Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday Morning Quarterback - Miley Cyrus

Welcome back to the Sunday Morning Quarterback; it’s been a long summer.  But fortunately SNL has returned!  And with it we have our first host pulling double duty; Miley Cyrus. 

Obviously this isn’t Miley’s first rodeo; she’s been on Saturday Night Live many other times both as host and as musical guest.  The only question is what the writers will throw at her.  Will the season premiere of SNL show signs of summer rust or will they catch fire right out the gate? 

As usual, our trusty 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 the host rating scale;

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

Donald Trump Cold Open – I get that Trump that target that SNL wants to make sure that they hit and that they feel like they’ve got to make up for lost time, but this felt rushed and not really fully formed.  Killam’s Trump is fine in the broad strokes, but he’s lacking a perspective.  This one could have used more work. 

Rating: Jim Breuer

Monologue – Geez, speaking of “making up for lost time” this just comes off as desperate.  It’s like “look at what we would have done, if we were on the air the last four and half months.”  It’s both desperate and lazy, which is an accomplishment.  And it relegates the host to a prop. 

Rating: David Spade

Abilify for People Who Think They Can Be President – This is right on target.  The irrational actions of the candidates were pretty funny, as were the moments of clarity.  The specificity is what made this so great. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Homecoming Dance – The new guy is already in a sketch?  Good job new guy.  That said, the joke of the sketch was so telegraphed and predictable it was a challenge for me not to roll my eyes.  That said, the addition of Thompson’s Nasty Jack from Philly took things to a greater level of absurdity and actually brought some entertainment.  He almost make up for the laziness in the writing. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Hillary on Hillary – The meta-ness of the sketch, particularly the gay marriage bit, really helped add some edge to what could have just been pandering.  The biggest question about this sketch is why wasn’t it the cold open?  How did that lukewarm Trump sketch bump this lukewarm Hillary sketch? 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Miley First Performance – I’d be lying if I said I was a fan of Miley or had even consciously listened to her music.  I’ve only ever heard her on SNL or award shows.  But I like that she’s hanging out with The Flaming Lips and getting weird.  She’s like a typical college age kid.  Good for her.  And the song was cool too. 

Weekend Update – You’d hope that over the summer Update would have worked on the things that didn’t work.  You’d be wrong.  Jost’s run on the Democratic debate was rocky, the Pope appearance felt undercooked and Che’s Pope bit needed more work.  Pete Davidson’s bit wasn’t horrible, but Leslie Jones’ appearance was standard Leslie Jones.  It’s only the season premiere, but I’m beginning to worry that Update won’t ever come together. 

The Millenials – Wow.  I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a lazier take on Millenials than this one.  It’s like the writers opted to throw in all of the clichés together and sort of form a sketch around it.  This was not good. 

Rating: David Spade

Katz Deli – Right off the bat, the extras in the sketch are fascinating.  I’m sure everyone is going to be talking about the dude with the moustache.  I want to know the stories he has to tell.  As for the sketch proper; it’s a solid premise that suffers from having Jones deliver it.  She both totally sells it and kind of ruins things.  It’s like a paradox.  But her scenarios are nutty enough for me to give this one a pass. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

The Squad – This had a funny premise, but was kind of light on laughs.  It’s like a thematic sequel to and obverse of The Beygency.  It was just fine. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Miley Second Performance – It’s mildly hard to take a crap on a performance that’s so obviously personal, but I wasn’t feeling it.  The lyrics did nothing for me and the melody was so simplistic that it did nothing to distract from the lyrics.  I’m just not feeling it. 

American Voices – This could have been great, had it not been plagued my gaffes.  The misfires and mistimed cues on this one was pretty bad.  Also it felt like it was missing an ending.  On the plus side, we got to see Sasheer for the first time since the monologue. 

Rating: Janeane Garofalo

Miley & Kyle – What a dope follow-up to the last time she was on.  I loved everything about this, especially Kyle’s beats. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Final Thoughts – This was a rocky episode.  Not a lot worked for me.  Even grading on the “rusty from summer” curve, this was a poor episode.  Hopefully the writers will return from the summer hiatus next week. 

Miley did fine as a host.  She didn’t blow me away or really venture outside of her comfort zone.  But she also didn’t stink up the joint. 

Host Rating: Josh Hutcherson

Next week: Amy Schumer and The Weeknd, so things should get uncomfortable pretty quick. 

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