Sarah Michelle Gellar / Faith Hill
October 12, 2002

By Joey MacQueen

I'm Joey MacQueen, and what can I tell you...

Well, this is my first official review of the season, as last week's was strung together in a matter of minutes, if you couldn't tell.

First off, my summer column, on what happened over the summer.

THE SUMMER SECTION

It was warm... what can I tell you?

And that, folks, was my summer section.

After last week's less than amusing premiere, we finally have a good host, unlike last year where it wasn't till November when somebody worth while hosted. Tonight, Sarah Michelle Gellar hosts, and no longer is she "That Girl from That Vampire Show". Okay, I admit it, I called her that. But then I watched the show, and I am hooked. She's a talented actress, and coincidentally, I just rented Scooby Doo and plan on watching it later.

I've watched every episode of 24 last year, and bought it on DVD, which brings me to my next section called...

I Don't Mean to Go Into a Rant Here, But...

What is the deal with the DVD? Okay, so we're lucky to have a DVD, but why just the 24 episodes, a lousy intro to Season Two, and an alternate ending? Where's the beef? No audio commentaries, no interviews, no behind the scenes, no deleted or altered scenes, no stars caught taking a leak, nothing! What's the deal here? We shell out 60 dollars, you'd think they would at least give us a commentary or two. And for the love of your god, let Kiefer Sutherland host SNL this year, Lorne!

Okay, now a little analysis of the SNL cast members, judged by their appearance last year, and last week.

Rachel Dratch- Last year, Rachel did her thing, but wasn't memorable. This will hurt her in the long run, as you'll notice that such cast members who weren't that special like Victoria Jackson, Nora Dunn and Robin Duke, to name a few, aren't big celebrities. Hell, they don't even appear on Celebrity Reality Shows. So Rachel, if you want that spot on Celeb Fear Factor, work harder.

Jimmy Fallon- Jimmy has his following, but take that away, and you have nothing. Jimmy isn't that good, and is a cheap rip-off of Adam Sandler. Jimmy, you're funny, but try a little less. Find some funny sketches, stick with them. Don't rely on pleasing your female fanbase. Last week, he was okay.

Tina Fey- Tina's hilarious, but needs to work outside of WU. Her few appearances were great, but her third year on the show should be something special.Ana is gone, and needs a new dominant female lead.

Darrell Hammond- Darrell is the lead impressionist on SNL, what else can I say? Political skits are his thing, so stick with it.

Chris Kattan- Chris has been on his last season for three seasons now, so who knows when he'll go. Take my advice Chris, leave this season!

Tracy Morgan- Tracy is pretty much on his own, with no major sidekicks. Brian Fellows isn't special, but what do I know?

Chris Parnell- Back in March, Parnell pretty much fit back into his same role: That Guy... what's his name? Hopefully he will get some better material from Parnell, as he is a pretty good cast member.

Amy Poehler- Last year, Will Ferrell was my favorite male of the show. Amy was the best female. I'm betting this year that she will not dissappoint, and judging by the first show, she's ready for her breakout year.

Maya Rudolph- Well, Maya had a good year, but was upstaged by Amy. Hopefully both will emerge as the leading ladies, and may be joined by Tina, if she decides to work in skits.

Horatio Sanz- Horatio had some funny moments, and should have a great year, which is also his fifth year. Good job, Horatio.

Dean Edwards- I thought we had another Jerry Minor on our hands, but instead Dean is back. Hopefully more roles will come his way, but it was smart to keep him a featured player, as there is already too many cast members.

Seth Meyers- Slow starting out, then picked up, then dropped off again. Hopefully Seth will get the push to full timer next year, as he is also a valued addition to SNL.

Jeff Richards- Jeff was average last year, but seems to be doing good, with the premiere episode. Hopefully he'll get more material, in the wake of Will leaving.

NEWBIES: Fred Armisen and Will Forte debuted last week. Will had one line, and seems a lot like Jim Breuer, which is a compliment, since Jim is one of my favorite cast members. Fred already has a recurring character (who thinks Ferecito will be back?). Both have potential, so let's hope they get some good parts this week.

Well folks, that's my analysis of the cast members. Hope you enjoyed, because I know I didn't.

