A Movieline Report Card of SNL's Recent Half-Season
Whether you think Saturday Night Live's best days lay ahead, ended in 1992, or were over by the time Joe Piscopo came aboard, one thing is for certain: Its best days are not now. Kristin Wiig is forced to resuscitate so many sketches that it seems unfair, and hosts unused to comic material are chosen frequently. Now, Movieline reflects on its SNL coverage and sheds light on the bad, ugly, and slight good of its 35th season.
The worst episode of the season starred the usually-prim January Jones. While Julie Miller notes that Jones's stiffness is partly to blame, it's really the writing that biffed worst of all. Other contenders for worst episode of the year include Gerard Butler's appearance, with its interminable riffs on 300, and the debut episode starring Megan Fox, who never once mentioned her new film Jennifer's Body. That's the same show that was highlighted by an F-bomb slip.
James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave us the most inspired hosting of the season thanks to actual comic chops and extreme energy, respectively. Taylor Swift's hosting-and-performing double-duty was also admirable, though she didn't follow our advice.
The Backstage Embarrassment and Redemption
After the sudden Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson firings and the quick Michaela Watkins doppelganger hirings, the prospect of female amateurs faring well on SNL seemed grim. Recently, SNL has begun to rectify its male-heavy writing staff with the addition of Jessi Klein. She has big shoes to fill.
Kristin Wiig's Reign
While her contribution to the current season can never be underestimated, few remember that the Emmy-nominee gave so much to the history of Weekend Update's afflicted correspondents. Where's Tamara's holiday special?
While I look forward to the Charles Barkley episode (Is there a chance he can namedrop the Super Nintendo classic Barkley Shut Up and Jam?), I can't wait for Sigourney Weaver week. Na'vi naughtiness has yet to be comprehensively explored.