As some of you know, I edit the Saturday Night Live episode guide at TV.com, as well as moderate the adjoining show discussion board. I cut and paste my thoughts on the show from Wordpad, but this past week I had great and inexplicable difficulty loading my review onto the site. It's a problem I've never encountered before and hopefully never again. After eight days of headaches (and no other blog entry to write this week) I finally share my two cents on Episode 38.7, hosted by Oscar nominee Anne Hathaway:
+ Tonight's cold open was a fine capper to a zany election season. While it wasn't entirely a character assassination of Mitt Romney, it poked holes at the right wing and how the GOP lost the race more so than the candidate. Compared to her Weekend Update appearance six weeks ago Kate's Ann impression was subdued, veering into docile; save for the voice it didn't feel like a real imitation. I loved the gag about Mitt's lookalike sons, though.
+ For those of you that aren't into show tunes (I'm certainly not) the monologue was a parody of the Les Miserables showstopper "One Day More." The meta jokes with the cast (Suds was a writer for parts of two years, Robbo and Aidy are gasping for airtime) felt unnecessary, yet refreshingly honest.
+ Of all the filmed segments this season, "Mokiki and The Sloppy Swish" was probably the closest to a real Digital Short we've seen all year. At times, it also felt like it a potential novelty hit along the lines of "Lazy Sunday" and "Dick in a Box." The clip felt like an Instagramed fever dream, a reggae-meets-dubstep jam about a deranged man in kabuki gear, dancing (limping?) around various New York sites.
+ Last week's "Homeland" reference in a cold open might have been a teaser for tonight's lampoon. Anyone who gripes that SNL doesn't do enough movie/TV parodies should have been placated... as long as they subscribe to Showtime, I guess. Plus, I love a good jazz freakout.
+ "Four... more... years... of... gridlock!"
+ Even though "Ellen" was a spot-on parody and K-Mac's impression was aces, it often felt too detailed to connect. In fact, there was a weird lack of momentum until Anne reprised her Katie Holmes impression. More bread than sandwich, really.
+ First the Apple sketch last month, now "American Gothic." Somebody at SNL must have an intense dislike for Asians.
+ My congratulations to Rihanna upon being the first musical guest ever to appear on SNL four seasons in a row. Also, congrats on being the third scheduled musical guest to appear twice in a six month span (Leon Redbone, Levon Helm). However Miss Fenty, your new jam "Diamonds" is an audiovisual hot mess, a mashup of cheesy green-screen and unintelligible thumping. The live debut of your ballad "Stay" was dainty but tolerable.
+ Also, thank you Flaritin for finally calling people out on their gluten and yogurt "allergies."
+ I had some skepticism, but Anne is turning into a fine go-to host. Anne's not afraid to wear wigs, she runs well with the cast (especially the soon-to-depart Suds), and she has energy to spare. However, by a sliver this was probably the weakest of her three stints on SNL. After last week's triumphant Louie C.K. show, a letdown was expected but the general effort was competent enough for a passing grade.