Posts Tagged ‘Saturday Night Live’

I’ve come to this decision after only a little deliberation but with a heavy heart. Ever since I entered college, and maybe for a few months before, I liked watching new TV live, rather than watching it the next day or as reruns. I didn’t watch a lot of new TV live growing up, mostly because it was on late and I had to get my sleep for school or whatever else was going on the next day for me. When I got to college, I found it simple even with a full schedule of classes and work to fit in TV in the evenings and watch shows I liked. And if perchance I missed them, most were on Hulu or other websites the next day.

That’s changing this semester. Because in addition to five classes–all of which hand out homework, and a lot of it, usually–I’m writing a novel for a thesis, which takes up a considerable amount of time. Add in shifts at work four days a week, and my time is filled up with work, work, and…did I mention work?

So as much as I love all my shows (and I love a lot of them, believe me), I’m drastically reducing how much TV I watch so I can get through my workload with more ease and less pressure. I don’t want to, but I have to make my studies a priority in all circumstances, so it’s something I have to do if I want to keep my grades up and not get piled under a mountain of homework.

And on the bright side I have DVR, so I’ll be able to hopefully catch up on most of my shows over winter break or whenever I’m actually free from assignments, whichever comes first. Hopefully nobody spoils my shows in the meantime, which would give me cause to put a curse on them. And I’m quite capable of doing that too.

He’s screaming about my TV reduction plan AND my curse threat.

In the meantime, the only shows I’ll keep up with are The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (I can watch it during breakfast), Sailor Moon Crystal (airs every other Saturday or so, and yes they rebooted Sailor Moon. Believe me, that franchise is never going away), Doctor Who (you know why I’ll be watching that), and Saturday Night Live (you can guess why on that as well).

I’m also going to have to cut back on the movies I watch. Which makes me sad, there are so many good horror movies coming out this October! I don’t want to wait until they’re on DVD!

Whatever happened to the days when life was simple? Oh yeah, that’s right. They never existed.

Well, that’s enough of me griping. Just know that I’m staying focused on my main priorities, I’ll leave the entertainment for another day, and I’ll try and continue to blog at least once or twice a week.

In the meantime, I’m heading to bed. It’s late, and I’ve got a full day tomorrow. Goodnight, my Followers of Fear. Pleasant nightmares.

See the difference?

In 2006, author Emily Schultz published her first novel Joyland, about a teenage boy growing up in an Ontario town in 1984. This was her second published book, coming after a 2002 collection of short stories. It apparently got some really great editorial reviews from national publications, calling it a great coming-of-age novel and an exploration into teen sexuality.

About seven years later, His Royal Scariness Stephen King published a novel with the exact same name, about a college student in 1973 who gets a job at an amusement park and finds himself solving an unsolved murder (I’ll have tor find time to read it one of these days). Plenty of King fans went online to download the e-book (some may not have realized that for a while the book wasn’t available in that format, which will explain what happens next). But the funniest thing happened: several of these King fans downloaded Schultz’s book believing it was King’s book. And right until the end, some of them never realized they got a literary coming-of-age by a Canadian-American author instead of a dark, creepy whodunit from Stephen King!

And it reflected in the reviews some of these people gave Schultz’s book. Here’s one who absolutely hated it:

I have always loved Stephen King novels. However, this one was a rambling, stream of consciousness mess. I had to go back and read over the last pages again and again to try to understand what was happening. For a person who reads several books a week, this is annoying, to say the least. I will still read his next book, if there is one. He fascinates me with the way he thinks, generally. This book was not my favorite, by any means.

And here’s one who thought they’d try to counter-balance all the negative reviews from King fans:

However somebody give it a one star rating because THEY accidently purchased it thinking it was Stephen King, i’ve no idea how they did that but this review is too counter balance that one.

Here’s a prankster who thought they’d satire the whole confusion:

As soon as I learned Steven King had his sex change operation AND changed his name, I immediately rushed out and bought this book. The surgery (and hormone therapy) have really changed his appearance AND his writing. It’s amazing. It was almost like reading a completely different author.

Mrs King (Schultz), your new vagina has served you well! Nicely done!

