SNL: S15E17... HOST: CORBIN BERNSEN... DATE: APRIL 14, 1990

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or...

Another Uninspired Episode

From This So-So Season

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Let me start this by saying that I have no issues with Corbin Bernsen and would consider myself a fan of his work, so my issues with the episode have nothing to do with him being the host. So far, throughout this challenge, I've been trying my hardest to stay as positive as I can about even the worst of episodes by minimalizing the flaws that I find.

This season has to be the most frustrating so far because it's not bad enough to genuinely hate but it's also not good enough spin my reviews with a claim that these shows are just a little off from being great. No, this season has been as middle of the road as it can get while the writing seems to be on the decline as we reach the finish line.

This episode makes two in a row where it felt like a chore to get through. My main issues with both shows in how they slipped back to the fewer but longer sketch format. As I've said in the past I hate this format because the sketches that fail seem to go on for a lifetime. Not only that, more often than not, the writing gets super convoluted to fill in the extra time.

To add to my issue with this episode, it came out at a time where Corbin Bernsen was on LA Law so a lot of the long convoluted sketches were written to parody the one hour drama genre which always tends to feel more like drama with a couple jokes crowbarred in rather than being silly and fun. It also didn't help that any of the non-dramatic sketches seemed to focus on sports with outdated references that I don't even think a sports fan would get leading me to simply zone out.

Hopefully, the next three episodes will lead to a strong end to the season which is possible considering the lineup of hosts. Either way, I can't wait for this season to end because I'm excited about next season's addition to the cast because I know that these new cast members will give the show the kick in the pants that it needs following five seasons with barely any cast changes at all.

Well, there you have my uninspired review of this uninspired episode and with that, it's now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of a segment from the Cable Shopping Network where Brent Musburger and Jimmy The Greek are the two pitchmen pushing their cheese home shopping products to the home audience. This was another one of those sketches that might have been funnier back in the day when the references were fresh but through modern eyes, it doesn't age well at all. As always, this being the opening sketch it also ended with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Corbin Bernsen then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he's shouldn't be confused with the character that he plays on LA Law and that he's not the arrogant womanizer that he plays on the show. Then after going into more details about the character he can't help but admit that he does actually have a lot in common with his character and was just hoping that his lie would win over the more hesitant viewers who might not like his kind. 
  3. TV Lawyers was a sketch were Corbin Bernsen is being sued for an illegal addition to his house. When the judge asks Corbin where his representation is, he informs her that he's been a lawyer on TV for four years and can handle the case on his own. He then goes on to defend himself using TV terms in a manner that doesn't make any sense. The judge doesn't take well to this and offers to put the case on hold until Corbin can obtain a real attorney but Corbin had different plans and brings in several other TV lawyers to represent him, including someone else from LA Law, Perry Mason, and Matlock. 
  4. The Night Hanukkah Harry Saved Easter was a follow up to Hanukkah Harry saving Christmas where Hanukkah Harry was enjoying his Passover dinner. It all starts out normal until Harry gets to the seder where he to tell the tale of Elijah. When he opens the door to let in Elijah's spirit, he's met by an injured Easter Bunny who ask Hanukkah Harry to help him deliver his Easter Eggs. For some reason, Hanukkah Harry can help on his own so he turns to Elijah's spirit to help him with the task but rather than eggs and chocolate Easter Bunnies he brings the Christian children a collection of traditional Jewish treats.
  5. The Smithereens then took to the stage to perform A Girl Like You.
  6. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Victoria Jackson stopped in for a segment where she talked about the passing of Mother Teresa and how she affected her life but mixes her story up with the tale of how Mickey Mantle promised a home run to a dying kid then goes on to memorialize both Mickey and Mother Teresa as her heroes. Dana Carvey also dropped in for another visit as his Grumpy Old Man character who, as always, share the way the world work when he was a child yet no one complained, "because that's the way it was and they LIKED IT."
  7. George F. Will's Sports Machine was a parody of a baseball-themed game show where the host questions former baseball players about the sport only the questions so advance, going into physics and philosophy, that neither contest has a clue what the questions even means let alone have the knowledge to answer.
  8. Conceited Guy was a sketch where Corbin Bernsen brings Jan Hooks back to his apartment after meeting her at a party and when they enter the room Jan Hooks is surprised to see a six-foot-wide ten-foot-tall picture of Corbin's face. Jan is hesitant to continue the date but decides to give him a chance until she finds that he has his face plastered all over the place from his glassware to his robe, this narcissism is too much for her to handle so she hightails it out of his place.
  9. We then got a sketch that started with a parody of a police drama Smart Streets that wasn't that funny and seemed to stop out of the blue before they got to a joke. We then cut to a talk show called Movers And Shakers where Nora Dunn interviews the producer of the Smart Streets series about this fictional show that almost seems too real to be funny. Eventual during the talk show segment we cut back to the Smart Streets scene as a promotional clip but this wasn't that funny as well. They then returned to the talk show set to finish the sketch on a "retard" joke that didn't seem to go over well even at that time when it was acceptable to use this type of language without it being a big deal.
  10. The Smithereens then returned to the stage to perform Blue Before And After.
  11. We then met a couple of Playgirl Models who are getting made up for their photo shoot who talk about the upcoming shoot in a way that you'd expect from their female counterparts only they each have an extra masculine voice. 
  12. Finally, Corbin Bernsen closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This is another case where I will be sticking to my traditional terms to explain these three favorite moments from the night even though all of these terms are way too strong in sharing how I really feel. First, I loved The Night Hanukkah Harry Saved Easter because I like the Hanukkah Harry character but even with this as number one, I wasn't a real fan of this sketch. Next, I really liked the Playgirl Models sketch because it was kind of funny to see the casual conversation between three naked men. Finally, I was a fan of Dana Carvey's Grumpy Old Man segment from the news because I like the character and had to come up with something.

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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.