SHOW OVERVIEW: Well, two hotties are on SNL tonight. And not just Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Tonight, Sarah Michelle Gellar hosts SNL with musical guest Faith Hill. Sarah may have been bashed over being in Scooby Doo, but the movie did bring in the bucks, and that's what matters if she wants to be famous. However, she also should do some roles where she actually shows off her acting skills, rather than be surrounded by raspy voiced oddball, a pretty boy dumbass, and a talking dog. I will not tell you which is which.

(COLD OPENING) The New, But Not Really Improved Bush

Yes, we finally have a replacement for George Bush. Will Ferrell will never be bested by anyone to fill those shoes, but somebody had to. And no, it wasn't like when Darrell Hammond replaced Phil Hartman as Clinton. This was the bad kind of replacement. Well, not terrible. It was not entirely wasted on Parnell (who has officially been given the push to be the replacement for Will Ferrell, it seems). He is the same height, and yes, the voice is good too (despite the fact that his voice is definitely a cartoon-y voice). However, he doesn't have the facial expressions down. Will made a point of it to make a joke of every little facial thing the real Bush does. Parnell seemed to be doing an impersonation of Ferrell's impersonation, thus resulting in a mediocre debut. Was Parnell the best choice? Judging by the other males on the show, I think so. Is it all easy from here? Nope. Parnell has those minor problems to take care of, but Lorne and Co. have put their confidence in Parnell, which also buys him the rest of Bush's term in office (equaling two more years), and if he does get re-elected, then Parnell probably will have a year or two, then will leave it in the hands of, oh I don't know, maybe Will Ferrell, after his movie career goes caput (only a few SNLers have made it big, but I still hope he breaks the curse). And, was Darrell pissed off, or what? Something was bugging him. Anyway, overall, a funny opener. Overall: B-

(MONOLOGUE)
So, I'm Going to sing a son... hey, look over there! A vampire!

What in the hell was this? Did the writers actually write the monologue as a singing thing, then say "What about vampires? Let's do that!" Really, shouldn't they have continued the first idea? It would have been a little funnier. This monologue was every Simpsons episode from last year: you write one idea for a while, then change to something entirely different for a laugh. Well, few laughs were seen here (my guess is the audience rejected Parnell's Bush, and oh dear god, I never thought I'd say that). Plus, more evidence for Kattan being gay, with his line about biting the Jimmy Fallon. What more could you want in a monologue? How about comedy. Overall: C+

(COMMERCIAL)
Dust Bunnies, Beware!

Yes, the first of almost an entire show of parody commercials. This was actually quite funny, and Amy definitely captures all the facial expressions of the obvious-robots in the Swiffer commercials. The idea itself, however, is mediocre. Definitely could have thought of something a little funnier! Either way, this was good for a laugh or two. Overall: B

(SKETCH)
The Not-So-Safety Day

Yes, it seems that this had the potential to be a recurring sketch, if the audience wasn't dead (or still sick from Parnell's bush... er, capitalize the b, there). Fred Armisen has already proven that he will be a major asset to SNL (the same, unfortunately cannot be said about Will Forte). Sarah was great here, working with the minimally funny material she was given. Amy, as usual, did a great job. She is obviously the leading female on the show, replacing Ana Gasteyer. This is one of the three sketches that uses several SNLers, with little to no lines. This particular sketch was very similar to Dan Akroyd's, back in the late seventies, when he had the Halloween costumes, that were obviously not safe. The idea wasn't taken that far, but it was very amusing. Armisen should get some more material in the weeks ahead, along with a probable return of Ferecito, the latin comedian from last week's show. Overall: B-

(SKETCH)
A Trip to the dentist, gone wrong!

What was wrong with the writers? This was a seriously bad sketch. Even Sarah's comedic talent couldn't save this horrible skit. Will Ferrell had very significant roles in every sketch in his past two years, and if Parnell is the replacement, his roles should be greater (and funnier) than this. His potential is being wasted, and Kattan definitely has to go this season. He's been wasted beyond recognition the last two years, and I don't know why he is still here. Then, after Parnell "dies" (probably after seeing his Bush), it just drags on to two more unfunny parts. The doctor thing was dumb, and the ender was odd... and dumb. Plus, that Entertainment Weekly is over a year old, so I guess it was left over from the dentist's office. Okay, this whole show is forcing me to write unfunny jokes! Overall: C-

(COMMERCIAL)
Nope, no funny business here!

