SNL: S36E07... HOST: ANNE HATHAWAY... DATE: NOVEMBER 20, 2010

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A Second So-So Visit From This Celebrity

Stranger Where My Unfamiliarity Is To Blame

 

I’m kind of bummed out by how I feel like I’m finally starting to find my non-screenwriter’s voice and my stride just in time for the season where I’m the least familiar with the hosts or the show in general since the start of this project. I could have used this confidence earlier on when I had more compelling connections that I wanted to share only to end up rambling. Well, I guess I still ramble, but I’m definitely more secure with my rambling approach to where I probably would have dug even deeper into my insights and stories if I was writing this way during if my skills were at this level during the peek of my interest in SNL and the entertainment industry in general.

Then again, if I want to put a positive spin on this bad timing, I do still see this site as my training ground to work through all sorts of writing issues. So, nights like tonight help me hone my skills for scrounging up areas to explore on nights like tonight when I have no preconceived topics that I want to cover. Unfortunately, when it comes to Anne Hathaway, I already shared all that I’ve got during her first visit, and am still struggling with the same cold that I’ve been complaining about over my past couple reviews so, I think I’m going to make this another quick one. Especially since, this is all that I could come up with, even after already watching tonight’s episode.

With that, let's go back in time so that I can share how the real-time viewing experience actually went. As always, I was bored by the opening political sketch, especially this one, because I couldn’t care less about the most recent mid-term results, let alone jokes about results from damn near a decade ago. Again, I totally get why they would start a live show on current event-themed content but for some reason, this time period in particular just isn’t all that funny to me. I think it’s just too close to the current time period meaning the people being parodies as if it were just a joke, are all to blame for the mess we are currently in.

Anne Hathaway’s opening about her nude scene had me a bit worried that this was going to be another hot host episode. I know it may always come off as me being a prude by my disinterested in sexual content, but it’s more the lechery aspect that turns me of because of my lecherous grandpa, who constantly skeeved me out as a kid whenever he’d flirt with any saleswoman or waitress any time we were out in public.

The fake TSA ad, almost added to my hot host concerns when I thought they would use the new TSA pat-down technique as a way to grope the host like they used to do all of the time in the past. Thankfully, it turned out to be more silly but played out now that TSA groping has been an ongoing joke for so long. As I said during the debut of The Miley Cyrus Show parody, I never knew anything about Miley until she cut her hair and started acting extra wacky, so I don’t really get some of these Disney day references that get the audience to laugh. That said, I do like Vanessa Bayer’s energy when she performs in this series of sketches because it’s entertaining enough to keep me from zoning out, especially this late in this challenge.

I don’t mind Kristen Wiig’s Penelope character, but at the same time, this one-upping woman is far from a favorite character. Where I’ve never minded Penelope, I’ve never understood the obsession with British Royalty and wish that all of these old ways would just go away so that we could stop battling over our past and start living for a progressive future. That said, I wasn’t a huge fan of the sketch about the Royal Family’s issues with Kate Middleton even with them flipping the script in portraying the Royals as foul-mouthed and rude whenever Prince William was away.

Florence And The Machine are another band that I know by name and probably know a few of their hits if I heard one. Fortunately, their first song was one that I know, and I really enjoyed to performance, even if it took the song to get to the point where it speeds up for me to tell which song it was. This week’s news was a good one, with the help of the guests. Not only was it fun to see Bobby Moynihan as Guy Fieri, but loved seeing Jason Sudeikis as the man who invented my favorite degenerate drink, Four Loko which I will still drink from time to time.

A couple of years ago, I tried the whole Dark Side Of Oz thing where you sync up the movie The Wizard Of Oz to the album Dark Side Of The Moon, just to give it a shot. Later, I watch the movie again, sans the synced up album when I saw a few connections to the movie Southland Tales when I was deep in my challenge where I watched and reviewed Southland Tales once a month for an entire year. I then watched The Wizard Of Oz a third time when I was watching every movie on the AFI Top 100 Movies List. Three times in one year was rough, but this probably explains why I was such a fan of the sketch where Dorothy ran into Fred Armisen as a talking weather vane, who just wanted a new apartment where he could live on his own because I could probably relate to his character the most of them all.

The sketch about the old reporter was somewhat funny, but it was passed on a viral news clip of an old timer telling off the head news anchor that was ten times funnier because it was real and not just a close enough reenactment through a sketch. That said, recognizing the reference was pretty fun because I do think it’s an older obscure one. Like with the TSA ad toward the top of the episode, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Black Friday fake ad because the joke might have been fresh and fun at the time but the passing of time made it feel more like a played out joke, especially since this was my first time seeing it.