And here’s one from someone who actually thought it was a great Stephen King novel, if you’ll believe it:

Full of suspense and mystery and real, visceral horror. Don’t be put off by the new nom de plume. King’s new pen name signifies another evolution in his career, just as he emerged from the Bachman years’ “Thinner” into the soul-baring masterpiece of “It”. Writing from a feminine perspective is admittedly experimental, but this experiment is a SUCCESS.

Now, I’m sure plenty of authors would be upset about this confusion. Ms.. Schultz has actually kind of taken advantage of the confusion and the money coming her way by creating a Tumblr blog called Spending the Stephen King Money, where she details how she’s been spending her unexpected royalties, from donation to charitable organization to IKEA shopping trips. And of course, it’s only brought more attention to her, and her book. I’m sure plenty of people will read it now just to read the story that got confused with a Stephen King novel.

In fact, there’s a certain author who plans to read the book:

Yep, King is ordering her book, and Ms. Schultz in turn is planning on reading Stephen King’s Joyland. It’s a really weird but hilarious ending to a rather strange series of events stemmingfrom a simple misunderstanding. But hey, I’m sure both authors will laugh about it when they look back on it years from now, if they aren’t laughing about it now. And who knows? Maybe they’ll collaborate torelease books around the same time with the same titles and see what happens. In fact, I kind of hoping they do!

I’m not sure how this sort of thing happens, except through serendipity. In fact, this is the first time I’ve heard of such a thing happening on such a scale that even some media organizations report it. Sure, we all have or know someone who went to get a certain book or movie or check out a certain TV show and ended up reading or watching something with a similar or identical title (that actually happened to me a couple of weeks ago). But on this massive scale? It’s almost a little hard o rap your head around. If Saturday Night Live was airing new episodes right now, this would be the subject of a Weekend Update joke.

Well, like I said above, this is a case of serendipity at work. Just a happy accident. I wish something like that would happen to me, and I’m sure plenty of people will echo the sentiment. Not only is it a funny story, the royalty checks and recognition wouldn’t be too bad either. But it’s still very unlikely, even when your book has a similar name to a bestseller (The Quiet Game and Snake aren’t the only books out there with those names, believe it or not).

But I don’t think’s that’s a bad thing. After all, it’d suck if a lot of negative reviews brought down your book’s average because of some silly confusion. And I’d prefer to get success through my own hard work, creativity, and the help of my good friends and/or readers rather than through some silly mix-up of random chance.¬† More satisfactory that way, anyway.

I just have to write something that will allow that sort of success. Well, hopefully that story will come soon, if it hasn’t already. We’ll just have to wait and see.

What do you think of the King/Schultz mix-up?

If this happened to you, how you would react?

It’s been a while since I reviewed anything. What was the last thing I reviewed? Oh my God, it was American Horror Story: Coven! That was back in January. It’s been a while. Well, no time like the present. Let’s get started.

Well, Captain America is one of my favorite Avengers (the other is Iron Man), and I was really hoping that this movie would be a lot better than Thor 2 (that one sucked). I got my wish: Captain America 2 was awesome! The story starts out with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) finishing up a morning run and making a new friend before heading off on a rescue mission. Or so he thinks: events on the mission take a turn for the dark, and from there things just get worse. Before we know it, Rogers is running for his life with Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen) and they discover a plot that will not only threaten to destroy SHIELD, but possibly destroy the free world as we know it.

Although I’m of the camp that wants less franchises spanning several movies and more original films that bring new ideas and concepts to the screen, I have to say this is Marvel Cinematic Universe at its best. There’s not only action and explosions, but an actual plot where we see character growth and themes that reflect our modern world. The actors were stunning, the story kept you guessing, and the ending made you wish for more (unfortunately, Age of Ultron isn’t due out till next year, and I don’t think Guardians of the Galaxy will have that many connections to the other films in the series). Oh, and near the end of the film, there’s one moment that’ll remind you of another one from Man of Steel. Even Marvel can do that better than DC. Yes, Marvel beat you at your own scene, one you used in advertisements but one Marvel didn’t include in a single ad. Must be sad to know your biggest success in the movie industry ended because the director wanted a perfect ending and decided against a spin-off, doesn’t it?

