‘Saturday Night Live’ review: A ‘Homeland’ spoof, Mokiki, and ‘Katie Holmes’ shine

“Saturday Night Live” is in the time of the year now when the quality of their shows has a tendency to take a turn for the worse; and with this in mind, it would have been rather easy for this weekend’s new edition featuring Anne Hathaway to just skate by with just a few funny moments and nothing else.

Luckily, the show at least took one step further beyond that in bringing us some genuinely entertaining moments, whether it be a solid opener, the most hysterical spoof of a show ever that very few viewers will probably get, and something completely random that actually put most of Andy Samberg’s Digital Shorts from last season to shame. Then again, there were also a few letdowns in here, and surprisingly, some of them came earlier in the show rather than later.

The shining moments

Mitt Romney’s demise – As a swan song to Jason Sudeikis’ delightfully banal version of the Presidential candidate, this was entertaining even though the jokes were predictable. The best thing about it, though, is that while “SNL” made fun of Mitt and his eccentricities, they actually showed the guy some respect after a pretty rough campaign season. (President Obama turned up a little later during Weekend Update, but we’ve never found a show spoof of him to be very funny.)

Mokiki does the sloppy switch – This felt almost like a bad 1980s documentary, especially with Kenan Thompson’s delightful take on what felt like the Banana Boat song. This was one of those shorts that really had no busy being as funny as it was, since really we just spent a good three minutes watching a guy scoot around to a catchy beat. Somehow, though, this ended up being the highlight of the night, and the song is still stuck in our head.

The “Homeland” spoof – Hathaway should win an Emmy for emulating Claire Danes’ own Emmy-winning performance, especially when it came to her facial expressions, her feelings about Brody, and some of her sudden meltdowns. If you are a “Homeland” fan, this was even better than the spoof the show did of “Game of Thrones” when it came to accuracy. You can tell that “SNL” loves the show, and the details, whether it be Brody’s mouth to Dana showing up in random places, were all wonderful.

The return of Katie Holmes – The rest of this “Ellen”-themed sketch was forgettable, but anytime Hathaway spoofs the former Mrs. Tom Cruise (undoubtedly her greatest impression ever), the happier we are.

The making of “American Gothic” – This sketch late in the show took a while to wind us over, but for whatever reason, seeing how the two “farmers” in this famed picture came to look so unhappy was a thrill.

Rihanna – We wish she actually did something in the sketches this time around, but controversy surrounding her aside, her two musical performances tonight were her best in four times on “SNL” when it comes to quality.

The negative

The “Girlfriends” show – Let’s hope “SNL” never brings this back. A sketch all about jealous friends? We’ve all seen it a hundred times before. Aidy Bryant was the highlight, but her efforts could only do so much.

Most of “Weekend Update” – Strangely, not even the presence of “Drunk Uncle” made this week’s version of the show feel that special. Maybe it was that they made Maine out to be the most stereotypical place of all time.

McDonald’s – How unhappy must the fast food joint be about these cursing employees? We don’t know, but this sketch dragged like a tortoise compared to other sketches. These people want to quit their jobs. We get it.

What did you think about this episode overall, and do you think Hathaway did a great job in being game for so many different things?

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