The Camel Tamer, camel toe protection ad was always a funny one, but I still don’t like when SNL includes too many of the same type of sketch in one night, especially when they put them all in a row, making it feel more like a compilation than an actual show. I didn’t mind Florence And The Machine’s second song, but I also wasn’t familiar with it and probably wouldn’t seek it out. The night then ended with another fake ad, so I was ready for Anne Hathaway to wrap this one up with her goodnights.

With Anne Hathaway being almost a complete celebrity strange to me I feel if I were more familiar with her and/or her work I might have been able to find more of the fun. If I’m being honest, tonight’s episode was just as good as last night’s episode hosted by Scarlett Johansson, but the unfamiliarity made this episode seem like it was worse, or I was just giving ScarJo bonus points because she used to be a celebrity crush.

Either way, tonight’s viewing was fun enough that I didn’t think it was terrible even I wasn’t laughing out loud while I watched. With that, it’s now time to dig deeper into the details of each sketch to see how I came to this conclusion. With that, I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of The Rachel Maddow Show where Abby Elliott as Rachel Maddow discussed the mid-term election results with Bill Hader as John Boehner, Kristen Wiig as Nancy Pelosi, and Kenan Thompson as Charles Rangel. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Anne Hathaway then officially opened the show with a monolog about how she was breaking away from her Disney ways since doing her first nude scene in a film. This led all of the male members of the cast to approach our host to share their freshly rewritten pages where all of her characters are now naked, just so the guys could get a close-up view.

  3. This was followed by a fake ad for the TSA where several cast members plane airline security agents to share how they looked forward to using the new seductive pat-down technique just in time for the holiday travel season.

  4. The Miley Cyrus Show then returned for another installment where once again, Vanessa Bayer played Miley to host a show where she acted wacky while interviewing Anne Hathaway as Katie Holmes who had a few quirks of her own.

  5. Penelope was another reoccurring sketch to returned where this time Kristen Wiig character attempted to one-up everyone who was trying to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner being offered at the local Lutheran Church.

  6. Visiting The Queen had Fred Armisen as Queen Elizabeth and Bill Hader as Prince Philip who both feel threatened by Andy Samberg as Prince William after he became engaged to commoner, Kate Middleton, as portrayed by Anne Hathaway.

  7. Florence And The Machine then took to the stage to perform Dog Days Are Over.

  8. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Bobby Moynihan dropped in as Guy Fieri to rave about his new boozed-soaked Thanksgiving treats. Jason Sudeikis also got a segment as the creator of Four Loko to comment on his recently banished caffeinated alcohol drink. Jay Pharoah also came out to impersonate a medley of rappers to perform a new hip-hop Thanksgiving song. (Clip 2) (Clip 3) (Clip 4) (Clip 5)

  9. The Essentials With Robert Osborne was a parody of a TCM show where Jason Sudeikis played the host to present deleted scenes from The Wizard Of Oz where Anne Hathaway as Dorothy ran into Fred Armisen as a talking weather vane who was looking for a new apartment to escape his crappy roommates.

  10. WXPD News had Bill Hader as an elderly on the scene news reporter who kept teetering throughout his entire live remote segment.

  11. Mega-Mart was a fake ad for a Wal-Mart-type store that had Bobby Moynihan as the store’s pitchman who attempted to work the viewers into a Black Friday frenzy by announcing an insane bargain that was marketed as a sale that only lasted twelve minutes.

  12. Camel Tame was a fake ad for a bulge insert for women’s pants pitched to businesswomen who want to avoid embarrassing camel toe while still dressing however they want.

  13. Florence And The Machine then returned to the stage to perform You've Got The Love.

  14. We then got a fake ad for a fictional soundtrack to a fictional movie called Horse Play where our host and the cast impersonated an assortment of musical acts in order to share their tracks from the album.

  15. Finally, Anne Hathaway closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said up above, this wasn’t a terrible show with the help of these three sketches that contained my three favorite moments of the night, my viewing was still pretty fun. First, I loved The Essentials With Robert Osborne: The Wizard Of Oz because I loved the newly introduced Weather Vane character who just wanted his own apartment, plus this site has a fun connection to the actual film. Next, I really liked the WXPD News because I love the real on-air news fight that the sketch used as it’s reference point. Finally, I was a fan of The Miley Cyrus Show even though I don’t really care about this era of Miley Cyrus, I’m just realizing that I’m an even bigger fan of Vanessa Bayer than I thought.

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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.