One thing I recently realized is that there aren’t a whole lot of new shows coming out that I’m looking forward to. The new Christian Slater show looks pretty cool, so does Life on Mars, but they don’t start for a while. Mostly I’m excited for all the shows I dug last season to be back on.
MY NAME IS EARL (NBC)
Earl started off the season with an hour long episode (just like The Office) and it was a good one. Earl ended up helping Seth Green, who, a few years ago was on the Make a Wish program. Earl stole the horse he was supposed to ride in a parade. Thinking Seth’s character had died, he tries to make it up to his mom, but she reveals that Seth is still alive. So, to cross Seth off his list, Seth asks if Earl will help him film his awesome action movie, to which Earl agrees and everyone in town does too. There’s a great scene where Randy (Ethan Suplee) does a number of different impressions, including a dead-on Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. Great stuff. There’s a lot of fun, on the fly super low-budget filmmaking and Seth Green was fantastic as the excited filmmaker. There’s a pretty sad ending (which you can probably guess if you think about it, though I didn’t see it coming until about 2 seconds before). But man, what a great episode to a great show.
THE OFFICE (NBC)
The Office is probably my favorite comedy on right now and definitely up there in my all time favorites (though the original is up there as well). As far as I’m concerned they’re pretty much separate animals by now. If you’re a fan, check out the deleted scenes on the DVDs for even more interviews with your favorite background characters (mine is Creed). The season premier had a lot of excellent moments. Spoilers ahead. The through story is that corporate offered the branch that loses the most weight three extra vacation days, so everyone’s trying to loose weight in different ways. So, unlike most episodes, this one takes place over a month instead of a day or two. Also during this time, Pam’s in New York for the summer for art school and Angela (who got engaged to Andy and caught banging Dwight in the season finale last year) continually gives Andy trouble in planning the wedding (though he’s so in love with her that he doesn’t care) and pages Dwight for secret trysts in a room in the warehouse. And the final, fist pumping super-spoiler is that Jim asks Pam to meet him halfway at a rest stop for lunch and proposes to her. I get giddy when stuff like this happens, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season plays out.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (NBC)
As I mentioned before, I missed the previous two SNL episodes, but I was in last night and got to check it out. Anna Faris hosted and Duffy was the musical guest. As can be expected there were a number of political sketches, but I was impressed with the debate sketch because it didn’t seem to lean too much one way or the other. I think my favorite sketch involved Anna Faris and Keenan Thompson in a rowboat. I would link to it on Hulu, but it’s not on there unfortunately. I will say that there is singing, which I always enjoy.
I picked up Duffy’s record soon after it came out based solely on her first single “Mercy” which has been played to death on the radio (which is why I don’t listen to the radio anymore). Her performance was kind of weird. Her singing and her band were right on, but she had these weird sorta doo wop dance moves that came off as kind of robotic. Not sure what the deal was, if she was nervous or something, but it reminded me of when I saw Black Sabbath on their first reunion tour and Ozzy would do the same three or four things on stage over and over again.
I think this has been a pretty good period for SNL. The last few years have seen a bit of a shift in the kind of comedy they’re going for (thanks in large part, I think to Seth Meyers, Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Andy Sandberg and plenty of writers I don’t really know about), so I’m looking forward to seeing what else they’ve got planned this year.