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Old 09-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #61
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Guys...I think we need to talk about something. It's going to be difficult, but I think it needs to be done:

WTF is going on with The Michael J. Fox show? I just watched the long trailer for it to finally see just what the premise of it was, beyond Michael J. Fox - The Man with Parkinson's. By the time the trailer was over, I'd laughed out loud and hard twice, but I felt horrible about it. I mean, he's the one making the jokes, so laughing should be OK? Right? I mean, he's cool with it, but...

The simple fact of the matter is: How can this show fail? Who is going to be the critic to have the audacity to pan Michael J. Fox the show?

Your Thoughts?
I'm sure I could watch it and find something negative to say. I watched the trailer and thought well shit, that looks like it would be amusing. But I also got the sense that its best jokes were in that trailer. That thing they do where the characters have to sit and talk into the camera like they're on a reality show? How have we not figured out how annoying that is yet?
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:27 PM   #62
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I felt horrible laughing at the part at the end where he was trying to serve the corn or whatever it was, but, again... I was supposed to laugh... So...
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:45 PM   #63
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He was great in Curb.

My question is will I be posting to myself in the HIMYM thread this year?
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:18 PM   #64
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I gotta catch up with the second half of the season and then I'll join you.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:27 AM   #65
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So, I hadn't realized that so many cast members won't be returning for the new season of SNL. I knew Meyers is leaving when it's time for him to replace Fallon, and there have been rumors about Sudeikis for a long time, but I just found out that Hader(the biggest loss IMO) and Armisen are also gone. To lose all four of them on the heels of having lost Wiig and Samberg is a big blow.

This could be one of those transitionary(read:bad) seasons that leads to a total cast overhaul. I mean, there are only going to be seven 'repertory' players, and that includes Meyers, who will be gone midseason. It could be a long season.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:40 AM   #66
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The transitional seasons are generally the most interesting. New talent emerges, folks stuck in the background for a season come up through the ranks. Smaller casts allows for increased visibility and personability. Hader, Sudeikis, Wiig, Samberg all came from a season of high turnover and needed a chance to gel.

Cicely Strong on Update is my favorite new adjustment.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #67
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We're not already in the midst of a reaalllly bad SNL period?
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:27 PM   #68
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When digital shorts or certain skits have floated around the internet I always watch, but, since Will Ferrell left I have actually sat down and watched just one episode, and it was the one Arcade Fire was on. It's funny how I can not watch that show for that long and yet still know a decent amount about it....thank you internet.

I wish Sergio the Sax Man would show up again. He haunts my dreams.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:45 PM   #69
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I only found a few of the digital shorts all that funny, and really I kinda hated them because they went against the entire purpose of the show.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:14 PM   #70
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The transitional seasons are generally the most interesting. New talent emerges, folks stuck in the background for a season come up through the ranks. Smaller casts allows for increased visibility and personability. Hader, Sudeikis, Wiig, Samberg all came from a season of high turnover and needed a chance to gel.

Cicely Strong on Update is my favorite new adjustment.
I agree that they can be interesting, but still, when you lose that many mainstays and you only have seven repertory players going in, it seems likely that it's going to be a relatively rocky season with some people getting bigger roles than they had before, some people being featured more, the cast finding new chemistry, etc.

I fully agree about Cicely Strong. I like her a lot.

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We're not already in the midst of a reaalllly bad SNL period?
I think there have been worse. Some points during the Fey/Fallon/Sanz era, for example. Also, I remember when U2 were on in 2004, people were complaining about what they had to sit through to get to U2(actually what I remember most was how into it the cast was when they played I Will Follow). I think every era has its good points and bad points.

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When digital shorts or certain skits have floated around the internet I always watch, but, since Will Ferrell left I have actually sat down and watched just one episode, and it was the one Arcade Fire was on. It's funny how I can not watch that show for that long and yet still know a decent amount about it....thank you internet.

I wish Sergio the Sax Man would show up again. He haunts my dreams.
I don't watch it consistently either, although I do tend to watch it more at politically heightened times to see what kind of satire they come up with. And Weekend Update is still the highlight of the show for me(unless there's a good musical guest). I'm actually going to miss Seth Meyers.

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I only found a few of the digital shorts all that funny, and really I kinda hated them because they went against the entire purpose of the show.
I don't know about going against the purpose, but I'll admit to never fully embracing the Lonely Island stuff as much as some people have.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:35 PM   #71
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Oh, it's not like I find them funny often, I just do watch them when they come my way. If I found them consistently funny I'd likely opt to actually watch the show.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:44 PM   #72
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I've seen almost every episode of SNL from about 1984 to the present. When I missed it (and I missed a lot from 93-00), I always had it recorded.

