By Ryan Broderick, Editor in Chief
Someone told me TNL challenged us to review a review they did of our review of a TNL episode, and because I love meta-journalism I took the challenge. Last Thursday's episode opened decently enough actually, the Hofstra lottery was pretty funny. And "Spoiler Alert" is easily one of the best spots TNL's ever done.
The problem is, I'm not entirely sure what was said in the TNL Chronicle review segment. When I tuned in all I heard was "garble garble garble [ruffling of papers] garble garble [audience laughter] garble garble." So I guess my only review of that would be that they could have used that little woman in the corner in the circle that does sign language or something so at least someone knows what they're saying.
But the rest of the episode went on pretty normally, a lot of inside jokes and of course the packages were way better than the live stuff. And the Chat Roulette skit was awesome. And all of it was filtered through TNL's fabulous 1980's-o-vision.
But my main problem with Thursday's episode is my main problem with all of TNL, and actually all of Hofstra's comedy productions (TNL, Nonsense, Pulse (that's funny on purpose right?), and The Chronicle's typos… I don't include Tequila Mocking Bird because I don't know what they are or do).
TNL either attracts the wrong type of personality or breeds it. There's a difference between trying to be funny and being funny. It's usually why most of the packages work better: they're subtle and they're not attempting to be funny in front of a crowd of their friends. SNL (which isn't any funnier really) isn't filmed live in front of their friends; it's in front of strangers. I'd like one TNL episode done in some comedy club a couple towns over, or have an all Greek Week audience. Anything that gets them to actually stretch a bit and think outside of the usual TNL writing list of "jokes other people made better spoofed at Hofstra", "Someone doing a hillbilly accent," "Something I remember from my childhood LOL," etc.
My final thought is a question. It singles out a certain aspect of TNL but I think it's indicative of anything you can really fault TNL's writers and cast members for, who are actually all really hardworking kids.
My question is this: Have you ever truly been able to define a TNL character as anything more than their job or their gender?