Of course "Saturday Night Live" did some heavy goofing on Eliot Spitzer this weekend, and of course it was just OK -- a germ of a good idea (Spizer's future legal career rescuing people from humiliation) given too much time. That's the "SNL" way: Take a little something, blow lots of air into it, and make it into a big nothing. Even the now-famous Hillary sketch (see Joanna's related piece), in which the press loved Obama so much more than HIllary, was too long, and then done in a slightly different version all over again the next week.
I really think it's time to take "SNL" down to an hour. The cast is really good right now, they seem to be having fun, they feel more like a united troupe than the "SNL" cast has in years. I don't have proof, still I sense that there is a lot less competition and showboating among the comics than before. And the news segment has finally found its legs, after a season of awkwardness while Seth Meyers learned how to deliver fake-news humor. Seth and Amy finally feel like a team. And this last weekend's Obama op-ed by Tracy Morgan was perfect -- a concise response to Tina Fey's op-ed for Hillary a few weeks back.
But the cast is very small, and they should be consolidating their talents, not stretching them out too thin and using them to kill time and to create skits that promote shows on NBC and its corporate cousins. These guys have the potential to be excellent, to shine up the show's reputation for being so consistently underwhelming, if they can be pushed to condense.
What about the advertising situation? Oh yeah, that's a problem. Of course. Unless more people start tuning into an hourlong show live every week, because it's so funny and timely and tight. And then everyone will benefit, for the long run.
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsMatthew Gilbert is the Globe's TV critic.
Sarah Rodman is a staff TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Glenn Yoder is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.