A Season Slowly Slipping Into A Safe Zone
I hate to say it but this season isn't starting out all that well. I'm hoping that it will at least be a slow start just like last season where they did eventually figure things out to where the second half was brilliant but the first half just wasn't for me but based on the lineup of hosts, I could see it going either way.
Where last season was filled with huge movie stars from the time that still had a 50/50 success to fail ration, this season has a much more random blend of celebrity types where either successes or failures can come from out of the blue from lesser known names taking risks that the big names just might not agree to.
The only problems with holding out hope for the underdogs is that so far in the season the writing has been far too safe for me. I mean, tonight's episode with Kathleen Turner as host isn't the worst episode I've seen but the show did seem to revert to return to the same problem that I saw last season where the level of comedy maxes out at what you would expect to see on an afterschool sit-com that can be fun to watch with laughs being few and far between.
As always, I hate when I have this negative outlook on an episode because I have still enjoyed about 98% of my viewings, with only a handful of shows that I say were difficult to get through. With that said, even though this episode wasn't a favorite and that it didn't result in many laughs, I still think that it was worth watching if you're an SNL fan.
So, now that I've at least attempted to make myself clear, it's now time to shift gears and move on to share what I saw during today's viewing, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a fake TV special called The Miracle Of Fatima '89 the follow-up miracle to the Fatima prophecies of 1917. In this new miracle, Kathleen Turner sees an American flag that tells her it is the only true flag and that all other flags are false flag while giving warning to those who burn it, listing the fines and punishments for breaking this rule. We then got to meet this prophetic flag as it shares more flag rules and announces, "Live from New York..."
Kathleen Turner then officially opened the show with a monolog where Victoria Jackson provides Turner's voice as if that were how she actually sounded and that her regular "husky sexy voice" that she only put on to get roles. She then switched back and forth between her real voice and the Victoria sound to deliver lines from her classic roles before throwing to the first sketch.
Plug Away then returned with Jon Lovitz as Harvey Fierstein who is looking for love just like every other installment. In installment is my favorite one that I still quote often to this day because this is the one where he started to think about reincarnation which led to the question, "If you were to die and come back as an animal, would you be attracted to a gay bee?" Of course, he was the gay be in this hypothetical question. Again, I don't think I knew who Harvey Fierstein was until much later on when I saw him in Mrs. Doubtfire but this character was always funny to me for some reason even if it is extremely repetitive every week that it's on.
Die Squaren Ost Berliner was a parody of an East German version of Hollywood Squares where most of the squares are empty because the celebrities who are supposed to occupy them have defected but the show must go on so it does. The only problem is that with the configuration of the celebrities that are left, it's impossible to connect three in a row. To make things extra fun Billy Joel plays the celeb in the bottom right square.
We then got a fake commercial that interrupted the prior sketch that is also East Germany based and is for Donheiser which is a parody of their version of Donahue.
Billy Joel then took to the stage to perform We Didn't Start The Fire.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Al Franken got a segment as his one-man mobile unit character who is reporting from outside of a crack house with a promised piece about the war on drugs only he gets robbed by the residents before he can get to the story. Phil Hartman also dropped in for another installment of the George Steinbrenner: Health Watch segment that was introduced last week, with sad news that he's doing just fine. A. Whitney Brown then finished the news with another Big Picture segment about the big earthquake that just hit San Francisco.
Egg Man was a melodramatic sketch where Kathleen Turner seeks advice from Phil Hartman who is literally an egg/live in psychiatrist. She is so outraged by the issues of the day that it makes Egg Man super nervous, especially after one of her outburst ended with her throwing the tiny shrink at a pillow. The biggest problem that Kathleen is dealing with is he concerns for her punk rock son who storms into the room to find her little friend and ends up throwing him against the wall before stealing the money he needed to buy tickets to a punk rock show.
We then get a fake self-help ad for Lank Thompson's "I'm A Handsome Man" with Mike Myers playing the titular host who shows how amazing life could be by simply being handsome like him even though he's got a very annoying fake personality and cheese smile.
This was followed by a fake phone sex line 555-TOON where Kathleen Turner provided the voice of Jessica Rabbit with a pitch to get perverts to call.
We then got introduced to Jan Hooks as Jane Pauley who was putting on makeup in her dressing room while giving us a voice-over introduction to her career in news as if this were a start to a movie. After a while, a producer steps in to let Jane know that she has a visitor and we learn the sketch is called All About Deborah Norville, a parody of the movie All About Eve where "Deborah" attempts to hijack "Janes" life only to get stuck in the dressing room with Gene Shalit.
Billy Joel then returned to the stage to perform Downeaster Alexa.
We then joined Kathleen Turner and Kevin Nealon who are out on an Average Blind Date. The two start out there conversation by pointing out their surprised they are to be on a blind date with someone who's normal. At first, this talk of averageness seems like a bunch of backhanded compliment but it turns out the two are actually turned on by the fact that they're both so boring and bland.
America Loves Maxwell House was a fake ad for the coffee where Nora Dunn got to speak her mind before getting fired as their pitchwoman. Meanwhile, the owner, played by Jon Lovitz, is introduced in a terrible fat suit do the hula in Hawaii with a couple old ladies and one native for some reason that I didn't really get.
Finally, Kathleen Turner closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.
Once again, I'm stuck, struggling to find my favorite moments because I found this episode to be so bland but here is the best list of three that I could come up with. First, I did love this week's installment of Plug Away because this is another one of those obscure ones that I still quote to this day when asking people if they were a gay bee if they'd find me attractive that often leads to precarious looks from the potential answerer. Next, I really liked Die Squaren Ost Berliner because I liked how bizarre it was, especially for how early it aired on the show. Finally, I was a fan of The Miracle Of Fatima '89 because of how it's become relevant again with all of the flag controversies that clog the news over more important stories.