Friday, November 8, 2013

SNL Season 39.5 Review - Kerry Washington, Eminem

Some people were quite critical of Saturday Night Live when they went out to replace the many cast members that were moving on to bigger and better things that of the six new cast members brought on board, only one was a woman and none of them were black.  I mean, it's the 6th year of Obama's presidency and they have not been able to have a Michelle Obama impersonator.  When Kerry Washington was announced as host, you knew they would take advantage of having a talented African American woman around.  Kerry Washington was amazing every time she was on screen.  I only wish the overall product was a little better.

Cold Opening

By far the best sketch of the night was the cold open.  Every time a black woman has hosted in the last few years, they have taken their turn at being Michelle Obama so you knew it was going to happen at some point.  It ended up being the first thing out of the box.  Not only did she play the First Lady, but it also made light that they take advantage of having someone like Kerry Washington around.  Can she do Oprah?  Beyonce (with or without Jay-Z)?  In one sketch?  She pulled it off well.


With such a strong cold opening, I had high hopes for the rest of the episode.  However, they followed up one of the strongest cold openings of the season with one of the most disappointing monologues of the season.  I don't watch Scandal, however the banter back and forth as they discussed the show didn't spark my interest in any way to watch it.  Quite the opposite actually.

Weekend Update

Kate McKinnon has become very good at playing quirky Weekend Update guests with this week's incarnation being German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  However, the highlight of this week's installment was the NBA talk (among many other things) with Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal (Kenan Thompson & Jay Pharaoh).  It was random, ridiculous, and completely hilarious.

Best Sketch

This season's most memorable sketches so far have been random music videos that are randomly thrown in the middle of all the live sketches.  From "Boy Dance Party" to "We Did Stop (the Government)," they have brought about some of the biggest laughs so far.  This week was the same.  It was only a matter of time that a sensation like "What Does the Fox Say?" made its way to the show, and it was the perfect way to bring it up.  Jay Pharaoh and Kerry Washington were perfect making fun of each other.

Worst Sketch

There were several sketches that didn't really work.  Even though Kerry shined almost every time she was on screen, the sketches weren't just that funny overall.  This includes the sketch immediately following the monologue starring Nasim Pedrad as a motivational speaker at Career Day.  Pedrad shines very now and then, but some of her cooky characters are too bizarre to be accessible.  This character is the perfect example.  Again, Kerry was funny when she came on screen, but I just didn't get it.

Dark Horse Sketch

Kerry Washington hosts a game show where three complete idiots guess the catchphrase from popular cartoon shows.  They constantly need to use their "phone a friend" to get help on these simple questions.  Each time they do, the answers get more ridiculous as Aidy Bryant's husband seems to be having romantic escapades with everyone that is called.  Aidy might be the queen of the one-liners right now on the show.

Outside the great skills of the host, nothing in this episode really impressed me.  Nothing made me cringe quite like Bruce Willis's "pwetty kitty cat," but nothing could be considered great either.  It is a very forgettable episode, which is sad since Kerry Washington proved to be a very worthy host.  I hope she gets another shot at it when the writers have a little more practice writing to her style.


View the full episode here:

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