SNL: S36E04... HOST: EMMA STONE... DATE: OCTOBER 23, 2010

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A couple weeks ago, in my review for Tina Fey’s last episode, I shared how I think that I might be someone who’s high-functioning but on the autistic spectrum since I struggle with social interactions and navigating the existence unmasked. I shared how television and talk radio helped me to develop the masks that I wear and the courage to even attempt to take part in any conversation, even if my role was always as the comic relief because of my taste in what’s just supposed to be entertainment and not a child-rearing tool.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that television was influential enough to do my thinking for me, but it definitely helped me figure out how to express myself by mimicking an amalgamation of the personalities that were appealing to me since I didn’t have much other guidance. As I’ve also shared many times, I spent most of my childhood alone in my bedroom to avoid all the chaos taking place throughout the rest of the house. When I was out an about hanging out with the family, I was on constant watch for signs for what would cause our nightly argument to break out.

I know that say that people on the spectrum have trouble reading facial expressions and body language. In my case, I feel like I got so good at reading negative signs and signs of aggression that I grew blind to the signs of positivity and love. Even to this day, all that it takes is the furrowing of a brow during a conversation to turn me into a stuttering mess who thinks that I’m being judged or disrespected when really I could have just piqued the person’s interest in what I just said. It doesn’t help that my dumb mouth is unable to articulate the thoughts in my, at least, average head.

Then again, other time I entirely depend on mimicking others facial expression since I can’t read them in my own head, so making the same expression myself helps me to figure it out. I learned this when I read a book about self-hypnotism that had a section of hypnotizing others where they suggested this type of mimicking is supposed to induce comfort and trust in others, only I realized that I did this subconsciously in an effort to comfort myself.

Soon after making this connection, I also started to notice that this expression mimicking was why I always like reaction videos on the internet so much and watch the reactors more than the videos themselves. Finally, this leads to how all the nonsense above relates to my connection with tonight’s host, Emma Stone. Not only do I think that her big eyes make her super attractive but her highly expressive face is easier to read, accurate or not, making a comedy even lighter with her smile, and a drama a rollercoaster ride as I attempt to relate to the emotions in my efforts to feel more human and create a more realistic sense of humanity to my writing. Whether I’m able to accomplish that goal or not.

I’m not fully sure why I feel the need to share these types of things, but here we are. I’ll delve deeper into my views on our host’s actual career when she returns next year. Until then, it’s now time to shift gears and see how things play out during tonight’s real-time viewing. I’m willing to bet that unless this is your first time reading my SNL reviews, you know exactly where I stand when it comes to the opening political sketch. Tonight, it didn’t help that Paul Brittain is such a stranger to me that it felt even more like a legitimate political address and not a funny sketch at all.

I liked Emma Stone’s opening monolog that highlighted how nerds seem to love her because of her involvement with nerds in most of her films, which could be another reason that I am such a fan. That, and/or, maybe most nerds love her for the same reason I mentioned above because it seems to be that being a bit on the spectrum is common amongst nerdy people. The babyspanx ad was funny, but it didn’t really inspire me to come up with anything else to say about it. The same goes for the following Dream Home Extreme sketch, which kept me entertained but the fact that Emma played a character who was so bored that I felt myself getting bored as well, no matter how animated all the other characters were. That said, I did laugh a little during the montage that showed the easily excitable past winners.

I really liked the next sketch that featured parody news coverage of the latest dangerous teen trends because it was a fun reminder of how the youth have been up to dumb nonsense decades before they were eating Tide. As usual, I liked the SNL Digital Short/music video, because it was amusing but at the same time, it wasn’t catchy enough to get stuck in your head which is probably why it doesn’t feel like a classic hit.

I guess this is a night of as usuals because as usual, I wasn’t a huge fan of The View parody, but I think there was only one episode where I actually liked a sketch from this series. The fake ad for the open fly jeans was another good sketch, but I think I’m just too tired to come up with anything all that exciting to say in this real-time breakdown. I like the few songs I know from Kings Of Leon, but this first song wasn’t one of them so, I ended up getting a little bored, and again, I’m blaming my own low energy over the band for my lack of interest.

Some energy returned during the news when Kenan showed up as The Rent Is Too Damn High guy since I’m a huge fan of the real The Rent Is Too Damn High guy. I also loved seeing Stefon one more time, and it’s always fun to see John Mulaney. I really liked the dance-off sketch at the French café but felt that it would have been better if they would have saved this to be one of those end of the night sketches that are more quirky and cute than funny. I still don’t get this new trend of ending the show with a fake ad.

I also liked the sketch that followed, especially when the girls shared their review of Jackass 3D based on overhearing one of the stunts being described because I love when people review things based on how they see it in their mind and never seeing the actual film. I have mixed feelings about the Sex Symposium sketch because most of the humor seemed to come from the weirdness of the character over actual content, but at the same time, the character was silly enough that I didn’t really mind.

