Sunday, October 29, 2006

Entertainment: Critical's Entertainment Weekly Review for the Week of November 3, 2006

I am back reviewing EW in my usual Highlights/Lowlights format! I know everyone missed it!

This is a review for Entertainment Weekly #905, featuring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett on the cover.


- News & Notes: "The Incredivle Shrinking Network": Recently, NBC announced that it is looking into eliminating scripted programming in it's 8 PM timeslot. This article succiently describes what that means and the reasoning behind it. I think NBC is making a big mistake in bringing up this idea.

- Spotlight: Elizabeth Mitchell: This was an informative article on the newest addition to the Lost cast. Perhaps too informative, as it contains what I would call a light spoiler. Still, it's nice to see, once again, that on Lost it's the characters, and the actors and actresses that play them, that count.

- DVD Review: SNL: The Best of Saturday TV Funhouse: TV Funhouse has been the only consistently funny portion of SNL in a while. In this short review, I learned something new: Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell both wrote for The Dana Carvery Show.

- TV Review: South Park: Yep, the long running crude cartoon is back and it's funny as ever. South Park has sorta reached The Simpsons Zone in that while not every episode is laugh out loud funny, each episode is still hugely entertaining.


- News & Notes: Setting Sales: This article on why sales are down for opening week music sales only briefly touches upon what I think is the main reason: music is so fractured nowadays that no one artist has mass appeal.

- Style: Amy Sedaris: Although I appreciate this satirical look at the horrors of the red carpet, did I really need to see an overtan and overexposed Ms. Sedaris?

So, once again, I didn't find any of the main articles interesting, but quickly looking over the Highlights vs. Lowlights, I see I have more Highlights, so...

EW #905 gets a B.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lost: "Every Man For Himself" Review

If last week was Locke's time to shine, then this week was definitely Sawyer's turn in the spotlight.

Sawyer hatches a plan to escape from The Others. He plans to turn the cage's electricity-tinged food dispension system against the next Other who comes to get him. It turns out that Ben is that Other, but of course, he's been monitoring Sawyer and has turned off the electricity. To futher deter Sawyer's attempts at escaping, Ben sedates Sawyer and then Ben puts a pacemaker into Sawyer so that if his heart beat exceeds a certain limit, his heart will explode. This is all explained in a very creepy scene involving Ben, Sawyer, and a rabbit.

Meanwhile, Colleen, the woman shot by Sun in a previous epsidoe comes back, badly hurt. Juliet, the only passable doctor seemingly on the Others' side and she is only a fertility doctor at that, has to enlist Jack to help. Jack can't save Colleen's life due to inadequate machinery. Jack spies an X-ray of a 40-something man with a deadly tumor though while in the operating room and is left to wonder whose it is.

Sawyer's flashback reveal a time in which he was in prison for the acts he did in his last flashback. In fact, the woman he connned, Cassidy, comes back to tell him he has a daughter! Sawyer pulls on a con on a new inmate, just so he can get out of jail by working with the warden and the FBI to get the target. He also takes his cut of the reward money to leave to his newborn daughter.

As pointed out in the flashbacks, and with Sawyer's dealing with his new pacemaker (which turns out to be just a lie), Sawyer's biggest weakness is his heart. He cares even though he doesn't want to. Between Kate saying she loved him to get a grieving Pickett off him (which again, is a lie, at least according to Kate) to his present to his child in the flashback, Sawyer isn't the hard, evil man he wants to be.

In the end, a major reveal is made: Kate, Sawyer, and Jack are on another, smaller island off the coast of the original one. Ben shows Sawyer this to prove that escape is futile. But we know the story has to dictate that somehow these three escape. Now the intriguing part is how.

3 1/2 Number 8 Rabbits out of 5.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Movie Review: The Prestige

Magic, mayhem, and nonlinear storytelling. What else could I be talking about other than the latest movie from Memento director Christopher Nolan?

The story takes place at the turn of the 20th century, as two rival magicians battle. Their rivalry turns bitter when Alfred Nolan (played by Christian Bale) allows a deadly trick to rob Anton (played by Hugh Jackman) of something special. Thus, Anton begins his descent into revenge, as Alfred begins his journey to upstage and humiliate his rival.

If it seems I am being skimpy on the plot details, I am. I don't want to reveal too much, because like the subject matter the film is dealing with, much of the picture deals with misdirection and deadends. Suffice to say, there are many twists and turns, and I was left shocked at the end of the movie.

