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View Poll Results: What was your favorite sketch of #1311?
The Ugly World of BBC News 2 6.45%
Women's Murder Club: Spider 2 6.45%
Claymation: Auditions - Scary Monsters 5 16.13%
Women's Murder Club: Creepy Man 0 0%
Lee vs. Wild 5 16.13%
Anniversary Misunderstanding 9 29.03%
A Good Impression 4 12.90%
Claymation: Auditions - Superheroes 1 3.23%
Women's Murder Club: FBI Agent 0 0%
Rice & Beans Tour - Part VI 1 3.23%
MAD Encore: John Madden: The Quick-Pop Popcorn Popper (#805) 0 0%
Farhid, the Kite Salesman from the Middle East: Mini-Mart 0 0%
MAD Encore: Sean the Floor Leader: Going Away Party (#1109) 2 6.45%
Closing: Lee vs. Wild Outtakes 0 0%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 02/16/2008, 7:47 PM
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I'm pretty sure it going to suck, it is a leftover episode like 1309 and 1310

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  #22  
Old 02/16/2008, 10:00 PM
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Reviewing as I watch...

BBC News: Uh, what the hell was this? What were they even trying to address with this? This was AWFUL. Seriously terrible. Just...wow. Went on way too long too. So basically the entire point of this sketch is that British people are ugly and talk weird. Wow, isn't that a genius concept. Awful.
Women's Murder Club #1-3: Woo for a female ensable sketch! Alright, the writing sucked. The concept was beyond stupid. But the women performed excellently with this, even with dumb writing. So, this bumps this up a bit, even if the sketch itself was bad. Based on writing alone, this would get 1.5 stars, but the ladies performing well bumps it up to .
Auditions #1-2: Again, nice to see claymation back, but this wasn't anything great, in fact, this was kinda stupid.
Lee vs. Wild: LOlol BOBby Lee GetTing Hurt OMg ThaTz So FuNnI nD sMaRT lOL SUcH goOD comeDy!!!1 Except for no. Too bad, cause this really could've been a solid parody, if it involved any who wasn't Bobby. Oh well, this is Season 13, where potentially good concepts are made into some of the lamest things to ever air on TV. No stars.
The Babysitter: Was this an encore? Cause...it was an on-set one-off. I didn't know MADtv was allowed to have those anymore. Anyway, this was ok, felt like a pre-Season 13 sketch. The feel of the sketch reminded me of a one-off from the classic years, it was realistic and had good cast member interaction. However, it didn't really go anywhere, and it wasn't really that funny. Still, it gets bonus points for good cast performance and for actually being an on-set one-off.
Cosby Impression: I wasn't expecting much from this sketch, but it wound up being pretty solid, basically because of Dan's hilariously awful Bill Cosby impression. Everything else was just meh, but Dan's impression bumps this up to .
Rice and Beans: STOP. Ok, I think that got the point across.
Indian Working a Convenience Store: S13's motto: When all else fails, result to cheap racial humor. This wasn't terrible, but it had a "been there, done that" kinda feel to it, as it was basically "lolol annoying recurring character" meets "HAHA RACIAL STEREOTYPES R SO FUNNI!". So...meh.

Overall: Bah. Better then 1310, as the only completely terrible sketch was Lee vs. Wild (besides Rice and Beans), but it was consistently mediocre, with nothing standing out as great. Another mediocre to bad episode. Honestly, I really don't know why I continue to watch this show, and if the post-strike episodes are this bad, I think i'm just going to give up on this season and stop watching.

4.5/10

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  #23  
Old 02/16/2008, 10:13 PM
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I think after tonight's episode, 2 things are official: 1) Rice and Beans Tour is finally over (mainly because there was no "next time" segment). 2) MADtv TRULY, REALLY needs to get their f***ing act together for the next 11 episodes, otherwise each cast member can start looking for a new job come next Fall and that's my God-honest opinion because this is getting ridiculous.

I had a long day and I'm half-asleep so I'll post my review once the WHO/WHAT is up (which should be available latest Monday night).

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  #24  
Old 02/17/2008, 2:53 AM
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Poll is up. Review to follow within the week.

