Saturday Night Live RapeWatch: Jennifer Lopez Edition

J. Lo.’s triumphant return to the stage at SNL proved to be one of the cleanest episodes of the year – not only were there no rape jokes of any kind, but even the two gay jokes were largely harmless!

This relative cleanliness gives me a golden opportunity to mention one of the other recurring sketches I have a problem with: ESPN Classic. If you haven’t seen the specific sketch I’m talking about it doesn’t matter, because they’re all exactly the same. Two guys fail at describing women’s sports, and make crude jokes about women’s hygiene.

I find these sketches so unpleasant that I’ve been tempted to add a ‘MisogynyWatch’ to the regular posting – but I haven’t yet because of the overt misogyny of the show is so far restricted to just this one recurring sketch. Like how I wouldn’t have started the RapeWatch if the only time rape came up was the despicable endlessly returning ‘Scared Straight’ sketches.

I am weirdly fascinated by this sketch, though, because of its similarity to a great moment from Alan Partridge, which, thanks to the magic of Youtube, you can see embedded below.

In addition to being generally hilarious, the first minute of the clip is an indictment of the kind of homophobic, misogynist attitudes that could be found all over the airwaves at the time. It ought to be something that we look back on and think ‘man, television used to be disgusting’. Yet here SNL is, offering us a real-life example of the exact thing Alan Partridge was parodying fifteen years ago. It’s so off-putting to imagine that, as the lesbian character said, there really is a bunch of guys sitting around in an office, trying to judge how crude they can be in describing vagisil without being shot down by the censors.

And I do mean ‘guys’ – the list of writers at the end of the show features twenty-six names (Jesus Christ, it takes 26 people to write this show? How is that even possible?), and only six of them are female.

Also notable this week was a startling example of the show’s shoddy production values. At this point I’m so used to the show taking up to fifteen seconds of black space to come back from commercials that I just assume it’s part of sketch. These problems, on the other hand, are just weird.

Here’s a shot from the opening of the digital video ‘Flags’.

That seems like a bit of an odd thing to drop in there, right? But hey, that Andy Samberg’s just weird, and that strange subtitle was one of the few laughs I eked out of the uncharacteristically lame video.

Next up was that boring sketch where Wiig and Hader make strange faces while doing celebrity interviews so that they can edit the star freaking out into a promo. This time they kept pushing Jennifer L. to speak Spanish so that they could show a clip of her-

And suddenly the subtitle makes sense. So how did it end up at the beginning of one sketch rather than the end of another? Obviously because the chyron people are not great at their jobs.

Also not great at their jobs? Whoever’s keeping the time backstage. Because after Jen-Lope finished her thank-yous…

There was still a hundred seconds left in the show. Which led to lots and lots of footage of people milling around on stage. Or as it’s known in the trades, ‘dead air’.

The Final Count this week was:

Rape - 0
Homophobia - 2

1 comment:

BedazzledCrone said...

Loved the Alan Partridge clip. The Brits are so good at humour. Will use it later this year in one of my classes. Thanks Count!