There are fine performances all around. Jackman and Bale put forth efforts that if they were in a straight up period piece would probably have their names being called on Oscar night. Michael Caine plays his supporting role with a nice bit of understatement. And even Scarlett Johansson impresses me, in her first role that I have seen her in on the big screen.

Like I said in the intro, this being a Nolan piece, the story is not linear. There are flashbacks to flashbacks that lead to other flashbacks. The story is disjointed at times, but some minutes into the movie, the confusion leaves you. Once you are settled into the film, the story unravels like a paper ball, slowly, and at times, randomly.

I was blown away by this film. It will leave you wondering about it outloud and to your friends.

4 1/2 Doves out of 5.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Entertainment: Critical's Entertianment Weekly 2-for-1 Review!

Due to some mail problems, I got the EW for last week on Monday. So by the time I was done reading that, the EW for this week arrived. So I get to review both issues! Instead of the usual Highlight/Lowlight, I am just going to talk about each issue briefly.

EW for the week of October 20, 2006. Numbered 903. Borat on the Cover.

This issue was probably the best issue I have reviewed so far. There is an excellent cover story on Borat and what it took to get the guerilla movie made. There is also an aritcle on Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam on TV's The Office. It too was enlightening, as I did not know that before she hit it big, she was in many "Pam like" jobs. There was also a small article in the beginning of the magazine, talking about all the future sequels coming out that are based on old movies (Jurassic Park 4, Die Hard 4, Rocky 6). All in all this was a great issue.

EW #903 gets an A-.

EW for the week of October 27, 2006. Number 904. Clint Eastwood on the Cover.

Another solid issue, though not as good as last week's. Clint Eastwood talks about his new movie, Flags of Our Father's. Unfortunately, as I ranted about before, EW also felt it necessary to have a side article on Clint's poltiics. Though Clint isn't ranting and raving in this side article, I felt it unnnecessary. Yes, his new movie is about a world war, but that doesn't mean you have to quiz him on the current war. Although it was interesting to read about his views as it appears he is one of the few celebrities who supports Predisent Bush.

There was a nice article on "5 New Shows to Watch", including the floundering, but very good "Studio 60". It seems like "Studio 60", along side the other new show about SNL, "30 Rock" will barely last the season. It's a shame, because "Studio 60" is a fun, zippy drama. "30 Rock", I didn't find funny at all though.

EW #904 gets a B.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Adoption Crazy

Recently, Madonna adopted a boy from an African coutnry, following in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie and Sharon Stone.

Is it just me, or has it seemed like female celebrities are treating these adoptions as the hot new thing to do? Every time I turn around, I hear some famous person is going to some Third-World country to pick up a child. If this was about pet rocks, people would call it a fad.

Why is it that women celebrities, many of them who have their own natural offspring are adopting? In fact, most of the celebrities I hear associated with these rumors and actions already have one or two children. Why do they go to the Third-World to adopt, when there are plenty of needy children left in orphanages here in the States? I believe it is because the whole ordeal is just another means to generate publicity. Everywhere Angelina goes, I see she has her kids with her, but it seems more akin to bringing an accessory than someone you care for.

Rumor has it that even Britney Spears is looking at adopting a baby, to follow in the footsteps of her idol Madonna. Huh? She just gave birth and already has a one year old kid, does she really think she needs another mouth to feed? I am honestly very confounded by these chains of events.

I hope the insanity stops soon. With each person who picks up a kid like they are shopping for groceries makes me roll my eyes in frustration.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lost: "Further Instructions" Review

Locke is back, baby! Those four words sum up my excitement at this week's Lost episode.

Last season, the writers spent some time deconstructing John Locke. They took him from being the confident hunter at the end of Season 1 and left him a button pushing, faithless man at the end of Season 2. Now, they are building him up again, with a return to his Island Shaman attitude.

The episode starts off with a callback to the Pilot. Instead of an opening eye shot of Jack lying in the jungle, this time it's Locke. He sees Desmond scuttle by, naked, but Locke has lost his voice. After returning to camp, and mending some fences with Charlie, Locke takes a vision quest to start to reconnect to the Island. In some great storytelling, Boone serves as Locke's guide, taking Locke through a dream airport, where the other survivors are lounging around. Words can't describe the scene, so here is the clip on YouTube. Gotta love Ben frisking Jack.

