Once again, "Saturday Night Live" proves that a long break doesn't necessarily provide the writers with any good ideas. Last weekend's show felt like a jumbled mess of leftovers from other episodes, with only a few bright moments. "Silver Linings Playbook" star Jennifer Lawrence had a couple decent moments but overall didn't leave much of an impression at all.
Best of the Night
The "Saturday Night Live" Weekend Update was an oasis tonight in a sea of bad sketches. One of the highlights in the news wrap-up was the fact that the only thing weirder than Manti Te'o's girlfriend not existing is the fact that a "Samoan Mormon who plays football for a Catholic school DOES exist!" Seth Meyers brought on Anthony Crispino, "Second-Hand News Guy," and once again the improvised riffing between Bobby Moynihan and Seth is the best part. Then there's the fact that Kim Kardashian is still married to Chris Christie, and he was so mad about her hooking up with Kanye "that he threw a roller coaster in the ocean." Insanely good stuff.
The pre-taped bits often seem to be a high point these days on "Saturday Night Live," and this week's "Hobbit" trailer was another fun one. The video poked fun at the drawing out of Tolkien's stories, and promoted 18 new film installments including "Hobbit 4: The Elf Queen Tries to Pick Out a Dress". As Galadriel, Lawrence had some funny sarcastic moments in the gradually more absurd scenes, including a table of various characters groaning derisively at the guy who has to put his portion of the bill on his credit card. Then there was that time they chased Gandalf's hat for three movies...
The B-108 morning show on "Saturday Night Live" is all about the chemistry between Moynihan and Taran Killam. Their enthusiasm for their early time slot "Even Al Roker's still asleep!" and their ramped up chemistry make this goofy sketch entertaining. The guest host also had one of her best moments playing Busty Rhymes, a sexy rapper who constantly earns the ire of the show hosts for breaking out rap lyrics that don't rhyme at all. Watch the insanity and all other "SNL" videos on their site here.
Worst of the Night
Sometimes you watch "Saturday Night Live" and wonder if you really are wasting precious minutes of your day sitting there watching a "Top Chef" parody with actors dressed in dog costumes talking bout the added spice in a bowl of vomit. This was that night. Full credit to Nasim Pedrad's Afghan hound costume and for the cast and host squeezing a laugh or two out of it, but this was just a Very Bad Idea.
A bad sketch is awful enough without having it inexplicably reappear later. Once again "Saturday Night Live" brought out the "Girlfriends" sketch, with Cecily Strong being the obnoxious teenager always trying to find someone cooler to host her talk show with abused BFF Aidy Bryant. Lawrence played a goth chick who hints at bisexuality to seem cool, but her heart wasn't in it and this sketch was just dead in the water. Again.
At the end of the night, "Saturday Night Live" brought out a parody of a badly dubbed, hazily filtered, mildly erotic late night cable TV movie. This was one of those things that appeals to a very small audience who recognize the source material, but there really wasn't enough of a joke here to work with.
The Final Verdict
Lawrence started off with a very nervous and hastily-cue-card-read monologue, and never really sunk her teeth into anything after that. There was some potential with a creepy diner waitress who takes the 1950's-inspired sassy trash talk to disturbing levels, but the sketch went on too long and ended with a thud. Once again the writers seemed unsure of what exactly to do with an award-winning actress, including throwing in a "Hunger Games" sketch that had some laughs but seemed awfully late to the party.
Musical guests The Lumineers helped Weekend Update break up the drudgery of the unfunny stuff. The grinning, goofy, barefoot-dancing group performed their popular "Ho Hey" along with "Stubborn Love." The vocals were fantastic, the energy was high, and it's hard not to tap your foot along with the infectious rhythms.
What did you think, "Saturday Night Live" fans? Was this a Golden Globe-worthy performance for Lawrence, or a total disaster?
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