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Saturday Night Live “Josh Hutcherson/HAIM” Live Blog/Review (39×07)

23 Nov

Josh-Hutcherson-SNL-Saturday-Night-Live-Promo-Videos-590x331GEORGE ZIMMERMAN COLD OPEN: This is a fairly tame cold open, with a flimsy premise and some average interactions; everything seems like it was quickly shoved together without much thought going into the jokes. It’s not a very good sketch, even with the visual of Zimmerman’s tracker and “I’m a sucker for bad boys…and I like when a man’s features are being sucked into the middle of his face.” GRADE: C+

MONOLOGUE: So the blatant Hunger Games stuff is actually not bad; Cecily Strong is absolutely brilliant here (“It’s New York, baby. It’s a jungle out there.”), and Hutcherson isn’t bad; his “It’s a book?” is legitimately funny.  GRADE: B

GIRLFRIENDS TALK SHOW: I’m not a big fan of these sketches, although I have to say; this is the best one yet. Aidy Bryant kills it here, and the fact that half the time it looks like she’s about to lose it makes it even better. Great lines: “I love you. Oh, no what have I done?” and “I feel like I’m entering womanhood right now.” GRADE: B-

MR. PATTERSON’S OFFICE: Beck Bennett is really good at playing a baby. There’s not much to this sketch, but I laughed a lot just at the visual of it; I guess that’s the point. Anyway, it looks like Hutcherson’s just going to be standing around all night. GRADE: B

MATCHBOX 3: So here’s a sketch with a fantastic premise that went on a little too long. I’m a fan of the pre-recorded segments, and I do like this one; the thing is, the concept can’t really sustain a four-minute long sketch. Still, that’s my only complaint; I thought the dance moves were hilarious–stirring the espresso was a highlight–and there were some great lines in there: “I will be holding up a flag for your reference!” GRADE: B+

WEEKEND UPDATE: Aidy Bryant’s “Worst Lady On An Airplane” drops by, and it isn’t that great; there are some great lines in there–“I don’t know. Can you make Monsters University any less hilarious?” and “There’s nothing greater than the sound of unexplained human laughter.”–but this amounts to nothing. The update jokes are solid here, though. GRADE: B-

JOSIE-I’m not entirely sure what happened here, although it’s a simple-ish premise. Still, it’s a really fun sketch that allows the cast to just let loose and have a good time, even with the lack of jokes or a general cohesiveness. GRADE: B-

BEST BUY: I hated this before and I hate it now. There’s nothing funny about this sketch, save for Thompson’s red afro and Killam’s evil serial killer grin. You know what would be great? If this tied in somehow to that digital short from a few weeks back…because Best Buy, you know? GRADE: C-

DANCING: I was excited for this sketch going in, but it really didn’t amount to much; it felt way too awkward in a bad way; it felt really thrown together, which is surprising considering it’s a pre-recorded one. I like the concept of the dancer’s career; the execution’s shaky, though. Props for the Stefon reference! “It has the hottest nightclub in town….DJ’s.” GRADE: B-

HAIM: I’d never heard of them before, but I guess I like them, although I do think the vocals are a hell of a lot more interesting than the songs themselves. Still, this is a group that knows its style and is good at doing what it does. GRADE: B

ANIMAL HOSPITAL: Okay, so the animals all died. They really ran that joke straight into the ground, and this sketch is at least 3 minutes too long. Still, I admit it got a bunch of smiles out of me, and the energy of everyone here is fantastic. I feel bad about liking it, but it’s so weird, and I just do. GRADE: B

BUGS: This is strangely good in that “New Digital Short”-esque sense. It’s a childish premise, but that’s the point; those tuba sounds were fantastic, and yet again, it’s another sketch that takes a turn at the end. I really liked “I’m going to the supermarket!” GRADE: B

THANKSGIVING DINNER: I’m not sure what was going on this sketch, but I know I’m not that fond of it. It just feels like an obligatory Thanksgiving sketch tacked on the end that doesn’t say anything whatsoever. GRADE: C-

OVERALL: B-

FINAL THOUGHTS: Not bad. I wasn’t too excited about Hutcherson hosting, but he didn’t do a bad job. The thing is, he was pushed to the background while the main cast took center stage, and I’m fine with that. There were several digital shorts, which really shows the increased presence of the new guys in the cast; still, they were a bit shaky tonight. All in all, it was a solid show with few duds. In two weeks, Paul Rudd, who’s awesome.

Credit to NBC and Saturday Night Live for all pictures. I own nothing.

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