I read an Entertainment Weekly interview with Jennifer Lawrence recently during which the interviewer asked about her post-awards show ritual and she said, “The first thing I do when I get off a carpet is take my heels off, rub my makeup everywhere, and basically pick up a garbage can and go ‘Rawwrrrrr!’ and dump it all over my head,” which is genuinely very funny and pushed me into liking her in the way that everyone seems to like her these days. (“I want her to be my frieeeeeeend,” type of like.) I thought this affection I feel for her would allow me to kind of absent-mindedly enjoy her episode of Saturday Night Live, buuuuut it didn’t, really! Unfortunately! That isn’t to say it was a particularly bad episode, or even that she wasn’t very good at hosting. She definitely competently and charmingly did what she was supposed to do whenever she was supposed to do it, and none of the sketches (except for maybe the “Hunger Games Press Conference” sketch) were BAD, but overall the episode felt only medium-funny, unfinished, and mostly forgettable. It’s unfortunate not only because lots of people work very hard to make Saturday Night Live every week only for people on the Internet to call it “medium-funny” while they’re still in their pajamas, which BELIEVE ME doesn’t seem right, but also because there were a few times when I think it really could have been great — “Top Dog Chef” comes to mind — but for one reason or another, at least for me, it never really got there. But maybe for you it did? Everyone has a different brain, that’s the thing, so who even knows what you thought about it. So. Hey, let’s take another look at some sketches!

Kate McKinnon’s Jodie Foster impression was very good here, but I’m not sure why they chose to combine three major topics into one cold open — especially one that wasn’t super inventive and didn’t have a lot to say. It at least did not go on forever, though! Which is a super shitty backhanded non-compliment, but I really mean it!

YO, IS THIS RACIST?

Hey remember when this stalled a bunch of times?! That was great. My favorite part about this was when it stalled a few times and every times you got to hear people slowly and self-consciously stop laughing. My other favorite part was “Gandalf Tries To Remember A Name.”

I thought Jennifer Lawrence was very good during “Girlfriend Talk Show,” and I thought the joke “What cool person as ever owned a guinea pig?” “Uh, MY FAMILY.” was very funny. “Girlfriend Talk Show” isn’t my favorite sketch series, but I thought this one at least had a few LOLs.

I thought Jennifer Lawrence was great in ’50s Diner, too. Really this whole sketch was enjoyable until the ending, which seemed tacked-on and thought out only hastily. Figuring out how to end a sketch seemed like a problem overall in this episode, which is too bad — even if you’re enjoying a sketch all of the way through, if it ends poorly I think it generally tends to leave a bad impression.

Man, “Top Dog Chef”! Not good! I’m not sure what the problem was here, but I THINK the problem was that all of the jokes were just, like, actually about the way that dogs are. Hahah. This is rather than what would have been FOR ME an ideal combination of jokes abut the way that dogs are (like when the Tom Colicchio dog barked at the doorbell even though he knew it was coming) and specific jokes about Top Chef or cooking reality competitions in general — something to anchor it to real life. But it was really just like, “Dogs don’t like carrots.” “Dogs eat vomit.” “Dogs run after trucks if you let them.” Which wasn’t really enough!

And finally, the Lumineers performed and were delightful.

Comments (12)
  1. Oh man, I LOVED this episode for whatever reason. I seem to be in the minority on this one, however. :(

  2. “Danielle.” – Bill Hader

  3. I thought this was a pretty bad episode. I though Jennifer Lawrence did an admirable job with very poor material. 50s Diner Sketch didn’t really have a hook. It’s like, she was just being mean to them for no apparent reason. Top Dog Chef had promise, but fell flat aside from “WHO’S AT THE DOOR? I WILL KILL YOU!!” I kind of thought the Starbucks commercial was funny, but yeah, totally racist. Hobbits was decent. The Hunger Games sketch was OK, but considering the rest of the dreck, it was one of the better sketches of the night.

  4. Yeah, I had a “oh crap this is racist” reaction to the Starbucks commercial…

    …but also, I’ve totally had that experience at multiple Starbucks throughout the city.

    …but I’ve also had perfectly adequate experiences at multiple Starbucks throughout the city.

  5. I enjoyed Weekend Update, mostly for “raising the Depp ceiling.” This stupid joke and the racist (?) Starbucks thing killed me. Oh, boy.

  6. It was totally, disgustingly, shamefully racist. “Starbucks employees screw up names” was a perfectly serviceable joke. They didn’t need to turn it into “black people have funny names and are bad at customer service.”

    For crying out loud, How I Met Your Mother based an episode around that concept without veering into racist territory, and HIMYM is no paragon of liberty or class. Ugh, SNL. Ugh.

    • Holy cow. The first 30 seconds were fine, but then, woooaah. They aren’t even trying to be clever racists! “Larger non-functional machine” with a sassy attitude made me do a double-take. Maybe if they had made the second machine some disaffected hipster girl this skit could have avoided a racist slant, but clearly this is just about black people. Happy MLK day! Womp.

  7. Second Hand news is one of my favorites. This one wasn’t great, but it still made me laugh so much.

  8. I really enjoyed the radio station sketch. It was dumb funny, but I was tired and it hit just the right notes to have me really laughing.

    • I thought it was okay, but the timing seemed really off. I felt like everyone kept stepping on everyone else’s lines. I barely caught what I thought was probably one of the funniest lines, “I swear, Busty, if you weren’t my wife’s daughter!” I had to rewind the DVR.

  9. Aside from being racist I didn’t really like the Starbucks Verismo sketch because as an ex-barista there were plenty of customers much much dumber than the baristas. I mean I am sure there are baristas who can’t get the customers’ name/drink right but I feel like the amount of stupid customers outweighs that?

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