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Episode Discussion Thread: Tina Fey/Arcade Fire (9/28/13)

  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [1]Sep 9, 2013
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/business/media/tina-fey-to-host-return-of-saturday-night-live.html?_r=2&


    Thank goodness the Lohan rumors were false. The next week, however...

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    avmon

    [2]Sep 9, 2013
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    I'm now stoked for the season premiere!
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  • Avatar of JM5000

    JM5000

    [3]Sep 9, 2013
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    Now THIS is how you open a season (especially a transition season)! Tina is just who the newbs are gonna need to get settled into their new places on the show: A funny host, a trusted friend of Lorne, and most importantly, a writer! (And yes, it's been a long enough time since she last hosted that I can welcome her back now...)


    As for the musical guest, this will be the first season in a while to open with a musical guest who hasn't even released their new album yet...That said, you can't ask for a better band for this position! One of the largest bands, one of the most respected of our modern era, with an epic single that will be a good way to shoot off this season's songs...Plus, David Bowie might join them!


    Excellent selections on the producers' part...Now the other two shows on the other hand...Well...I'll talk about them in their separate threads...


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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [4]Sep 10, 2013
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    In a just world, Tina will be the next five-timer. I know mp34mp and DRudager would beg to differ...
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  • Avatar of JustinRAn

    JustinRAn

    [5]Sep 10, 2013
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    HelloStuart wrote:
    In a just world, Tina will be the next five-timer. I know mp34mp and DRudager would beg to differ...


    Well she is working on another show for NBC so it probably will happen.
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    Ruckhappy

    [6]Sep 10, 2013
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    Oh, I think we can assume that Tina will be a five-timer within 2-3 seasons. She'll likely have a new NBC sitcom to push for Season 40.


    I wonder, is this a sign that they really did hire a sixth woman for the cast this season? Because if you were going to be rolling out a six-woman cast, Tina would be a natural to host the premier.

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  • Avatar of warqueen

    warqueen

    [7]Sep 23, 2013
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    Apparently right after the season premiere on the 28th; NBC is airing a half-hour 'Arcade Fire' music special at 1 AM.

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [8]Sep 25, 2013
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    warqueen wrote:

    Apparently right after the season premiere on the 28th; NBC is airing a half-hour 'Arcade Fire' music special at 1 AM.


    In some markets. Here in Chicago, they have locally-produced programming. Maybe WMAQ will air it later and preempt "Poker After Dark," I don't know.
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  • Avatar of warqueen

    warqueen

    [9]Sep 26, 2013
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    Here are the SNL season premiere promos: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57604569/tina-fey-spoofs-emmys-wardrobe-malfunction-in-snl-promos/

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  • Avatar of JM5000

    JM5000

    [10]Sep 28, 2013
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    Episode Predictions:



    Cold Opening: ??? (It's hard to know for sure at the start of a season after an entire summer of stories. Maybe something with Sarah Palin...)


    Monologue: Tina introduces the new cast members and prepares them for their first show.


    Sketches: Probably one or two that will establish some of the newbs.


    First Musical Performance: Reflektor (featuring David Bowie).


    Second Musical Performance: ???


    Cameos: Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks and any former cast members.


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  • Avatar of danharr

    danharr

    [11]Sep 28, 2013
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    Nice to be back folks glad to see most of the faithful here. I've been using facebook more and would be open to meeting up there for weekly episode chats but for now just 1 hour to go!

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  • Avatar of JM5000

    JM5000

    [12]Sep 29, 2013
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    Well, if I may open the floor, I thought tonight was pretty solid! The new cast members still need time to each break out, but for now, it was nice making fun of their positions. The gameshow bit rang very true for me, in that it can be very hard to distinguish new faces that you might be unfamiliar with, especially when various cameos and musical guests might be mistaken for them if you don't know them well enough...For instance, in the cold opening, I was waiting to see the new guys (I could tell one of them was playing the Moynihan character's son), and then an unfamiliar face finally walked up by himself, and I was like, "Is this finally it?" But the loud applause from the audience signified that he was simply a cameo...(I apologize, for I have not brought myself to watching Breaking Bad yet...) He then proceeded to make a total of THREE appearances in one show! I mean, wow! He might as well have been the host if they were so willing to milk him like that...