And if you do go see the film, stay through the credits. There will be two special bonus scenes that’ll contain hints of what is to come in possible future films. Don’t miss it.

Overall, I’m giving Captain America 2 a 5 out of 5. Yes, it’s that good a movie. And if it makes you want more, it deserves that score. I just hope they end the movies in 2028, which is how far they’re apparently planning this franchise. After a while, things tend to get repetitive and boring. God knows it’s just sad to see a franchise that should’ve ended long ago still putting out movies that nobody wants to see (*cough cough* Transformers 4, Jurassic Park 4, Indiana Jones 5, Harry Potter spin-offs *cough cough*).

Now if you need me, I’ll be writing. For some reason, NBC is having trouble broadcasting SNL, so that’s out for tonight. Too bad, too. It was starting to get fun before the broadcast started getting f***ed up.

Just to clarify, this is her turn as host (and musical guest) on the show’s thirty-ninth season.

Based on last week’s episode with Tina Fey, I was afraid that this week’s show would be absolutely terrible. Well apparently they read my review, because they really stepped it up this week! I’m not kidding, they made me forget that they started twenty-seven minutes late due to college football games and gave one of the best shows in a while!

First off, Miley was great. I think she may have actually learned her lesson from the VMAs…especially since they made fun of it throughout the cold open and the monologue. Every skit she just made me laugh so hard I could not help but enjoy myself. The other actors were great as well. Cecily Strong is really coming into her role as a new anchor on Weekend Update, with the right zingers and the perfect smile. Jay Pharaoh is great in any impersonation, making me wonder if it’s him or the actual person he’s doing an impression of. One of these days he shoud do an impression of Dr. Seuss. That would be crazy. And Vanessa Bayer is always hilarious, even when her poetry teacher sounds like her Miley impersonation (and you know she does that in the show). I wonder how she felt about Miley trying to eat her hair?

The sketches were some of the best I’ve ever seen. Each one was different and funny and original all at the same time. Even when I thought a sketch would be dumb, it actually was pretty awesome. I loved the auditions for the Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation and that parody music video on the Republican Party (that should be a single on iTunes). The cheerleading sketch was so goofy but plenty of sci-fi fun, and the poetry sketch was a laughter fest. But probably the best (and most original and quirky sketch) was with featured player Kyle Mooney and Miley trying to have sex in his office. Laugh out loud hysterical.

Great job this weekend, writers of SNL. You really pulled through with some really great sketches. However, I must tell you that Piers Morgan would be totally awesome if he was actually a village idiot from Ohio. After all, our state university’s football team is 18-0 these past two years, and the village idiots often become the breakthrough engineers and doctors of our generations. The only exception is John Boehner, who is still apparently the village idiot.

I’m not a Miley Cyrus fan, so I can’t really comment on her music, but I thought she did very well and that her clothes were tasteful. Definite good points in my book.

For all that I’ve listed above, I give Miley Cyrus’s second turn on SNL a 4.8 out of 5. You go girl! Hope to see more performances like this in the future (and I’m talking to both Miley and the writers/cast of SNL right now. The former, I want you to stop before you go full breakdown and become a real icon and legend that didn’t peak a few years after leaving Disney. To the latter, I hope you continue to write good sketches and keep the show going for at least two more years).

I won’t be doing another SNL review until Lady Gaga’s as yet unscheduled turn as host and musical guest on the show. I will however do a couple of reviews next week with American Horror Story: Coven and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. They both sound interesting, so I’ll review them.

Until then, good night everybody!

Slightly underwhelming.

I’m sorry, but I’m going to come out and say it, this episode wasn’t the best it could be. When you consider the huge shake-up in the cast–three veterans leaving and a fourth leaving at Christmas, plus three featured players getting upgraded to repertoire player and six new featured players–they should’ve done their best to create a hilarious show. Instead most of the sketches revolved around silly little gags and not enough substance from each actor and actress, who’s comedic talents seemed wasted in this episode.

Look at me, I’m asking for substance in comedy from a show that will make poop jokes! But seriously, the writers in this episode weren’t able to deliver this time.

