My SNL Dream Hosts

Last night, Steve Buschemi hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guest The Black Keys. It was a really great show. But for me, the best part was when SNL alum Maya Rudoloph made an appearance on the Miley Cyrus Show sketch doing her famous Whitney Houston impersonation. And this got me thinking: Why hasn’t Maya Rudolph hosted SNL yet? She’s on a successful NBC television show right now. It’s not like there would be any doubt whether she would be a great host. So I’ve put together a list of some people I think would be great first-time SNL hosts.

Maya Rudolph – Obviously Maya is one of my first choices for an SNL host. She’s a wonderful comedienne who has had plenty of success outside of her career at SNL. Plus, she would bring back some of her classic characters like Donatella Versace and Whitney Houston.

Jane Krakowski – The Emmy nominated actress has brilliant comedic timing as Jenna Maroney on her show 30 Rock. Not to mention, Krakowski has had a very successful career on Broadway, so she would be able to play well in front of a live audience.

Josh Charles – As the suave lawyer Will Gardner on CBS’s The Good Wife, Josh Charles is praised for his dramatic acting. But before that, he was on Aaron Sorkin’s show Sport’s Night where he definitely had to use his comedy chops. I think Charles is definitely charismatic enough to win over the audience.

Will Arnett – Frankly, I’m extremely surprised and maybe a little angry that Will Arnett has never hosted before – especially during his days on the cult hit Arrested Development.  Arnett, who is married to SNL alum Amy Poehler, would be absolutely perfect for Saturday Night Live. I love nothing more than when true comedians host the show because they fit in with the rest of the cast so well. It’s as if they are just another cast member and not a big-name actor.

Catching Up

As finals week draws nearer and nearer, so does the one month of bliss also known as Christmas vacation. After my last final, I plan on driving the two and a half hours back to Dallas, and finally relaxing for the first time in four months. I can’t wait to be able to go to bed without having to set an alarm.

But of course I don’t plan to just sleep my days away. Being the television lover that I am, I try as hard as I can to watch as many shows as possible. However, some shows slip through the cracks. My goal for this Christmas break is to watch them. I’ve put together a list of some of the television shows that I plan on catching up with over the break. I don’t know too much about all of them, so I’ll try to summarize what they’re about based on what I know so far.

 

Cougar Town – Though it has an unfortunate title, I’m excited to start this show about divorced women in their forties who drink a lot of wine. It sounds like a glimpse into my future so I’m sure I’ll love it. Plus, I hear Courteney Cox and Christa Miller are fabulous in it.

Castle – Stana Katic plays Kate Beckett, a beautiful cop who is followed around by an author named Rick Castle as he tries to research for his books. From what I gather, the whole series (which is now in its fourth season) is pretty much just about the sexual tension between Beckett and Castle.

Terriers – I actually have no idea what this is about. But it’s on Netflix and it’s received a lot of praise from critics – one of those critics being my best friend. I’m taking her word for it.

Raising Hope – I don’t know how this show flew under my radar because usually on top of all the new comedies, but it did. I’ve watched the first few episodes and I’m already hooked. The show follows the Chance family Jimmy, the only son in the family, becomes a single father when his baby’s mother (whom he had a one-night stand with) is put on death row. The Chance family is so funny and charming, I can’t wait to catch up.

Sons of Anarchy – I’ve seen the first season of this show and I absolutely loved it. I didn’t think I would like a show about a sleazy biker gang but I was proven wrong. Also, give me gun-wielding Katie Sagal kicking the asses of men twice her size and I’m in.

Favorite Liz Lemon Moments

30 Rock has been M.I.A. for the fall television season due to the creator and star, Tina Fey’s pregnancy. But on January 12th of next year, 30 Rock will return with a full, uninterrupted sixth season and I couldn’t be happier.

So, in honor of one of my all-time favorite shows once again gracing my television screen this January, I thought it was appropriate to dedicate a post to its main character; the wonderful Liz Lemon. As the head writer of The Girlie Show with Tracy Jordan, Liz Lemon is constantly trying to keep the crazy stars of the show Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) and Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) in line, while trying to balance her person and work life. Her friend and boss Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is constantly guiding and advising her, but really, they are both equally hopeless when it comes to anything that doesn’t involve their work.

The thing I love most about Liz Lemon is that every woman can relate to her in one way or another. I sometimes feel like I’m looking into a mirror when I watch 30 Rock, but I’m sure that’s the case with most women who are socially awkward at times, bad at relationships, and have an obsession with food.

So as a tribute to one of the best  female television characters ever (in my opinion), here are five of my favorite Liz Lemon moments.

