Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Morning Quarterback - Anne Hathaway & Rihanna

I can’t front; I had a crazy week.  My week was either a rollercoaster or a yo-yo (I still haven’t determined which is more applicable.)  Suffice it to say; I had zero time to contemplate this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live. 

I vaguely recall being slightly excited by the prospect of Anne Hathaway hosting this week, when I heard who was hosting during last week’s episode.  But in all fairness that could have just been residual love from her portrayal of Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises.  How awesome was that movie? 

But back to SNL…

Here’s our trusty rating scale;

Phil Hartman – Comedic gold
Chris Farley – Definitely funny, but kinda messy
Norm MacDonald – Funny, but not for everyone
Kristen Wiig – So-so premise saved by performer.
Tim Meadows – Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, dripping with adequatulence
Darrell Hammond – Funny, but overstayed it’s welcome
Jim Breuer- Crowd pleaser, but a bit obvious
Robert Downey Jr – Brilliant performer, not a lot to work with
David Spade – Trying too hard
Janeane Garofalo – Weird weird, not weird funny

Mitt Romney Cold Open – This was a weird cold open in that it wasn’t all that funny.  Yeah, Mitt Romney has a ton of sons.  And yes, he’s square so he drinks milk instead of beer.  But it wasn’t laugh with sound funny, it was more of a poignant good-bye.  It was good though. 

Rating: Jim Breuer

Monologue – Ok, for the record, I’m over the musical monologue.  Thus far this season, only Louis C. K. and Daniel Craig have had monologues that didn’t rely on music.  Five of this season’s episode have had monologues involving music.  There’ve only been seven episodes. 

Ok, rant over.  The monologue was well put together, but unless you’re a Les Miz fan (and I’m not) you felt left out.  And does Jay Pharoah decide that because he’s Obama, he doesn’t need to show up to rehearsal?  He seemed lost out there. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Girlfriends Talk Show – First off, I’m very impressed that they’re starting off the episode with a sketch featuring the two newest female cast members.  Kudos.  Secondly it’s a really funny sketch.  It would be funny enough if it was just skewering vapid youth culture, but to have the jealous friend making things awkward, it was just firing on all cylinders.  I’m honestly hoping to see this sketch again. 

Rating: Phil Hartman
It's even funnier than it looks. Seriously.

The Legend of Mokiki  and the Sloppy Swish – This really spoke to me on several levels.  I dug the absurdist angle, because that’s just my sense of humor.  I also liked the hidden camera aspect of it.  And Killam’s blank stare was so perfect.  And honestly, Hathaway really did a great job too. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Homeland – Can I just say that I’m completely slayed that Hader has a Mandy Patinkin in his arsenal?  Hathaway’s impression on Claire Danes as Carrie was equally brilliant.  The skewering of Homeland was so deserved (and that’s two weeks in a row.) 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

McDonald’s Staff Meeting – Bobby Moynihan and Cecily Strong killed this bit!  It’s one of those sketches that’s got amazing chemistry going and that words can barely do justice.  But this was a really strong sketch.  In fact the only flaw would be that it could pretty much be done any week. 

Rating: Phil Hartman
I only wish the video of the performance was up, so I could share it with you and make your world a better place.

Rihanna Performance #1 – Oh what a difference six months makes.  The last time she was on SNL I was less than impressed. But this time, I’m a fan.  I was indifferent to “Diamonds” before watching her perform, but now I dig it.  I also dig the public access meets karaoke visuals.  This is easily the best musical performance on SNL in recent memory. 

Weekend Update – It’s weird, but this edition of Update felt like it was mistimed.  Seth seemed to bungle the timing of “Four More Years…of Gridlock” and then things got worse when Jay Pharoah appeared as Obama.  Seriously, Pharoah has got to have the worst timing of anyone currently on the show.  His lack of timing is downright annoying.  The Gay Couple from Maine were pretty funny and Drunk Uncle is always welcome.  “Is this ballot 4G?”  “Angry Turds.”  Drunk Uncle may be battling with Stefon for my favorite correspondent. 

Ellen – McKinnon has a spot on Ellen impression but nothing to work with.  Perhaps it’s because Ellen is so self-deprecating that it’s hard to lampoon her.  Anne Hathaway as Katie Holmes was funny.  Harsh, but funny. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig
This had me weak.

American Gothic – This is a brilliant concept.  The idea of giving this iconic couple personalities is funny enough, but making them hack-y cut ups is just genius.  This is one of those sketches that’s so funny it’s inspiring 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Rihanna Performance #2 – Can I just say I loved how subdued Rihanna’s two song set was?  I loved how she took the spotlight and how the band played the back.  I loved the lushness of the sound and how deep the band was.  Rihanna really impressed me tonight.  And more than that, she got me to forget about Chris Brown. 

Flaritin – Clearly there was a timing issue with the episode that occurred before Rihanna’s second performance.  Something got bumped and this faux ad aired.  It’s funny, but the lack of Hathaway makes it obvious that it’s a safety net roll in.  I wonder what happened. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Final Thoughts – This was a very strong episode.  Anne Hathaway is capable host.  Jay1 pointed out that she’s the female equivalent of Justin Timberlake, I don’t know if I’d go that far, but she definitely doesn’t have a problem with committing to hosting.  Rihanna blew my mind with “Diamonds.”  The American Gothic sketch was ambitious and intelligent.  This episode almost makes up for the entire month of October.  

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