EPISODE REVIEWS


Lucy Lawless / Elliott Smith
October 17, 1998


[OVERVIEW] I was really looking forward to this episode. I know some people dismiss Lucy Lawless because of Xena: Warrior Princess but I always found her to have great charisma and I'm not just saying that because I like her show because I don't at all. I think she's doomed to be a trivial pursuit question but I like her nonetheless. I was also really interested in Elliot Smith. He underwhelmed me on Oscar night but his album is one of the most acclaimed of the year.

 

[OPENING] NBC Special Report: Republicans Plans for the Future

To go over my theme last week I often gave mediocre reviews to the cold openings to SNL...happily they seem to be well past that bump in the road. Not on par with the last two episodes it was still a quality effort. C+

 

[MONOLOGUE] Lucy Lawless

This could have been the first good monlog of the season but they dropped the ball. Having Lawless address the lesbian rumours/comments may have been predictable to some but the problem was its sheer brevity. Just as it began to get rolling it stopped. If you blinked you missed it being good. C-

 

[COMMERCIAL] Shirt in a Can

Idiotic. And I get the feeling I've seen this somewhere before. Which may also mean its unoriginal. D+

 

[SKETCH] Judge Judy

Okay. The real Judge Judy came on. Big deal. There was no good reason for her to do so. Morgan's baliff is still stupid as hell...he seems to have lines for the sake of giving him lines to say. The defendent won again. It was business as usual. And what hurts is that it could have been really good. There were some nice lines, good energy, and nicely laid back. But it was still just wheels in motion. C+

 

[MISCELLANEOUS] History of Presidential Scandals

A chuckle and that's....about it really. C

 

[SKETCH] White House in Crisis

Okay...this was just too goofy...but still well done. This could have been a lot worst but they managed to pull it off. B

 

[TV FUNHOUSE] Fun With Real Audio: Saturday Howard Night Stern Live

It stumbled out the gate. It was only when he started poking fun at the prospect of them joining forces did it really start to fly. C+

 

[COMMERCIAL] Stevie Nicks Fajita Roundup

Oh man...this was just terrible. I mean, Lawless was first rate (which isn't surprising considering she was in Grease on Broadway) but it was so patently unfunny. D-

 

[SKETCH] The, How do you say, Ah Yes! Show

And you know something? As bad as that was they managed to come up with something EVEN WORST. F

 

[MISCELLANEOUS] History of Presidential Scandals

Okay...this was cute. Just real fast and out of there. A-

 

[WEEKEND UPDATE] with Colin Quinn

If only Chucky had more time he may have killed Colin and then they'd have to get someone else to do Weekend Update. At least they're shorter now. F

 

[MUSICAL GUEST] Elliott Smith

Well I'm sure his records are good...but I don't think I'll go to see him in concert. C

 

[SKETCH] A&E's Biography on Puff Daddy

All things considered this episode, not bad. I'm still not crazy about what they do with Perkins though. It seems too desperate because they can't think of a better way to make him funny. Still, I loved the way he said the name Puff Daddy. C

 

[SKETCH] Terrance Maddox models for art class

Once was enough. Twice is redundant. D

 

[SKETCH] Goth Talk goes to the mall

Does anyone else take it as a good sign that popular recurring sketches appear this late? C-

 

[SKETCH] The Kulps at the World Series

Certainly not a home run. Not even a bunt. F

 

[OVERALL]

Lucy Lawless was a first rate hostess and that's undeniable. She accquited herself well and was about the only enjoyable thing about this mess of an episode. They've had three good hosts so far and have managed to waste them all in underwritten material. I'm also looking forward to Ben Stiller next week but on the basis of their first three episodes I'm not exactly optimistic. This would be an "F" if it weren't for Lawless.

Grade: D-


Episode Review written by Michael Keith Goodman


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