1. Liz asks her assistant Cerie to wear a bra.

2. Liz begins to crack under the pressure of being the star of her own talk show “Deal Breakers.”

3. After realizing that she wants a bigger apartment, Liz tries to get Brian, the man occupying the apartment directly above hers, to move out by acting insane.

4. Creativity as explained by Liz Lemon.

5. While on a date with the insanely handsome Dr. Drew Baird (Jon Hamm), Liz experiences the worst kind of humiliation. But I would expect nothing less.

Well, that’s awkward.

I can’t say that I was surprised when I found out that Eddie Murphy wouldn’t be hosting the Academy Awards this year anymore. But after the producer of the ceremony and friend of Murphy’s Brett Ratner “stepped down,” it was only a matter of time. It was probably the smart thing to do in Murphy’s cast.

I’m not too upset about Ratner leaving as producer, especially after the crude comments he made on various talk show and radio show appearances. For expample, here’s a lovely quote about Olivia Munn: “I said I banged her three times, which wasn’t true… The problem is I made her look like whore.”

I don’t think the Academy appreciated that very much.

Either way, I understand why Murphy would want to leave. They had already been planning the show, and to get an entirely different vision in such a short amount of time would be nerve wracking.

When I found out the news that Murphy was bowing out, I laughed to myself and though “guess it’s time to get Billy Crystal in here.” Lo and behold, Billy Crystal is now the new host.

Do I feel like there are better options? Of course I do. I think Justin Timberlake would make a fantastic host. Maybe even Steve Carell or Tina Fey or the two of them together. But given the circumstances, I’m sure they were looking for someone with the experience who could pull it off it a short amount of time.

I Crystal will do a wonderful job hosting just as he always has. I just hope this year doesn’t feel like a throw away ceremony. But, looking on the bright side, anything will be better than James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting. We all agree that he was high, right?

Anyways, here’s one of my favorite openings from the Academy Awards in 2000 hosted by Billy Crystal.

The Women of “The Good Wife”

This year during the Hollywood Reporter’s Drama Actresses Emmy Roundtable, Julianna Margulies, star of CBS’s hit show The Good Wife, had this to say about women in television:

“I haven’t seen that many roles in film that even can put a light up to the roles I see for women on television and it’s not to say I don’t love films. I love them, but they don’t seem to celebrate women the way that television does.”

And Ms. Margulies would know. On The Good Wife, a show for which Margulies recently won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, the way the women characters (both leading and supporting) are portrayed is an aspect of the show I particularly enjoy. In fact, I am hard pressed to find another show currently on the air with female characters as complex and multi-layered as  Alicia Florrick, Diane Lockhart and Kalinda Sharma, three of the main characters on The Good Wife.

I recently started watching The Good Wife in late September. I worked my way from the beginning of season one up until the point we are at now in season three.

Alicia Florrick

When we first meet Alicia Florrick (Margulies), she is standing by her husband Peter in a press conference as he announces that he will be stepping down as State’s Attorney of Illinois. The reason: a sex tape of him sleeping with a hooker is released and among other things, he is now being accused of using state money to pay for sexual favors. He is sent to prison and Alicia is left to fend for herself and her two children.

Six months later, Alicia is starting back at work again in the law offices of Stern, Lockhart & Gardner and competing with a slew of twentysomethings straight out of law school. Through the seasons we see Alicia have to fight for her position at work and support her family all on her own while her husband fights the charges brought against him. Alicia is stoic and represses many of her emotions; not because that’s just how she is, but because she’s been hurt deeply and betrayed by the only person she knew she could trust.

In the end of season two she finds out that her husband slept with her now best friend, Kalinda Sharma, in the past when she was an employee in the State’s Attorney’s office. Naturally, this absolutely destroys Alicia and she calls it quits with both Peter and her trusted friend, opening her up to a relationship with Will Gardner, a partner at the firm and old college friend with whom she has had a mutual attraction to since day one. In season three, we see that they are still engaging in their relationship and Alicia has taken on a whole new persona. She is more confident, stronger, and sure of herself.

What I’ve liked a lot about season three is that Alicia has been almost put in the role of the male when it comes to her and Will’s relationship. It is clear that he has feelings for her, but she refuses to talk about it. In many relationships portrayed on television it is typically the man the only wants to keep the relationship detached and purely physical, while the woman begins to form deep feelings. Alicia is excelling at her job in the law firm and doesn’t want anything to get in the way of her work. Personally, I like seeing a woman on television concerned with her career and family, and less concerned with her relationships with men.

Diane Lockhart

Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) is one half of the powerful firm Lockhart & Gardner. In the pilot of season one, she tells Alicia on her first day of work “Men can afford to be lazy. Women can’t.” And that was when I fell in love with the character. Diane doesn’t try to pretend that women are equal to men in the workplace, but she knows how to succeed and show that she can do a man’s job just as good if not better.