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Originally Posted by Rurry View Post
The Babysitter: Was this an encore? Cause...it was an on-set one-off. I didn't know MADtv was allowed to have those anymore.
To me, this baby positively *reeked* of S12 holdover. As if the full set(!) wasn't enough of a tell on its own, the thing that pushed me over the edge -- and I truly hope I'm right here, or I'm about to look like a king-sized jackass -- was Crista, who seemed to be sporting a level of facial definition that just hasn't been present since S12. For someone who purports to be "out of shape", she was an absolute *rail* last week in comparison to how she looked in this particular sketch! In fact, I didn't realize until tonight just how much I miss my chubby Crista. When so much of your act revolves around facial gymnastics, my dear, a little extra pudge is not only something of which you shouldn't be ashamed, it's the best friend you could possibly have! Someone get this girl a hamburger, STAT!

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  #25  
Old 02/17/2008, 9:49 AM
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To me, this baby positively *reeked* of S12 holdover. .
Yeah, that's what I thought too. The sketch itself wasn't very good, so I can see why it didn't air in S12, but it was nice to just see an on-set one-off.

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  #26  
Old 02/17/2008, 1:28 PM
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I loved the babysitter sketch.

Anyway, this episode to me is a lot like 1308--nothing in it was particularly great (except the babysitter sketch, which was hilarious), but nothing in it was really terrible either. It was an okay ep, even though it was clear they ran out of content in the second half.

I'd give it a , maybe

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Old 02/17/2008, 8:27 PM
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I am so tired of that rice and beans crap. They need to get rid of that segment.

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  #28  
Old 02/17/2008, 11:26 PM
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I'm probably the only one from here who actually enjoys Rice & Beans Tour. It's not necessarily a laugh out loud thing, but still I find this whole concept to be very interesting and comedic in an unusual way.
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  #29  
Old 02/18/2008, 12:54 AM
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To me, this baby positively *reeked* of S12 holdover.

It's definitely from S12, Crista has her season 12 hairstyle, she trimmed her bangs and kept her hair straight in season 13.

I thought Dan Oster's sketch was actually the best one of the night, much better than the other left overs thrown together in the last minute for sweeps.
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  #30  
Old 02/18/2008, 4:17 PM
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Post bw's Review of #1311

The Ugly World of BBC News: This was a bit *too* easy for my tastes, but it *did* keep me smiling throughout, some thought was clearly put into coming up with the various "British-isms", and it *did* have its laugh-out-loud moments. I'm having one hell of a time deciding between 3 and 3.5 stars here, so I think I'll play it safe and go with the former. Decent.

Women's Murder Club: Spider: Assuming we're given, say, 40 parodies per season, as someone who just can't be bothered to watch anything that doesn't feature Reiko or Crista, I know upfront that a good 38 of those are going straight over my head. Accordingly, to satisfy me, all parodies *must* be able to stand on their own merits, and thankfully, this week's "WMC" offering did just that! As usual, not much is going on here in the writing department, but, clocking in at about a minute each, the sheer brevity of these segments allowed them to coast on strong concept and performances alone. Get in, make your point, and get out before you've worn out your welcome -- this is how it's done, folks.

Claymation: Auditions - Scary Monsters: It's nice to see another round of animation, but again, until Mr. Claymation comes up with something in the general league of CLOPS, don't even bother. This is borderline filler. Yes, I'll happily take "Auditions" over bar talk, random comics, Rice & Beans, and similar wastes of time, but I think you'll find your audience wants more than the lesser of all other evils. In fact, all *I* want is the ability to tune in each week knowing that I can expect a wholly entertaining program -- that is, an hour-long stretch of back-to-back 3.5-5 star sketches. Is that so much to ask? Not everything has to be pure gold, but a good 98% of what you throw at us should at *least* be worth watching. This, unfortunately, wasn't.

Women's Murder Club: Creepy Man: Same sort of thing as part one, but a sufficient number of new elements were added here to make this a worthwhile addition to the trilogy. Best of all is that, after milking this particular cow dry, remarkably, the writers chose to move onto something else for part three instead of rehashing the same thing yet again. Kudos!

