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Saturday Night Live “Lena Dunham/The National” Live Blog/Review (39×15)

8 Mar

140304_2754027_SNL_Promo__Lena_DunhamA MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA: The premise behind this sketch is fairly average, but when you bring out Liam Neeson and have him repeat his “Taken” monologue, the entertainment level will still be ratcheted up a bit. The macho-man Obama stuff falls a bit flat, but overall, this is better than your normal political cold open. GRADE: B

MONOLOGUE: I could do without addressing the nudity on Girls again, as I’m past tired of that discussion (also, uh oh, does that mean more Internet trolling tomorrow?). However, I’m a sucker for double entendres, and Kate McKinnon in particular is great as Dunham’s grandmother. GRADE: B-

OOH CHILD: I have experience with the infamous GPS, so this short really strikes at the heart. In addition, this is a nice, self-contained story that doesn’t overstay its welcome, and the energy here is infectious. GRADE: A-

SCANDAL: First things first: Sasheer Zamata absolutely nails the “Olivia Pope reacting to Fitz’s touch” face. Second, the sketch does a really nice job of poking fun at all the various Scandal elements, and Dunham does some good work here. GRADE: B+

HOLY SHIT, LOUIS CK IS HOSTING AGAIN! Also, does that mean he’s going to be the musical guest or something?

WHAT’S POPPIN’: I’m not sure about this one. Thompson and Pharoah are entertaining enough, but the sketch doesn’t go as insane as it could’ve; the rap is more mediocre than awful, which ends up hurting the laugh factor. I do like rap name “Tim”, though. GRADE: C

GIRL: This is a nicer way of taking on the Girls detractors, and the premise is already great to begin with; I’m happy this isn’t just a straight-up parody. Also, Vanessa Bayer’s Shosh is just excellent, as always. GRADE: B+

WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING? YOU’RE BEING CRAZY!: On the one hand, this is a perfectly average sketch, but on the other hand, IT’S JON HAMM! I’ve been waiting for him to host again, so it’s great to see him. Elsewhere, Moynihan is very entertaining in this sketch. GRADE: B-

WEEKEND UPDATE: I could watch Taran Killam’s Matthew McConaughey all day. Absolute perfection. The “Putin’s Friends From Going Up” falls flat, although of course, nothing could follow up that McConaughey. As for Jost, he’s getting there; very slowly, but he’s getting there. GRADE: B+

JEWELRY PARTY: This is one of the few duds of the night; it had the potential to develop into something weird early on, but it ended up being awkward, and not in a good way. The sketch is very unfocused in general. GRADE: C-

PIMPIN’ PIMPIN’ PIMPIN’ WITH KATT WILLIAMS: Katt Williams is here to talk about the Oscars, and the sketch comes off as more annoying and overcrowded than anything; Killam’s Harrison Ford is alright, but not excellent or anything. Speaking of annoying, we got a Rob Ford fan in the place…or a big Harrison Ford fan. Kudos to Pharoah for shutting that down, and once again, good job on the Williams impression. GRADE: C

WILL SMITH CONCERT: Once again, the new guys give us a pre-recorded sketch, and it’s weird without being funny. The quick transformation into a bird is, but other than that, the whole thing feels a bit meandering. GRADE: C+

OVERALL: B-

Next up, Louis CK! Hopefully he gets some better material this time around. See you in a few weeks.

Photo credit: NBC, Saturday Night Live

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2 Responses to “Saturday Night Live “Lena Dunham/The National” Live Blog/Review (39×15)”

  1. ironhawk22 March 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Great review. I’ve never seen “Girls”, but I find the overwhelming hate for Lena Dunham to be ridiculous. It’s one thing to hate a show, but the animosity some people have for her is crazy. She’s rich and privileged, so what? Everyone else in Hollywood is too, but she’s the one who gets the most flack for it.

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