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Troy

Empire and Saturday Night Dead

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I watched my first episode of Empire last night.  This was after watching the 3.5 hour Saturday Night Live special.  All told, I watched about 6 hours of TV yesterday.  I promised myself I would never do that again.  Even if I enjoyed every sec of what I watched I'm sure I would still feel like it was a colossal waste of time.  

 

I feel like I'll end up watching 6 hours of TV again at some point; you know how it is when you binge drink, wake up the next morning and swear you'll never do it again, but you invariably end up doing it again anyway.... So no one has done that? OK maybe it is just me, but you see my point.

 

At any rate, Saturday Night Live would have been a much better program if they edited out at least an hour.  Chevy Chase was a shadow of his former self. I have to assume he has been sick, it was good to see him, but sad at the same time. Where was Dennis Miller, and what was the point of Eddie Murphy coming out if he wasn't going to do something at least marginally funny?  Those who sat through all 3.5 hours will "get" the Saturday Night Dead reference.

 

The acting in Empire is really good. I also noticed that Attica Locke has a screen writing credit, and I know she can write. I just don't really care for these types of stories any more. I understand the new series (Power?) with 50 Cent is more of the same..

 

There is plenty of drama in Empire so I can see why it has broad appeal. Taraji's character was called a bitch by at least 4 different people for no apparent reason.  Do people, even in the music industry call women bitches to their faces, in front of other women, so freely?  My on demand service did not have the first episode, so I had to start with episode #2, so maybe I missed the reason for all of the hostility against Taraji's character.  Maybe I'm just an out of the loop prude.

 

I felt compelled to watch Empire because of all the praise it has been getting, despite the obligatory criticism for depicting Blacks in stereotypically negative roles. I doubt I'll continue watching.  If I do it will not be to end an evening of 6 hours of TV

 

Besides, there are a couple of books I want need to get to.

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Sunday Night is Walking Dead night for us so that's what we watch. I didn't even realize SNL was doing a 40th year show. The show pretty much sucks unless they are doing something music related. In other words the best skits aren't even SNL cast members, they all involved Justin Timberlake or the Andy Sandberg rapping with T Pain. I did see an Adele skit, but once again it was music based. The sketch comedy is dead since the writers have failed to expand their rosters to include the backbone of the comedy world which is Black America. I did watch the Kanye performance on Okayplayer.com which looked like it didn't have any place on a comedy show. 

 

As far as Empire is concerned, I really like the show. I grew up in a single parent household and my mom watched Dynasty and Dallas and be default I watched those shows and soap operas like One Life to live and All My Children. Empire is like those shows. Not well constructed, but full of drama and characters that you just like to watch be inept. It's a break from the norm for me. Just like The Walking Dead is. I enjoy both reading and watching television. 

 

We set aside the last 30 minutes each night to read. We go through a pretty fair amount of books each year like this and we get to enjoy television. It's a good balance. We liked Power, and we watch Being Mary Jane. We also watch a ton of food shows. It would seem that running a small biz would occupy a lot of the day, but I have such a good routine there are always times for me to do everything I like doing. Besides, I use everything I do for blog content which earns me a few extra bucks a month.

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As opposed to you 2, I am a regular watcher of SNL, and I don't agree with your opinions.  I think the show has retained its edge, stays current and is very good at political satire.  Yes, some skits fall flat, and over the years, some of its cast ensembles have been funnier than others but it had to be doing something right to last 40 years.  To me, the guest musical groups were just a part of the show, not any more or less outstanding than the celebrity hosts. SNL is apart of the American culture, and watching episodes from it down through the years has a time capsule effect it; they accurately showcase the era in which they appeared.   

 

They said laler, the show was running ahead of schedule so they had to stretch things and Eddie Murphy appeared on stage just to prolong things. Dennis Miller who has turned into a full blown conservative, and would be more at home on Fox News, probably boycotted the show.  I guess neither of you fuddy-duddys were interested in watching the NBA ALL-Star game on TBS, but this 81 year-old gal did switch over and catch up on the score from time-to-time.  tsk-tsk.  What can I say?  To each his own.  :lol:

 

Empire is loosely based on the Shakespeare drama King Lear.  Imagine that.  It is captivating and well produced.  I hear the ratings have dropped and this has been attributed to the homophobia of its mostly black audience, who apparently disapprove of the 2 gay characters on the show.  Sheeze.

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To be clear, I was not griping about SNL, I was complaining about the length of the 3.5 hour anniversary show.  I do watch SNL from time to time and have most of the 40 years it has been on air.  