A one joke commercial, mixed with unfunny lines. I have no clue on why SNL is relying on mock-commercials this season. This was not that funny, but wasn't as terrible as later ones in the show. Will Forte gets his first of two lines tonight. Woo, for him! Overall: C

(COMMERCIAL)
Corona Mocks Itself!

What was this? Was this supposed to be funny? Is Jimmy supposed to be the biggest dumbass drunk? Was this supposed to make fun of the Corona commercials? All these questions can be answered simply: Who the hell cares? I don't! An unfunny commercial, definitely wasting time on the show. Overall: D+

(SKETCH)
You go out there, and get shot!

Darrell's second and last skit of the night is average. Another one-joke idea, added with a fat joke (with Horatio). Tonight isn't SNL's night, but at least there were some minor laughs here. Jeff is also being given a push upward, and could be a cast member by next year. Overall: B-

(COMMERCIAL)
Another One

Why, oh why, would they make two unfunny commercials in one night... and they're the same premise! I have no idea why I'm wasting valuable review time on them. Overall: D+

(WEEKEND UPDATE)


Well, I thought this would be a great Update. Instead, great news jokes were brought down by the odd "guests". Seth as the Dell guy was good... for the first three seconds. Then it was just weird. Sarah and Maya were okay, but that didn't provide any laughs. Tina's rant of the week seemed rushed, and wasn't as funny as past rants. As for the other jokes, they were good, but as I said, brought down by an average Update. Overall: B

(SKETCH)
Mmm.... Christina...

I never saw the video yet, but I've heard things. This was also a little odd, and never really got funny at all. It was really saved by what Sarah was wearing... mmm... hold all my calls! Overall: C+

(COMMERCIAL)
Arli$$ed!

I hear it's an awful show, but to base an entire sketch around that? I can't see why that should work. The parody itself was funny, but you can't watch Arli$$ forever, now can you? I think not! Overall: B

(SKETCH)
Why Not Mud-Wrestling?

I heard about it, and here it is. This was really good for a few laughs, and who didn't see that coming, with Lorne trying to get them to wrestle, after scolding Tracy. Nice to see the musical guest in a skit, which normally doesn't happen. This was funny, overall, but was trapped in a very below average show. Overall: B

(SKETCH)
Hello there, children! I'm Issac Hayes.

Really, I don't have any idea what the point of this skit was. At least Tracy had a few good lines. It definitely fit in with the mediocrity (word?) of the show. Overall: B-

(COMMERCIAL)
What the flaming f*ck?

For the love of your god, why did they make three of these god-awful commercials. I'm being generous for this one for the one chuckle I got. Overall: C

(COMMERCIAL/SKETCH)
We'll get that evil bastard... and his little moustache too!

I don't know what the joke was, or where it was hiding, but this was entirely unfunny. Will gets his second line of the night. Is it time for a three line night for Will? Me thinks it is!
Overall: C

(SKETCH)
Here's Parnell's Bush again... no, that's just wrong.

Now, where was this hiding all night? This definitely was the best sketch of the night! This definitely would've been a Will Ferrell skit, so kudos to Parnell. Sarah finally had her best sketch as well, but sadly, it came too late. Her acting skills were terribly wasted. At least this was here. No, it doesn't save the show, but it does prove that Parnell is the new Ferrell, whether you like it or not. Plus, Sarah calling him Perv the Merv at first was hilarious. Overall: B+


Strongest Players: Chris Parnell, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amy Poehler
Weakest Links: Will Forte, Rachel Dratch
Best Sketches: Merv the Perv, Swiffer Sleepers
Worst Sketch: The Corona commercials
Hardest Workers (with commercials): Chris Parnell, Amy Poehler (7 sketches)
Well, They Tried: Dean Edwards (1 sketch)

Post Show Thoughts: This was the most uneven SNL episode in recent history. Parnell and Poehler led this show, while the rest were given pre-chewed bones. Sarah is definitely talented, but on here, here talent was wasted. Too bad, because I want to see her back. I think the audience was dead, thus declaring this Saturday Night Dead! Overall: C+

Episode Rank:
1. Matt Damon (B)
2. Sarah Michelle Gellar (C+)


Next week, John McCain hosts, which should provide some political sketches, and maybe another chance for me to mock Parnell's Bush! Until then, have a great week, suckers!