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David Poland

By David Poland

The Only SNL Highlight: Wes Anderson Horror Movie Trailer

Even this needed some better writing. Great, great idea beautifully executed in production, but only feels about 75% of the way there to my eye.

The show this season has been very professional. It doesn’t feel like some of the car wreck seasons. But the level of the writing feels uninspired, almost like the writers are holding back the stuff they say to each other in the writing rooms that reflects anything really mean or angry. Even Update was pure vanilla this week.

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15 Responses to “The Only SNL Highlight: Wes Anderson Horror Movie Trailer”

  1. Daniella Isaacs says:

    Yeah…. Too bad, cuz the new cast members seem really promising.

  2. christian says:

    The fact that they use a laugh track sums up the state of the show.

  3. LexG says:

    IDK that it’s a laugh track… it seemed like the live audience didn’t get it. Steve Harvey skits are the best thing in years on this show, though, and Norton was a pretty good host.

    You can NEVER really win discussing SNL with folks on the web though… To a person, everybody argues how much it sucks NOW versus how great it was THEN (always the era from people were 17-20 and plugged in to the world of pop culture and got all the references and felt a likemindedness with the cast.)

  4. movieman says:

    I actually thought SNL’s faux trailer was an almost perfect Anderson pastiche.
    And nobody loves Anderson more than I do.

  5. Etguild2 says:

    I kind of agree Lex, but this season really has been pretty awful, partly because of bad hosts. Miley Cyrus, Bruce Willis (!?!) and the miscast Edward Norton (other than this great skit). Plus, Katy Perry and Miley as musical guests…UGH, though I liked Janelle Monae a lot last night.

    Next week is Kerry Washington, who I just think is really overrated, and I can’t see doing comedy to save her life…are they not allowed to have any FUNNY hosts on SNL unless they are alumni, Alec Baldwin or Justin Timberlake anymore?

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    Anyone here ever see James Franco’s documentary about Saturday Night Live? Not a great film, but an often illuminating one. And it reinforces Lex’s point: Everyone watching SNL thinks the cast they saw when they first started watching was the all-time best, and the current crop just doesn’t measure up. And here’s the thing — everyone in the current crop fully realizes they are competing with the audience’s nostalgic memories of favorite stars and sketches from past seasons.

  7. LexG says:

    Joe, did that ever come out? I worked on that Franco doc at a transcription job like 3 or 4 years ago and found it riveting (as someone who’s always been obsessed with SNL). Best throwaway in was the rehearsal where John Malkovich of all people knew the 1-800 EMPIIIIIIRE jingle number off the top of his head…

    Amusingly, it was already kinda dated even THEN, as it detailed Moynihan’s first season on the show and it seemed like Casey Wilson was the most featured interviewee, and she’s long gone on to other shows.

  8. Etguild2 says:

    I think my generation is an exception to this. I was exposed to SNL first in the mid to late 90s, and pretty much all of my friends thought it was awful (Chris Kattan, Colin Quinn, Nancy Walls Jim Breuer, Chris Elliot, Jeanine Garofalo. yikes)….which it was at that time. MADTV all the way baby! No one watched SNL.

    My appreciation for it didn’t grow until E! started re-running the original seasons around the clock, which I thought were hysterical, and then it blossomed in the early 2000s when the Fey years really hit their stride. Most 20/30-somethings I know agree the mid to late 90s were dreck.

  9. LexG says:

    EtGuild… HA, Kerry Washington, oh man, I can’t even imagine the layers of ham she’ll bring. It’s a weird phenomenon with her that “movie guys” and white people only really know her as some utility player from Django and various movies, but to black women she’s the ICON OF THE MOMENT, this mega-star; I work with three black gals, and believe me, SCANDAL is discussed with more intensity and passion than the entire white-guy blogosphere ever work up for Thrones or B-Bad or Mad Men…

    It’s this fascinating difference, how she’s the BIGGEST THING IN THE WORLD to half the TV audience and completely unheard-of to the other; But, yep, she is a MAJOR overactress and seems to have zero humor about herself or anything, so will be a curious episode.

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    LexG: The doc made the festival circuit — I reviewed it at SXSW for Variety in 2010 — but dropped off the radar after that. This is pretty much the last I’ve heard of it.

    As for my original review:

  11. thatguy says:

    Previous SNL seasons seem better because the full episodes are harder to find. They’re cut down for syndication, which can transform a bloated, slow 90 minute show into a lean, fairly funny hour.

    That or people remember particular skits(the ones that worked, not the dead weight before and after).

    At some point they started showing the uncut episodes in syndication and suddenly the 70s episodes seemed a LOT less funny.

  12. Joe Leydon says:

    I remember finally seeing, about 15 or so years after the first airing, the premiere episode of Saturday Night Live, and thinking: Geez, I would have never pegged this one to last.

  13. Hcat says:

    SNL, more than any other form of tv or film, closely resembles the experience of watching a sports team. There are rebuilding years, breakout stars, and sad retirements. Our memories of it are somewhat vague remembering eras more than seasons or shows. And unlike most running entertainment we are less likely to give up on it just because its gone bad in the hopes it gets better or at least occasionally shines.

  14. YancySkancy says:

    If I’m not mistaken, all seasons of SNL are streaming on Netflix with musical numbers included.

  15. Jermsguy says:

    I liked when Dana Carvey hosted recently and had his musical number “The cast from ’86 to ’93 was the best…”

    I loved this Wes Anderson spot. Thought it was perfect. I thought Edward Norton would have been a good host but the material just wasn’t there this week.

    Scandal, believe it or not, is the highest-rated drama in the 18-49 demo on any of the big-five networks. Only sports, The Voice and comedies (Big Bang, Mod Fam) do better. It adds on its Grey’s Anatomy lead-in. Add in cable, it’s only also behind Walking Dead and Duck Dynasty.

    Granted, it’s just under half the total viewers of NCIS, but TV execs don’t really care about total viewers. 18-49 is where they look.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon