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Episode Discussion Thread: Drake (01/18/14)

  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [21]Jan 6, 2014
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    HelloStuart wrote:
    For those of you keeping track, that's seven new cast members since the season started, 11 since March 2012, and 15 since the beginning of Year 36.


    Good ol' Lorne, you can depend on him to sit on his butt until it's almost too late, and then overhire to overcompensate. Imagine how the past few seasons would have gone if the people they'd hired were of the variable quality of the 90's and early 2000's. There would have been a lot of bad post-hiring audition sketches on the show and blood on the floor at 30 Rock from the infighting to get on the air.


    Lorne has been very, very lucky that almost all of those fifteen--including those he fired--turned out to be excellent comic actors.

    Edited on 01/12/2014 8:25pm
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  • Avatar of mrjimmyjames

    mrjimmyjames

    [22]Jan 7, 2014
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    Ruckhappy wrote:


    HelloStuart wrote:
    For those of you keeping track, that's seven new cast members since the season started, 11 since March 2012, and 15 since the beginning of Year 36.


    Good ol' Lorne, you can depend on him to sit on his butt until it's almost too late, and then overhire to overcompensate. Imagine how the past few seasons would have gone if the people they'd hired were of the variable quality of the 90's and early 2000's. There would have been a lot of bad post-hiring audition sketches on the show and blood on the floor at 30 Rock from the infighting to get on the air.


    Lorne has been very, very lucky that almost all of those fifteen--including those he fired--turned out to be excellent comic actors.



    Too much time was wasted on Abby, Jenny, Michaela, and Casey (the last two of which arguably should not have been fired) and waiting for Maya and Amy both to leave before adding replacements. Now Lorne is throwing anything at the wall to see if it will stick. It's not a question of whether or not someonewill be let go at the end of the season but who and how many. There can't be enough room.



    Kind of makes me think about how after Ferrell and Kattan had both left it really wasn't until Sudeikis, Samberg, and Hader that I felt like that hole in the cast had been plugged. Lorne had added Forte, Meyers, and Armisen already but they didn't fill it at all originally (Armisen took years to develop a more broad approach to winning over the audience and Meyers needed WU to connect with audiences). As a result, the show started to lose its' edge and dragged along for at least three seasons.

    Edited on 01/12/2014 8:25pm
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [23]Jan 8, 2014
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    mrjimmyjames wrote:
    Too much time was wasted on Abby, Jenny, Michaela, and Casey (the last two of which arguably should not have been fired) and waiting for Maya and Amy both to leave before adding replacements. Now Lorne is throwing anything at the wall to see if it will stick. It's not a question of whether or not someonewill be let go at the end of the season but who and how many. There can't be enough room.


    You can't fault Lorne for the timing of hiring the replacements for Maya and Amy. After firing Sanz and Parnell due to budget cuts in 2006, he couldn't very well turn around and hire new cast the following season. He didn't know that Maya was going to get pregnant and leave SNL in 2007, and he hired Casey right away when she did. He would have known that Amy was leaving once Parks & Rec was picked up by NBC, but that wasn't finalized until after Casey, Abby and Michaela were hired.


    I've never bought the idea that SNL hit a quality dip in the mid-2000's. I think that unfairly disparages the work of the women in the cast at the time. The show was just as funny after Ferrell and Fallon left--the departure of the latter was arguably a positive.


    And you can't say for certain that Lorne must fire someone after this season due to overcrowding. They have done a fairly good job of juggling airtime with 16 in the cast. If they weren't overusing Kenan, Milhiser, Wheelan and O'Brien would be getting a decent rookie share of sketch time. Even though 17 will be stretching things they'll probably close out the season with all the newbies having gotten a fair look. And they could run 17 next season with better planning although they won't have to since Nasim is almost certainly leaving. There can be enough room, although it's very tight.


    Bringing this back on topic, O'Brien would be due for his second chance to prove himself as a sketch player after the holiday break, but the advent of Sasheer Zamata may put that on the back burner. Hell get some kind of second shot eventually, but if it's later on in March and April it may not be much of a shot, given the way the sketch writing crumbled to nothing last spring. This episode and the next are when O'Brien could turn things around for himself, but it's probably not going to happen and he'll end up getting axed over the summer, mostly solving the crowding problem.

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [24]Jan 10, 2014
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    Ruckhappy wrote:

    HelloStuart wrote:
    For those of you keeping track, that's seven new cast members since the season started, 11 since March 2012, and 15 since the beginning of Year 36.


