PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 10:49 pm Post subject: Reply with quote
Cold Open: Steve Carell had a very deliberate facial expression and tone to his voice-- clearly he was trying to come across as both authoritative and machinelike while reading the long list of names. That helps, as do some of the middle names that act as cute embellishments. Unfortunately this doesn't entirely mask the stink of a Robert DeNiro cold open, only partially.
Monologue: Very, very good. It was nice to see Nancy Walls getting more NBC screen time, and Steve again performed this perfectly. It was manic without being grating, and I don't think any other hosts this year, save for one or two, could've pulled this off.
DNC ad: Great premise. Just the sight of trying to assemble a face from half of Hillary and half of Obama is funny, but the writers make sure to hit all of the notes, touching on nearly all the strategies from both candidates.
Deal or No Deal: Much like his Barack Obama impression, Fred really let his Howie Mandel slip away from him. Howie never actually talked so slow that you suspected a mental illness, not even close. The subplot with the painstakingly nerve-wracking briefcase reveals was funny, but the whole thing with Steve and Forte was too bland.
A-holes: I know this is the obvious joke, but I still think the writers could've done much more with the karaoke "performances" from Jason and Kristen instead of their usual non-sequitur questions. The blank staring while "Baby Got Back" ran in the background was the one sketch highlight.
Digital Short: YES! YES! Whoever wrote this got it perfect. Sketch of the night, and one of the season's best. Jason's Jim Halpert is still amazing.
McCain 2008: Whatever. I'll give him props for actually badmouthing Arizona, however fake it was intended to be. He'd be better on Update.
"This Ain't Sex": Usher looked like he was trying to put on the performance of his lifetime, but it fell much shorter than that. Kinda boring, to be honest.
Update: Seth's David Patterson joke was nice and risky, but otherwise he and Amy had a lousy night. As mentioned, McCain was better chatting with Seth and Amy here. As for the next Jackson/Sharpton commentary, yawwwnnnn.
Charlie Flitt Show: The writers filled their plates too high, with jokes coming from all over, but none of them actually working. A few big jokes can make a sketch, but that doesn't mean a greater number of tiny ones will.
CPR Training: Forgive me, I laughed. The moment when Steve punched his fist all the way through Andy's chest was genuinely unexpected. Of course the writers couldn't go much farther from there (how do you try and top a gallon of fake blood?), but this wasn't a total waste.
"Love in This Club": Seriously, no comment. It was... fine, I guess?
Bless This Child: I'm a sucker for gleeful child endangerment, so this was right up my alley. One of the best season-cappers in a while now.