Lee vs. Wild: In stark contrast to last week's cast personality showcase ("Crista & Bobby's Triathlon"), let's see what we have this time around: Bobby asking for help, Bobby eating, and... Bobby walking. In other words, Rice & Beans without Johnny. Hey, just what we needed! Next time you're pressed for ideas, writers, may I suggest "Flanagan vs. Wild"? Or, dare I say it, "Flanagan as Michelle Dessler in a Bikini vs. Wild"?

Anniversary Misunderstanding: As perhaps the first "legitimate" sketch of S13 (whether it was filmed during S13 or not), this was truly a breath of fresh air like no other! No, it wasn't quite A+ material, but the writing, for once, *did* contain some small traces of actual effort. That's a good thing. Suspension of disbelief holds this one back from realizing its full potential -- not only was Jerry's assumption perfectly reasonable, it was the only assumption that *could've* been made in light of how Pam presented the situation -- but it's hard to complain *too* loudly about a sketch that featured the return of solid one-off writing, full sets, and, most importantly of all (to me, at least ), Chubby Crista! Anyway, four stars for the sketch, +0.5 for its presence in a S13 episode. Let's see much, MUCH more of this, folks! The budget might not allow for a brand new set for each and every segment, but don't you guys have twelve years worth of old props in storage? Cobble something together, for Christ's sake!

A Good Impression: "A-boobity-boobity-boobity! I'm Bill Closby!" Like "Dragon Hunter II", this was about as silly and pointless as comedy comes, but, you know what? Unlike so many other sketches this season, once again, IT WORKED! Oster appears to be single-handedly bringing back the "WTF?" factor that made the first few seasons of MAD so wildly successful (from a comedic standpoint, that is), and for that (and so many other reasons), he just might be my favorite newbie of all-time! Don't let this man slip through the cracks!

Claymation: Auditions - Superheroes: See above.

Women's Murder Club: FBI Agent: With a single funny face (uncalled for as it may have been ), Crista provides more laughs here in a one-second window than Bobby did throughout the entirety of Lee vs. Wild. Why does this not surprise me? In any event, another great concept, another great segment, and a fitting conclusion. Easily the best multi-part sketch of the season!

Rice & Beans Tour - Part VI: No "coming next time" promo!? This just might be the happiest day of my life!

Farhid, the Kite Salesman from the Middle East: Mini-Mart: So, after six weeks of racial humor and filler, we're *finally* treated to Johnny's first character sketch -- the one I'd hoped would make it clear to us why he was brought on as a series regular. The bad news? Uh, it didn't. The good news? Well... the kites were very nice, I guess. I must admit, as far as Johnny goes, I'm running *awfully* low on patience here. To recap, sketch comedy veteran Dan was forced to burst out of his starting gate like a racehorse with a firecracker up its ass, all guns blazing, and fight for his life during the meager four episodes he was given in which to win our hearts and minds; meanwhile, Johnny -- someone who's shown less potential over seven episodes than Oster did in his introduction piece alone -- is being given free reign to ham it up all season long? Am I missing something here? Why is this being encouraged? I don't know what else to say at this point. Enjoy it while it lasts, Johnny!

Closing: Lee vs. Wild Outtakes: Sesame Street: Internet Pedophile Outtakes -- need I say more? If you're unable to find anything uproariously funny, folks, at *least* give us something from a sketch that wasn't a full-on disaster in the first place!

Overall: Thus concludes the final strike episode -- a significant landmark in that, potentially, it marks the last time we'll see Dan, Anjelah, and the old format. As such, it seems prudent to address all three points in my conclusion this week. First, the old format: I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- if you plan on heading back to the theater for #1312, you might as well just throw in the towel right now. Why delay the inevitable? Take it from me, folks -- nobody in their right mind is interested in watching an hour-long show comprised of 50-75% filler. I, for one, have *much* better things to do with my time -- scratching my balls, for example, comes to mind -- and I think the rest of your audience does as well. Do the right thing here. Don't be stupid. As for our free agent friends, Dan and Anjelah, I think it's safe to say that Dan has more than proven his worth, while Anjelah continues to remain nothing more than a background fixture. Sure, plenty of people liked Bon Qui Qui, but hell, *I* could've come up with Bon Qui Qui! Where's *my* contract? I mean, don't get me wrong -- I don't have anything *against* the girl at this point, but I didn't have anything against Spencer, Melissa, or Gillian either. Again, why delay the inevitable? She knew what she had to do, and the fact is, she didn't do it. In a season where Crista and Nicole, by and large, have become background fixtures themselves (through no fault of their own, mind you), I'm just not sure Anjelah serves a purpose. If she's going to usurp even a *single* second of Crista's screen-time, heave-ho, I say! If not, well... whatever works, I guess. Getting back to the episode, #1311 was the spitting image of #1309 -- fairly consistent, but ultimately marred by a fillericious latter half. Had the worthwhile portions of both episodes been condensed into a single, unified package, potentially, I could've gone as high as 8.5/10 here, which tells me there's still hope for S13 yet -- we just need to be given proper, complete episodes. Until such a time arrives, here's another (overly generous) 5.5/10. I'm not jumping for joy or anything, but I think this was about as much as we could've possibly hoped for during the strike.