Locke learns his mission his to save Eko, who luck would have it, has been captured by a polar bear. Charlie and Locke go off to save Mr. Eko, with Locke warning Charlie that those who hang around him get into trouble. Beside Boone, we learn through Locke's flashback that he was part of a hippie commune. This commune gets destroyed by an undercover cop that Locke unknowingly allows in. Locke says he can fix this problem, and takes the cop out on a hunting party, but cannot shot the man in cold blood.

Desmond's (naked) return was funny to see, as he interacted with a returning Hurley. Desmond also chillingly predicts a speech Locke had yet to give, indicating that Desmond might be able to see the future. Also, in the end, the two new cast members are seen, being introduced as "background" survivors.

There was no Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Jin, Sun, or Sayid this week as active participants on the island. But that did not stop this episode from being the best so far this season. It definetely had a Season 1 vibe to it!

4 1/2 Sweat Lodges out of 5 .

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Classic Movie Review: "The Shining"

As Friday the 13th came and went last week, I had an interesting opportunity: to watch the classic horror movie "The Shining" on a day associated with horror. I could not pass up this once in a lifetime event.

Like the other movies I have reviewed, The Shining has become part of pop culture lexicon. Scream out "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny" in a dark voice and people will sure to know what you are talking about. Freak out your friends by exclaiming REDRUM over and over again, and someone will get the reference. So how does The Shining hold up today, against the "seen that, parodied that" challenges that doomed my viewings of Taxi Driver and Westworld?

The Shining holds up very well, actually. I have actually read the Stephen King book it is based upon way before seeing the movie, so it wasn't like I had only seen certain scenes through parodies. The movie is still psychologically horrifying, as we see Jack Nicholson's character descend into madness. Shelly Duvall's character, the wife of Jack and mother of Danny, straddles the line between damsel in distress and damsel kicking ass. And the boy Danny is a perfect character to have the audience enter through.

Stanley Kubrick directed the movie and it is apparent that he is behind the camera. Many shots are just of a hallway, where a character enters the scene, the camera moves backwards as the character walks forward, then the character leaves as the scene lingers on the hallway a bit. I have read that this movie lead to the invention of the Steadicam, which allowed for scenes like the one mentioned before. There are no grandiose shots meant to visually stun the audience. Isolation is a theme of the movie, and the intense visual focus on the character in a shot reinforces that theme.

Out of all the classic movies I have reviewed so far, The Shining is the best one. It has a timeless quality to it. In one hundred years, people will still go up to each other and say "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" and then sinisterly laugh.

4 1/2 out of 5 Hedge Mazes.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Keep The Politics Out of My Entertainment

Recently, Barbara Streisand was heckled by a fan at one of her concerts due to a extended skit that has her mocking George W. Bush. Ms. Streisand snapped, cussed out the fan, and proceeded on with the skit. Her publicist then hinted that the fan might have been a plant by a Republican outfit.

I hate it when someone in the entertainment field feels it necessary to rub their political views on their audience. I don't pay money, or give you my time, to listen to a guy who dropped out of college sermonize why the war in Iraq is wrong or how political party X is dumb. And yes, it happens on both sides of the aisle, but since a Republican is in office now, the liberal actors, actresses, and musical acts are screaming the loudest.

Did I need to know that Green Day's American Idiot is really an allegory for the current administration to enjoy it? No. Or that the underlying themes in the movie version of V for Vendetta was supposed to bash Bush? No, again. Look, I am not against an artist sharing his views with the world, but make sure a) that you are an "artist" (I'm looking at you Jeanne Garafalo) and b) you are informed and educated about the topic at hand. The protest songs of the 1960s and 70s were great because these artist were young and could possibly be drafted. They cared and were willing to actively stand up to the government. Today, an artist will speak in hushed tones or make fun behind the backs. Very few artists are willing to risk anything, so why should I listen to them? Barbara snipes at Bush in her safe house of a concert with her fans and gets unnerved when that safety is breached. She holds fundraisers for the Democratic party, and never leaves the coccoon.

Make me care about your views. Don't shove your views down my throat. Don't flaunt it. Come at me with a rational argument. Don't spout off your views because it is the hip thing to do. Why should I care about what you think?

Right now, there are very few Hollywood people that I would care about their opinions. Among them are Martin Sheen and Tim Robbins and Susan Surandon. All three have protested non mainstream issues. All three have been arrested because of their actions. These people seem informed, and even though, I might not like what they are preaching at times, at least I know they aren't doing it for the fame.