I can’t really say if any actors stood out to me. Cecily Strong did great on her first appearance as an anchor on Weekend Update (let me tell you, she deserves the gig after her “Girl At A Party You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With” became a season favorite), and I bet she’ll do great when she goes solo in January, but I would’ve liked to see her interact with a new Weekend Update guest just to help her settle into her new role. Tina Fey didn’t really get a chance to show her talents after the monologue if you ask me, which I think is sad considering that Sarah Palin’s still out there and still saying things that could easily be made into a five-minute sketch. And the only one of the new cast members who really stood out to me (partly because I’m still getting used to all the new faces) was Kyle Mooney, but mostly because when he showed up on Weekend Update, the lighting and his slicked-back hair¬†worked together so that¬†he looked slightly like a talking mannequin.

Arcade Fire’s not really my kind of music, so I’m probably better off not making a judgment call on them. Also, Aaron Paul makes an appearance in several sketches promoting Breaking Bad‘s season finale…or meth, it could be that too. And the best sketch of the night was early on, in the Cold Open. After the monologue, it doesn’t get much better.

The Saturday Night Live season 39 season premiere gets a 2.6 out of 5 for me. Better make the next episode with Miley Cyrus better, or we may not get to season 40. I’ll be reviewing that episode too, by the way. Miley was great the last time she was on, but she wasn’t that much of a wreck when she was on last time, so it’ll be interesting to see how she does post-MTV meltdown.

God, that’s a long name for a TV show. Oh, and before you read any further, the following review contains multiple spoiler alerts. Reader discretion is advised.

At first I thought this show would seem like a bad Marvel version of Torchwood*. And it’s definitely the Marvel version of Torchwood. Agent that came back from the dead under mysterious circumstances, team that all seems full of problems, saving the world from weird stuff the public shouldn’t be anywhere near. Heck, their character for diversity’s sake is a female Asian agent who doesn’t always do the field work in the ops! All you need is a dinosaur and two guys making out and BBC can sue.

That said, it’s not bad, and it’s certainly got a lot going for it. Each agent seems to be not just stereotypes (though Ward and May on the surface seem like it), but there is room for plenty of character development. The Marvel gadgets are in supply and there’s even some cool techy stuff near the end of the first episode. Plus just from this episode, we can see room for plenty of original stories that may or may not cross over into upcoming Marvel movies. And there’s plenty of self-referential humor and speculation on the various¬†superheroes in this kooky show. There’s appropriate humor when it’s needed, a few enjoyable twists, and plenty of chemistry among this still-raw cast. I’d like to see where this show goes.

For the first episode, I give Agents of SHIELD a 3.9. I’ll watch a few more episodes to see if they impress me. Good luck, Mr. Whedon, Marvel and Disney. You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you, but if it ends in an awesome series, it’ll be worth the work.

Join me Saturday night (or Sunday morning) for the Saturday Night Live season 39 premiere. Tina Fey’s hosting, and my keyboard’s ready for reviewing.

*Torchwood is a Doctor Who spin-off that aired from 2006 to 2011, it’s first season airing after the second season of Doctor Who, which involved an alien attack on London (sound familiar?). Starring John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori, and Gareth David-Lloyd, the show revolved around a team of government agents based in Cardiff, Wales that investigated alien activity¬†in¬†the UK¬†and was led by a guy who¬†had a¬†habit of coming back from the dead (does it sound familiar now?). Officially it’s¬†on hiatus, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up of another season, especially since Barrowman’s on¬†Arrow¬†these days (based on a DC comic, to boot! So much irony).

People are free to disagree with me. I’m fine with that. But I must say it, because it has to be said: I was not that impressed by Justin Bieber on SNL tonight.

I think the funniest skits were the ones where they made fun of Bieber, like during the Miley Cyrus show sketch. However there were moments where Bieber shown through as having comedic talent. That opening monologue, where he messed up Black History Month facts was hilarious. And the Californians sketch is goofy as ever. Oh, and Bieber as a greaser–ha! They made the impossible look halfway possible.

Still, this is one of those episodes where they really didn’t know what to do with the host, so they mostly made fun of who and what he is, with a few brilliant moments besides (for another illustration of this, check out the Bruno Mars episode from October).