I think the writers of The Good Wife could have easily made this character the career-driven, bitchy, executive type but instead they have given her dimension. She has a life outside of work. She has love interests. She has many different facets to her all while running one of the most successful firms in Chicago. I think that is definitely something to be admired.

Kalinda Sharma

Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) is the in-house private investigator for Lockhart/Gardner. As mysterious as she is beautiful, Kalinda  is considered to be one of the best private investigators in Chicago. From day one, it is clear that Kalinda isn’t the type of person to wear her heart on her sleeve. It’s clear that she doesn’t let her emotions effect her work in any way and will manipulate others however she can to get what she wants; often using her sexuality.

As the seasons go on, Kalinda forms a friendship with Alicia. Through that friendship we see her open up and behave less like a robot. She’s one of the most complicated characters that I’ve ever encountered on a television show. The way that the writers have developed her character is fascinating to me. There is still so much that the audience doesn’t know about the character of Kalinda yet she has developed emotionally in so many ways since the pilot.

I think The Good Wife portrays it’s female characters in a very different light than most shows. They never fall into stereotypes and it’s refreshing to see a show where women are of equal importance as men in the workplace.

Top 3 new television shows

Top 3 new television shows

1. American Horror Story

I must say that when I heard Ryan Murphy, creator of Nip/Tuck and Glee, was creating a new show that was supposed to a be a thriller, I was a little bit skeptical.  I’ve already had an up and down relationship with Glee (actually mostly down and down after season one). But Murphy is kind of the king of first seasons, so I was definitely willing to give it a chance. Thank God I did.

American Horror Story stars Connie Britton, most well known for her portrayal of the dignified Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights, Dylan McDermott, and Jessica Lange among others. It follows the Harmon family who is going through some troubles after Vivien (Britton) finds her husband cheating. Six months later they are looking for a new house and stumble upon an older house in the suburbs of Los Angeles with a dark history.

One of the main reasons I love the show is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sure, some parts of it are kind of terrifying, but Ryan Murphy’s brand of dark, wacky humor makes it unique from your typical haunted house story.

 

2. Up All Night

Finally Will Arnett is on a show that looks like it might have some longevity! After starring in a couple of failed projects, it looks like Arnett has found his stride in the new comedy Up All Night also starring Christina Applegate and SNL alum Maya Rudolph.

 Arnett and Applegate play Reagan and Chris, a married couple who just recently had a baby. But Reagan and Chris were never prepared to have a baby, and so the fun-loving couple has to learn to adapt to life as parents while learning how to juggle busy work schedules, their romantic life, and social life.

Up All Night is funny and heart-warming at the same time. Arnett and Applegate have a fantastic chemistry and their seeming comfort with one another makes the humor flow and seem more natural. And of course Maya Rudolph as the independent, self-centered best friend Ava, is fantastic as always.

 

3. Suburgatory

I was very pleasantly surprised by this show. The plot of the cynical teenager from the city moves to suburbs and hates her life because everything and everyone is too simple seems kind of overdone, but the show is very well written and funny.

Jeremy Sisto plays the single father who wants to move away from New York City to provide a more stable life for his 16-year-old daughter played by Jane Levy. Suburgatory is extremely witty and the cast is very strong. It doesn’t fall into any cliché’s which it easily could have.

Melissa McCarthy hosts Saturday Night Live

Proving that she completely deserved the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Melissa McCarthy of Mike & Molly hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guest Lady Antebellum this weekend. McCarthy, who has become a household name every since her hilarious performance in one of the best movies of the year, Bridesmaids, faced some doubters who thought that many of the Emmy voters were swayed by her performance on the big screen than the small screen, but even if that’s true, there is no denying that McCarthy deserves awards for her comedic ability.

During the cold open of the show, SNL cast member Kristen Wiig made an appearance to help out her Bridesmaids co-star in a dance-driven number. McCarthy immediately won over the audience with her comedic timing and after that, it was nothing but smooth sailing.

In the first sketch of the night, McCarthy played a desperate co-worker of Jason Sudeikis who kept making advances toward him that finally got hilariously inappropriate. It was a little bit too similar to her character in Bridesmaids for my taste, but I guess if it ain’t broke…

Andy Samberg delivered yet again with a great digital short parodying STOMP. There was also a sketch about the comments section on websites and what people would do if actually put face to face with the people they made the rude comments about.

All in all, Melissa McCarthy did a wonderful job. I love when true comedians host the show because it feels as if they could be a cast member themselves. Melissa fit in extremely well with the cast and, honestly, she would probably make a better cast member than some of the current players.

Ben Stiller will be hosting next week with Foster the People as the musical guest.

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