Now, if you may excuse me, Mario Lopez is on Bill O'Reilly, talking about global warming.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lost: "The Glass Ballerina" Review

Chain gang action and adventure on the high seas. No, it isn't a prison pirate movie, it's the latest episode of Lost.

"The Glass Ballerina" focuses on Sun and Jin, and the lies Sun have told to protect herself. Through the flashbacks, first with a young Sun lying to her father, all the way to Sun lying to Jin and having an illicit affair, we see Sun isn't as innocent as we were lead to believe. Her affair is discovered by her Mafia boss-like father, who sends Jin to kill the man (who was teaching Sun English before). Jin doesn't know why he has to kill the man, and of course, let's him live. That life is short though, as the man either jumps or is pushed out a window, to his death.

Back in the present, Sayid, seeking revenge, sets up a trap to capture the Others. The plan has Sun lying to Jin again, but this time, Jin catches on and reveals he knows a lot more English than Sun knew. The plan backfires when Sun, thinking she is safe aboard the boat from the finale, gets ambushed by the Others. She shots one, and manages to escape as the Others take the boat. Sun and Jin are reunited, and it feels so good.

Meanwhile, back with the love triangle, Sawyer and Kate have to dig up and move some rocks as slave labor. Sawyer gets in some great quips, taunting his supervisors. I was actually smiling through most of his dialogue, which doesn't happen that much with Lost. Sawyer kisses Kate, and gets shocked, but it's all part of his plan to size up the Others.

Meanwhile, we see very little of Jack. At the end of the episode though, Henry Gale tries to breakthrough to Jack by introducing himself. His real name? Benjamin Linus. There was a famous scientist by the name of Linus who preached peace. Linus was the son of the god Apollo, who was betrayed by his father and killed. And of course there is Linus from Peanuts. Ben wants Jack to trust him. He tell Jack that he has contact with the outside world. He tells Jack that in the 69 days he's been crashed on this Island, Jack has missed Bush being reelected, Christopher Reeve dying, and The Red Sox winning the World Series. Jack, of course, is incredulous abotu that last fact. Ben assures him that the Sox did win, and shows him a tape of the final out. And that's where the episode ends. Those last five minutes were excellent.

Overall, though some may say nothing happened, I say this was a much better episode then the season premiere. We learned Henry's real name and that he has lived on the island his entire life. I can't wait till next week when we find out what happened to the Hatchlings!

4 out of 5 Other-Brand Lunch Pails

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Entertainment: Critical's Entertainment Weekly Review for the Week of October 13, 2006

This week's issue, with Kirsten Dunst on the cover and numbered 901 and 902, is a double issue. It is a double issue dubbed the "Photo Issue." So in lieu of a regular highlight/lowlight review, I will talk about the issue in general.

If you haven't guessed it by now, I didn't like this issue. I felt it was a waste of a double issue. Because the focus was on photos, the meat of Entertainment Weekly this week turned into a flip book. There were no articles of any substantial length. There were mainly little blurbs describing wach photo. I did not care about the photographs at all.

Because the focus was on photos, a general feeling of static was felt throughout the main portion of the magazine. Nothing was happening. I was disappointed that the editors felt it necessary to show us, the reader, photoshoot "outtakes". It more or less feeds our culture's obsession with the flash of celebrity and not the substance. "Oh look at these beautiful people! And look how good they look even in the photos we didn't use."

So, yeah, I did not care for EW this week. It gets a F.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Classic Movie Review: Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver (1976) was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Robert DeNiro. It might best be known for the mirror scene in which DeNiro asks himself "Are you talkin' to me?" But how is the rest of the movie, you may ask yourself.

Like another classic Robert DeNiro movie I saw recently, The Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver is more a character study than a plotted story. While I found The Deer Hunter long and boring, Taxi Driver fared a little better. Taxi Driver is a story of one man, Travi Bickle, as he goes about his life in NYC. He really has no purpose in life and starts to come apart mentally. He feels NYC is full of scum, and in the end, takes it upon himself to clean up the streets. Think Catcher in the Rye, but with an older protagonist.

There are some fine performances in this movie. De Niro shines, along with Jodie Foster, in her few scenes as an underage hooker. Cybill Shepard doesn't chew the scenery as the romantic foil to Travis, which is a good thing.

