The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
Live, it's Sunday afternoon at a quarter to five in the middle of the Super Bowl
This half hour extra edition of Saturday Night Live broadcast during Super Bowl XXXVII is centered around the centerpiece of the show in the early years of this decade: Weekend Update with fan favorites Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey. The entire cast of the 2002-2003 season is present during the opening credits, in which all of them are seen spoofing American Idol contestants (something the SNL writers never seem to get enough of). With the unfortunate exception of Fred Armisson, who was still a featured player at the time, all of them manage to get in at least a cameo during the 25 minute show. Jimmy and Tina start off with some political jokes, then Chris Kattan makes his first and funniest appearance as Gollum (this was only about a month after The Two Towers came out). Next, Jeff Richards, who would be unceremoniously fired a year later, appears as his breakout character, Drunk Girl.
Just before the midway point, the audience is asked to sit back and enjoy the Weekend Update Halftime Show Halftime Spectacular. This includes performances by Whitney Houston (Maya Rudolph), Kenny G. (Seth Meyers), Sarah Hughes (Amy Poehler), Savion Glover (Dean Edwards), Bobbi Brown (Tracey Morgan) and a load of cheerleaders. After the shows one and only (Honda) commercial, Tina Fey is scolded for her second fart joke of the evening by the jury from American Idol (Chris Parnell, Poehler and Morgan). See what I mean about those American Idol obsessed writers? Well, maybe it's because they have to give each cast member a moment to pull out an impression. Case in point: Gene Shalit (Horazio Sanz) comes out next to give his opinion on the nights super bowl commercials.
Running out of jokes and Update correspondents, we cut to an 'excerpt' of last weeks "Hardball with Chris Matthews" (Darrell Hammond) interviewing Reverend Al Sharpton (Tracey Morgan again) and Joe Lieberman (Chris Parnell once more). This is followed by a fake ad featuring Dean Edwards as Don Cheadle. The last five minutes of the show is reserved for a performance by "The Jimmy Fallon Situation", which segues into the end credits. All in all a nice little extra helping of SNL and an extra paycheck for everyone involved (even Fred Armisson).
8 out of 10
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