    Tina was good as always...Both the foreign lady in the Girls commercial parody and the wife of the car salesman were delightfully dark...


    And of course, Arcade Fire once more put on a pretty solid performance, with some unique visuals to cap things off. (Shame there was no Bowie, but oh well...) And also, their half-hour special was enjoyable and humorous in a surreal way...


    So overall, not a bad start to this season...I actually found myself legitimately amused by this show for the first time in years...


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  • Avatar of Hennes81

    Hennes81

    [13]Sep 29, 2013
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    The show was a mixed bag for me but giving the situation that's a good result. It's the hardest transition phase they had in decades and this season could turn into a bad one but this show was pretty fine under those circumstances.


    The former pornstar idea is really played out, the Classic Cinema and the used car skit didn't work for me and also I'm not a fan of Arcade Fire. But everything else was enjoyable or good - so I'm happy.


    Really enjoyed the monologue, Update and the New Game Show (Lorne really stole the show with his line).


    Also they shared the on-air roles good within the cast. The featured players had quite some opportunities for their first show. I didn't think there was a breakthrough star in this episode but I really liked Noelles Lena Dunham impression. Of course it might be hard to use this impression on a regular basis.


    Aidy, Vanessa and Nasim were not very prominent but we may see more of them when we have hosts who cannot carry all sketches by themselves.

    Edited on 09/29/2013 6:44am
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  • Avatar of JustinRAn

    JustinRAn

    [14]Sep 29, 2013
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    My Notes

    Obama Care- Would've rather it had been a FOX & Friends Sketch personally

    Monologue- Don't worry Tina has a new show in development for NBC. She is the first host to introduce new cast members since Amy Poehler for Season 36. I predict at least 1 of them will be gone within 2 years.

    Girls- Surprised there wasn't nudity. I'm just saying what I've heard about the show. If the parody is close, I don't get why it gets so much praise.

    Airport Terminal- Stuart, You can probably agree with me on this, Shouldn't the area be way more crowded?

    New Cast Member- Already Noel has more screen time and dialogue than Abby Elliott and Michaela Watkins combined in their debut episode. Reminds me of a sketch from All That

    E Meth- Tonight's show is brought to you by Breaking Bad

    Weekend Update- Still don't think Cecily was the best choice. I think this is the first time a B/G Update has had a woman on the right side. Not a fan of Bruce Chandling though he's better than Nicholas Fehn. The OJ bit reminds me of the Vampire Rapist joke that Tina/Jimmy did. I liked Girl at a Party more than Drunk Uncle personally.

    Cinema Classics- OK, But worried it will be the next Essentials. The Taxidermy bits were kinda funny.

    Cars For Sale- I like this one and I hope it Recurs.

    Pornstar Commercial- I still love this sketch.

    I give it a 8 out of 10. Didn't like the Cold Open, Drunk Uncle, Bruce Chandling, or E Meth.
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  • Avatar of mrjimmyjames

    mrjimmyjames

    [15]Sep 29, 2013
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    JustinRAn wrote:
    She is the first host to introduce new cast members since Amy Poehler for Season 36. I predict at least 1 of them will be gone within 2 years.


    I'll second that opinion. Lorne's track record as of late has been so hit or miss that he has to stock up on so many newbies.

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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [16]Sep 30, 2013
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    mrjimmyjames wrote:


    JustinRAn wrote:
    She is the first host to introduce new cast members since Amy Poehler for Season 36. I predict at least 1 of them will be gone within 2 years.


    I'll second that opinion. Lorne's track record as of late has been so hit or miss that he has to stock up on so many newbies.



