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.
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