It started out when I was young, my dad got rid of cable right around then, so at 9, 10, 11 years old, it was something my brother and I got to stay up late and watch with my mother on the weekends. It then became tradition for me in later years, even through some really terrible years. But really because of the best era in the history of the show circa 88-91, when I was a teenager, it would become force of habit and ritual more than anything. I will even watch it fully expecting to dislike 80% of it. I just have to watch it, almost all the time, although I will fastforward past obvious lameness.

The joke has always been - "SNL was better five years ago" and Loren Michaels even says that people said that in SNL's second year. People almost reflexively say that, especially those that claim to barely watch. Yes, the show has taken a dip but the show over the last decade was better than in the 94-98 period, I assure you. Even with Will Ferrell in the cast, because he was surrounded by, IMO, a bunch of crap. Chris Kataan?

Meanwhile the relatively current cast has had Wiig (best female ever on SNL), Hader, Sudeikis and Samberg, and also Armisen. Not to mention the rest of the best (outside of Radner and Hooks) females the show has ever had. Rudolph, Poheler, Tina Fey, etc. They've had some really good cast members. I think the writing has just SUCKED lately because Lorne holds on to those longtime writers for so long. And by lately, I am talking about a solid decade (since Will left), barring some good stuff every once in a blue moon.

So yes, it is accurate to say SNL has sucked for a long while. But I think it's also slightly unfair because there has been some real talent on that show over that same period. So to just dismiss it all, to me, is not really giving it a totally fair shake.

All that said, I wouldn't blame anyone for not watching it. I don't think you're really missing anything. Especially with all those strong cast members gone. Me? I'll watch it because it's almost like religion at this point. Almost 30 years...wow.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:48 PM   #73
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I think there have been worse. Some points during the Fey/Fallon/Sanz era, for example. Also, I remember when U2 were on in 2004, people were complaining about what they had to sit through to get to U2(actually what I remember most was how into it the cast was when they played I Will Follow). I think every era has its good points and bad points.
Exactly right.

For my money, that mid/late 90's period (barring Will Ferrell's essentially stand-alone stuff) was the worst I've seen since watching the Murphy.Piscopo years in reruns. And truthfully the early years (Akroyd, Belushi, Chevy etc.) do NOT hold up. They don't. Hell, they didn't in the 90's, IMO.

Although the last several years are inching closer to that mid/late 90's period. I just liked Hader and Sudeikis and Samberg and Kristen Wiig a lot. I think the writing has just sucked for a good long while. The funniest shit is the goofiest and craziest shit, which is arguably what Lorne likes the least.

I hate the recurring characters.
I like new skits each and every time, hit or miss.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:12 PM   #74
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It was my understanding that the cast members are responsible for writing a good portion of the sketches...

Has that changed, or was I under the wrong impression?
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:50 AM   #75
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Hulu is the best thing to happen to SNL in years. If a show can deliver at least 2 or 3 awesome skits that can be seen the next morning? Well, shit. That's all you need.

Ideally there would be a subscription service to see every skit, show & dress, since its inception. Apparently an archive exists at Rockefeller Center and a good portion has been digitized for Netflix, Hulu, Yahoo! Rights issues and not every season being under Lorne's Broadway Video shingle probably prevent it from happening. It's a shame, because more people need to see the Harry Shearer/Martin Short/Chris Guest Synchronized Swimming bit so I don't look like a loony every time I mention it as my favorite.

Being around pals that idolize the current crop of SNL cast members puts my own almost-lifelong fandom into perspective. Granted, I'm insanely jealous of those of you who have been around to see more of the show in its different eras; the late '80s Hartman/Carvey/Lovitz/Hooks/etc... crew may be my favorite. A perfect storm of talent both on-screen, in the writer's room, and with a Lorne Michaels behind the helm hungry for a comeback. The social commentary and intangibles that make the original cast as iconic aren't there. Unlike U2DMFan, I love the shagginess of those '70s skits. Even if they meander, like say the Marvel/DC apartment party, there's a comic energy not present in the longer skits one may find in a modern bit.

Like a sports team, the cast excels when there's a clear alpha dog performer who can carry any skit (Belushi, Murphy, Ferrell, Wiig, Hartman) and a strong head writer. The post-Ferrell period with Tina Fey as the head writer had a remarkable crop of talent (Poehler, Rudolph, Parnell, Armisen) without that stabilizing force. Part of what I love about the show is seeing who emerges as that featured player. For my money, it's Kate McKinnon.

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Arcade Fire
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Sergio the Sax Man would show up again. He haunts my dreams.
Turns out, he's just a reflektor.

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It was my understanding that the cast members are responsible for writing a good portion of the sketches...

Has that changed, or was I under the wrong impression?
If a cast member is also a writer, that's often the case; generally the cast members develop relationships with writers who generate material (Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy & Robert Smigel are a good example, or Bill Hader & John Mulaney with the Stefon character).

I highly recommend checking out the SNL oral history book that came out around the tail end of the Ferrell run, around 2002.
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