The Rock / Andrew W.K.
April 13, 2002


I'm in a great mood this weekend. I just finished my taxes last night and I
did them all by myself! I'm as proud as I was the day I rode a schoolbus for
the first time...well, no not really. But it was one of the most aggravating
things I've ever done. The Indians are 11-1 so far this year and every game
feels like the playoffs; nobody wants the streak to end. I love the Indians
and all, but every single game is a white-knuckle affair. Today's game was
rained out so my fingernails will have a couple days to recoup. The semester
is almost over and I'm actually kind of sad. This is the first time in my
college career that I've actually worked hard and I'm hoping that I make the
dean's list; it would be my first time. Okay, enough about me. It's time to
get the review started.

Oops, I forgot something. I almost always make typos or some kind of
grammatical
errors in my reviews that I manage to catch AFTER I've sent the reviews in,
so I need to correct a mistake in my Ian McKellen review. I mistakingly
wrote that "Ian is one of just a few British actors I enjoy", when I meant to
say, "Ian is just one of a few British actors I enjoy". I'll do a "Jimmy"
when I say that I'm half English and meant no offense to the British; it was
a mistake. I didn't review last week's episode because of schoolwork, but I
did watch it. It was okay, but nothing great. I'll probably refer to it
once in awhile in this review.

PRE-SHOW THOUGHTS

I honestly wasn't sure if this episode was a new one or not. I remember the
Rock hosting not too long ago, two seasons maybe, so I thought this was a
rerun of that. But with the Rock's (I hate calling this guy "The Rock", by
the way) new movie, "The Scorpion King" coming out very soon, I figured this
was new. What did I expect to see before the show started? Well, I remember
last time Dwayne hosted, he brought a handful of his wrestling cronies with
him. I didn't care for that, but I expected him to bring them back. The
skit writers love to put brawny athletes in drag, so maybe we'll see some of
that. And, the Rock sang last time, so I'm sure that talent will be
utililized again.

COLD OPENING - GEORGE BUSH WITH AN OFFER TO SUICIDE BOMBERS

In what might be the 10th or so political cold opening this season, I wasn't
too thrilled to see the presidential seal to come on screen. I did see last
week's opening with the Culps, and even though I'm over them, I was happy to
see something different. But it's back to the usual stuff again. I have
liked most of the political sketches this year and the cold openings have
been very good. But this week's is the weakest one I've seen so far this
season. George Bush offers suicide bombers a free cell phone and a hotline
full of whores in exchange for their bombs and equipment. I don't like
connecting whores with our President, so I was more repulsed than humored by
this.

Grade: C

MONOLOGUE - THE ROCK (or Dwayne....something)

I'll just call him the Rock, I guess. He's wearing some odd Jesus-looking
tunic. He's here to host for the second time and plug his new movie, T.S.K.
The Rock demonstrates how to fake punch, that figures. His guinea pig is
"little Chris Kattan" who really does look tiny next to the Rock. I laughed
so hard when he was playfully punching and slapping Chris while calling him
"little". I didn't care for the fake punch that Chris dealt and the Rock's
reaction, but the beginning of the monologue made up for it.

Grade: B

SKETCH - BRIAN FELLOW'S SAFARI PLANET

Yes, I finally know what the guy's name is! I never knew if was Brian Fellow
or Brian Fellows; now I know it's the former. Despite the fact this sketch
has been going on for awhile, I'm not sick of it. I haven't failed to laugh
every time Tracy exclaims, "I'm Brian Fellow!" The crazy parrot that taunted
Brian was a nice change. Jimmy did well with the parrot, but the Rock looked
so uncomfortable holding the aquarium with the tarantula inside. Or maybe he
was overacting, I'm not sure. Don't blame the guy, though. This Safari
Planet was better than the one from the Britney show, just for the record.

Grade: B+

SKETCH - SCORPION KING DEALS WITH TROUBLESOME SON

The Rock's new movie is a spinoff of "The Mummy", I believe and in the
context of SNL, it provides some good material for a sketch. I'm not into
the Mummy movies at all, I couldn't stay awake during the first one, so I
wasn't sure how much of this sketch I'd understand. Luckily, the viewer
didn't need to know jack about the series to enjoy this. The Scorpion King
has a rebellious son (Seth) who looks like a Dragonball Z reject. His
character reminded me alot of the rude son he played in the Ellen Degeneres
episode. He was also very much like the whiny, still-in-his parents'-home
character Ben Stiller played a few seasons ago. Seth's good at playing
annoying characters and I mean that as a compliment. I had to laugh at Jimmy
when he cracked face again. Just one look at Seth was enough to make him
smirk. I liked how the Rock saved the "tomb" line, that was great. The
sketch overall was a bit too long and I lost interest by the time they got to
the new battle cry, but it was still good stuff.

