‘Saturday Night Live’ review: Matchbox 3, Worst Lady on an Airplane, Josh Hutcherson, and mediocrity
“Saturday Night Live” this weekend certainly was a strange one. Typically, you want to have the sketches early on the show to set the tone for the night, that way you can withstand a couple of weaker outings later on in the show. And when Josh Hutcherson’s show started with a lame cold open and also the Girlfriends Talk Show, we were ready to go hide in a corner the rest of the night.
But, there were still some great moments to come later on in the program, from a great “Weekend Update” to a couple of charming sketches. Josh still wasn’t a great host and was obviously used to get ratings off of his “The Hunger Games” fame, but at least there were a few reasons to keep watching the in the middle of an otherwise ho-hum show.
The good sketches
Josh Hutcherson monologue – We cannot admit to being a big fan of “The Hunger Games,” and the fact that we have never seen the movies nor read the books makes it hard to judge a spoof. But we gather that Kate McKinnon’s impersonation here was impeccable, and while Josh mostly just stood there and made fun of Peeta getting injured a lot, Kenan Thompson mistaking the bowl for a swingers party had us rolling on the floor.
Matchbox 3 – We expect great things out of the pre-taped sketches, and this was mostly just okay. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but the tale of three of the world’s most dedicated subway dangers did not really have that many laughs once you got past their ability to move in really tiny places.
Weekend Update – This is the sort of epic turnaround that we love for the show, given that we were at about the low point of the weekend when Seth Meyers said something about travel, and then Aidy Bryant showed up rather than Stefon. But, to be fair, The Worst Lady on an Airplane was the best part of this entire episode and a wonderful character. It was roll-on-the-floor funny, and the best new “Weekend Update” creation of the season. It’s not at Stefon levels yet, but we even kind of loved that Aidy broke once during the sketch like Bill Hader always did.
80’s singalong – There was a serious part of this that made no sense, and Hutcherson could have done a lot lot more to get into it. But with all this being said, we found the whole idea to be kind of charming and out-of-left-field. Maybe Aidy just put us in such a good mood that we were destined to like the next sketch.
Best Buy – This is the third time we can remember this sketch being shown with employees letting loose on their co-workers after thinking they are about to be fired … even though they never are. Usually we get very annoyed by this, but thanks to a certain line about Garfield, it was actually fairly funny.
Bugs interview show – This was absurd, which is probably why we enjoyed it. We also just give the show credit for actually finding bugs and not being altogether terrified of some of them.
Turkey Thanksgiving – Seeing a turkey resort to cannibalism in order to please her boyfriend and his family was … strange. But, we kind of liked it. Like the last two on this list, they weren’t the best things “SNL” has ever done, but they were watchable and entertaining.
The bad sketches
Piers Morgan opening – Anytime that the show opens with Piers, we’re worried. It’s not like we hate Taran Killam’s take on him, but we think that he misses out on some of the CNN host’s runaway ego that shows up occasionally. There were a couple of funny moments in here, but the entire premise of talking about George Zimmerman at this point feels like a waste of time.
Girlfriends Talk Show – We consider this sketch at the moment to be the worst recurring thing that “SNL” does, and we have no idea why they routinely put it early on the show. We’re the biggest Cecily Strong fan out there, but she can’t save this awkward sketch that feels like it takes forever and is always the same thing. Hutcherson’s character also had literally nothing to do outside of standing there and acting cool.
Baby sketch – A decent idea about a character of the world’s weirdest boss with baby-like characteristics that just went on way too long. There was just nothing that was particularly inspired about the idea, especially since we were starting to get the feeling that most of Josh’s roles through the night were going to be ones that stuck him with playing this sort of generic character.
Dancing – We’re trying to give Kyle Mooney and some of his fellow new pals credit for thinking outside of the box with some of these sketches, but this is the second straight one that has been too experimental, and not particular funny. We didn’t get what the point was, save for that fame is fleeting. That’s actually kind of sad rather than funny.
Animal Hospital – Well, this sketch was … dead. Yep. There’s just nothing funny to us about watching people learn that their animals are no longer among the living.
The musical guest
We don’t quite know who HAIM really is save for this performance, but it felt almost like the Police meets Rockapella. We actually like Rockapella, so we’re cool with it. Plus, how many other bands like this are there out there?
In the end, this was hardly a crown jewel for “SNL” as a show. It wasn’t as horrible as we first thing it would be, but a couple of great sketches can’t lift a number of “decent” ones and then a series of duds. Grade: C.
What did you think about Hutcherson’s show? Share some of your thoughts below, and click here to see some other highlights from “SNL” this season.