Better Luck Next Time


A couple of years ago, I was surprised to discover that Channing Tatum was actually really funny when I gave in and watch the 21 Jump Street reboot when I saw that it was available on one of the streaming services. I didn’t really care much for the original show due to my hatred of the one-hour drama genre since those shows were my sign for bedtime when I was a kid. Granted, I was old enough to stay up when the original show hit the air, but to this day, I still hold a grudge toward the genre as if it is a deep Pavlovian response.

I kept hearing how the reboot had nothing to do with the actual show but just followed a similar storyline. I was half expecting something more like the first Brady Bunch where they used all the same characters but then put them into some sort of bizarro parallel universe where they were in the present but stuck in the past. Though I hate reboots, I love them when they are done this way, which is why I got a kick out of the latest Baywatch. I wouldn’t say that 21 Jump Street followed this trend because there wasn’t enough crossover between the two worlds, but I still felt the movie was hilarious and it opened me up to watch more from Channing Tatum.

Since then, I’ve seen him in Foxchaser, This Is The End, and 22 Jump Street while also hearing his voice in a couple cartoons. Looking over his resume, I was surprised that I’ve never seen She’s The Man because when I was a kid, I was obsessed with Just One Of The Guys which seemed to be the movies source material. I think the original film solidified my interest in short-haired women after my first crush on a pixie-haired girl in the first grade. The scene at the end when she flashed everyone blew my perverted little mind.

It’s interesting to see how quickly most people who hear this as my interest will jump to the conclusion that I’m a closeted gay, when in reality, I feel it’s one part taste, but could also be due to the fact that I feel like a closeted straight man. This is why I can come off as a bit of a prude when it comes to the topic of sexual/comedic material not matter the gender involved. I often say that I’m just sort of asexual to avoid digging into the details because it’s convoluted and personal, and nobody cares about my romantic interest anyway. Hell, I’m going to be 43 in February, and I have no idea if my family thinks whether I am gay or straight. Sure it’s great that they’d be open to either, but it also would have been nice to have someone in my life interested enough in my ability to develop relationships to offer up some advice, instead of it being just another thing for me to figure out on my own.

I bring this up here because seeing all of the male stripper references during the previewing legwork brought this to the front on my head. I’ve shared many times throughout this challenge how I’ve never been all that open with my sexual interests in general because my grandfather was a lecherous creep who would flirt with every single woman who would pass while shopping for back to school close or just going out to dinner. I’m not talking catcalls from across the room, no, this old white-haired man was somewhat smooth, or at least innocent looking enough to get them to come in close to where he would flirt with them while they just tried to do their job. Witnessing this made me think that every girl felt skeeved out by guys who openly approached them this way. So I always tried to become friends first and always got rejected for being too nice.

When it comes to the male hosts, I can’t stand when they’re on just to be ogled or grouped because I was the only boy in the house with three sisters and a borderline single mom since my stepfather wasn’t all that involved, and when he was it was never fun. They all treated male sexuality as gross, so I never had anything to turn to when I started to want to find love. No one actively said anything to me on the subject at all, I just picked up a lot of complexes based on their reactions while watching TV.

Every guy who looked like, or shaped like me were always gross and only put into sexual situations as a gross-out joke. Meanwhile, a guy like Channing Tatum would come on the screen, and my mom would start screaming like those lunatic girls who you’d see screaming over The Beatles. If I showed any interest, I was told to show some respect. Between these two examples, I ended up just avoiding the topic altogether. I wish I could say that things have changed, but other than the fact that my grandfather’s now dead, things are almost exactly the same. I mean, I am dealing with the issues on my end, somewhat, but to this day, all that it takes is a man with an open shirt and all civility goes out the window, but all that it takes is a “woe” from me when I see someone of interest, and I get told to settle down.

I’m only sort of complaining, but I also think this explains why I have some of the points of view that I’ve been sharing throughout this challenge. That said, I wouldn’t expect a positive review of tonight’s episode. I can just tell from the pre-viewing legwork that this is going to be a Hot Host episode with Channing there to promote Magic Mike. I’m willing to bet that I’ll like our host if/when he comes back to promote a comedy, but based on The Wicker Breakdown, this one doesn’t seem fun, but at least I’m actually in a positive mood so I probably won’t be angered by the annoyance.

With that, it’s now time to hit play and share how the real-time viewing experience plays out. As usual, I don’t typically enjoy the opening political content, but I am a big fan of alternate history and/or future predictions, so this sketch that had Newt Gingrich as the President of the moon was funny to me because it was supposed to take place in 2014, after Obama blew up the world. The idea of this sketch took place four years into the future from when the show aired that is now four years in our past, was actually more amusing to me than the actual sketch, but at least I was amused.

My mom and sisters didn’t even have to be in the room to hear them both going on and on about our host's looks, especially as he talked about his stripper past. Even if he were being funny, if we were watching this as a group back when I was a kid, I wouldn’t be able to hear it with all of their carrying on, especially when he started to take off his clothing. I bet I would have found this to be funnier if I didn’t have all of that bouncing around in the back of my head, with the screaming woman in the audience providing the same soundtrack.

The Cee Lo sketch was another one where it was all about sex and appearances. Like with most things that I share on here, this is my specific issue that I don’t expect others to share, I’m just trying to really open up. Though I do feel that I am honest during these reviews, I still feel like I hold back a little and only give hints at what I’m actually trying to say. Over the past couple of weeks, I feel like I hit a point where I’m ready to open a few more doors to explore my recent conflict with humor. Speaking of humor, the footage used in the Spike TV reality show parody of Downton Abbey was literally the first images that I’ve ever even seen from the show, so I didn’t get any of the show-themed jokes.

