Rachel Brosnahan hosts a solidly B episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live
Rachel Brosnahan & Greta Van Fleek
January 19, 2019

Saturday Night Live is back after its long winter break and while last night’s episode wasn’t terrible, let’s just say that it felt like some writers and performers don’t quite seem like they have entirely mentally have returned from vacation? It is not that the episode was lazy, per se — there were a couple of sketches that I think really hit it out of the park, including one that revels in its immaturity, and a surprise visit from the delightful John Mulaney — it’s just that the bad sketches weren’t bad as much as they were half-assed.

As for Brosnahan’s performance, I honestly had forgotten she was the host through much of the episode. That’s not meant to be a knock on her, she fit in well enough that I found myself reminding myself that she was the host and not a “featured player.” (Not a star, mind you, but a featured player.) (OK, maybe that was a dig.)

Continue reading “Rachel Brosnahan hosts a solidly B episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’”

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Matt Damon delivers a Christmas miracle: a good ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live
Matt Damon and Miley Cyrus & Mark Ronson
December 15, 2018

How is it that this is only the second time Matt Damon has hosted Saturday Night Live? I mean, I’m sure it’s just a matter of his busy schedule: he is a movie star with four kids, it’s not like he has a lot of free time to spend hanging out on a sketch comedy series. But that said, Damon seemed to really be in his element last night. It was already evident from his surprise appearance as Brett Kavanaugh earlier this season that Damon is a natural comedian who seems to thrive under the pressure of a live audience. But last night just cemented the fact that his performance as Kavanaugh wasn’t a fluke. He genuinely seemed to be having as much if not more fun on the SNL stage as the cast, and he was a genuine professional the entire time. Matt Damon gave a Melissa McCarthy-level performance as host.

Additionally, the writing this week was so much stronger than it has been all season. From what I’ve read, hosts are invited to make sketch suggestions, and I suspect that played a large role in why this week’s sketches were just better than they have been in recent weeks. I’m guessing Damon, who is also a writer, came armed with some ideas, rather than just agreeing to whatever nonsense the writers gave him. Whatever the magic was, here’s to hoping SNL also recognized it and bring Damon back sooner rather than later.

Continue reading “Matt Damon delivers a Christmas miracle: a good ‘Saturday Night Live’”

Give Jason Momoa a glitter cape and have him host ‘Saturday Night Live’ every week, please.

Saturday Night Live
Jason Momoa & Mumford & Sons
December 8, 2018

It turns out, Jason Momoa, the actor who is best-known as the violent and sexy warrior chieftain Khal Drogo in the first season of Game of Thrones, is a delight. A goofy, funny, charming delight. His infectious energy lit up Saturday Night Live’s stage last night, clearly genuinely enjoying himself and single-handedly saving some mediocre sketches from themselves. The writing this season still is lacking — woefully lacking, in fact — but I have to be honest: Jason Momoa twerking in a glitter cape goes a loooooong way in making up for some lazy sketch ideas.

Continue reading “Give Jason Momoa a glitter cape and have him host ‘Saturday Night Live’ every week, please.”

Claire Foy reigns over a better (but still not great) ‘Saturday Night Live’

 H.Saturday Night Live
Claire Foy & Anderson .Paak
December 1, 2018

Aside from the last bit of the night (and maybe the tribute to George H. W. Bush), there wasn’t anything about last night’s episode that any of us will remember a month from now, much less a year. But I guess I’m so starved for a good Saturday Night Live, that I’ll take anything, because I didn’t hate last night’s episode. In fact, I didn’t even notice until my sister pointed it out that there were three — THREE — separate instances where people broke into song, which I usually hate. But maybe it was the charm of Claire Foy, maybe it’s the holiday season, maybe it’s that the lyrics of the “All I Want for Christmas” parody made me feel seen — whatever it was, I was left feeling like this was one of the better episodes of the season so far, maybe even the best. Of course, it doesn’t have a whole lot of competition, so take that as the non-compliment that it is.  Continue reading “Claire Foy reigns over a better (but still not great) ‘Saturday Night Live’”

The otherwise delightful Steve Carell is saddled with the laziest ‘Saturday Night Live’ of the season.

Saturday Night Live
Steve Carell & Ella Mai
November 17, 2018

Despite his recent turn into Serious Actorhood, Steve Carell is still one of our funniest comedic actors in the business. He is a natural fit for host of Saturday Night Live (which he has hosted three times previous to this appearance, he’ll be ushered into the Five-Timers Club in no time). He is goofy, game and giving (h/t Dan Savage). And it is because Carell is so funny that this episode receives such a low grade: it’s the expectation gap.

But I don’t blame Carell — he gave his all to unfunny material. No, I blame writers who think the word “kern” is inherently funny, and are too lazy to write a monologue or come up with anything for a sketch beyond, “So Steve is a dad and …” On behalf of all middle-aged parents, THERE IS MORE TO US THAN JUST BEING YOUR MOM OR DAD, YOU DUMB MILLENIALS. ~shakes angry fist at the ceiling in the direction of where her teenage sons are playing video games~ Continue reading “The otherwise delightful Steve Carell is saddled with the laziest ‘Saturday Night Live’ of the season.”

In which Dan Crenshaw takes over ‘Saturday Night Live’ and I have a few things to yell about it

Saturday Night Live
Liev Schreiber & Lil’ Wayne
November 10, 2018

I have no idea why Liev Schrieber was hosting Saturday Night Live this week. Ray Donovan is in its sixth season and returned on Showtime … ~checks notes~ … three weeks ago, so why? Why is he here? He’s not funny, he managed to botch many of his lines and he’s the celebrity and acting equivalent of of oatmeal: he’s fine, but I’m not going to recognize him if he knocked on my front door.

And so it is completely unsurprising that Schreiber’s hosting job was overshadowed by a right-wing eyepatch-sporting congressman — MY right-wing eyepatch-sporting congressman. And yes, I have one or two thoughts about it.  Continue reading “In which Dan Crenshaw takes over ‘Saturday Night Live’ and I have a few things to yell about it”

Jonah Hill earns his place in the Five Timers Club on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live
November 3, 2018
Jonah Hill and Maggie Rogers

Look. This week, this month, these past two years have given you plenty of reasons to drink, but I’m going to give you one more: You’re old. How old are you? You’re so old that Jonah Hill — the kid whose break out film was Superbad — has hosted Saturday Night Live five times.

FIVE.

FIVE TIMES.

Can I buy you a glass of box wine?

Continue reading “Jonah Hill earns his place in the Five Timers Club on ‘Saturday Night Live’”