    Good ol' Lorne, you can depend on him to sit on his butt until it's almost too late, and then over-hire to overcompensate. Imagine how the past few seasons would have gone if the people they'd hired were of the variable quality of the 90's and early 2000's. There would have been a lot of bad post-hiring audition sketches on the show and blood on the floor at 30 Rock from the infighting to get on the air.


    Lorne has been very, very lucky that almost all of those fifteen--including those he fired--turned out to be excellent comic actors.


    Who in that bunch was fired? Paul quit and Tim agreed to his "demotion."

    As for the sudden surplus of new talent-- give it time. Just give it time. I don't recall anyone from the Overpopulation Era making an immediate impact; look at those first few episodes in Year 16.
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [25]Jan 11, 2014
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    Sorry, my bad. Fifteen seemed like so many I assumed you were counting back through Season 34.

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [26]Jan 12, 2014
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    Ruckhappy wrote:

    Sorry, my bad. Fifteen seemed like so many I assumed you were counting back through Season 34.


    If you include the post-strike cast additions that's 21 new hires in six years, and that doesn't factor the revolving door in the writing staff.
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [27]Jan 12, 2014
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    Revolving door in the cheap seats, but the senior writers have been there so long they care more about their 401K's than the latest sketches they've written. Always a bad sign. Five years should be the maximum a writer should work on any show. It's not like other jobs; creative burnout is inevitable.

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  • Avatar of mrjimmyjames

    mrjimmyjames

    [28]Jan 16, 2014
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    Ruckhappy wrote:


    You can't fault Lorne for the timing of hiring the replacements for Maya and Amy. After firing Sanz and Parnell due to budget cuts in 2006, he couldn't very well turn around and hire new cast the following season. He didn't know that Maya was going to get pregnant and leave SNL in 2007, and he hired Casey right away when she did. He would have known that Amy was leaving once Parks & Rec was picked up by NBC, but that wasn't finalized until after Casey, Abby and Michaela were hired.


    I've never bought the idea that SNL hit a quality dip in the mid-2000's. I think that unfairly disparages the work of the women in the cast at the time. The show was just as funny after Ferrell and Fallon left--the departure of the latter was arguably a positive.



    You've never bought into the idea that SNL hit a quality dip in the mid 2000's, but everyone else did. It was pretty obvious to watch. Even the documentary about each decade of SNL had people talking about how the show was becoming sluggish until digital videos seemingly brought it back to life and back to public attention. Most would tend to say it fell off post-Ferrell, although I would say it was when Kattan and Morgan left the next year. No, Forte, Meyers, and Armisen were not able to fill the void of Ferrell and Kattan (Meyers and Armisen weren't very good at that point) and the writing had gotten pretty bad. It was the opposite of the alleged "too edgy" cast of 94-95; this was a time when the show lost it's watercooler edge and became extremely soft and bland. Sketches started to remind me of old school variety shows and it wasn't until a change at head writer was made that the quality seemed to bounce back. Many of the cast had worn out their welcome at that point and were completely stale; Darrell, Maya, Rachel, and especially Horatio. New blood was needed badly and what had been added (Seth, Army, Kenan) was struggling.


    Are you sure we can't fault him for the timing of Maya and Amy's replacments? Of course he should have known Maya was about to leave; she was there for 8 years! When Molly, Cheri, and Ana left, Lorne had already brought on their replacements as featured players. This put him at a disadvantage due to the fact that he wasn't happy immediately with the people brought on to replace them. Years were spent trying to replace them and he could have possibly gotten a head start on that process. I'm still not convinced he's happy with Nasim and Vanessa and he continues to make it look like he's trying to replace them.

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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [29]Jan 17, 2014
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    I have never seen anyone from SNL talk about a dip in the quality of the show in the mid-2000's on any of their retrospective documentaries. The only people I've heard make that claim are a handful of kibbitzers on SNL forums, and when challenged with the excellent, widely praised work that Maya, Rachel, Tina on Update and especially Amy did during 2004-2006, they respond, "Well, I never liked them anyway." Exactly. There was a "dip" in quality during that period only if you don't like women being funny on SNL.


    Besides, the timeline of when you're placing the "dip" is contradictory. Fred was still new to the show at the time. He was hardly played out when Sanz was cut. You're trying to juggle cast timelines to create a window of mediocrity that didn't exist.


    Lorne, as far as we know, had no way of knowing that Maya would not come back from her pregnancy leave and continue on SNL. Molly and Cheri (unwisely) were determined to leave to pursue new opportunities. Maya's forays into film had not been very successful and she loved doing SNL, so there was no reason to think that she'd chuck it in order to be a stay at home mom and whelp out a couple more kids. Lorne would have known that Amy was possibly leaving since Parks was in development at NBC, but he wouldn't have known for sure until the show was picked up. He had three new women in the cast during Amy's last season, which was about the best he could do given the 2006 budget cut and the uncertainty factor of two pregnancy leaves.

