The Northern Exposure Of Nirvana
As I have mentioned in a couple of reviews in the past, the fact that the part of the night where primetime television transitioned from half-hour sit-coms to one-hour dramas was my sign to go to bed made it that to this day, I still don't trust the one-hour primetime genre.
Because of this, even at the time this episode originally aired, I had no interest in Northern Exposure even though I was at an age where I was allowed to stay up and watch it if I wanted. Instead, I would opt to tune over to the independent broadcast channels to watch reruns of sit-coms from eras passed.
That's not to say that I didn't like Northern Exposure because I wouldn't know since I never even gave it a chance. That said, the few times that I did catch a moment of the show or watched a full episode with my grandparents, I saw enough evidence of charm and fun that always led me to believe that I'd like it if I could just get over my the continued bitterness that I felt towards bedtime.
Thanks to what I do know from the above mentioned moments I caught, I was kind of excited to see the episode hosted by Rob Morrow since he seems to be one of those midlevel celebrities that try harder to do a good job and aren't just hosting to promote their project. I was right on that account because this was a pretty fun when all was said and done.
Another interesting aspect of this episode is that the musical guest was Nirvana, making this a Pacific Northwest-themed show, which mattered very little back then because this was before I was interested in either. As I said a couple days ago in the Hammer review, at this point in my life I was exclusively listening to rap and grunge was nothing but noise. As for the region went, I that I know of the PNW was that it was the home of mullet wearing Brian Bosworth.
It wasn't until later in life that I got into both, Nirvana thanks to their Unplugged album during my transition into listening to punk, and Seattle when I opted to randomly move there when I was aged out of my group of roommates and friends that were all older than me and started to settle down.
Though I was a fan the Unplugged album before Kirk Cobain's death, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that at most I was a bit of a poser but my casual interest in the group was legit. As far as Seattle goes, the most interesting part of my life was randomly moving to a city that I've not only never been to but I also didn't know a soul or have a single plan for my future.
Now, I never listen to Nirvana, don't think I'm welcome in Seattle, but might be interested in checking out Rob Morrow while finally giving Northern Exposure the chance I'm sure that it deserved.
Alright, now that done rambling about my former home away from home, music and the show that I should have watched, it's now time to move on and share what I saw in this viewing, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a Hollywood meeting between Oliver Stone and top-level studio executive. In the sketch, Oliver was super paranoid because he had discovered unedited footage of President George Bush Sr. from when he threw up on the prime minister of Japan and is now pitching a JFK type of movies about the incident. The studio executive simply dismissed the story as Oliver being crazy from living in a Conspiracy filled world only to have second thoughts when Oliver got wind of a new incident where the President just peed his pants. This new information left the executive speechless as Oliver rushed out to learn more. After a moment of pondering, the dumbstruck Exec had nothing to say but, "Live from New York..."
Rob Morrow then officially opened the show with a monolog about how most people think that he's host because of his role on Northern Exposure but then went on to explain that he was actually invited to host due to the fact he's an alumni before he went on to show a clip where he was a non-speaking extra back in the days with the original cast. He then went on to promise to improve on his performance before throwing to the first official sketch.
We then got a fake ad for a Salon hair products that parodied a hair product commercial only there was no actual hair product involved. Instead, David Spade as a flamboyant pitchman promised prettier hair by simply pronouncing the word Salon in a very pretentious way.
It's Pat returned for another installment where this time our androgynous hero got invited to a party where Rob Morrow had a secret plan to figure out Pat's sex by talking him/her into a game of strip poker. After playing a couple of hands, it turned out that Pat is actually a... card sharp and never lost more than his/her belt while everyone else was fully nude by the end of the game.
We were then introduced to the Delta Delta Delta sorority where the female cast members played annoying sorority girls who whined and complained while they attempted to come up with a plan for the night. Though I found this debut to be just okay, I was fan of the introduction of their, "Delta Delta Delta can I help ya, help ya, help ya," catchphrase
Lonesome Cowboys then returned only this time Rob Morrow is the center cowboy/lead singer who sings a tune called I'm Going To Be A Better Cowboy about his cowboy New Year's Resolutions to be a better man with Phil Hartman and Dana Carvey singing backup.
Nirvana then took to the stage to perform Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Melanie Hutsell introduced her Jan Brady impersonation to talk about the new FDA rulings on banning silicone from breast implant which turned into more of a rant about her older sister Marsha. Victoria Jackson also dropped in to complain about dumb blonde jokes not because they're mean but because she doesn't find them to be funny. She then went on to share a few example only to find out that the jokes in question "are actually funny" and that she just didn't get the punchlines.
Lenin's Body was a news profile sketch that shared the story of how Vladimir Lenin came to be buried above ground to be on display to the Russian citizens. It then went on to explain Russia's struggles after the collapse of Communism. We finally learned that due to money struggles, Russia put their former leader's body up for auction. At this point, it switched to be an actual sketch where we met the random American who placed the winning bid thinking that there would be money in owning this corpse somehow. There's a bit of a Lars And The Real Girl vibe to the surrealness of this scene as Rob Morrow failed time and time again to turn this into a money-making venture. Eventually, Morrow found a newspaper article that gave him the idea to rent Lenin's body out to Hollywood to use as a stunt double in films.
We then got a Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack muses on the world going mad only to be distracted by supper.
Heaven Small Talk was a sketch that as the title implies took place in heaven following Dana Carvey's character's death. At first, it seemed like the angels at the golden gates were going to question Dana about his life only it turned out that these angels were more interested in making small talk about cinema and quizzed Dana about his taste in film to test if he was worthy to stay.
Chris Rock's White Person's Guide To Surviving The Apollo was a fake ad for a self-help line of videos where Chris Rock offered advice to white comedians who think they have what it takes to perform to the dominantly black Apollo crowd.
This was followed by another Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack shares his views on the beauty in this world and why it makes him want to gargle.
Insulting Names was a sketch where Rob Morrow and Mike Myers made fun of each other using horrible names that only best friends could call one another without anyone getting hurt or offended. More friends eventually joined the two and had the same approach jabbing rude jokes at their friends. After a while, we eventually learned that everyone in the world of this sketch took this playfully mean approach to communicating with one another.
Nirvana then returned to the stage to perform Territorial Pissings.
Late Comments was a sketch with a group of friends hanging out at a diner and Rob Morrow played the buddy who always chimed in with the perfect comments only he was always at least one topic behind, making for a very confusing night. After a while, Rob dismissed himself to collect his thoughts in the bathroom where he found a time machine and went back to relives the night sharing his jokes with perfected timing during the second round.
Finally, Rob Morrow closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Part of me wishes the Pacific Northwest-themed show should have had way more Pacific Northwest references but either way, I was still pretty fun thanks to these three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the sketch Lenin's Body because I loved the surreal tone and how the story kind of reminded me of Lars And The Real Girl. Next, I really liked the Late Comments sketch because I can't tell you how many times that I've missed my moments and ruined clever insight by waiting too long to share. Finally, I was a fan of Heaven Small Talk, especially since the small talk in question was a legitimate discussion about movies.