill Hader as Dr. Jekyll made a desperate plead for funding for him to create his serum that reluctantly turned him into a gay Mr. Hyde.

  10. We then got another SNL Digital Short where Fred Armisen played a guy who walked in on his roommate Andy Samberg sitting on the toilet, no matter what room in the house, or even outside of the house, he entered.

  11. Black Eyed Peas then returned to the stage to perform Meet Me Halfway.

  12. Cloud Gazing had Jason Sudeikis and January Jones as a couple in the park staring up and pointing out what they see in the clouds. Though Sudeikis attempts to be romantic and point out the most beautiful things, it turns out that Jones has no imagination at all and see nothing but the literal clouds.

  13. Finally, January Jones closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights before throwing to the Black Eyed Peas who finished things off with a performance of Boom Boom Pow.

Though I didn’t think there were any great moments that blew me away, these three sketches that contained my favorite moments of the night kept this viewing from being a chore. First, I loved A Lady's Guide To Throwing A Party because it was the only sketch of the night where January Jones seemed like she was actually performing and not walking through a rehearsal. Next, I really liked the Cloud Gazing sketch because it felt like an inside joke from the writers about how hard it was to write for their host but didn’t mind trying because she is so cute. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s SNL Digital Short because it took me back to my days living with roommates.

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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.