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  • Avatar of JM5000

    JM5000

    [30]Jan 18, 2014
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    Episode Predictions:



    Cold Opening: Maybe another sketch with Obama to introduce Zamata as Michelle...Or maybe it will be about that recent Chris Christie scandal...We'll see...


    Monologue: If Zamata wasn't given an introduction in the cold opening, this might be a good time to introduce her...


    Sketches: Probably quite a few "black people" sketches, giving Zamata a little more leverage for her first show. Also, there has to be at least one with her, Drake, Jay and Kenan all together...


    Weekend Update: The Christie scandal is definitely going to be addressed at some point...


    First Musical Performance: "All Me" featuring Big Sean and/or 2 Chainz. (This is my best guess, since it's his highest-rated TRADITIONAL song of recently, and not from forever ago like "Started from the Bottom".)


    Second Musical Performance: "Hold On, We're Going Home" featuring Majid Jordan. (This is a bigger hit than "All Me", but it would make sense for Drake to start with a rap song like he's known for, and then do the sweet R&B song second.)


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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [31]Jan 18, 2014
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    If they were smart and edgy--you know, real SNL--they would skip the predictable options like a Michelle & Barack cold open or bringing Zamata out for the host monologue. Instead, they'd lampoon all the hype and speculation about Zamata's debut. Like have the cold open be Drake wandering around backstage completely ignored because all the cast & crew are focused on Zamata: cast begging writers to be written into Zamata's sketches, big stars like Hanks or Baldwin blowing him off as they try to schmooze with her...and end with Drake going into Zamata's dressing room--which is bigger than his--to find Lorne giving her a pre-show pedicure...


    ...and then smash-cut to Zamata waking up in a broom closet dressing room just as Bobby sticks his head it. "Lorne cut all your sketches. Better luck next week, kid." It was all a dream.

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    Royce7815

    [32]Jan 18, 2014
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    JM5000 wrote:



    Episode Predictions:



    Cold Opening: Maybe another sketch with Obama to introduce Zamata as Michelle...Or maybe it will be about that recent Chris Christie scandal...We'll see...


    Monologue: If Zamata wasn't given an introduction in the cold opening, this might be a good time to introduce her...


    Sketches: Probably quite a few "black people" sketches, giving Zamata a little more leverage for her first show. Also, there has to be at least one with her, Drake, Jay and Kenan all together...


    Weekend Update: The Christie scandal is definitely going to be addressed at some point...


    First Musical Performance: "All Me" featuring Big Sean and/or 2 Chainz. (This is my best guess, since it's his highest-rated TRADITIONAL song of recently, and not from forever ago like "Started from the Bottom".)


    Second Musical Performance: "Hold On, We're Going Home" featuring Majid Jordan. (This is a bigger hit than "All Me", but it would make sense for Drake to start with a rap song like he's known for, and then do the sweet R&B song second.)



    Yeah if they go with the Barack and Michelle angle it'll be based on her birthday party with the cast doing impressions like the baby blue ivy sketch and if it's about Christie they might either do something on his press conference which was apparently long i didn't see it, or something where people in the traffic jam are speculating what's going on.

    Edited on 01/18/2014 7:34pm
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    danharr

    [33]Jan 18, 2014
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    Opening skit was good damn Drake was the best of the 3 uh oh...

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  • Avatar of avmon

    avmon

    [34]Jan 18, 2014
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    Piers Morgan interviewing Chris Christie, Alex Rodreguez, and Justin Bieber, oh yeah!
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    avmon

    [35]Jan 18, 2014
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    Ms. Zamata's first appearance at Drake's Bar Mitzvah!
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    danharr

    [36]Jan 18, 2014
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    Opening Monologue was good Drake is shocking me...

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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [37]Jan 18, 2014
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    They seriously need to drop the Piers Morgan sketches. Taran's impression isn't funny and no one watches Morgan's show anyway.

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    avmon

    [38]Jan 18, 2014
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    "Before They Were Hip Hop Stars" was all kinds of silly hilarity! Plus, I loved seeing the end of "The Wonder Years" pilot again!
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    danharr

    [39]Jan 18, 2014
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    BET show was good.

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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [40]Jan 18, 2014
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    The secondary purpose of hiring Zamata is to have less Kenan on SNL. So what do they do? Run a hip-hip that's all about Kenan. For the love of Ned, get him off the air!

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