However, the regular cast members were phenomenal as usual. I love Vanessa Bayer’s impression of Miley Cyrus, and those Booker T. Washington sketches always get me, especially when Jay Pharoah and Keenan Thompson do their thing as Principal Frye and the gym teacher. Plus that one sketch with “glice” and Taram Killan acting like a total doofus was hilarious. Even Bieber couldn’t keep a straight face. And let’s not forget that Cold Open, where they made fun of the Super Bowl blackout was genius. I couldn’t stop giggling. And during Weekend Update, Thompson once again wowed with that dude from every commercial. That was so hip and fun.

Oh, and speaking of Weekend Update, despite what was said on Richard III, he didn’t actually kill his nephew, and he wasn’t particularly ruthless. In fact, nobody knows who killed his nephew, or if it was even murder; they just seemed to disappear one day. It’s a historical mystery. Not only that, but Richard III seemed to be very merciful, from what I’m told; he pardoned or gave reduced sentences to several people involved in a plot to overthrow him. Can you believe that? The whole bad image of him that history and Shakespeare gave about him was part of a disinformation campaign by the House of Tudor, who took over the throne after destroying Richard’s Plantagenet house. The whole point was to make Richard look like a villain so that the uneducated masses would look upon the new rulers more kindly than the old ones. I’m a History major, so I know this stuff.

I know it’s not essential to this review to point that out, but I had to anyway. I can’t stand it when history is obfuscated by ignorance or misinformation (which is why I also fight against Holocaust deniers).

Now back to the review.

Really happy to see Whoopi Goldberg in the monologue. That woman is an inspiration. And the Grease parody sketch was so funny, you could ignore that an 11-year-old was in a high school. Also, I thought seeing Bieber with his old hair in the “Glice” sketch was a treat for me. The music was not my thing–I don’t like Bieber–but I’m sure there were others who thought it was soulful. I was more surprised that there wasn’t any big performances with some of his more pop music hits, to tell you the truth. And that Valentine’s Day message was crazy funny. I’ve never seen Bieber’s supposed sex appeal skewered like that before.

And who knew he was so inked? Yes, I noticed that stuff. Call it a weird detail to notice, but notice it I did.

Overall, a good episode. Not great, but good. 3.5 out of 5. Good night, and if you disagree with my assessment, please feel free to voice your opinion. I’m always open to differing opinions.

Can I just say, when SNL does a good episode, they do an amazing string of sketches garaunteed to get me laughing?

Adam Levine is a great actor, a wondeful singer, and can I just say I was a little overwhelemed in a good way when he took off his shirt? Holy crap! My buddy and I were watching the show together, and I both think we developed man-crushes on the guy. Also, Mr. Levine does a great gay talk show host, and he interacts so well with Bobby Moynihan (more on that later).

That being said, the other actors also were wonderful. Nasim Pedrad always kills me as Arianna Huffington on Weekend Update, the way she’s flirting with Seth Meyers without actually flirting. Bill Hader showed us what would’ve happened if one of his other characters, Stefan, was named Bryce, had his sexuality repressed, developed rejection issues, and developed a need to control everything around him while showing me that his voice can go higher than I thought possible. And I just love it when Bobby Moynihan dresses in drag, especially when he dresses as Janet, the strange woman from Yonkers who has a horrible face and yet beds a lot of celebrities.

Some highlights from the show include the Janet sketch, the Cold Open where Jay Pharaoh as Barack Obama has a weird conversation with Keenan Thompson as Martin Luther King Jr, the SNL Digital Short featuring The Lonely Island (how I missed you guys and your shorts!), the joke commercial for a prequel series to The Sopranos that almost put me in an early grave and…I’m forgetting something…oh right. ANDY SAMBERG! Along with Cameron Diaz and Jerry Seinfeld, they parodied Levine’s show The Voice and got him to take his shirt off. I missed that dude and his Digital Shorts.

Kendrick Lamar was a good musical guest. He’s not my thing, but you know what? I didn’t dislike him, and I didn’t totally ignore his act either. So there’s something to be said for that.

For this episode, I give it a 4.2 out of 5 for a ton of entertainment, a ton of laughs, Janet, and Andy Samberg.

Join me for a review in two weeks, which will probably involve me either tearing into Justin Beiber or being pleasantly surprised by him in most aspects except his singing.

