27 September 2011

What Did I Watch Today: Baldwins and Horses and Bears, oh Sigh

Saturday Night Live s37e01 – hm

This and the All My Children sketch were funny I guess.

Annually, I go through the same debate: should I watch SNL this year? I usually make it about halfway through the season before giving up (last season the Dana Carvey episode was just too painful (he used to be so good!)), but when fall rolls around, I trick myself using the same warped optimism: Maybe it'll be good this year! (It isn't.)

This year is so far not proving my hopefulness wise, with a season premiere full of long, mediocre sketches and lots of pee jokes. Fortunately, there was only one recurring sketch (that I know of) -- Top Gun's 25th anniversary DVD release, in no way as funny (or unexpected) as its Back to the Future counterpart -- and host Alec Baldwin's performance was thankfully a few pegs above phoning it in, with only a few cue-card goofs. Weirdly, most of the roles alongside Baldwin were being filled in by featured players, and there were minimal sketches with the main cast; hopefully they've taken the week to channel their comedic talents into something more deserving.

2 Broke Girls s01e02 ("And the Break-Up Scene") – bleh

This is the only picture CBS had on their website... and I'm not doing a rewatch for screencaps.

Ugh. More racist caricatures at the diner; more over-the-top hipster patrons; more cartoony characterizations. The cupcake store plot at last seems to be vaguely going somewhere, which gives it some seasonal-arc points above a lot of sitcoms, but the snarky "quips" got to be way too much for me:
-"I'm afraid I'm going to be late... every month."
-"If I were going to be a lesbian, she's the last les I'd be in."
-"What are you, the relationship ghost?"
-"I wasn't crying... I was masturbating."
Every conversation an abuse of wordplay... this is the type of "crass comedy" that takes any humour out of profanity (like The Whitest Kids U'Know) by having straight up lewdness stand in for innuendo, which will just never be as funny. Also: constant reminders that they're keeping a horse in Brooklyn ("I forgot again that we have a horse.") -- a horse that creates a lot of bodily waste that a person could slip in. And does. This is the last episode for me.

Ballykissangel s04e05 ("The Odd Couple") - blergh

If only they were in this episode...

Oh, the requisite "wild animal" episode. I was hoping Ballyk was above that stock sitcom plot, but it's become a different sort of program after its two protagonists departed at the end of the third series. I mean, it's traded in its agnosticism for mysticism -- I would put hardly anything past it at this point, but at least the animal in question wasn't a monkey.

So basically, by some unclear means, Donal acquires an ex-circus bear named Susie. Liam (who's feeling neglected and lonely, drinking pints by himself at Fitzgerald's) convinces Donal to participate in some sort of scheme to get money out of Quigley -- which involves scaring poor, innocent Eamon, and making it appear as though Susie is threat enough for Quigley to pay them to capture her. Blah blah blah, also Brendon wants to be more of a father to his daughter, but Siobhan is being kind of a bitch... Kevin hangs out with Sean Dillon in a thankfully non-creepy capacity, until his dad gets mad... Fathers, and babies, and bears, oh geeze.

A weak, unengaging episode, brightened only by opportunity to finally see the inside of Donal and Eamon's houses. This expansion in sets, the fancy camerawork, and the new score are indicative of a higher budget this series -- but you're too late! Your money won't save this show now that its thematic heart has been ripped out! It's bleeding all over the place! Go call Doctor Ryan!

Clearly, I wasn't impressed by this episode. But at least Colin Farrell didn't make an appearance, or his budding teen romance. Which, in retrospect, makes it easier to "bear" this episode's plot.

-Guessing the identity of the "Odd Couple" before the start of the episode: "Sean Dillan and his daughter?" "Ewww." "No, not like that! I meant 'odd couple' like the teevee show!"


  1. The bear's name is SUSIE, not Lizzie!

    Also, I kind of feel like we should at some point have a marathon of old Ballykissangels, because I miss Father Cliff and Assumpta's dog. :(

  2. I actually remembered she was called Susie while I was in the shower this morning, and then I was like, "Why am I thinking about Liam and Donal while showering?!"

    Though I do miss the flatulence and the facial expressions, I feel like if we don't just power through these later seasons, we never will... and we'll never find out what happens to Colin Farrell and his majestic horse.

  3. I have quickly grown tired of the writing of Two Broke Girls and the Caroline character just annoys the hell out of me.
    I rarely catch SNL anymore. I usually look for the Andy Samberg videos, especially when Justin Timberlake is in them.

  4. I used to be kind of an SNL "purist," and always watched episodes straight through and never just clips, but I don't think I could emotionally handle that anymore... might start just watching sketches they reblog on HuffPost. Would be a lot less painful. And the Lonely Island digital shorts are usually at least worth watching.

  5. Watch