SNL: The Daily Post -- 1941

Monday, June 4, 2012

Zooey Deschanel as Marla Sneed, the Daily Post's new reporter

I had to laugh out loud when I saw this past weekend's repeat broadcast of Saturday Night Live that featured Zooey Deschanel, the quirky actress from the new Fox comedy series New Girl.  I must admit that I've never seen one show in that series but I do remember her from movie roles in Elf and The Hitchhiker;s Guide to the Galaxy.  The skit that got me laughing was one where Zooey and the SNL cast spoofed how movies depicted newspaper journalism during its heyday in the early 1940s.  Here's the clip (courtesy of Hulu):

Although I haven't seen the movie (yet--it's currently in my Netflix queue), according to several online sources, this bit was a direct takeoff on the 1940 movie comedy, His Girl Friday.  Freatured cast members Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig played editor and reporter roles based upon Walter Burns and Hildegard 'Hildy' Johnson that were made famous by Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in that film.  The rapid-fire repartee between Johnny and Gillian constantly goes over the newly hired Marla Sneed's head, who refers to it as "budda budda budda budda budda budda budda I don't know", "jibber jabber" and, when noticing that all the employees are working at a similar frantic pace, asks if everyone in the office is on cocaine.  The skit ends abruptly when she openly surmises that the place is "really toxic."

While the content might have been panned by some show reviewers, I really liked the setting of the paper's office.  The initial shot is of a nondescript high rise building that could've been in any major city during the 1940s and one that is rarely seen in our modern glass-and-steel dominated metropolitan areas of today.  Seeing manual typewriters instead of glowing computer monitors and keyboards harkens back to the day when accurate touch typing was considered a refined and much envied skill (Sneed even comments on the amount of typos in the paper's final product).  Wooden desks and chairs, a steam radiator, rotary dial telephones, the wearing of suits and hats in the office and blinds on the windows facing another brick wall gave the staged setting the right touch for that period and one that is not the norm in today's collaborative, ergonomic and more casual newsrooms.

This bit actually served as a reminder for me to start watching some of the movies I've purchased over the past year or so which feature journalism as its main theme or involves the profession in a major supporting role to the overall story.  Netflix does provide an instant access option for some movies (This Girl Friday is supposedly going to be available via streaming video shortly--only on DVD right now) but not for all of them.  I've only written one movie review so far and I'd like to do a few more during my 'down' time between now and the beginning of my course near the middle of July.  Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day and almost all of them are already spoken for; however, there's always a chance for some schedule 'juggling' to squeeze in some time to watch what I hope to do at some point in my future.

No comments:

Post a Comment