After the stunning, shocking, game-changing Tribal Council that saw Team Bro play three Immunities and send Former Federal Agent(?) Fillip packing on the previous Survivor: Caramoan, Eddie thought that before everyone started strategizing and scrambling he’d just deliver one of his classic zingers to lighten the mood.
That Eddie. 2 much. And 2 Legit 2 Quit.
But the good vibes don’t last too long. The next morning Brenda wakes up just super cranky. Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed! Or maybe she saw something that freaked her out. Wonder what that could have been…
First, some context: we are not especially devoted Seth MacFarlane fans. For a time we watched Family Guy semi-regularly and certainly were a part of that groundswell that helped resurrect the show from its premature grave. But do we consider ourselves MacFarlane evangelists or advocates? Not at all. We still haven’t seen Ted, and are not exceptionally eager to do so. We rarely watch American Dad and we can’t say for sure that we’ve ever caught an episode of The Cleveland Show. We were, however, impressed with his performance hosting the SNL premiere, and it demonstrated that not only could he do funny voices and write an off-color (and oft-humorous) joke, but he could also perform, and perform live, which is not always second nature for a writer-producer-voice actor. Did that mean we were thrilled to learn he was tapped to host this year’s Oscars? No, not really. We thought it was somewhat a knee-jerk, ill-advised decision (probably due, paradoxically, to his mess-up when presenting at the 2012 Emmys). But we knew, at least, that he could hold his own on stage, singing, dancing, cracking wise, and thinking on his feet. Was he going to offend some people? Probably. But that would come with the territory. Wouldn’t that be by design? If you wanted someone with only a love of musical theater and a flair for singing and dancing, then wouldn’t you just turn to Billy Crystal for a record 74th time? So, with Seth MacFarlane, that’s the package, that’s the deal (a faustian bargain, depending on your point of view): some dick and fart jokes and some mildly anti-Semitic and racist humor mixed with some sprinkles of old Broadway.
So were we surprised that MacFarlarne’s hosting turn this past Sunday night was met with a mix of disappointment and outright scorn? No, not at all. That was to be expected. But, after seeing the show, we were taken aback at the amount of criticism leveled at MacFarlane because, frankly, for someone who trades in abortion jokes and greased up deaf guys, we found his material relatively mild. It was almost as if we were watching a different show, different from the one that so much of the (tweeting) public found so repugnant, so misogynistic and racist and base. And, to our surprise, we found ourselves in MacFarlane’s corner. Not because we found his turn especially remarkable. But because it wasn’t that bad. And, more importantly, it wasn’t that vile.
We expect to often see search terms like “justin bieber” and “miranda cosgrove,” and to a lesser, but more encouraging, extent “rashida jones” and “tom westman,” but it surprised us how often one of our top results has been “nasim pedrad,” the talented and pretty comedian now in her sophomore season on SNL. Not that we think that she doesn’t warrant that kind of attention, but it’s intriguing that web surfers have taken a particular interest in Pedrad, considering that SNL has no shortage of attractive and funny female cast members (Kristen Wiig, Abby Elliott, Vanessa Bayer, Jenny Slate until this season). Then again, it’s not terribly shocking, as Pedrad has continued to impress us with her diversity and poise, deftly portraying women like Kim Kardashian, Azam Farahi (aka Mrs. Ahmadinejad) and Cristiane Amanpour, as well as performing Lil Blaster in the Underground Records commercials.
Pedrad has also fallen into the unfortunate pattern of playing hyperactive, loquacious, often male, teenagers, which has been the only knock against her so far. However, despite that, our favorite performance from Pedrad was as wise beyond her years teenager Bedilia, a confident young lady who exhibits just a little too much appreciation for her parents.
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See? She more than holds her own against Alec Baldwin there. If Pedrad can excise those other, more annoying, less successful characters then we see no reason why she won’t be one of our most popular search terms for years to come.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you probably know that Tina Fey has a new movie out. Between her appearances on Oprah, Live!, and Late Night (leaving behind a wake of Jamie Foxx-Oprah rumors and charades losses), she’s been pounding the pavement drumming up excitement for Date Night. The last stop on the promotional tour was coming home to host SNL. However, in a way, it has seemed like her talk show visits have also been to build enthusiasm for her return to studio 8H. The means were also the end. And with tween phenomenon Justin Bieber rounding out the card as musical guest, this SNL, the first in a month, was shaping up to be a special instance of a white-hot host meets a white-hot musical act.
Did the show live up to expectations? I’d have to say no, especially after getting off to a slow start with a census-centered cold opening that probably wouldn’t have been funny three weeks ago when it was still relevant. And there weren’t any real knock out, “holy water cooler” sketches later in the show. But there was a sense of excitement with Fey and Bieber in the house, and what may have lacking in humor was made up for with a bit of electricity.