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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Saturday Night Live: Anna Kendrick & Pharrell William

Though by no means a standout episode of the season I probably enjoyed this a bit more than last week's. But we're still firmly in the "nothing great, nothing awful" territory, so I certainly wouldn't quibble with anyone who said otherwise. That's the thing about these episodes: how well they work depends a lot more than usual on personal tastes and how you're feeling when you watch it. As for Anna Kendrick, she did fine. She was given plenty to do, and played a variety of roles (from carrying whole sketches to slotting in a secondary role), though many of them leaned on her musical background.

Other Thoughts
Another pretty "meh" cold open.

If you're going to do a song for a monologue, then you'd better commit to it, and boy howdy, did they commit to it. That was a lot of fun.

I imagine it's not often the show gets to reuse the Little Mermaid/under the sea set/costumes from the sketch where a Tina Fey-played Ariel discovers Osama Bin Laden's body, but here we are. The central gag was relatively funny, and props to Aidy Bryant for her Ursula gusto. As always, she's a trooper, and puts everything she's got into a role. 

It was nice of the show to hand over a chunk of time in Weekend Update for Brooks Whelan to do some of his standup material. That said, this was a much stronger Update than last week. George R.R. Martin is just rife for parody, and I'm partial to anything featuring a German accent, so McKinnon's recurring Angela Merkel continues to crack me up reliably."For boob touches" has already become a commonly used phrase in my house.

So...Whisper of Yells or Bunch of Clocks

Always more amusing than outright funny, we haven't seen "Les Jeunes Des Paris" in a while, and I didn't mind it's return. It was a clever way to work a "Cups" reference into Kendrick's gig, and hey, a Jean-Luc Picard reference is never a bad thing. 

The Booker T. Washington School sketch is hit-or-miss for me, but I appreciate the effort made to change up the setting.

That end of the night commercial for a compilation of white guy college basketball highlights was pretty good. "They’re basically on the team!"

Least Favorite Sketch: I didn't really hate anything this week, but I suppose I'll go with the last actual sketch, with Vanessa Bayer and Anna Kendrick auditioning for Pharrell. It had one joke - Bayer isn't as good a singer, but Pharrell likes her anyway - and Pharrell was not very smooth in it.

Favorite Sketch: It's a toss-up between the oddball pre-filmed RomCom sketch ("I guess I’ll just get set up and give myself a boner" killed me) and the Big Joe sketch, which was a great bit of physical comedy that was just the right level of dumb. I'll go with Big Joe, but I may have just been in the right mindset for something stupid.

Brian Kilmeade: Belts are so tricky! C’mon, science—it’s 2012!

Kilmeade: I saw a documentary about a town that’s always cold because of a princess.
Elizabeth Hasselbeck: That was Frozen.
Kilmeade: Yeah, everything was frozen!

Episodes Featuring a Game Show: 6/17
Episodes Featuring a Talk Show: 11/17
Episodes with a Monologue Featuring a Song: 8/17
Episodes with a Monologue Technically Featuring a Song That Is Not a Song for the Purposes of "Episodes with a Monologue Featuring a Song": 1/17  

1 comment:

  1. // a Jean-Luc Picard reference is never a bad thing //

    I'm not sure they could've found a cast member who made a more laughable Patrick Stewart, including Sasheer Zamata, but yeah.

    While Update was certainly better this week, I'm calling it: Colin Jost sucks. He may be a perfectly nice guy; I just desperately want some kind of personality from him at the desk. I never thought of the anchors as having, or needing, a "character" before, yet looking back I can put my finger on at least a little something each of them has brought to the table and he's, like, not even bringing vacuousness.

    For some reason, Bobby Moynihan looked more like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof than George R.R. Martin.

    Anna Kendrick did just fine. I liked the Little Mermaid bit — even though I was disappointed that Jay Pharoah as Sebastian never broke into a Shaggy rap — and I like her overall.

    "Big Joe" was probably sketch of the night for me. For whatever reason, SNL is hitting it when it goes weird lately, except for most of the filmed segments starring the guy who did the hallway one with Vanessa Bayer this ep (which is probably my favorite of them). "Dongs" was right there in terms of being really well put together but it wasn't actually funny.

    The big surprise of the episode for me was Keenan Thompson actually making an attempt to do Neil deGrasse Tyson's voice.


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