Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Amy Adams & One Direction

It’s the last Saturday Night Live of 2014.  What a year it’s been.  We’ve lost Seth Meyers (among others) and gained Sasheer Zamata (among others).  It’s truly been a year full of growing pains for the show. 

But Amy Adams is hosting the SNL Christmas episode, which traditionally features special guests.  Who will show up?  And will this episode end the year with a bang or a whimper? 

Our Rating system

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

And introducing our new Host Rating Scale;

Drake – Outstanding
Edward Norton – Impressive
Josh Hutcherson – Fine Enough
Charlize Theron – Essentially an Extra
Seth Rogen – Expectation, Unmet
Jim Parsons - Awful

Dr. Evil Cold Open – First off, I would have been totally fine with “A Very Somber Christmas with Sam Smith” which looked funny enough, but Dr. Evil was a great touch.  It allowed them to deal with the Sony/The Interview/North Korea situation from a critical standpoint.  The jokes about moving a movie to January and The Love Guru were nice touches.  And for a bit that could have easily coasted on seeing a familiar character, it was actually well written and funny. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Monologue – So Adams mentions that this is the second time Kristen Wiig has hijacked her monologue, but it’s also the second time Wiig has hijacked a musical monologue this season.  Normally I’d be bashing this monologue, but the holiday season has ironically melted my heart and the song is getting me into the holiday spirit. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Asian American Doll – This sketch was brilliant.  It’s sort of like a thematic sequel to The Dudley’s sketch from the Woody Harrelson episode.  The toy company walking on eggshells was just great and Strong’s narrator was perfect. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Tenderfield Christmas – Nice of SNL to take on viral family videos, with a familiy who had viral success and is trying to duplicate that success despite having a seriously rocky year.  The high point of the sketch is McKinnon’s sociopath daughter, Suzy.  The low point was Kenan playing  essentially the same character he plays 33% of the time.  Usually it works, but here it just feels lazy.  Still, Killam and Adams’ enthusiasm really helps sell this sketch. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Serial: The Christmas Surprise – Serial is a phenomenon, but it’s also a podcast, so making a parody for TV seems like an odd fit.  Still, they did a great job of capturing the rhythms of Serial, while elevating it to the absurd.  It’s a solid parody, that goes on a bit too long, because there were so many aspects they wanted to lampoon. 

Rating: Darrell Hammond

Girlfriends Talk Show – I usually love this sketch, but this week it felt like an excuse to cram One Direction into sketch.  Morgan didn’t get a ton of lines in this outing and she’s usually the heart of the sketch.  Also Kira’s story about her boyfriend wasn’t as outlandish as it usually is.  It makes me sad, because I really like visiting with Morgan and Kira. 

Rating: Jim Breuer

Office Christmas Party – The idea of a couple of guys who get an office holiday party turnt up is mildly funny.  But the image of Bobby Moynihan as the boss, making it rain with gift cards is undeniably funny.  Equally hilarious is Bryant’s Carol from New Media going wild. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

One Direction First Performance – I don’t know what this song was, I mean, other than extremely bland.  I kind of dig how these guys still perform in a straight up lineup.  Not only does it show solidarity, but it also keeps you from noticing the backing musicians. 

Weekend Update – First off, shame on Michael Che for tainting a perfectly good Cosby joke by failing to pronounce “sedative” correctly.  Good grief man!  That said, Moynihan’s Kim Jong Un bit was pretty funny.  I also enjoyed Che’s neighbor Willie, whose jokes slayed me (but then again, Gil is one of my favorite residents of Springfield).  But seeing Garth and Kat on Update was like the best Christmas present ever. 

A Very Cuban Christmas – Ok, this was clearly supposed to be the cold open, right?  It’s topical, it’s got Pharoah’s Obama in it and the ending felt tacked on.  Apart from that, seeing Strong play Latina, again, is kind of lame.  Equally lame, Killam apparently thinking all Latinos are Mexican, because his Pitbull clearly sounded Mexcian.  But on the plus side, Armisen’s announcer was funny and seeing him actually show up as Raul Castro was great.  And the Weekend At Bernie’s-esque bit with Fidel Castro was pretty funny. 

Rating:  Tim Meadows

One Direction Second Performance – I feel like this is the same song and they just shifted their positions on stage so that we’d think it was a different one.  I swear this is the same song.  But it’s gotta be hard to write songs for One Direction, because you have to have five different voices to put in the spotlight.  But this is still the same song as the first one. 

A Magical Christmas – This is one of those sketches that hinges on the reveal.  In fact, the reveal might actually save the sketch for some people.  For me the reveal was the cherry on top.  But I am a fan of the Dundee Sisters and their fixation on trash. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Whisters R’ We – I was genuinely happy to see Barbara and her new girlfriend, Ashley.  I loved Barbara cracking herself up with her jokes.  I dug how Adams’ Ashley kept trying to get frisky, in weird ways.  But obviously the star of the sketch was Toby, the textbook narcissist, who digs Adam Lambert and has power of attorney over Barbara. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Final Thoughts – I’m glad that SNL went out on a strong note, because it’s a long cold month until the next episode.  The writers really brought their A game and for the most part it was an evenly funny episode. 

Adams certainly did her.  She wasn’t asked to really carry any sketches, but he held her own, particularly in the Tenderfield Christmas.  And she ended things with her weird Ashley.  

Host Rating: Edward Norton

Next Week Year: Kevin Hart and TBD

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...