    Actually, SNL's casting record has been phenomenally good. They've only had one bad hire--Abby--in recent years. Lorne's made some stupid firing decisions but they're doing the hiring right (except for not being able to find a black woman for the cast).


    It was a good strong start to the season, but we may have a problem with Cecily. She really boned up her Update debut by playing the jokes too hard. The thing with her is that she's still learning how to play characters to camera, and when she's off she's really off. Now that she's been anointed as the next big star, will she take notes? Because someone needs to pull her aside and give her some acting pointers.

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [17]Sep 30, 2013
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    My thoughts:


    + You knew the moment the tone shifted in the cold open that Jim Downey was behind the controls. The sketch was a eight-minute (a tad long, but never sluggish) takedown of Obamacare, but at the same time a researched, articulate takedown of the controversial Affordable Care Act. Just so it didn't sound like a total right-wing rant, Big Jimmy D also threw in a reference to Ted Cruz's (TK) insane, Seussian filibuster from earlier in the week. Nearly every perspective was thrown in, but it never felt bloated or busy.


    + Considering the eventful summer SNL had, all of the changes had to be acknowledged somehow in the monologue. Indeed, Tina admitted that this is a rebuilding year and there's an aura of "new" in the air. Having the six newbies dance in golden hot pants while Tina sings, however was a brilliant initiation, and it perfectly fit both Tina's passive-aggressive diva persona and the almost demeaning, "gasping for airtime" stigma of being a featured player.


    + Is Aaron Paul co-hosting or something? It's like everyone on the show wrote a gazillion crystal meth jokes and he just happened to be in town. Not that Pinkman's presence is unwelcome by any means.


    + If it weren't for Kenan's inspired beligerance, "New Cast Member or Arcade Fire?" would have been a half-baked meta commentary. Compared to the monologue, it was also sort of redundant.


    + So how was Cecily's first Update? Wobbly, but not bad. It's pretty clear Cece is being eased in, and that Seth is showing her the ropes. However, if Strong had minimal assistance in writing one-liners, it definitely showed. (Tina's encouraging cameo was worth a chuckle, though.) I'm sure Cecily will be alright, but you can't expect her to hit home runs right out of the gate, especially when she's succeeding the longest-serving, most-scrutinized anchorperson in WU history. As for the commentaries: Mooney found tremendous pathos as a hacky stand-up comedian not discussing the new president of Iran, and Drunk Uncle (with "Meth Nephew," guess who) is rarely a letdown.


    + "The Suburbs" was an incredible album, and one that is obviously hard to follow up. When an accomplished band hits a fork in the road such as this, more often than not they just take things in a new direction. From what I've heard so far, Arcade Fire's Reflektor is a step forward with one eye in the rearview mirror; it still sounds like our pals from Quebec, but they're also paying homage to Eno-era Talking Heads, Adam Ant, Depeche Mode, and (if the costumes are any indicator) The Flaming Lips. Their new stuff sounds weird, challenging, and perfectly logical. I can't wait to hear the full album.


    + At this rate, every show should end with the vapid ex-porn stars. Maybe the sex jokes are getting a little gross, but nobody said SNL was family entertainment.


    + With only four cast members remaining from four seasons ago --in fact, over half of the current cast was hired in the last 18 months-- tonight was a night for unfamiliar faces to test their mettle on the national stage. Indeed, we have a pretty good idea of who the new go-to guys are (Bobby, Taren, Kate, maybe Cecily, Kenan for now), and all six members of the "Class of 2013" were in at least one sketch besides the hazing monologue.* Having someone as reliable as Tina to host was no coincidence; without stating the obvious, in a transitional season a familiar face might cool some nerves. Tonight's show had a number of overlong sketches but nothing that was outright bad, but with Miley Cyrus hosting next week, the real test looms.


    6.5/10


    *I'm still learning names and faces myself --I keep thinking Brooks Wheelan's name is Blaine Wheeler-- but I'm pretty sure they were all in at least one sketch.

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