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Sunday Morning Notebook: "SNL," "24"

By admin Published: January 11, 2009

LZ

Had high hopes for Neil Patrick Harris as host of "Saturday Night Live" last night, and held onto them during his opening monologue, where the Fred Savage-envy was very nicely done, especially the aside about Harris having had a girlfriend. After that, though, the show dragged. Even the digital short was a nice idea stretched out a bit too long -- although the tear was a good payoff. Still, generally blah. And I tune out anytime there's a Penelope sketch, and backed up the playback only to see the Liza Minnelli cameo. Nice to see Kenan Thompson get a lot of air time, though.

In the comments, Roger had nice words for the "Save Broadway" sketch, so I'll throw it in here. One decent gag, about the "Wicked" witch, and Harris is funny as an actor in "Rent," but it still feels overlong and not all that well resolved. Judge for yourself as long as Hulu allows this embed:

I have watched the first two hours of the new season of "24," which air tonight, and am really struggling to get the energy to watch the two airing tomorrow. It's not just that the episodes repeatedly mount a defense of Jack Bauer's use of torture. It's that the silliness level goes very high very fast, even by "24" standards. (I should also mention that, if you did not see the two-hour "Redemption" movie, you may be lost at several points, since its events are not only referenced but a significant element of the plot.) And even with gunplay, carnage and what-not, it felt kind of slow, especially in the second hour.

I have a few thoughts about presidents and the movies, including yet another reminder of how much I like "Dave," here.

The weekly DVD column -- including "Swing Vote," "Brideshead Revisited," "Mr. Mike's Mondo Video" and "Skins" -- is here.

I should have posted by now about "30 Rock" but I was late getting to it and even then, not impressed. Of course, with "30 Rock," "not impressed" is still good by comedy standards, but this isn't an episode that will perk me up in rerun.  (I can still watch, say, "Cooter" or the "Midnight Train to Georgia" bit or the Oprah show anytime it's offered.) And the Salma Hayek guest-star turn just doesn't work.

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