 

The fact that the show was being stretched out makes sense, it sure felt like it was being dragged out. 

 

It seems childish for Dennis Miller to have boycotted the show because he is conservative there has to have been more to it than that.

 

You know I can't tell the difference between the comedienne who imitates Sarah Palin and Sarah Palin.

 

 

No, I had no interest in seeing the All Star game.  Honestly I've heard very little about it. I even missed the slam dunk contest:

 

 

Basketball, most sports don't mean much to me until the games mean something to the players. Which is why I enjoy NCAA March Madness, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, etc.

 

Now I have been to pro games but I like to sit close when I can really appreciate the athleticism.  But the ticket price are so high in NYC I can't really afford to go very often.

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I watched the Walking Dead and then the All Star Game. The dunk contest Saturday Night was the best it's been in years. The whole All Star Saturday Night was pretty good. I have a lot invested in the Nba because of the shoe biz. I'm a die hard Knicks fan unfortunately... I don't blame you for not paying for those tickets.

The Sarah Palin skits were good, and the weekend report is okay but I think the show is holding on because it's an institution and honestly what would fill that time slot. I mean the show took 39 years to get its first black woman comic. Like I said Justin Timberlake and the digital shorts are. pretty much the best thing going for it.

Dennis Miller is just another angry white dude now and SNL hasn't really launched a big star in the last ten years has it?

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DO NOT WATCH   , SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE,OR  NBA  ALL STAR GAME,,AS  FOR THE WALKING  DEAD, ZOMBIES,BLACK PEOPLE  WHO  GO  TO  CHURCH    LISTENING  TO  THE CORRUPT   PREACHERS   WHO   ARE  MOTIVATED  BY  GREED,MONEY...BLACK PEOPLE  WHO  BELIEVE  THE   OVERSEER   POLITICIANS AND  PREACHERS, WHO  WANT  MONEY   AND TO  CONTROL  VOTES/THE   WALKING   DEAD  ,BLACK   PEOPLE  IN CHICAGO   WHO  CAN  BE  SHOT  DOWN  BY  STREET  GANGS  AT ANY  SECOND,STREET  GANGS,  BLACK  NEO  NAZI///////

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There were 2 black female comedians on SNL back in the 80s; Ellen Cleghorn, who was called on by Jerry Zeinfeld, when he was inteviewing the audience during Sunday's show and Demitra Vance, who died a few years back.  
 

SNL hasn't launched any big stars in the last 10 years?  Jimmy Fallon is huge. Will Ferrell, Seth Meyers,Tina Faye, Amy Poeler, Kristen Wiig, have become big names, too, in the entertainment industry, starring in successful movies and hosting award shows.  Andy Samburg has his own TV show on Fox. 

 

I think the players care about the NBA all star games, Troy.  They consider it an honor and a thrill  to be selected to play in it, and vie for the prestiege of winning the MVP trophy.   

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Yeah but those b-ballers are not going to risk injury (nor should they) or really bust their humps to win this game; not the way they would (or should) for a championship ring.  I'm sure you would agree with that.

 

For me the basketball season does not really start until the playoffs.  Watching the Knicks play, what are essentially meaningless games (they are not going to the post season), without there start player is not interesting to me at all--especially with the prices they wanna charge.   

 

In fact one sports commentator pointed out that the Knicks really do not wanna win too many games as it would impact the their draft picks.

 

I just read Demitra died of breast cancer, at just 35 years of age. Sad.  I was unable to find a video of her on youtube.  I'm not sure I remember her.  

 

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Will Ferrell was last on SNL in 2002 as a main cast member. That's more than 10 years.

Jimmy Fallon was last a full time cast member in 2004. I know it's close but it's not 10 years, lol.

Seth Meyers just got the Late Night job because Fallon moved up. I wouldn't consider him on the same level as Bill Murray, Chevy Chase or Eddie Murphy at all. He isn't even on Adam Sandler's level.

Tina Fey took off after her Palin impression, but she hasn't had a major movie yet. Her biggest success is a SNL vehicle in 30 Rock. No where near the career of Chris Rock.

I think the others you kind of get my POV of what a huge star is. I'm talking Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Will Ferrell, or any of the old guard like Chevy Chase, or Dan Akroyd. Those guys have/ had huge movie and film careers. In the last ten years no one has really developed from the SNL family into a huge star. Andy Sandberg had several flops in film and Brooklyn 99 isn't exactly tearing up the ratings.

