SNL: S36E03... HOST: JANE LYNCH... DATE: OCTOBER 9, 2010

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or...

Gleeful Evidence That This Season

Could Still Be Good!!!

 

As I said back when Taylor Swift was a host, I’m kind of obsessed with tall women in Hollywood. Not in a fetish way, or anything sexual at all, I’m just six foot four, so I love how these tall women highlight just how short most celebrities are. Yeah, it’s fun to see a tall guy tower over a tiny tough guy who’s out promoting himself as a badass in the next action film, but being tall myself, I’m used to seeing that type of height gap that it makes it harder to guess all the heights involved. I’m not going to lie, but height is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of tonight’s host.

When I first saw Jane Lynch in 40-Year-Old-Virgin, my initial thought was, “What, they couldn’t get Allison Janney?” Yes, this connection was merely height-based partially because of the reasons mentioned above, but I also have always loved Janney for her involvement in Private Parts and even more for her role in Drop Dead Gorgeous. Either way, it was just a joke, and I was a Jane Lynch fan by the end of the film.

Though I’ve never seen her in Glee, I always enjoy seeing Jane Lynch pop-up whenever she ends up in obscure comedies. She even in my favorite under-appreciated comedy call Adventures Of Power where Ari Gold plays a character who is obsessed with Rush as well as air drumming, that builds up to a colossal air drumming event. I figure, since our host can hold her own in these types of films, she’ll have no problem hosting the show, that is, unless they underutilize as much as they’ve done with the rest of the host from what I’ve seen this year.

I’m hoping the first two episode were flukes because aside from my issues with the show’s host usage so far, I’m loving the energy from this configuration of Not Ready For Prime Time Players. We’ll see how things go as I share how my real-time viewing plays out. As usual, the fact that the opening sketch is usually and understandably the most current of the current event references to start out this live program, said fresh reference didn’t age well enough to keep my attention mainly due to the passing of time.

Just yesterday I pointed out how the show often they have the host sing by default when they struggle to write them a monolog, but considering the fact that Jane Lynch is on to promote the musical show Glee, her singing made sense and didn’t feel like a cheat. Not only was her singing fun but she was good at delivering her jokes as well, the first one being toward people like me who instantly notice her height, but I blame that on the fact that height is also the first thing people see in me.

I liked the fake ad for a Facebook filter because it’s interesting how the show went from having zero social media material and this first full-blown Facebook-themed sketch, where all it would take is a couple tweaks to make it just as relevant today. I’ve never seen anything from Glee, so I don’t think I caught several references that got the audience laughing, but I loved this sketch the second that Gilly joined the scene because I love this Kristen Wiig character.

Coming from a dysfunctional family, I liked The New Boyfriend Talk Show the Andy Samberg played a kid who interviewed his mom's new boyfriends from the breakfast table. Not really because I related since my mom pretty much stuck to one scum bag, but I do like the way that the sketch treated the kid like he saw this as his normal life, allowing him to still act like a little kid. I also appreciated that it never turned too dark even though it very easily could have.

I’m a fan of the jokes about the Delaware Senate candidate who won her spot despite the fact that she claimed that she used to be a witch which made the Republican Party uneasy, because I lived in Delaware for a year in my early twenties, and I enjoy hearing tales of the state’s weirdness.

I’ve still yet to be won over by the Secret Word series of sketches. I think this is mainly because it’s not based on a real old-timey game show referencing real old-timey celebrities, which is a genre of sketch that I typically love. I guess I just don’t know why they didn’t make this a Password parody, and even if they kept Kristen Wiig’s character fictional, the host could’ve impersonated an actual ‘70s star. That said, it’s a fine enough sketch, I just don’t love it.

I did love the SNL Digital Short that followed because there once was a time where I was so desperate for help that I attempted hypnotherapy, and I would have preferred this over the session I had where I could never focus because of the neighbor’s ever-barking dog. At least it would have led to a more interesting story to tell. Sticking with the topic of love, I loved Jay Pharoah’s impersonation’s that he’s given so far, and I know that he nails them all down in the future, but I wasn’t loving his Denzel impersonation because at times it felt like he was impersonating Chris Rock impersonating Denzel which kept taking me out of the world.

Though there was never a point where I was an explicit Bruno Mars fan where I would actively seek out his music, I’ve liked pretty much everything that I’ve heard from him, so I enjoyed his first performance. The news was the news and just like I said of the opening sketch, it was another night where the current events of the time may have been funny references at the time but felt pretty blah, while watching through modern eyes. The same thing goes for the Suzy Orman parody that followed, but at least Jane Lynch’s involvement had me liking this installment more than I usually do.

Being that I don’t care about football or country music, I wasn’t really looking forward to the next sketch. More because I often miss the more subtle references that get the live audience to burst out in laughter when I didn’t even see the joke, than being too closed minded to enjoy a sketch outside of my areas of interest. In this case, there was no real reference to miss or get, I just didn’t find the sketch to be all that funny. Which is too bad, considering all that’s left is the second Bruno Mars song, that was good, and one last fake commercial to end the night.