Although this is considered an American classic, I just didn't see it. Yes it was well made, but the ending was a copout. The film was building to this climax where Travis breaks down and goes on a rampage. They delievered on the rampage, but after that, there was a happy ending. Again, comparing it to The Catcher in the Rye, Taxi Driver had a flowers and lollipops ending. For a movie that had a dark undertone, it didn't deliever. Travis returns to how he was in the beginning of the movie, smiling. He goes back to driving a cab and is lauded as a hero. Very anticlimatic. It left a sour taste in my mouth.

All in all, it was an ok movie. Again, maybe because it is now part of the pantheon of American movies, I couldn't appreciate it as much if it was just another movie.

3 out of 5 Meters Running.

Dreamweaver: Star Trek: The Continuing

Welcome back to another edition of Dreamweaver, where I urge Hollywood to take up some of my ideas. This time, I take up the Star Trek cause as I suggest how to return the Star Trek franchise to it's former glory.

Star Trek: The Continuing, which would be a syndicated series, would take place roughly 2 to 3 hundred years after The Next Generation/DS9/Voyager. Much like the space between the original series and TNG, this break would allow for the stories to be independent and allow for a different tone. The captain, played by a male, would still command the Enterprise (probably R or S by then). The Federation has reached peace with the Romulans and the Enterprise's first officer is from Romulus. Cloaking devices are allowed on all Federation ships.

The new enemy of the Federation is a surprising one. The Vulcans, feeling it is illogical that Starfleet and the Federation are based on Earth, when it was them who first mastered space travel, have broken off from the Fed. Though there has been no major battles, both sides feel a war is brewing.

Though there is danger about, the Enterprise's main mission still remains exploration. Warp drive can now go up to Warp 15, scientist having found a way around the barriers of warp 10. There are crewless ships exploring too, infused with artificial AI.

The stories would be similiar to TOS and TNG in that each one is independent of each other and there are no overarcing plots. The plots themselves would be similiar to TNG in that there would be "cultural" and "warlike" episodes. Hopefully, with the time break between this series and the rest, the technology and other set details can give it a distinct feel without feeling alien, pardon the pun.

In terms of marketing, the show needs to be in syndication. One of the problems with Voyager and Enterprise was that they were on the UPN network, which was owned by Paramount, which own Star Trek. So there was an increased pressure to bring in the ratings. Sometimes these shows suffered for it. So syndicate the show, and let the stories be told without fear of ratings. The fans will be there.

I think that the Star Trek franchise needs is a TV show that doesn't need to be tied directly into the continuity of the ST universe (the main complaint about the show Enterpise was that ignored previously established Federation history). The show needs to harken back to the "Good old days" but does not need to overplay it.

JJ Abrams, the creator of Lost and Alias, recently signed on to produce a new Star Trek movie. As a former Trekkie, I am looking forward to the future of Trek.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lost: "A Tale of Two Cities" Review

It is no secret that Lost is my favorite show currently on TV. It perfectly blends sci-fi with drama and character development. Last night was the season premiere. What did I think of it?

When we last left our survivors, Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were taken by the Others. This episode explains what is happening to them. But first, in the newest tradition of Lost, the first five minutes of the episode was a bit of misdirection. We are shown a seemingly normal day in the life of one suburban woman. Except she isn’t in suburbia, she’s an Other on the island, right before Oceanic Flight 815 crashes. This was a big bang right out of the gate and was magnificently played.

The episode then switched to the soap opera trio. Jack’s in the previously hypothesized underwater hatch, Sawyer’s in an animal cage, and Kate awakens in a gym shower. She dresses in new clothes provided by the Others and gets a chilling warning from Henry Gale, their leader: “The next two week are going to be unpleasant for her”.

The woman seen in the opening, Juliet, is interrogating Jack. Jack is upset at being captured and is being stubborn. The flashback this week does center on Jack, as he falls apart during the divorce proceedings as there is a breaking up his marriage to Sarah. Jack suspects Sarah cheated on him and is trying to figure out with whom. He thinks his dad is the one, and confronts him. This drives his previously sober for 50 days dad to fall off the wagon and Jack gets arrested for attacking his father. In the end, Sarah bails him out, and Jack sees the man Sarah is with. Sarah refuses to identify him, leaving Jack destroyed.

Juliet and Henry (who is identified as “Ben” by Juliet) seem to be at odds with each other. Whether or not this will lead to Juliet’s defection or is just an internal struggled to control the Others is yet to be seen. I do enjoy seeing the Others side of life, as it is very different from what we have seen over the past two seasons.