Grade: A-

SKETCH/COMMERCIAL - ARTHUR ANDERSON TAX HELP

More Enron jokes + me = Zzzzzzz.... This was cute and well-timed, but not
overly creative or entertaining. There's not much to say, really, except I'm
still having a hard time remembering Chris P. is back. Glad he is, though.

Grade: C-

SKETCH - HARDBALL

I've never gotten much out of these Hardball sketches. Darrell's impression
was great as usual and I loved how he laughed after mentioning "the 50 people
that watch this show". He seems so serious and I always like to see him have
fun. His three guests were Will, playing Dick Armey who was taunted with a
bunch of similar names, Paul Begala (Chris K.) and Pat Caddell (Jimmy). I
don't who any of these men are or even if they are real mean, but I love
Chris as that Paul guy. I was in stitches when Darrell called him "Muppet
Mouth". The other guys weren't too exciting, except for when Will proposed
turning the West Bank into a storage garage for the U.S. Not a bad sketch,
considering I don't normally care for these.

Grade: B-

SKETCH - DRUNK GIRL

I don't know if this is a sketch or not. It's alot like that odd Oscar Award
thing that Ana and Will (I think) did last week. It's probably more of an
intentional time-waster to give the cast more time to prepare for the next
sketch, since a three-minute commercial break can't be enough all the time.
Surprisingly, Jeff has managed to secure a recurring character despite the
fact he's one of the most underused male players on the show. Whether or not
that will be enough to bring him back next season is questionable. His Drunk
Girl character is growing on me. I like the way she slurs her words and
repeats the same garbled phrase over and over. It was something like, "Do
you wanna know?" this time. I really wish the Rock hadn't come in and ruined
the whole thing. Here's the tough guy in drag moment I dreaded. I managed
keeping my dinner down as this thing dragged on, no pun intended. Poor Seth,
that must have been scary as hell being in a drag sandwich.

Grade: B-

SKETCH - MAYA AND TRACY SINGING

What a creative title I have for this, hehe. But what else can I call it,
there wasn't much here. Basically, it was Maya and Tracy on a subway, decked
out in late 70's, early 80's threads and singing a song that's probably
reminiscent of that time. This audience seemed to have a hard time
comprehending this, as did I. It was just plain weird and dull. It must've
been some sort of experiment, but it failed in my book.

Grade: D

SKETCH - GIRL WITH NO GAYDAR

I loved this the first time we saw it earlier this season. I'm surprised it
took so long to bring it back. Rachel's my favorite female player and I like
seeing her in almost anything, especially because it seems Amy is taking on
so many roles that I could Rachel doing. Rachel and her friend, played by
Ana, enter a gay bar, or more specifically, a gay piano bar. I have to laugh
at Rachel's ditziness; she still doesn't get it even after Ana tells her
they're in a gay bar. At the beginning, I was thinking, "Where's Seth? He's
always in sketches like these." A few minutes later, he walks in dressed
like a woman. No! I didn't want that. Dean makes his 5-second appearance
in the show at the same time. I like how at the end, Will walked over to
Jimmy and seemingly kissed him. At least that's what it looked like. Maybe
it was to congratulate him for not laughing in this sketch. Oh, I forgot to
mention that the Rock got to show off his singing, another prediction come
true.

Grade: A-

WEEKEND UPDATE

Whoo, it's finally here! It seemed like forever. It was very short, though.
The jokes were good like usual, but nothing really stood out. There was
only one guest, Horatio playing Gene Shalit, the critic. Puns must be his
schtick because the audience was inundated with enough of them to drive them
insane. This particular audience was an excellent barometer of how TV
viewers probably felt. They seemed as disinterested in them as I was. I
felt kind of bad for Horatio, he even knew this character was lame. I love
Update, but I won't be biased towards it. There
just wasn't much going this week. I don't think Jimmy and Tina even did an
interactive segment this time, like the "Snap! No you di'int!" like last
week. Going back to Horatio for a second, I did laugh when I first saw him
because he looked like he never left the Update desk last week. I could
swear he's wearing the same wig and maybe even some of the same clothes from
last time when he played the artist dude, can't think of his name.

Grade: B-

MUSICAL GUEST - ANDREW W.K.

Wow. That's all I could think of. I could make a bunch of jokes about this
group, but they'd probably all be lame, so I won't. Except to say that who
needs the Middle East for oil when you've got the lead guy's hair. He's got
enough of it to at least lube up my car door hinges. I could almost hear the
guy's knuckles and bones cracking and creaking from that extreme,
self-induced whiplash. Hey, can I be musical guest next week? The spot's
reached an all-time low, starting with last week's guest, so I may as well.
I'd be happy to whip out my violin and play some Brandenburg Concerto.
Forced into watching this group, ala Clockwork Orange, would be the ultimate
torture. I got through half of it, so I'll grade it anyway. No offense to
fans of this group, they're just too eccentric for me.

