EPISODE REVIEWS


Brendan Fraser / Bjork
October 18, 1997


I wouldn't call this a high marquee bill with fringe artist Bjork and the barely known homo sapien Brendan Fraser but sometimes those episodes are among the best. By coincidence I saw the first "SNL" ever the same day and it made for an interesting comparison. As you all know, this episode was late but was it great and worth the wait?

 

[OPENING] Janet Reno's Clinton Fantasy

I think my big problem with lampooning Janet Reno in this way is that they insist on going into weird, surreal dialogs which stop it cold. Other characters do this strangeness so we have enough of that. Furthermore, this kind of stuff is just a pale shadow of the political goofiness perpetrated by Chevy Chase many eons ago. At least the acting is always top notch.

Grade: C

 

[MONOLOGUE] Brendan Fraser

Swinging in on a rope? Well its one way to enter. Another would be to do it funny.

Grade: D

 

[COMMERCIAL] Lemon Glow Floor Cleaner

Basically a monologue without a really funny backdrop; the setting didn't do anything to enhance the sketch. I also found the score kind of distracting.

Grade: C

 

[SKETCH] Xena: Warrior Princess

When dealing with comedy, one thing you never do is satirize satires. It's like a metal band covering Led Zeppelin tunes. Okay, but redundant. It was kind of nice watching everyone almost lose it halfway through and saved a really idiotic parody.

Grade: D+

 

[SKETCH] Issues

Watching these stoners was cute enough but the enterprise never gelled. I also felt that Chris Kattan's delivery was off. Merely pleasant.

Grade: C

 

[SKETCH] Delicious Dish

Sheer gloriousness in all its languidness. Since the sketch is deliberately paced slowly it never gets to kick into high gear so the writing and style has to win out. They have both in spades.

Grade: B+

 

[MISCELLANEOUS] Go Lords

Er ... uh ... Go Away.

Grade: F

 

[SKETCH] Monday Night Football

Darrell Hammond proves, once again, there are limits to his "talents." He's like a poor man's Phil Hartman. This bit was his one man show and a lot of fault lies in that fact. This needed more interaction to play well.

Grade: C-

 

[SKETCH] Crazy Lady gets Prescriptions Filled

Cheri Oteri was irritating. Now I know that was the point, but we didn't have to dislike her so intensely as well. She really should have underplayed it a bit. At least Fraser made a good voice of reason.

Grade: D+

 

[WEEKEND UPDATE] with Norm MacDonald

Is it just me or are the "Weekend Updates" getting shorter? No matter, it was remarkably consistent and since we've had three good "Updates" in a row I'm preparing for the bottom to drop out next week.

Grade: B

 

[MUSICAL GUEST] Bjork

Bjork ("rhymes with 'jerk'") is my favorite female singer. All my favorites get a perfect score. Therefore she gets an ...

Grade: A+

 

[SKETCH] A&E Biography: Courtney Love

The core of these parodies are always funny and this was no exception (except for when Courtney Love morphs into Mary Katherine Gallagher) but the bookends with Jim Perkins never are. It always drags them down.

Grade: C+

 

[SKETCH] Man at Male Strip Club Meets Mango

WHY ON EARTH IS HE AT A MALE STRIP JOINT? Okay, I feel better now. Kinda short I felt.

Grade: C+

 

[COMMERCIAL] Shark Channel

Saving the best for last?

Grade: A

 

[MISCELLANEOUS] Brendan Fraser sings Buddy Songs

Apparently not.

Grade: D-

 

OVERALL

I'm really getting tired of watching "SNLs" where the best things are the music and "Weekend Updates." This show needs to remember slapstick and pithy nonsense are better seasonings then meat. I was going to give this a grade of C-, like the Perry/Oasis show, but these nitwits had a week off and should have done better.

Grade: D


Episode Review written by Michael Keith Goodman


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