Episode MVP: Since nobody was given the chance to truly stand out in #1311, this is a tough one. In my view, the only valid options here are Dan, Keegan, Jordan, and Crista. Dan? He was great in his lone starring role, he gets bonus points for writing, but I'm not sure a bad C(l)osby impression is enough to warrant MVP designation. Keegan? To my delight, he was given a *lot* of screen-time this week, but as the foil of just about every sketch in which he appeared, I'm not sure I can justify making him my MVP either. Jordan? He put forth a worthy effort, but with Crista outclassing him in both of his sketches, this one's a no-brainer. Crista? Well, I'm sure you all see where this is going. Despite not being as clear-cut a victory as I'd like, once again, I have to give the nod to my now-borderline-anorexic girl. Hamburger. Curling iron. Make it so, Crista! If not for the comedy and if not for your many admirers, do it for yourself!

Anyway, after three weeks of ruthlessly tearing the show limb from limb, this is the point at which I step off my soapbox. I've laid the groundwork, I've given you guys the full rundown on exactly what it'll take to make it to S14, and at this point, all that's left for me to do is sit back, trust you've taken our advice into consideration, and hope for the best. There's still plenty of time to prove to the network that MADtv has another few years left in it yet, so roll up those sleeves, start pumping out the A+ material like there's no tomorrow (because, after all, there might not be one), and, for the first time this season, do us all proud like I know you can!

Special Note: Starting with #1312, here are the modifiers I'll be applying to each new episode: +0.5 per five-star sketch, -1 per encore, -1 per stand-up performance by anyone not named "Luann Lockhart", -1 per Rice & Beans segment (just covering the bases here), and -1 per episode that doesn't contain a sufficient amount of Crista. Harsh as this may seem, these are the modifiers I'm applying in my head as I'm watching, and, with the possible exception of the Crista one, I suspect I'm not alone. I've tried to be forgiving with my final ratings up until this point, but the time for forgiveness has come to an end -- in all likelihood, this is how the general public is perceiving your work (or, more specifically, your lack thereof), and whether I award a six or a two, the fact remains that these filler-laden episodes are leaving the *taste* of a two in our mouths. Please, don't let that happen again. It's time to turn over a new leaf.

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  #31  
Old 02/18/2008, 4:27 PM
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I hope/wish the writers read this. Great review, Blackwind. I'd like to see more of one of my most favorite cast members- Michael McDonald. I feel he's been really badly used this season (like everyone else).
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  #32  
Old 02/18/2008, 6:08 PM
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I agree with almost every aspect of that review.

#1312 is going to be crucial. If it's back to the faux-MADtv format, I think we can pretty much wave all chances of a S14 goodbye, and with good reason. If it's not, then good job, MADtv, for making the right call - but that doesn't mean that it's 100% going to stay, they still need to utilize the cast better and, most importantly, up the writing about twelve notches.

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Old 02/18/2008, 6:34 PM
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I hope/wish the writers read this. Great review, Blackwind.
Thanks. Rest assured that, week after week, our episode threads are *easily* the most heavily trafficked portion of the site by those we want hearing our opinions. As such, now that we're coming down to the wire, I implore each and every last one of you to resume submitting your full reviews. I realize the show is eating a blackwind-sized dick at the moment and I realize that reviewing bad episodes isn't a whole lot of fun, but praising these people when they do well helps no one. Unless we tell them how to improve, we can't expect them to change, so please, do your part! Trust me -- I wouldn't be wasting this kind of time if I wasn't 100% certain our voices were being heard.