Grade: F

SKETCH - BIGFOOT SINGS WITH NEIL DIAMOND

The show is slowly beginning to tank and this sketch doesn't do much to save
it. Fans of the Rock get to see him in full Bigfoot costume. That's the only
good thing going here. Will puts his Neil Diamond impression to use again by
inferring that he's on a drug trip and that this whole Bigfoot thing might
not be real. The Rock gets another chance to sing and I'm hoping it's going
to be his last. He's a good singer, but the more I hear him sing, the more I
wish he were tonight's musical guest, too. Okay sketch, but nothing great.

Grade: C

SKETCH - AMERICA UNDERCOVER

I think it's funny how I know what's coming as soon as the fuzzy HBO logo
comes on screen. It's another America Undercover with the hick couple played
by Amy and Chris K. I have no idea what their character names are or if they
even have any. Unlike the last two, Amy doesn't shut herself up in a tight
space and Chris doesn't hang upside down, his dignity in jeopardy. He's
exchanged his tighty whities for a skin-tight pair of shorts. But I love his
half shirt that says something like "Snapple" on it. Snazbot, was it? This
time, Chris has fallen off the roof trying to do a science experiment on
gravity and he's taken to the ER. If you've seen these, you know what
happens: the two fight like kids and make up, fight again and make up. It
was funny, but not too great. I'm just not into these two anymore. What I'd
like to see is for America Undercover to remain a recurring skit, but with
different characters occasionally. The hicks are entertaining, but I don't
see the humor going much farther. The audience didn't seem too into it,
either. On a good note, this did spice up the end of show.

Grade: C+

MUSICAL GUEST - ANDREW W.K.

Help me. Or help them. The beginning sounded kind of cool, until the oily
guy started singing.

Grade: N/A

SKETCH - SNL SINGERS HAVE A NEW TUNE!

Yes, they've got a new song. Not only that, but Tracy has a new dance, too!
My title is a bit ambiguous, but the singers are the quartet of guys made
famous for their Christmas song. I have to admit, the new song isn't as
catchy as the old one, but I applaud them for trying a new one. Chris K.
looked a little confused as to what he was supposed to be doing. Jimmy
changed the pitch on the pre-recorded tune like usual without the elephant
trumpeting effect. What really angered me was that Tracy's little speech at
the end was cut off with the Rock's picture coming up. After a few seconds,
the commercial started while Tracy was still talking. That sucked.
But the rest of the sketch didn't, and it sure as hell beats My Big Thick
Novel.

Grade: A-

POST-SHOW THOUGHTS

I don't think I've seen the credits cut so short before. The Rock got to
thank the cast and it was over. This episode wasn't too bad, but not too
good, either. Some things like the Girl with no Gaydar and the SNL Singers
were nice, but the opening was weak, as was Update, my favorite part of the
show. Tina wasn't in a sketch this week, so her streak of four episode
appearances is broken. There was no My Big Thick Novel, and that made me
evening. But I was tortured by not one, but two musical segments by the
Greasy Gang. The Male Player of the Night award would go to Seth or Chris K.
and Female Player of the Night goes to Rachel. She was only in one sketch,
but I enjoyed it more than anything Amy was in. I think I've made it
apparent that I hated tonight's musical guest; it was honestly the worst I've
ever seen in the nine years I've been watching the show. Last week's guest
was originally my most unfavorite, but that didn't last long.

Overall Grade: C+

Just a few closing notes since the end of the season is getting near: I wish
Maya weren't stuck in such boring skits/songs, whatever they are. I still
want to see Tina do parts in sketches, she has more than just writing talent.
I love what Amy has done and brought to the show, but I miss seeing Rachel.
Jimmy isn't as exciting to watch as he was a few seasons ago. I like Seth
alot and I hope he sticks around next year. If Tracy's place in the show is
any indication, I don't see Dean sticking around, or Jeff. Chris P. is great
to have back, but he hasn't gotten much to do except play 1/2 of the Bloder
Bros. He's excellent in playing extreme characters because he never breaks
character, like Jimmy does. I like Chris K. but if I have to see Mr. Peepers
again, that'll be it. I thought he was supposed to have left already. I'd
like him to stay, but they've gotta kill that Peepers sketch, it's horrible.
For those I didn't mention, it's because I enjoy what they do and couldn't
think of anything they might change for next year.


Episode Review written by Shelley R.


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