Though the fake commercial mentioned above was funny, I hate how they’re now using these fake ads to at the shows instead of ending the show with a bang that might make the show as a whole more memorable. That’s not to say that it ruined this episode, because, by the time Jane Lynch said her goodnights, I had talked myself into committing this as being my favorite of the three episode from this year.

Amy Poehler’s episode may have been just a little more exciting because of all of the cameos and special guests, but tonight was an excellent show based on the merits of the host alone which I feel earns Jane Lynch a couple of bonus points. In fact, tonight’s episode negated my concerns for this season that I’ve shared over the last couple reviews. Well, at least it has me prepared for the types of ups and the types of downs to look forward to because I’ve noticed that most seasons are pretty consistent when it comes to the types of flaws they tend to fall into. With that, let’s dig deeper into the details of what made this episode so watchable, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a sketch called Ask Gloria Allred where Nasim Pedrad portrayed Attorney Allred to answer vicious questions to critiqued her seemingly desperate need to always be in the spotlight by taking on any controversial case as long as they were highly publicized. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, this all built up to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Jane Lynch then officially opened the show with a monolog about her involvement of Glee and how even though she loved to work with the ensemble cast, she wanted some time to sing by herself in the spotlight. She then switched gears to perform a self-written, ego-driven version of a Glee theme song that she pitched to the show.

  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Damn It, My Mom Is On Facebook Filter which was a Facebook filter that made users’ walls more parent-friendly for those people who want to post freely without any concerns of their social media fun getting back to their moms.

  4. We then got a parody of Glee where Jane Lynch player her character from the real show to introduce the Glee Club to the newest member, Kristen Wiig’s character Gilly who went on to perform her brand of pranks that would more appropriately be considered an assault, if not attempted murder.

  5. The New Boyfriend Talk Show was an interview show that took place in a kitchen, hosted by Andy Samberg as a boy named Zack. Zack had Jane Lynch as his skanky mom/sidekick as he interviewed Jason Sudeikis as her most recent scumbag of a boyfriend. All this while having breakfast to celebrate the shows one-hundredth episode, meaning this was the one-hundredth time Zack interviewed his mother’s morning after friends.

  6. Coven To Elect Christine O'Donnell followed the continuing campaign of the Republican Senate hopeful from Delaware as she backpaddled about her previous claims that she used to practice witchcraft. Meanwhile, throughout the entire political ad, there was evidence that showed the opposite.

  7. Secret Word then returned for another installment of the fictional game show that’s similar to the old Password game show, but the old-timey celebrity guests are too full of themselves and out of it to be able to figure out how the game works.

  8. We then got another SNL Digital Short called Relaxation Therapy where Jane Lynch played a therapist who kept inserting herself into her patient, Andy Samberg’s prescribed plans to relax in order to fit in a little Relaxation Therapy for herself.

  9. Returns And Exchanges had Jay Pharoah as Denzel Washington who worked at the returns counter for a department store to prepare for an upcoming role.

  10. Bruno Mars then took to the stage to perform Just The Way You Are.

  11. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Andy Samberg dropped by as Mark Zuckerburg to admit that his impetus for creating Facebook was simply to meet more girls. Fred Armisen also stopped by as a travel adviser for Mexico, who loved to talk up the beaches and beauties of his country, only to act like he didn’t speak English whenever the topic of drug-related violence would come up. (Clip 2) (Clip 3)

  12. This was followed by another parody of The Suze Orman Show where Jane Lynch played Kristen Wiig as Suze’s ex-roommate/lesbian lover who looked like she could be her twin, and the two went on to fight over whether or not Lynch’s character was still gay since she showed all the signs while claiming she wasn’t.

  13. Sunday Night Football had Jane Lynch as Faith Hill who sang the Sunday evenings sports show’s new, never-ending theme song that went on so long it almost caused Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader as Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth to miss the entire game.

  14. Bruno Mars then returned to the stage to perform Grenade.

  15. We then got a fake ad for Tax Masters where Jason Sudeikis played the pitchman who was forced to film the company’s commercial from an angle that allowed the director to hide Fred Armisen who play a tiny conjoined twin who and was pretty much just a head growing out of Sudeikis’s head.

  16. Finally, Jane Lynch closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Though I had a few minor issues with this episode, I’d be pleased as punch if every episode from this season were at least this good with help from sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Glee Meets Gilly because it was a perfect meeting of worlds between the work that our host is known for and a character from Saturday Night Live, which they don’t seem to do all that much anymore. Next, I really liked The New Boyfriend Talk Show because I thought it was an adorable sketch that dealt with a touchy subject in a fun enough way that it didn’t end feeling like a bummer. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s SNL Digital Short: Relaxation Therapy because it brought back a funny memory from a scam of a hypnotherapy session that I once signed up for and attended only to see zero benefits and was not hypnotized at all.

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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.