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I agree with almost every aspect of that review.
Particularly the "Flanagan as Michelle Dessler in a Bikini vs. Wild" portion, right? That sketch is going to do for MADtv what "More Cowbell" did for SNL -- I'm sure of it!

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  #34  
Old 02/18/2008, 7:18 PM
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I hope not. I didn't find More Cowbell that funny. Mind you, I don't find SNL funny.

Here's an idea for the writers if they do view this thread: do a Celebrity Obsessed sketch where Larry defends Tina Fey, or maybe even SNL. The more ridiculous Larry gets, the funnier those sketches are.
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  #35  
Old 02/18/2008, 7:35 PM
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I agree, More Cowbell isn't that funny.

And whatever. Tina Fey rules

Speaking of which, MAD is lucky they aren't having a new episode next week, cause Tina Fey is hosting SNL and Carrie Underwood is the musical guest. I'll take THAT over a S13 ep of MADtv any day of the week

Ok, to stay on topic...anyone know when we can expect 1312?

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Old 02/18/2008, 7:45 PM
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Default G's Review of #1311

HEY GANG!!! The WHO/WHAT for #1311 is up. Let me know if there are any mistakes or if I forgot to include something

Now for my "amazing" review of Episode #1311 which I "dearly" enjoyed.

The Ugly World of BBC News: I enjoyed this spoof, but not too much. It wasn't too bad because they used those "isms," but other than that it was just okay.

Women's Murder Club: This was decent, and it caught my attention. I've seen the real thing, and MADtv's parody was funny in the sense that the women's murder club acted just like any other women's club. Except this time they lacked the aggression and ass-kicking mechanics of the real deal. For making an effort, even though there was no plot, I give them

Claymation: Auditions - Scary Monsters: Are you kidding me? Talk about being original, there are other approaches to claymation. I mean it was nice seeing it around once again, but it doesn't live up to the potential of claymation. I would hope that the producers ask the people over at Robot Chicken (if that show is even still on) for some help with claymation parodies.

Women's Murder Club: Creepy Man: The good thing about this TV parody was that it was used as a wrap-around. Had it been used as one sketch on it's own, it would have A) dragged on for too long and B) lost taste after the Spider incident. Props for not dragging this one out. Also, Dan's expression when he was called the creepy guy was priceless.

Lee VS. Wild: There are like 6 other cast members that have veteran status on the show, and they picked Bobby once again for more physical humor. While Bobby is good at playing the idiotic roles of the show that he is called to play, it would have been nice if someone else like Arden or Crista or hell even Keegan were given a chance to do something like this. There was nothing special on here.

Anniversary Misunderstanding: What's this? An on-set one-off? There was some effort here, even if this was a holdover from Season 12. Either way, it fit perfectly into the format and finally showed some of the more underused cast members (Crista and Arden in particular). Hooray for giving it effort, and kudos for presenting this in a season 13 episode.

A Good Impression: Dan Oster wrote this sketch, and has proven once again that he deserves to stay on the show if it infact makes it to season 14. Between him, Johnny, and Anjelah (not including Daheli because this was only her second episode), Dan has done more in 4 episodes as a featured player than Johnny Sanchez did in 7 [just as BW stated]. His impression was believable because anybody can get on stage and do an awful impression, and Dan nailed the expressions. This guy is a keeper


Women's Murder Club: FBI Agent: The four ladies excelled in their performances, and once again this sketch didn't drag on for too long. The whole purpose of this sketch was to prove that the Women's Murder Club was just a group of women that resemble the girls from shows such as Sex and the City: Materialistic and Very Girly, and not bad-ass like in the real show which signifies a decent parody.

Rice & Beans Tour Part VI: After watching this and noticing there was no "Next time" promo, I jumped out of my seat with joy knowing this was over. I'm pretty sure Bobby is glad this mess is over, because he didn't seem too enthusiastic about it in the first place.

