Thursday, June 12, 2014

SNL 39.19 Review - Andrew Garfield, Coldplay

Original Airdate - 5/3/14

There have been some impressive debuts for SNL hosts this season, the most notable of which have been Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick.  The latest to be added to the top-notch rookies this season is Peter Parker himself, Andrew Garfield (I still think of The Social Network when I think of him, but I digress).  For those who haven't followed Garfield's career, a successful turn on Saturday Night Live may have come as a surprise from the latest pretty boy to get a big franchise.  However, anyone who has seen films like The Social Network and Never Let Me Go and others knows that this is one of the most versatile and talented young actors in Hollywood today.  Oh yeah, and he's British!

Cold Opening

The biggest news story that week (that hasn't really gone away) was Donald Sterling and his unbelievable comments that ended up costing him his NBA team.  As is the case with anything this noteworthy, SNL has to give it's commentary.  Bobby Moynihan gives terrible impressions when it comes to voice and demeanor, but his lines definitely always capture the essence.  Here is no different as Bobby channels Donald Sterling to deliver some of the best one-liners of the season that are so blatantly offensive (yet you could hear it come out of Sterling's mouth) you just have to laugh.


Like I said, this was Andrew Garfield's first hosting gig.  Some of the popular tactics for a rookie monologue are a song and dance, blatant references to what has made them famous, or guest cameos.  This one employed the last two of these, having one of the funniest women around (who happens to be his Spider-Man co-star), Emma Stone, come out and give him some tips on how to have a great show.  There wasn't much special from this, but it didn't suck as it got the show started in a solid way.

Weekend Update

This was a solid turn for Weekend Update as three guests stopped by the desk.  The first of these guests is becoming one of Kate McKinnon's best recurring characters, Olya Povlatsky.  This Russian stereotype stopped by to talk about the conflict in Ukraine and how miserable it is to be Russian.  It is so completely ridiculous that I think even the hardest Russians would find it comical.

The second guest was a first for this season, a writer made an appearance.  With the cast as big as it is, screen time has been quite competitive, however Leslie Jones, a recent writing addition, popped up to give her commentary on pop culture.  It was funny, however it was just odd to see a non-cast member, non-host, non-celebrity cameo make a featured appearance in a sketch.

The last guest of the episode has taken Stefon's place as the most popular Weekend Update guest, Jebidiah Atkinson.  This is his fourth appearance of the season, which is more than any other character or sketch.  There's a reason he keeps coming back though, he's hilarious.  Taran Killam is one of the best at keeping a straight face on the show, and his own lines consistently crack him up as Jebidiah takes on Broadway and the Tonys this time around.

Best Sketch

There were some great sketches in this episode.  An honorable mention for best sketch is Celebrity Family Feud where Andrew Garfield gives a brilliant impression of his Social Network co-star Justin Timberlake.  With that said, there are two sketches that are sharing this title.  First is one of the most original ideas of the season as Garfield is hunted down for uttering an unthinkable un-American statement: he doesn't like Beyonce.  Enter the Beygency, and a Jack Bauer cameo.

The other best sketch took the post-monologue commercial slot and became SNL's best commercial of the season.  Call me immature, but there is something wonderfully laughable about a good fart joke.  This is one giant fart commercial as they promote Stanx, an air-tight sealed underwear that hold in the unfortunate odors your body may produce.  Not only is the commercial perfect, but it also shows once again that Beck Bennett is the new Chris Parnell.

Worst Sketch

This sketch started out with potential.  Andrew Garfield was Oliver Twist getting up the courage to ask for some more food.  I was excited to see where this sketch could go, and then Cecily Strong came in with another stupidly annoying character much like she did in the previous episode.  These characters aren't funny and have ruined both sketches they have appeared in.  Cecily is one of the most talented women in that cast, but this does not showcase that talent at all.

Dark Horse Sketch

Well, if Emma Stone is going to drop by, why not use her in a sketch?  They decide to recreate a Spider-Man scene that ends with a dramatic kiss, but there is one problem.  Neither of them know how to kiss.  They come up with some ridiculous ideas of what kissing is until the expert comes to show them how it's done.  That expert is Coldplay's Chris Martin.  If the sketch wasn't silly enough, this set it over the edge.

Like Dunham and Kendrick before him, Andrew Garfield took his first turn as host and showed that he should be asked back soon.  He immediately fit right in and added a breath of fresh air to the episode.  Also, one of the things that makes him such a great movie star made him a great host: you can't take your eyes off him.  He is definitely a presence on screen that attracts the attention of the viewers.  Combine that with some of the most original writing of the season, and you have one of the top episodes of the year.


View the full episode here:

No comments:

Post a Comment