OOF. What is even going on over there?! Historically, Saturday Night Live has gone through transitional phases before. Shuffling cast members and taking risks in the writers’ room in order to cohere once anew into some kind of generational-defining supershow. That has happened! It could still happen! But I’m not actually sure that the show has ever felt quite as low-rent as it does this season. Maybe it’s a new studio lighting system? I honestly have no idea, but this is some MadTV shit. Even in previous transitional phases, it at least had the golden thrust of HISTORY and a modicum of TASTE behind it, but there’s something about the way this year’s show even just LOOKS that is falling flat. Sorry, SNL, you know everyone loves you, but real talk. And this week? Do not even get me started on this week. Although, I guess the sooner you get me started on this week, the sooner this post can be finished and we can all move on with our days. Scarlett Johnasson? Why? It makes about as much sense as having Jude Law for no reason last year (and, tellingly, his episode was the worst episode). Who is booking this thing? A copy of Entertainment Weekly from 2002? And what is wrong with Scarlett Johansson’s head? Did her head get chopped off in a terrible arrogance accident and now she has a new head engineered at the Real Doll factory? Yikes.
One of the highlights of the night was when Bill Hader had a hard time maintaining his composure after throwing a slurpee in Kristen Wiig’s face and then dumping a bowl of pasta on her head. Pretty much everything else about the sketch was a dud (although they have done this sketch before, and I have liked it before, such is the draining black hole of Scarlett Johansson’s anti-charisma).
It is a funny moment, but it kind of just makes me want to watch a show in which Bill Hader throws food in Kirsten Wiig’s face and dumps food on her head. If that is all it would take to make your show 10 times better, then I have a feeling you are doing your show wrong? (Maybe not, that would be a hilarious show.)
Also, ceramic busts:
And a Digital Short:
Both fine. Whatever. That is what I say to this whole episode. P.S. Saturday Night Live, you have WILDLY overestimated the American public’s hunger for Denzel Washington impersonations this season.
The best sketch of the night was actually half ruined and was just very good when it could have been great, for one reason: SCARLETT JOHANSSON.
I think the thing that is the worst about Scarlett Johansson, besides her head, is that she somehow earned a completely undeserved reputation as a cool, smart girl when she is just a vapid awful celebrity like all the rest of them. (Uh oh, Emma Stone complainalogue redux.) “But she was in Ghost World!” I think that’s honestly where 99% of it comes from. SO WHAT?! Just because Woody Allen wants to fuck her so bad (he realllllly does) doesn’t actually make her interesting or intelligent. She’s got flesh lips and a terrible attitude! Go to bed, Scarlett Johansson.
The only truly watchable part of the night was Arcade Fire, which you can see over on Stereogum. I’m not saying they were perfect or anything, but at least they weren’t married to Ryan Reynolds.