Farhid, the Kite Salesman from the Middle East: Mini-Mart: Are you kidding me? This is possibly the worst character to ever hit the face of the earth. I am amazed that Johnny was brought on as a series regular, while someone like Dan was brought on as a featured player yet he's proven more in his time than Johnny did period. Farhid was an example of how low the show has to go, using racial humor as a wagon just to get a few laughs. Enough with the stereotypes already; the purpose in life is to break them, not feed into them. No stars.

Lee VS. Wild: Outtakes: Uh no, no stars.

Overall: This episode gets a flat out 4.5/10. The good: Continued use of the original format, A Good Impression, Anniversary Misunderstanding, and WMC Wrap-Around. The bad: everything else. 11 episodes have aired. Yes 11: 7 with the new format, and the 4 best of's. Half of the season has passed by, and there hasn't been anything truly stellar that made go "OH MY GOD I CAN'T MADtv DID THAT!!!!" Yes, there were some decent moments, but the bad unfortunately outweighed the good if you include all the episodes with new format. The strike is over, and #1312 is coming up soon. Like BW said, if the show continues to use the format in 1305-1308, they might as well quit trying while they're at it. I personally do not have to sit here on Saturday nights watching pointless fillers for 45 minutes, when I could be out enjoying myself.


One quick note with regards to the cast. 7 members have veteran status, 1 newbie, and 3 featured players. If this show plans on succeeding in the next 11 episodes, then pull a Season 8 with Ike Barinholtz and Josh Meyers and keep Daheli and Dan (Daheli had limited airtime, but she has energy that pushes her performances). Anjelah--Bon Qui Qui was great, but that's not enough. Johnny--no comment. As far as the veterans, MADtv needs to utilize all 7 equally. You guys kept Crista and Arden for a reason, so put there asses in some sketches already because they deserve it. The same thing goes for Nicole, Keegan, and Jordan. They are almost done with their 5 years, and 2 might not even come back if the show does reach S14. If that's the case, have them end their 5th year with a bang. There's no need to have them mysteriously disappear during the season; these are two of the strongest players yet they are being treated like crap because of the new format. Bobby and Michael-the two longests runners on the show at the moment. I'm pretty sure Bobby is tired of playing Asian stereotypes already, and since he's leaving let him go out with a bang as well. Michael--10 years, and that's enough said. Don't make him regret staying on the show longer than Aries Spears and Debra Wilson. MADtv, take it from us; get your perverbial s*** together, or you can expect the cast and crew to start job-hunting in the Summer.

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Old 02/18/2008, 8:02 PM
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How do you come up with 4.5/10 when you gave most of the sketches four to five stars?

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Old 02/18/2008, 8:12 PM
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I agree with most of your review too, JustG.

It's funny how a show could fall from it's best season in years to the worst position it's ever been in so quickly. -_-

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Old 02/18/2008, 9:01 PM
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How do you come up with 4.5/10 when you gave most of the sketches four to five stars?
I didn't give the Farhid nor the Lee VS. Wild Outtakes any stars. Simple math--zeros decrease your average significantly.

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I agree with most of your review too, JustG.

It's funny how a show could fall from it's best season in years to the worst position it's ever been in so quickly. -_-
Why thank you--and I agree. The format change to me is what killed the show in 4 episodes; 3 utilized the old format properly, but with average-below average material. A few months back, Bobby brought up a good point saying that you can't simply change the format used in 12 years all of a sudden and that's EXACTLY what happened. It went from a sketch comedy show, to a half-ass variety show with stand-up and improv that only hurt the show even more. And it's true; MADtv had been using a particular format for 12 years, and once 13 came around it changed over night into an SNL rip-off literally. It's not only funny, but it's sad because I grew up with this show.

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Last edited by JustG; 02/19/2008 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 02/19/2008, 12:30 PM
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I agree 100%. The old format back is nice, but the format change still completely killed the spirit of the cast and apparently the writers as well. I mean, watch a Season 12 episode - which generally had the same cast, besides a few departures - and then a Season 13 episode and you'll see the cast's energy and attitude is astonishingly different. In Season 12 the cast was energetic and eager, in Season 13, it really just seems like none of them give a shit about the show anymore, and with good reasoning.

Still, 1309-1311 WERE strike episodes, so maybe if the new episodes continue with the old format, they could wind up being good, since the material won't just be random sketches thrown together.

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