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Saturday Night Live “Dakota Johnson/Alabama Shakes” Live Blog and Review (40×14)

28 Feb

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REAL STORY WITH GRETCHEN CARLSON/GIULIANI: I feel like I’ve seen this same parody at least fifty times now. It’s definitely entertaining–especially Killam as Keaton and Bennett as Birdman–but at the same time, it’s still light on laughs; it’s definitely a better use of the political angle than we’ve been seeing recently, though. Anyway, does the audience even know what this is parodying? GRADE: B-

MONOLOGUE: Nice to see them let Dakota Johnson host in order to promote Ben and Kate! Oh wait…she’s here to talk about Fifty Shades of Grey, and this is a completely forgettable monologue. Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith show up, but they don’t really add anything to the bit. GRADE: C

ISIS: I’m surprised this sketch got through, but I’m so happy it did. It’s short and sweet, and the reveal of the ISIS truck is one of the best reveals I’ve seen in this show. Fantastic bit here. I’m looking at the SNL Facebook page right now, and people are losing their minds; I can’t wait to see what FOX News has to say about it. The people who are offended by this sketch are the ones making it even funnier. GRADE: A-

CINDERELLA: Killam’s fun here, but that’s about it. I love Cecily Strong, but the Cecily Strong character from “Magic Troll” is grating and unfunny, and whenever she speaks, the sketch screeches to a halt. Too bad she’s a central piece of the sketch. GRADE: C-

BRAVE: The second brilliant sketch of the night. It takes a bit for you to see where it’s going, but once you do, it delivers joke after joke as Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” blasts in the background; Kate McKinnon sitting in the stall is a highlight. What a glorious and hilarious piece of comedy. GRADE: A

FIFTY SHADES INTERVIEW: This sketch is made by Kyle Mooney’s cheery demeanor vs. his words, and it’s a great performance that meshes well with Johnson’s reaction shots. “Because of artists like you, my father and I get a little time together.” GRADE: B

BROKEN ARMS: This is probably the most engaged Johnson’s been in a sketch tonight, and she does a good job of interacting with the other coworker characters and with Aidy Bryant. The visual of Bryant with two broken arms and a spider on her chest is already good enough for some laughs, and although it’s a simple premise, it’s a funny one. GRADE: B

WEEKEND UPDATE: Kate McKinnon’s definitely very entertaining as Ruth Bader Ginsburg (it’s GinsbUrg, SNL, not Ginsberg), and Jay Pharoah does a pretty good Kanye West impression, but to be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Riblet. He’s funnier in this segment than we’ve seen in the past, though, and the mic package is pretty great. GRADE: B-

WORF M.D.: First of all, R.I.P., Leonard Nimoy. Second of all, this sketch’s humor just does not work at all, and although Thompson does his best to squeeze out whatever laughs he can, the basis for the sketch is just too flimsy. GRADE: C+

NET EFFECT: Johnson’s “HARDER!” is easily the best Fifty Shades joke of the night. Also, net neutrality is all about the pornos, you guys. This is far from the most sophisticated take on net neutrality, but it’s still entertaining throughout, and even though some of the jokes fall flat, there are others that make up for it (the “Harder!” is one). GRADE: B-

MR. RIOT FILMS: Definitely not the best that Bennett and Mooney have to offer, but there are some fairly amusing bits sprinkled throughout the segment. The “I know he’s not a dog” got a laugh out of me. GRADE: B-

NEXT WEEK: Chris Hemsworth and Zac Brown Band

Photo credit: NBC, Saturday Night Live

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4 Responses to “Saturday Night Live “Dakota Johnson/Alabama Shakes” Live Blog and Review (40×14)”

  1. disappearingwoman March 1, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    SNL has definitely gotten better this season. I have to admit that I got too sleepy to watch the last 15 minutes. Great review, as always!

  2. Flemming Erik Carlson March 1, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

    I agree with your review totally. They need someone to step up more, because a home run hitter is so desperately needed. I miss Bill Hader!

  3. Mel March 1, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

    Worst episode in a long while. (I think they exhausted their writers for the 40th) Except for the two films; Brave & Isis and also the music guest was good. But that Brave ad had me rolling for the entire clip. That was an instant classic.

  4. #peggyatthemovies March 3, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    For me.. weakest one so far of the year.. The only sketch I really laughed hard at was Riblet and getting the package etc.. it was funny.. the rest of it..was average..with a few laughs here & there.. it’s okay. they have good weeks and bad weeks! 🙂

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