Jennifer Lawrence’s charm isn’t enough to save a mediocre SNL
I love Jennifer Lawrence. I really do. Even despite my hatred for all things Hunger Games, I love this chick. She’s charming, intelligent, normal, humble, down to earth, and funny as hell. So I was delighted when I first heard she would be making her SNL debut this month. And while one could hope that JLaw’s fierce charm would be enough to salvage a less-than-awesome Saturday Night Live, this simply wasn’t the case last night.
Don’t get me wrong, the episode definitely had some laugh out loud moments for me. But overall, it was pretty sloppy. Bad jokes, lazy sketch concepts, underutilization of a great host—you know, the usual stuff.
The night started off with a good Piers Morgan opening sketch that gave us some material on Lance Armstrong and Manti T’eo. Taran Killam’s Piers Morgan is always really top notch, and aside from a bumpy start, the majority of the sketch’s jokes landed pretty well.
Departing from the predictable musical monologues that SNL is so very fond of, last night’s monologue featured Lawrence ripping apart her fellow Oscar nominees while trying to make a grumpy Bill Hader as Tommy Lee Jones try to laugh. It was…weird, to say the least. Not that I think anyone took her “insults” seriously, but I still felt like the nature of the monologue was in really poor taste. Not to mention, her “insults” weren’t even funny. If you’re going to do a mock-vicious monologue, at least do it right. This just came off as lame and mean, two things Jennifer Lawrence most definitely is not.
One of the first sketches of the night was the return of a sketch that I thought was truly funny the first time around, Girlfriend Talk Show. It wasn’t nearly as funny this time, but just like the first installment, the MVP of this sketch was Aidy Bryant, just straight up killing it.
There was a quick fauxmercial for the Starbucks Verismo machine. And aside from it maybe reading a little bit racist, it was pretty hysterical. Simple enough premise, but it worked well enough.
There was another fauxmercial, this one advertising the next 18 installments of The Hobbit. Again, pretty simple (if not lazy) premise for a sketch, but this one was kind of a dud. The only part I laughed at was when they started listing off all of the janky sequels, like Look Who’s Hobbit Now and The Hobbit: Back in the Hood.
I really REALLY wanted to get out of this episode without a Hunger Games sketch. It’s so OBVIOUS. But alas, this was not meant to be. Of course there was a Hunger Games sketch, and as I could have predicted, it wasn’t very funny. The biggest laugh came from the very last seconds in which the butt of the joke was Peeta’s height. (Had they focused the whole bit around Peeta’s height, it could have been a bit more original and funny, in my opinion.)
The B-108 morning show sketch wasn’t bad. This was pretty much the only time throughout the whole night in which Jennifer Lawrence anchored the funniest parts of the sketch.
One of the only other sketches in which Lawrence had the most punchlines was one set in a 50’s diner in which the experience involved the waitstaff being “mean” to their customers (think Dick’s Last Resort, but not as mean-spirited). It dragged on for a bit before getting to the point, which was that Lawrence’s character wasn’t big on the jokey insults, but more into the actual hurtful insults. It played fine, but it was only mildly funny at best.
There was a truly bizarre sketch toward the end of the night about a couple exchanging letters during the Civil War. It was, in a word, horrible.
Not to be upstaged by true awfulness, though, was a short about a porn film called Danielle. At first, I thought it had promise, but it quickly fell apart into something more than absurd (and not in a good way).
Weekend Update seemed dialed down for some reason this week. It was funny enough, but the usually hilarious visit from Bobby Moynihan’s Anthony Crispino character wasn’t really up to par either, making this week’s news installment merely mediocre.
But one of my favorites of the night had to be Top Dog Chef. It was one of those beautiful SNL sketches that is a real rollercoaster of WTF? to hilarious to ROFLing to wait, what!? It had some really funny moments. And it was just SO WEIRD.
The Lumineers were fantastic. I’d say they were probably one of the best musical guests SNL has had on in a long time. Both songs were a delight to watch, and they sounded amazing. More like that please!
Next week is Adam Levine with musical guest Kendrick Lamar. I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t know who either of those people were.