 

SNL used to literally guarantee success for their prime time people. It just isn't producing the type of careers it once did or maybe I'm expecting too much. I watch the show in chunks on Hulu and it's primarily the digital skits or the musical artists on the show. I would say the funniest skit to me on the show and a lot of people would agree are the digital skits featuring Sandberg and Timberlake. They are the most succesful bits from the show as of late. Those along with the Lonely Island skits are the funniest. But are there any memorable characters that have been created on the show? When you think about SNL you automatically think about Belushi's Samurai, Eddie Murphy's James Brown, John Lovett's Lying Guy or Akroyd's characters. The only person who has an even remotely memorable character is Tina Fey.

Here are a couple of those digital shorts from SNL

 

I meant to say that they just got their first full time Black woman primetime player.

I guess I'm letting on that I have tried to watch it, but the show is really missing a lot.

I do think this was one of the funniest skits:

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Eddie Murphy's super stardom stemmed from his SNL career, but not Chris Rock who was just a featured player on the show for one season. Rock's comedy specials on cable are what catapulted him to the A-list.   And  I don't consider Chevy Chase or Bill Murray or Dan Akyrode any more successful than Mike Myers or Dana Carvey whose church lady character was voted the most popular by the viewers. Mike Myers' Austin Power/Dr Evil movies were box office blockbusters, and his Wayne's World ones teaming him with Dana Carvey as the Wayne and Garth characters they made famous on SNL also scored. Tina Faye won the prestigious Mark Twain comedy award and she and Amy Poeler are a hot twosome because of their hosting the Golden Globe, and they also had a hit movie with "Mean Girls". They are probably the most successful of all the women to emerge from  SNL. Mya Rudolph was also a very popular during her tenure and Kristen Wiig now has a thriving movie caree.   Anybody who has been a member of the SNL cast is recognizable whether they became big names or not.

 

It depends on what your looking for in judging SNL.  What makes it unique and what has contributed to its longevity is that it's shot live; it's not canned like the prime time sit-coms that have been edited and cut and re-done. What you see is what you get. It also has retained the skit format. It has immediacy and is as timely as the night it appears. It's not always hilarious, but even when it misses the mark, it is interesting to watch an unfunny skit flop. Finally it's the last of its kind.  With the demise of "In Living Color", it has no peer.  It appeals to people of all ages, tackles all subjects and ridicules everyone.

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Mike Myers and Dana Garvey are both outside of that ten year window. I'm not talking recognition, I'm talking about creating memorable characters and then lucrative film careers which is what SNL used to do. The awards and small shows are good but the most memorable skits in the last ten years were Tina Feys palin and not much else. We can agree to disagree. But as far as being relevant to all ages the only reason it is still slightly relevant is it's musical guest and the digital shorts. Hence the rise of adult swim, the boondocks and Dave Chappelle (which was also over ten years ago...almost). Mad TV collapsed and In Living Color collapsed but Saturday Night Live continues on because of its legacy and only because it's easier to leave it in that time slot than it is to find something else to fit. Also people will literally stay up to see what foolishness the host will do. I wouldn't hesitate to say that the hosts are primarily the reason the show has been able to continue forward since the lack of a church lady, lying guy, Mr Rogers, or waynes world is non existent. I will agree that the live factor is a bonus but that is negated by the fact that the ore recorded digital shorts are the most memorable excerpts from the last few years. I do concede that the show is a powerful cultural factor because we are discussing it on a black message board when there are only three blacks featured.

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OK.  But it's a new day out there.  Very few TV programs spawn superstars anymore. Or does the movie industry. The faces are all new and their work unestablished except for a few exceptions like Matthew McConaughey. Even the recording business produces a lot of one-hit wonders, and other artists are only as good as their last hit.  This new regime of SNL players hasn't had time to make names for themselves. BTW, Tracy Morgan can attribute what status he has to SNL.     

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Now that is a very true observation. Due to the speed at which we throw away pop culture we are not seeing very many "superstars" anymore. That's an whole other discussion and definitely an important one. There really hasn't been a break out store since the advent of twitter and facebook. We've seen more viral sensations than consistent starpower...

 

I tend to say in regard to Tracy Morgan that if it weren't for Martin he would be still doing small comedy circuits. I think his Hustleman character was parlayed into SNL, but he never created a character as memorable as Hustleman on SNL. His "Pick up the Pieces" skit on Martin is still hilarious. I can't even remember his comedy from SNL.

 

I will give you Jim Carrey's performance on SNL as one of the best moments in the last ten years. His impression of McConaughey was genius.

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