Was this episode perfect? No, not by a longshot. There seemed to be too many commercial breaks, and the fracturing of the story into three different locales (Jack’s, Kate’s, and Sawyer’s) hurt the story. It seemed more like a second or third episode, not a season premiere. It was a solid episode nonetheless.

3 ½ Fish Biscuits out of 5.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Lost premieres it's first episode of the third season tonight, at 9:00 PM EST!

That is all.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Entertainment Critical's Entertainment Weekly Review for the Week of October 6, 2006

The reviews roll on, with the weekly edition of Entertainment Critical’s Entertainment Weekly Review. This week’s edition, numbered with the nice round figure of 900, has Kate Winslet on the cover. It also has EW pondering “If We Ran Hollywood…”


New & Notes: TV Comedy is Broken: Once again, a brilliant, if not short, article on why sitcoms on TV are flailing around like a chicken without its head. And if you think they are not, just remember, Charlie Sheen became the highest paid comedy star on TV this week.

Spotlight: 10 Things You Don’t Know about James Franco: What can I say? I am a big fan of the Spider-Man movies.

The Must List: #7 (Sarah Paulson on “Studio 60”) and #10 (Saturday TV Funhouse): One is a biting reminder on why SNL isn’t funny anymore and the other shows you how funny SNL was.

DVD Review: X-Men: The Last Stand: This movie was not nearly as bad as everyone thought it was. It’s no X2, but it certainly was no Hulk/Elektra either.
Must Watch of the Week: Lost: You said it, EW!


What Kate Winslet Knows/Hollywood vs. Women: I applaud EW for taking on the whole “Hollywood slights Women” thing, but as a man, I am not that invested in this battle. This could be a highlight or a lowlight honestly, but right now, it’s on my lowlight list.

“The Office” Secret Scene: What? Angela was pregnant last season, but they decided to excise that storyline? Noooooooooooo!

Music Review: The Killers: Having just seen the Killers live last weekend and been exposed to more of their newer music through MTV and VH1, they are dangerously reaching a level of personal overexposure. EW’s grade of a C to their new album doesn’t help their cause.

A fairly average week for EW. None of the main articles captured my attention and none of the reviews were particularly engrossing. This week, EW, like The Killers, gets a C.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

SNL Still Not Funny

Maybe the title of this post is a bit too harsh. I did enjoy some guffaws from last night's season premiere of SNL, hosted by Dane Cook. But they were few and far between.

The opening sketch, which had George Bush attending a Republican Comptroller's rally in South Carolina, reminded me of a scene from that show that skewers SNL, Studio 60. Matthew Perry's character on that show kept rejecting opening skits because, although they had George Bush in them, they were dumb. The point being made by Matt was that just because it has a political figure in it, does not give the skit a free pass. I felt Matthew would have rejected last night's SNL opening.

Also, the host was Dane Cook. Dane's first time hosting SNL was last year...and it got the lowest rating in years. So naturally, they asked him back. His opening monologue was just his stand up routine. I like his stand up, I saw him live last year, but that sort of stuff just doesn't work on SNL.

The new team on Weekend Update, Amy Poehler (continuing with her cute deadpans) and Seth Meyers, were ok. Nothing spectacular, and a few jokes fell flat or were very predestrian. I am just waiting for Seth to call Amy an ignorant slut, because a) it's funny and b) SNL loves it's past.

Of course, SNL took a swipe at Studio 60 and Tina Fey's new sitcom about an SNL-type show, 30 Rock. In a sketch where basically Dane and cast member Will Forte try to hide those office water bottles from their boss, Lorne Michaels showed his claws. The sketch's premise basically had Will opening a closet and the bottles continually fall out and Dane repeating the word "bone". After the sketch is seemingly done, Will says he can sell this experience to SNL as a sketch. And he says if that fails he can give it to someone at Studio 60 or 30 Rock. He then adds, of course, they'll stop the sketch where it stopped being funny, which was long ago. While I was eagerly awaiting this sorta situation, it really didn't make sense. The ending felt tacked on and incoherent. It really had nothing to do with the rest of the sketch. Maybe that was the point, but if Lorne really wanted to take a bit out of the two new shows, there are better ways of doing it. Maybe have a sketch where the cast members talk about all the members that left, saying they went to the other shows. Then have the remaining members quit as well. I don't know, something better than name checking at 12:45 at night.

I have nothing better to do on a Saturday night, so I will probably continue watching SNL. Especially since next week's show has Jamie Pressly on it.