Can I just say, I think I have a crush on that woman? I’m not kidding, I’m going to say it right now: I love Jennifer Laurence! Can I treat you to dinner, provided you come out to meet me here at OSU and any place we go is within walking distance of campus?

Anyway, I think this was one of my favorite SNL episodes ever, and not just because I fell in love again. Nope, the writers were just hilarious, and the actors were top-notch! My favorite skit was the Top Dog Chef bit, where every character looked positively adorable as they ate stuff out of a garbage bag! At the end of it all, I was laughing for two whole minutes, right as the commercials came on. In addition, there was a Hunger Games sketch that I couldn’t help but giggle about. And Taram Killan as an abnormally short Peeta Mellark was a hoot! Kudos to the make-up and costume artists as well, you made the actors really look like they came right out of the book. Plus, Laurence can rap and rhyme…sort of. It’s still hilarious. And check out the foreign film sketch Danielle: A Free European Woman, which catches all the cliches of old foreign films that are attempting to be the film¬†equivalent of artsy,¬†elite¬†literary novels.

My one complaint was that Weekend Update was a little too short for my tastes, though I was happy to see Bobby Moynihan reprise his role as Anthony Crispino, who never seems to get the news right. Also, I expected some more coverage of the gun control debate, but instead they decided to make fun of Manti Te’o and his unfortunate hoodwinking by a conwoman. I’m not sure I would’ve gone that way myself, personally. I mean, the guy found out a girl he loved and whom he thought had died was all a hoax. Cut the guy a little slack.

Still, gotta say, I found the show hysterical.

Can’t say I enjoyed the Lumineers, but I’m not familiar with their music. Now if Lorne Michaels got Disturbed or Marilyn Manson, then maybe we could talk.

For this show, I give SNL a 4.5 out of 5, for bringing in the new year with an awesome episode that’ll definitely be remembered as a highlight for the season. Look forward to next week, when Adam Levine hosts and Kendrick Lamar sings. By the way, my sister is obsessed with Lamar, so is he any good? We’ll find out next week.

Well, here it is, folks. My final review of an episode of SNL for a while. And I’m sorry I’m getting it out later than I usually do, but them’s the breaks.

Alright, starting with Mr. Craig himself. As the current James Bond and a professional at killing people on screen while making women real and fictional swoon, we’ve been expecting a lot from this episode, and from Mr. Craig, who has not really done comedy up till this point. Sad to say, I was a little disappointed. I mean, he was great in the opening monologue…until they did that “In Memoriam” thing. And then it was just full of disappointments to me. Craig seems very expressionless, and although his New Jersey accent is convincing, he just doesn’t deliver the lines with the zing you expect from hosts on SNL. In fact, the cast members seem to overshadow him. Overshadow¬†007! Speaking of which,¬†I was hoping he would do a whole skit on Bond, but all we got was a joke ad, with Craig in it only a quarter of the time. What’s up with that?

The rest of the cast was phenomenal as usual. Jay Pharaoh did a good impression of Obama that was both funny and painful to watch for me. Aidy Bryant finally had more than a single line in an episode, and was hilarious as a crazy woman, so I hope I get to see her full range in later episodes. It was cool to see Chris Parnell come back as Lehrer during the cold open, and Bobby Moynihan is great as a kitten-obsessed dude that, while we sympathize with him, we also want to punch him. Oh, and Fred Armisen, I don’t know how you feel about getting in drag, but you always kill me when you are!

The skits themselves were so-so. The psychic woman skit was a laugh, with everyone tearing up. I enjoyed Weekend Update especially, with Kate McKinnon as a weird Italian artist, and–oh, Big Bird was there! How did they get him on the show? I don’t know how, but kudos to the producers for that! And he was funny as welll as appropriate, which with Big Bird I guess is required.

No comments on the musical guest Muse, since I’m more of a pop/rap/screaming metal kind of guy, but they did alright I guess. And was that Michelle Obama in the cold open, or was that footage from a debate? Someone tell me.

Overall, I give it a 3,8 out of 5. Look forward to my next reviews, when I go to see movies like Taken 2, Alex Cross, and Skyfall, where Daniel Craig shines in the mode he’s best at: serious.