Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Justin Bieber

I love Saturday Night Live.  It’s one of the few institutions that I actually believe in.  That’s why the first two episodes of SNL this year have hurt me so.  They’ve been beyond underwhelming; they’ve been flat out bad. 

It’s unfortunate that so much is resting on Justin Bieber’s young shoulders.  But that’s where we are. Justin wants to do double duty, he’s got to be able to carry the load. 

Honestly, he can’t be worse than Adam Levine, right?  Right?!

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
Super Bowl Blackout – This was pretty solid.  It was something everyone was familiar with, so pretty much everyone got it.  I liked JB’s floundering and trying valiantly to toss to others, who gave him nothing to work with.  I really liked his interplay with Steve Tasker. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Monologue – This is a tough one.  On one hand, the premise is funny and it’s a two-fer; a) Bieber is out of touch bordering on vapid and b) Black History facts have a tendency to lame.  Unfortunately, despite deft positioning, Bieber’s reliance on cue cards is way too apparent.  He doesn’t ruin things, but he’s distracting. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

The Californians – While I’m rolling my eyes, I get why this sketch is here; they need an existing sketch that Bieber can just be plugged into.  At this point, I wonder if Vanessa Bayer just lacks the ability to pull off a Californian accent.  Hader and Armisen are awesome as always.  I’m a little disappointed that there wasn’t a surprise cameo, but whatever. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Bieber’s Body Doubles – I totally applaud Bieber being able to be the butt of the joke.  I also appreciate the writers and performers going in on Biebs.  Sudekis seemed to take great joy in poking Bieber. I loved how random Sudekis’ Saddam spazz out was, which slayed me.  And as always seeing McKinnon is plus, especially when she’s doing a spot on impression. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Bravo Spinoffs – This was just loaded with goodness.  The Moroccans of  Mulholland Drive started off great and around Somewhere Chauffer the Rainbow I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.  I was slayed how things came full circle. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Justin Bieber Performance #1 – I did not hate this song.  It was the first time I’ve heard it and it wasn’t offensive.  That’s all I’m prepared to say. 

Weekend Update – I enjoyed Seth calling Alicia Keys Bleeding Gums Murphy.  I also dug “King Richard III’s Best Friends From Growing Up” but I always love them.  Corey had me weak.  Naturally being Black it resonated with me.  And “the one clean part of Brooklyn” was hilarious. 

Billy & Angie – This was a pretty funny sketch.  Everyone played their part and did it well.  I liked how the women were the voices of reason and expressed their concerns.  Bieber was the weakest part, with his fidgeting with his wrist and doing a bit too much singing at the end, but it was still strong. 

Rating: Chris Farley

The New Miley Cyrus Show – I’ve enjoyed this sketch.  This seemed so forced and like it only existed so Bieber could do his faux mea culpa.  I did enjoy Killam’s Liam Hemsworth.  But why the hell wasn’t Bieber in long sleeves? 

Rating: David Spade

Glice – This was just ok.  This felt like a sketch Will Ferrell or Keenan or Armisen would have knocked out of the part, but Taran Killam just doesn’t have the same presence or fearlessness.  Killam didn’t go far enough for me.  He might have made Bieber break, but that wasn’t a challenge. 

Rating: Darrell Hammond

Valentine’s Day Message – I liked this.  I liked the weirdness of it.  Taco was adequately creepy.  “Check your email Hillary Clinton” and the massage oil/sonogram gel had me weak. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Justin Bieber Performance #2 – I did not like this song as much.  I will say that I bet the dude who plays with Bieber is getting paid.  He plays both the piano and the guitar?  That guy’s a double threat. 

Valentine’s Day Dance – I don’t know how I didn’t see this sketch coming.  Bieber did a pretty good job here.  As always Keenan and Pharoah were the stars.  I like a bit more weirdness in my five to 1 slot, but this was fine. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Final Thoughts: Bieber’s no Timberlake, but he did a better job than Adam Levine.  The episode didn’t have any major flaws, just sketches I’m tired of seeing.  I’m very interested in seeing what happens next week with Christoph Waltz.  

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