I don’t have any more in-depth details on why I don’t like sports. Well other than what I already shared where I wasn’t pushed to play them as a kid, was the size of a lineman and sucked when I got to high school from only being used to playing by park rules. It didn’t help that my dyslexia leads me to be slow at differentiating my left from my right, so it was another case where I was treated like I was stupid and not that I just wasn’t trained from elementary school like the rest of the competition. I wouldn’t say that this led me to hate sports, but it did lead me to lose interest. The hatred just came over time. That said, the NFL sketch was just meh.

I’ve already shared my disinterest in the reoccurring Secret Word sketch that I think I would like a lot more if Kristen Wiig were impersonating an actual actress, and the sketch was a parody of Password. I also don’t really like just how repetitive this series is that I probably wouldn’t mind if it weren’t for the hang-ups mentioned above that I have. I’ve never heard of Bon Iver, but it was a pleasant piece for this night that’s been playing out exactly how I felt going into the viewing. And the news was the news once again. I didn’t like this week’s segment because I did like how they made for of Lana Del Rey for her performance the prior week. I hate when they give their guest past guest that treatment, especially so soon after they were just on and when it’s the performance being referenced.

The Bat Mitzvah sketch was just more male stripping to screaming banshees out in the crowd. The sketch at Ruby Tuesday also hit on several of my Hot Host pet peeves, so I zoned out during the performance, but the fake ad for Go-Techs Flex managed to win me back because I’m fascinated with Rube Goldbergerque machines, which is what the work out contraption actually was. I liked Bon Iver’s second song, and then it was back to male stripping and screaming again.

By the time Channing Tatum returned to the stage to say his good nights, I was very happy for this show to be over. Thankfully, I went into the viewing with this as my expectation because if I had gone into this thinking that I was going to get the comedic more recent comedic Tatum, I would have been angrier while feeling let down. As is, it was just a meh viewing where I’m willing to get our host a second chance.

With that, I’m just going to switch gears so that I can wrap this one up and hope for a better tomorrow, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a sketch called Newt Gingrich: Moon President that took us to the year 2014 where Bobby Moynihan shared a message as Newt who was now the President of the moon since Barack Obama somehow managed to blow up Earth after winning his second term. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York...”

  2. Channing Tatum then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he was a real-life stripper well before his involvement in the movie Magic Mike. He then started to recognize various former customers from the club sprinkled throughout the audience. Though our host had no shame, said audience members were quite embarrassed when they were identified, especially the guys.

  3. It's Getting Freaky With Cee Lo Green! brought back Kenan Thompson as Cee Lo to team up with Channing Tatum as Matthew McConaughey and Bill Hader as Colonel Nasty in order to attempt to help, lesbian couple, Nasim Pedrad, and Vanessa Bayer put the freaky back into their relationship.

  4. This was followed by a parody of Downton Abbey that showed how the acclaimed ITV/PBS show would look if it were to be picked up by Spike TV and reformatted to be a moronic reality series using actual footage from the show.

  5. We then went behind the scenes for the making of a bottom of the screen Super Bowl Promo where they merely wanted the broadcasting team to pose and look professional for what’s supposed to be a quick insert shot, but the group kept messing things up.

  6. Secret Word then returned for another installment of the Password-like game show where once again Kristen Wiig returned as her generic old-timey actress who along with Channing Tatum as an astronaut suffering from flashbacks, are both too out of it to be of any use to their non-celebrity contestant/counterpart.

  7. Bon Iver then took to the stage to perform Holocene.

  8. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Bobby Moynihan dropped in as Guy Fieri to share a few bizarre snack ideas for the upcoming Super Bowl. Kristen Wiig also stopped by as last week’s musical guest, Lana Del Rey to defend herself from the backlash because it was apparently perceived as a bad performance, which surprised me because I thought she was pretty good. (Clip 2)

  9. We then went to a Bat Mitzvah where Nasim Pedrad celebrated her special day with an inappropriately raunchy dance with Channing Tatum as an adult family friend in a performance that was choreographed by Kristen Wiig as Nasim’s mom.

  10. Ruby Tuesday took place in a strip mall bar the night before the Super Bowl when Channing Tatum played Tom Brady who succumbed to Bobby Moynihan as a boisterous woman named Janet Peckinpah as she kept telling the quarterback to throw one in her. At the end of the sketch, it was revealed that his giving into the request ended up costing him the big game.

  11. Go-Techs Flex was a fake ad for a home gym with Channing Tatum and Kristen Wiig as the pitch-team who attempt to sell their Rube Goldbergerque workout machine.

  12. Bon Iver returned to the stage to perform the songs Beth and Rest back to back.

  13. Bongo's Clown Room brought us back to the strip club where Jason Sudeikis is the deejay so that this time he could announce the strippers for a bachelorette party. Last time he claimed it was his final night because he won six hundred bucks in scratcher tickets. Tonight he claimed it was his final night because he was preparing to go on the lam to avoid an IRS audit. All the while, Channing Tatum and other cast members with dancing on the stage.

  14. Finally, Channing Tatum closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though tonight’s episode fully lived up to my low expectations, at least these three segments that contained my favorite moments kept it at least a little fun. First, I loved Go-Techs Flex because unfortunately, it was the only sketch of the night where I didn’t have to struggle to find a reason to laugh. Next, I really liked Newt Gingrich: Moon President because I was a fan of the surrealness that this sketch is from 2012 that took us to 2014 while watching from 2018, this information was actually more entertaining to me than the sketch. Finally, I was a fan of the Super Bowl Promo because I worked in film and it was funny to see the fake behind the scenes moments of this straightforward shoot?


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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.