Episode Reviews (5)
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They call it Trampolining...
Well, after a week off, we return with host Emma Stone and musical guest Kings of Leon. Hopefully the writers were rejuvenated in that one week break. Emma Stone seem's like a good actress, and I've read that she's really excited to host, so I am hoping it will be good. I'm also excited to see Kings of Leon back too.
Reid Rally: Seeing Paul Brittain as Harry Reid was interesting, and this was a decent enough cold opening. Doesn't beat the hilarious Gloria Alred opening, but, still.
Monologue: This was a good idea for a monologue. I loved all the ways they were trying to get her to kiss them, and seeing Taran and Bobby and Michael Cera and Jonah Hill, respectively, was hilarious.
Baby Spanx: This was a pretty funny commercial, since products are getting this ridiculous to have people become thin (not babies of course).
Dream Home Extreme: This character appeared about 3 years ago with Brian Williams as the host, but I don't mind seeing it back. Kristen knows how to play this crazy character very well.
Channel 9 News: This was a great depiction of how ridiculous local news is becoming with all these "investigations" and "follow-ups" of teen "problems" and "trends". The more and more ridiculous teen trends got more, and more hilarious. I loved Emma's facial expressions to the stupidity of the reports.
I Broke My Arm: This was a hilarious digital short. When Emma came out in the Stephen Hawking-like Wheel Chair, I laughed so hard. It was great.
The View: I enjoyed Emma's impression of Lindsay Lohan. The sketch was pretty well written, and was better than past View sketches.
Wrangler Open Fly Jeans: This was a great way to parody Brett Favre's recent misconduct with the NFL. It was a pretty funny commercial.
Musical Performance: Kings of Leon performs "Radioactive" which was a great performance by a good band.
Weekend Update: The jokes tonight were good, and Bill as Stefon was alright. Kenan as Jimmy McMillan was really good, and I laughed everytime he said "The Rent is too D*mn High!" It was nice to see John Mulaney's commentary back, also.
Paris Dancing: Much like the Anne Hathaway sketch back in 2008, this takes on a boy and a girl dancing to a very French song. I liked this sketch a lot just because of the silly nature of the sketch.
My Brother Knows Everything: This was a good parody featuring Nasim. Both she and Emma were great in this sketch as the annoying sisters. I loved the cut-away to Andy's previously recorded karate video.
Ed Vincent's Sex Symposium: This was such a raunchy commercial, that it was actually really funny. The motions they cut to him doing were really hilarious, and I thought this was a good way to feature Paul.
Musical Performance: Kings of Leon performs "Pryo"
Googie Rene's Partially Damaged Halloween Costumes: This was a weird choice for a return of a recurring character. This aired originally from the Anna Faris episode 2 years ago, and it was not too thrilling to see it again. But, it was okay, I guess.
The show tonight was a good return. Both the sketches were funny, and Kings of Leon were really good. Emma Stone was a really good host, and I hope to see her host again.
Next week: Jon Hamm returns to host his 3rd episode, and his 2nd Halloween episode, with musical guest Rihanna.moreless
Not the greatest SNL ever but Samberg and Wiig did step aside for the new cast members. Emma Stone was adequate. Do not like Kings of Leon. Worst singer since Eddie Vedder, but without his charisma.
This SNL was not very good, but they were letting the new cast members have turns at bat. Speaking of baseball, is it going to be SF vs. Texas for the World Series? Go, Giants! I am going to start wearing Black & Orange, just in time for Haloween--or the elections. Wouldn't it be an October Surprise if Yes on 19 got out the Youth Vote? It's always 4:20 somewhere.
The cold opening, about Obama going to Nevada to help Harry Reid, but he wants to distance himself, was not funny. I could think of a million different things to mock in this election. How about Prop 19 getting out the youth vote in California, or how Prop 19 is going to save bankrupt cities with all the new potential tax revenue? Other topical issues were pretty predictable, like Jimmy McMillan with the funny mustache running for Governor of New York state on the "Rent is Too High" party. Kenan did a good job in his interview segment as Jimmy McMillan on Weekend Update, but you have to admit that Jimmy McMillan was already funny. The segment writes itself, once you have the funny beard on. Equally predictable was a bit on Brett Favre. At least it was predictable that Favre would be a target. A commercial for "no fly" jeans? I've heard of "no fly" zones, but if anyone would wear "no fly" jeans, it would be Brett Favre.