I didn’t know the second song from Kings Of Leon either, and though I know they are talented, I wasn’t really won over by either song from tonight. Though I love Kenan’s Googie character, and this series of fake commercials but as I said earlier, I don’t really like the show ending on a fake ad over something more memorable like the dance-off in the café.

When all is said and done, after Emma Stone said her good nights, I felt very satisfied with what I just watched even though my low energy might not have made this come across as that entertaining of a viewing. Like with Jane Lynch, tonight’s show may not have been as exciting as the season opener, with all the cameos and what not, but based on the actual content and merit of our host’s efforts, I’d have to say this was my second favorite episode of the four from this year so far.

Also, with this being two solid shows in a row where they properly utilized the host, I’m back to being excited about watching the rest of this season. In order to do so, I need to switch gears to wrap this one up, so with that, I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with C-SPAN coverage of a segment called Harry Reid For Senate. In it, newcomer Paul Brittain portrayed Democratic Senate hopeful Harry Reid who held a rally where he desperately tried to distance his association with Barack Obama in an effort to win, even though the President was right behind him ready to give an endorsement. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Emma Stone then officially opened the show with a monolog about how she started acting before sharing that she was cast in the upcoming Spiderman sequel. This was enough to work up her nerd fans in the audience who all attempted to get our host to make out with them because of how often she’s played a nerd’s love interest in her films.

  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Babyspanx which was a body-slimming baby-stocking that allowed fat babies to be the envy of their parents and their parent’s friends.

  4. Dream Home Extreme was a bit of a blend of a parody of Extreme Home Makeover and The Publishers Clearinghouse Giveaway where Kristen Wiig played the host who turned out to be way more excited about giving away the grand prize home than Emma Stone, who played the actual winner that just wanted to be left alone to eat her chips. Though she took no interest in the free house, she was over the moon when she learned that her neighbor made too many hardboiled eggs and was giving her all the leftovers.

  5. WXPD News Channel 9 had Bill Hader as an action news reporter on the scene at a high school to get the scoop on disturbing new teen trends like “souping” and “trampolining.”

  6. We then got another SNL Digital Short where Emma Stone played a high school girl who thinks she cool because she broke her arm after slipping on some jelly and sang a song that explained how this all went down only to end up slipping on the same spilled jelly over and over again breaking a new bone each time. Then, to finish it all off, Andy Samberg played the spilled jelly and rapped a rebuttal about how he wasn’t to blame for Emma’s troubles since she stepped on him.

  7. We then got another parody of The View with the cast impersonating the daytime babble as always only thing time Emma Stone played Lindsay Lohan who was out of rehab on a rare furlough.

  8. This was followed by a fake ad for Wrangler Open Fly Jeans which had Jason Sudeikis as Brett Favre to pitch this new line of jeans with no fly at all for those people like him who want easy access in order to expose themselves.

  9. Kings Of Leon then took to the stage to perform Radioactive.

  10. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Kenan Thompson dropped by as Jimmy McMillan to promote his new The Rent’s Too Damn High political party/movement. John Mulaney then returned to do another commentary on current events, and Bill Hader’s Stefon dropped by to share more trendy spots in New York City. (Clip 2) (Clip 3) (Clip 4)

  11. Les Jeunes De Paris had Emma Stone and Taran Killam as two French teens who compete in a café dance-off after the two had an argument over something while both speaking nothing but French.

  12. My Brother Knows Everything was a sketch that had Emma Stone and Nasim Pedrad as two best friends who film their own camcorder recorder talk show from Nasim’s bedroom where their main topic of conversation is how great Nasim’s brother, Andy Samberg, is. They also reviewed Jackass 3D but being that they were too young to get in to see the actual film their review was based on a conversation they eavesdropped in on between Andy and his friends.

  13. "Sex" Ed Vincent's Sex Symposium had Paul Brittain as Ed Vincent who hosted a three-day symposium on sex. Mainly, it was just Paul playing a weird guy pitching this sex seminar.

  14. Kings Of Leon then returned to the stage to perform Pyro.

  15. Googie Rene's Partially Damaged Halloween Costume Discount Basement was a fake ad where Kenan pitched the crappy costumes he had up for sale with Emma Stone and Vanessa Bayer at his side to model the filthy holiday attire.

  16. Finally, Emma Stone closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Again, sorry for the low energy and rambling but with everything said and done, tonight turned out to be a terrific show thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Les Jeunes De Paris and would have loved it even more if they swapped this sketch that was more quirky and cute than funny to be the last segment on the night since it’s a perfect fit for that type of end of the show content. Next, I really liked this week’s SNL Digital Short: I Slipped In Jelley And Broke My Arm because it was another great song from the SNL Digital Short crew. Finally, I was a fan of "Sex" Ed Vincent's Sex Symposium because I have no idea who Paul Brittain is, and this was the first of his characters that I found myself to be a fan of.

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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.