Thursday, July 06, 2006

SNL is the Most Depressing Show on Television

Saturday Night Live (or SNL) has been on for eighty-billion years (Source: Joe knows everything). In that time, I maintain that there has been ONE period in which it was a really awesome, funny, well-made show that was worth my time. This would be the Chris Farley, Phil Hartman, Mike Meyers, Dana Carvery era of the show. There were lots of classic sketches (Wayne's World, The Chris Farley Show, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer) and the cast was amazingly talented.

SNL tends to go through periods of being good, then sucking horribly, then being good again. I remember turning it on once for the briefest of moments during one of its stock market crash-like periods and catching this embarassingly bad sketch about a man and a woman in bed. The woman was trying to have some role-playing sex fun and the guy was taking it too seriously. Like, she'd say something like, "You've been a bad boy!" and he'd go "WHAT'D I DO?!" It ended with the guy screaming and running out of the room and the woman addressing the audience with something like, "Hal takes these sex games way too seriously!"

The audience had only chuckled mildly throughout the whole thing.

Although things are rarely that bad, the fact is that I don't think SNL has, except for that one period, been SOOO worth watching. Sure, there was that point where Tracy Morgan, Will Ferrel, and Horatio Sanz provided a bright spot in an otherwise alternatively ho-hum and annoying cast, but I don't make a point of watching shitty sitcoms because they're "funny once in awhile." That's sort of the difference between SNL and other shows. People will continue giving it a chance because it's SUPPOSED to be funny. I mean it's CLASSIC and it's been on SO LONG. Clearly, they're doing SOMETHING right.

NO.

I've seen the old, before my time SNLs and the humor is dated. Big surprise, I know, but really good humor should, for the most part, hold up, some discrepancies aside. SNL is based very much on the time in which it is being made. This is even more true considering that they get a current celebrity and a popular band on every week. This, in itself, is a lame gimmick. Very often these celebrities can't even do comedy very well (or, in some cases, ACT). Kids in the Hall (also produced by Lorne Michaels, actually) is one of the best sketch shows of all time. WHERE THE CELEBRITIES ON THAT?! NONE!!! And it is MUCH better.

SNL is largely just a platform for endorsing hot, new star vehicles and atrocious new pop stars. It's fundamentally kaka-poop, ok? And I'd explain my point further, if I wasn't trying to write this in under twenty minutes.

The sad thing about SNL is that it continues onward and onward and it has this pedigree, for whatever reason, that results in people giving it more of a chance than it actually deserves. It's depressing because lots of people crowd around it on Saturday night and force laughs out because they're supposed to! Ah, you are the armies of the dead, you are. Yes, everyone just loooves Lazy Sunday (I did too, up until about the eightieth time), but it doesn't save this sinking ship of TV dreck!

The other reason SNL is the most depressing thing on TV is that it plays at 11:30 PM to 1 AM. Not only is this too late to be awake NOT laughing, if you're watching it, it's an indication that you have NOTHING BETTER TO DO ON SATURDAY NIGHT. Sad, sad.

The only thing that might be sadder is Showtime at the Apollo. I'm not black but, seriously, you can't tell me it's really worth staying up till two in the morning to see Sinbad's Gong Show.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Look at How Fucking Adorable this Kitty-Cat Is

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I Didn't Share a Bed with Your Sister

One of the courses I had to take as part of my core requirement at college was Interpersonal Communication. It was a bullshit class taught by an incompetent (although nice enough, I suppose) woman. The subject matter seemed to be based largely upon speculation, we got grades like we were still in elementary school (check +, check, check -; I never got a check +), and the whole thing essentially degenerated into weekly group therapy sessions.

We got assigned elementary school-like projects as well, such as summarizing chapters in a group and making posters of our "ideal family home." I don't know if I was even deliberately doing it, I really do think it was largely subconscious (though I was certainly aware that I was enjoying it), but the stuff I would churn out always shat all over her assignments.

For our first piece of homework, we had to write our own eulogy (I've received this basic assignment, with some minor variations, three times, the first in a high school class), although she gave some cop-out option for people who didn't want to, for whatever reason. Everybody wrote this nonsense about their lovely, meaningful life achievements and some of the broads began CRYING. This one girl had overcome cancer and wrote about how she had to handle the assignment differently because she'd already faced death or some such thing. By the end, it was like being in a theater that's screening Steel Magnolias.

Mine was about me living a worthless life, then dying, unemployed, of a heroin overdose in my parents' basement.

She didn't like me at all from this point on, even though she always claimed to encourage creativity in her class. There's a whole species of teachers like this, the ones who want their students to express themselves so long as it's within the limits of what they're comfortable with. I always felt when she said "be creative" that she should've added "but not too creative."

For the group project, I wrote a bunch of sketches (she said we could and no one else in my group had), most of which culminated with two people charging at each other screaming, "I'LL KILL YOU!" Aside from my sketches, we just stood there summarizing the chapter.

The evaluation she wrote said something about how the first bit of the presentation was good but the sketches didn't seem to really help teach the subject matter and all "ended with people screaming 'I'll kill you.'"

We got a B and, from what I gathered from her comment, it was a B, and not an A, solely because of my contribution.

For my dream family home, I drew it in crayon, in a style as though it were done by a five-year old. (I really can't draw much better than that anyway, (my handwriting also happens to look like a five-year old's) so I figured why not just indulge in that?). I drew things on it like bathrooms labeled "POTTY" and drug vending machines (labeled "DRUGZ"). The day we brought these in to present them, she had brought her kids to the class.

I really just put stuff I liked in it and it was supposed to be a family home so she asked me:

"Joe, do any people live in this house with you?"

"No, but there's a series of naked ladies who come over all the time," I said.

I can't honestly say I was upset with doing her homework. I still have my family home drawing hung up in my room.

I was actually taking the class with a friend of mine, who is a moron and an asshole and I really quite hate him and sort of did while I was hanging out with him too, but him and I both reveled in being the jackasses of the class (his eulogy ended with him being president of the world and dying from an overdose of super-viagra). She found him endearing, however. I was just a smartass. And a bit disturbing, I think.

Her overall assessment of me was that I was "wearing an emotional mask" because I was so unable to share my feelings with the rest of the class. Thanks for the analysis there, Dr. Kickass. I'm sorry, but I don't really see why a group of people, mostly people who I found stupid and annoying, should be privy to my inner thoughts. Besides, my problems are my problems, expressing them is not. I do that plenty.

The only thing I took away from the class worth repeating was this cool, little verbal exercise. Read these out loud:

I didn't share a bed with your sister.

I didn't share a bed with your sister.

I didn't share a bed with your sister.

I didn't share a bed with your sister.

I didn't share a bed with your sister.

I didn't share a bed with your sister.

I didn't share a bed with your sister.

I didn't share a bed with your sister.

I didn't share a bed with your sister.