Emma Stone was kind of a hit or miss miss. I liked the monologue with Kenan, Andy, and someone with a PowerPoint presentation (Bill Hader?) as nerds who wanted to make out with Emma Stone, because she is often cast as a hot girl who makes out with nerds. Super Bad? Easy A? Bobby and some new guy played Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, and they were two more nerds who also wanted to make out with Emma Stone. Emma reassured them that it was just their characters who were nerds, not them. Bobby M. had the Jonah, who swallowed a whale 'look' down, but the other guy didn't really look like Michael Cera, but he did his voice perfectly. I close my eyes and there is Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.
Moving on, Emma did a thing where she was a girl in high school who broke her arm, and they sang about it. It was kind of a hip hop dance number. Silly, really, but kind of cute for a hot minute. I really liked the French TV show. It was just weird, but brilliant for a sketch that goes nowhere, but just keeps that weird mood going. They all break out in a weird dance, and that was just funny. I think that they captured a lot of the Frenchisms that we yanks find most annoying. I didn't like Emma as the woman who won the extreme home make over but was non plussed about it. Wiig was going overboard, as she is wont to do, but Emma was just dead weight. I know that was the concept of the gag, but it didn't yield anything useful as comic fodder. There was also a parody of The View. How about a parody of The Talk? I guess they are waiting until some people actually watch The Talk before talking about The Talk. Barbara Walters was pretty good, Armisen as Beyhar was less than adequate, and don't even get me started on the lame Hasslebeck. Whoopie was good. Why does Kenan seem to get the most laughs when he is in drag? Emma Stone really does look a lot like Lindsay Lohan, and there was some potential for comedy mayhem, but unfortunately, The View sketch, like the actual The View show, is pointless, though I wouldn't really know since I never watch it, and even if I did watch it, I would never admit that I watched it.
The TV show about the girl's brother, Eric (Andy Samberg), was sad. It seems like she keeps trying to reheat that character, and by now it is nothing but salmonella. It is just a rehash of Henry who idolized her parents, but couldn't relate to kids her own age. Then she brought it back in a slightly different form. Third time is not the charm.
A new guy did a new character, "Sex" Ed Vincent. This was a character he developed in Chicago, or so I read in the forums. This guy and Ed Vincent as a character show a lot of potential. Elsewhere on SNL there was the obligatory fake commercial, and this one was about BabySpanx for sliming down fat babies. I thought this was OK, as obligatory fake commercials on SNL go. I might have wandered off during Weekend Update, but could I have missed much? I didn't see the bit about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, which I am sure I would have enjoyed. I already mentioned Kenan did Jimmy McMillan, and there was another segment with Stephan. I like this character even though he always does the same thing. He reviews NY night clubs, but he is supposed to talk about things that the average NY tourist can do while on vacation with his family. Best line was about "Furkles" which come to find out are fat Urkles. When you wake up the next morning you'll say "Did I do that?" Well, maybe not you, and certainly not me--not that there's anything wrong with that--but Stephan perhaps.
Finally, though I risk alienating my readers, I just have to say that I am underwhelmed by The Kings of Leon. I do not like their singer, nor their songwriting. I admit that they do get a pretty good sound with guitar, bass, and drums, but it is pretty boring, with harmonic progressions that wander down the same prosaic path over and over again, and the lame vocals finally kill it. No discernable melody, and that fake sounding affected vocal, like Eddie Vedder. I cringe at the thought of it. I was being either sarcastic or ironic--take your pick--when I said that he was the worst vocalist since Eddie Vedder, but without the charisma. It is ironic because I don't think Eddie Vedder has any charisma to speak of, at least not on stage. But once you have to explain why something is ironic, then it is pretty much over. My brother did meet Eddie V. in Maui, and he couldn't have been nicer. The Kings of Leon, and Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam, for that matter, seem like awesome dudes, and I don't dislike any of them personally--quite the opposite--but I am not going to start liking their music. That is just never going to happen. I forgot to mention the newscast about teenagers and their latest dangerous fads, and the one where Googie Renee sold damaged Haloween costumes, but that's the point. They are forgetable, so I forgot them.moreless
Emma Stone is your host tonight. Not exactly a mainstream name, but she's been in a couple of notable films. She did not really succeed in the role of SNL host though. She brought nothing to any sketches she was in and really was at no point funny.
