The Defendant: Saturday Night Live
Accused of: Not being nearly as funny as previous generations. Using the talk show skit multiple times every episode. Being nearly unwatchable.
The Prosecution: Saturday Night Live hasn't been funny for a long time and if the past few seasons are any indication, that trend isn't getting bucked soon. SNL is loaded with legitimately great talent, yet falls well below what we should expect from the cast. Plus, they often use the talk show format multiple times in a single episode. Maybe SNL would be funnier if they only had an hour to work with, but at 90 minutes, it's filled with way too much garbage.
The Defense: Yeah, SNL isn't as good as it used to be and it rarely, if ever anymore, fills all 90 minutes with quality humor, but most people own DVRs. With the ability to fast forward through any segments that are dragging, SNL is definitely watchable. It's a hard show to love, but since you can pick what segments to sit through and often find a few gems in each episode, it's also a hard show to hate.
The Verdict: Innocent. I'm not going to stick my neck out too far for SNL, but anyone who gets bent out of shape about how much they hate the show should probably get over it. It's a skit show. You don't have to sit through the whole thing. DVR it and watch what's working for you. And if nothing is working for you, it's on Saturday night, so it's pretty easy to avoid. If SNL wasn't on, it would only be replaced by King of Queens reruns. Even half-assed, SNL is the better deal.
The Defendant: Rebecca Black
Accused of: Making one of the most embarrassingly awful “music” videos ever.
The Prosecution: Let's take a look at the lyrics first: “Yesterday was Thursday. Tomorrow is Saturday. Today is Friday,” “Gotta get down to the bus stop. Gotta catch my bus. I see my friends,” “Fun. Fun. Fun.” Whenever Rebecca Black isn't telling the audience exactly what is going on in the video, the song reads like an instruction manual on how to read a calendar. Her voice is also grating and encourages suicide. Case closed, sir.
The Defense: Rebecca Black is not a real pop star and she doesn't have a real record deal (yet, at least). The video is a result of the vanity project Ark Music Factory and her parents' ignorance. Even if she does have a bit of an ego, she's still just a kid. Blame the adults.
The Verdict: Innocent. But her parents and Ark Music Factory are guilty as hell. Also, let's go ahead and put pop music in general on trial. Plenty of people thought Black was an actual signed artist. Even though they knew she was bad, the song sounded plausible as a real pop single, which says a lot about the current state of mainstream music.
The Defendant: Nicholas Cage
Accused: Starring in a lot of crap.
The Prosecution: Ghost Rider, Drive Angry 3D, Season of the Witch, The Wicker Man, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock. Do you need more?
The Defense: No one's saying that Nicholas Cage isn't in a lot of schlock. It's probably fair to call him the reigning champion of schlock, but give the guy a break. He's in debt and, as a result, has filled his calendar up with every high-paying movie thrown his way. If you're going to be in a lot of films with the purpose of filling up any blank space, you're going to miss. Besides, it hasn't all been bad. In addition to some of his great movies he's done in the past (like Raising Arizona), he recently starred in Kick-Ass and The Bad Lieutenant, two well-praised movies right in his wheelhouse. Even the National Treasure movies aren't completely offensive. You can blame him for the bad stuff, but you have to give him credit for the good stuff too.
The Verdict: Guilty. Nicholas Cage has been in some great films, but the bad far outweighs the good. He's definitely a capable actor, but whether it's because of his debt or decision-making (hell, maybe the guy just likes schlocky movies), he is absolutely guilty for starring in a lot of crap. Maybe it was appropriate to give him the benefit of the doubt at one time, but that time passed once he filmed this scene: