Thursday, January 1, 2015

SNL 40.7 Review - Cameron Diaz, Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars

Original Airdate - 11/22/14

I am going to admit something that probably isn't going to be quite popular.  I am not a big Cameron Diaz fan.  I know, I know, I know.  Don't crucify me.  I just don't find her that funny.  I think she is a great dramatic actress (on the rare occasion she has the opportunity to show that side of her), but outside of her first movie The Mask and some random moments here and there, I don't appreciate her comedy.  With that in mind, you can imagine I was a little less than thrilled when I found out she would be hosting.  Add to that Bruno Mars being one of the musical guests, who was a surprisingly successful combo host a couple season ago, I was really scratching my head.  I would love to say this episode proved me wrong about the host, but unfortunately the episode matched my opinion of her: mediocre.

Cold Opening

The highlight of the episode actually came in the Cold Open as the writing staff produced the first memorable start to the show this season.  This episode's statement on current events pertained to President Obama's executive order changing immigration policy without getting a vote from the House or the Senate.  That's not the way things usually work.  That's what I learned from School House Rock.  Apparently the writers were thinking the same thing as they recreated their "I'm Just a Bill" sketch.  The difference is after some time the Executive Order comes out and sings his own verse while Pharaoh's Obama pushes the Bill back down the steps of Capitol Hill.  It's a great sketch about a great topic using a great pop culture reference.  I loved this sketch, but I hate when this is the highlight of the show.


This may have been the worst monologue of the season so far.  Everyone mailed it in on this one.  They didn't even try!  It was like they got to 11:20 and realized they had forgotten to write a monologue so they threw this together at the last minute.  I understand bad sketches, but at least show some effort!

Weekend Update

I don't know why, but I don't necessarily find Kate McKinnon's impression of German Chancellor Angela Merkel that funny.  I feel like I should, but I don't.  So whenever she pops up, I'm slightly disappointed.  The second guest to the Update desk was Charles Manson and his new fiance.  Taran Killam is great at playing a psychopath, and there are some funny bits here, but making fun of Manson just seems a little too easy.  Again, a lot of this episode lacked creativity.  As is starting to become the norm, Jost and Che once again are pretty great.

Best Sketch

Some of the sketches were pretty solid.  This was the best of them as girls once again challenge their inner bad girl (a la "Twin Bed" from last season) to talk about going home for the holidays.  Even though I felt like I had seen this before, the cast additions really made it feel fresh, highlighted by Leslie Jones's Missy Elliott-esque verse.

Worst Sketch

Cameron Diaz's latest project is the reinvention of Annie starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis.  So they made Annie black.  I thought it was a creative idea to freshen up a classic story.  This sketch made it weird.  Once again, it's like the writers didn't even try.  I know it is the custom to design a sketch around the host's latest project, but it was like the writers said, "Let's throw a red wig on Leslie Jones and let her just shout random crap."  Jay Pharaoh is a master impressionist, but his Jamie Foxx is about as weak as I have seen him.  Again, at least try to make a good sketch...

Dark Horse Sketch this one!  This is a perfect example of a Dark Horse Sketch: creative, weird, off-beat, not necessarily full of laughs but fun nevertheless.  It's the effort that counts; an effort that was lacking in most of the episode.  In this sketch, they pull out every cliche of an overly-artistic play.  It's a little strange, but I enjoyed it.

The Cold Opening in this episode may go down as a top 10 sketch of the season, however the rest of the episode just felt mailed in.  There were three repeat sketches also that failed in comparison to the originals.  I was fairly bored with the majority of this episode, like I usually am watching Cameron Diaz in a comedy.  This mediocre episode was compounded by the fact that a former host as musical guest wasn't utilized at all.  Have Bruno Mars appear in something!  I guess that would have been just a little too creative for this particular episode.


View the full episode here:

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