I cannot even recall anything that I thoroughly enjoyed here. All I know so far is that Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer need to go as they do absolutely nothing and just come off as really awkward in everything they do.
Kenan as a geek was the most personality he has shown on this show in years though.moreless
There were some funny skits, but Emma Stone felt non-existent, while some of the material felt incomplete.
It's difficult for me to review SNL episodes now, mostly because they're so unbelievably inconsistent. It's difficult to figure out whether or not to laud the show for is hilarious moments or chastise it for how inept it is at time. I decided to lean more towards the latter; the guest-stars the show is reeling in are great, but the writing is not. It doesn't take much to write a good skit of SNL, and right now, the writing crew just seems lazy. I liked Emma Stone here, but come on... give her something to work with besides these stupid, half-thought-out characters.
I'd say Emma's best role here was, unfortunately, her monologue. That says a lot about the characters here. When Emma plays herself and reacts to the "nerds" in the crowd (specifically Taran Killan playing a superb Michael Cera), she's at her best deadpan self. But when you add in the SNL characters, it's pretty lame. She plays a woman unexcited by winning 2 million dollars but excited for getting some hard-boiled eggs, Lindsay Lohan, a nerdy friend of a nerdy girl, a slutty looking assistant to a weird costume-designer and a young teenage student being interviewed by a strange man. All of these characters were under-written and just disappointing all around.
That's not to say that the cast didn't do a good job with what they were given. I actually sort of liked the Digital Short this week, giving us the kind of song/video that only Andy Sanberg can give us. I also liked the news articles on the various things teenagers do, especially Trampolining.. man, I've never heard of a more disturbing thing here. There were some funny moments, as usual, during the Weekend Update, and I have to say, whenever Bill Hader does Stefon, I die laughing. I don't even care that he breaks character and laughs himself, that just makes the material even funnier. And I can't say enough about the new cast doing a great job with what they're given. The new guy doing the Sex Symposium was hilarious.
But boy, there is some bad stuff here too. The View skit felt lazy and uninspired, while the cold opens remain as unfunny as ever. The show just needs to figure out a way to make the show flow better. For every good skit, there's a few that they just throw together.
But I will give much respect to Emma Stone for trying her best, and I still find her funny and entertaining despite being given a disappointing bunch of skits to perform.moreless
SNL is now just routine it's not even funny. The cast seems to just show up and expect the comedy to just happen. Armisen as Obama again? Really?! Everything that followed was not funny. Although Kings of Leon rocked.
SNL has fallen into a predictable rut. It happens every now and then where they make passable sketches that aren't really funny, but just fill 90 minutes of airtime. This episode was more filler, less funny. Although I like Emma Stone, she really was underutlized. From the opening sketch (Armisen as Obama again?!, esepcially when Jay Pharaoh is standing right BEHIND him!) to the end, I don't think I laughed once. Kristen's Extreme Home Makeover parody was a complete dud, a composite of Kristen's overused characters. Weekend Updated was not funny, Kenan was predictable as always. Didn't the real Jimmy McMillan speak in rap and rhyme? Was that too hard to parody? Although I find John Mullaney charming. Maybe he can replace Seth Myers at the anchor desk. That dude is past his prime.
Digital Short was another miss. Seems Sandberg's approach is like cooking spaghetti, throw enough of it against the wall and something's bound to stick. This one didn't.
The rest of the ep was completely unmemorable and not very entertaining.moreless