SNL: S37E06... HOST: EMMA STONE... DATE: NOVEMBER 12, 2011

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or...

Another Round Two Victory From

A Second Time Host!!!

 

My head is still a little slow from the bender that I went on while enjoying my weekend so this is going to be a pretty quick intro. As I said the first time Emma Stone was the host, I felt she showed the potential to be a really good host. I even felt that it was a pretty good show to the point where I gave the overall viewing a B+. I think my only issue was that it was a season that seemed to under-utilize the host and I wanted to see more from Emma and fewer sketches that mainly focus on the cast.

Unfortunately, this has been a similar season, where each show has been pretty strong, but they seem rather week where I don’t think that a single host so far has been the featured character in a scene until after Weekend Update. This has been extremely frustrating because the lineup of hosts has been the best that I’ve seen in years, at least on paper, also keeping in mind this is looking like it will be the last season where I will know every host throughout the year. Hell, I’ve started to see a crazy increase in my pop culture blind spots during the past season or two.

Though I have been a huge fan of how every viewing from this season so far has had much stronger second halves, I’ve also seen signs of improvement with each new episode. It wouldn’t take all that much adjusting to turn this season around from being just above average to the best year that I’ve seen in a while, and I hope tonight’s viewing marks that turning point.

With that, it’s now time to hit play and share my real-time viewing experience as it plays out. As always, I wasn’t a huge fan of the opening political sketch, but I’m also continuing to see that I don’t mind the Republican bashing as much because I was never rooting for that team. I’m realizing more and more that my issue with the Democratic based material is that I’m conflicted on how I now feel about that side. I’ve always considered myself a left-leaning independent voter who defaulted to the Democratic party when I wasn’t inspired by anybody else. I now see how they treat conservative like monsters who should be locked up while liberals scandals get handled more Dennis The Menace-style shenanigans when I’d prefer for both sides to get the same harsh criticisms they deserve. I just hope they can figure something out by 2020 because I would really like to have a candidate to be enthusiastic about and not just go through the voting motions once again.

Sorry to sound like a broken record but it’s hard not to sound repetitive when each week starts the same way. Speaking of repetitive, I loved the reference to Kirsten Dunst’s appearance where she announced she’d be in the next Spider-Man since Emma Stone made the exact same announcement during this performance. I’m a big fan of callbacks, so this created an entertaining start to the episode. I also like the overall energy that I’ve seen so far. Even in the opening sketch, I wasn’t fully on-board with the content, but the energy alone was enough to get me to ease up on my outlook toward the political genre.

That said, I’m still a bit nervous about this season better second half curse considering I’ve never been a fan of the Secret Word sketch that they opted to have as the very first non-opening sketch to the show. Again, it’s not that I actually hate the segment, I just don’t know why they’re not opting to parody a real old-timey game show and real old school performers. I think that Kristen Wiig’s fictional amalgamation of people makes it feel more like cut and paste material. That said, this installment was definitely my favorite from the series so far because with Wiig repeating this character so much, tonight felt like the night that she nailed her down to the point where she did feel more real and not like a character. That, and I liked Emma’s routine with the puppet.

Now, with the repetitive grumpy old reporter sketch, this is a case where I’ve always liked the sketch due to the fact that I love the viral video that it’s based on, but I’ve yet to find it as funny as the real deal grumpy old guy. I do, however, really get a kick out of the idea that they are trying to give the internet hit an afterlife so, I enjoy each visit even if it’s not a favorite of my reoccurring character. I just realized that this provides evidence that I might have liked the Secret Word series of sketches more if it was used real characters as references since I’d probably hate this news character if he were one-hundred percent made up.

The SNL Digital Short was another one that was fun to me because it took us behind-the-scenes to the making of the music video being show which brought me back to my filmmaking days where I had to deal with the same sort of issues from the song. Andy Samberg’s mullet was also fabulous enough to get me to laugh the second the segment started. Speaking of songs, Coldplay is a lot like Maroon 5 in that I wouldn’t change the radio station if one of their songs came on but I’ve never been a big enough fan to buy an album or seek out a song from them. Unlike Maroon 5, I’ve never heard the first song they performed, so I zoned out a bit while it played out.

The news was the news as usual, but I loved that The Devil returned. I think Jason Sudeikis is my favorite cast member from this year. He’s started this thing where certain characters get random bursts in energy that really cracks me up, and I feel like he, as The Devil, may have helped to have led to this developing comedic style. Either way, it’s been cracking me up whenever he now opts to go this route. The news also went on for damn near fifteen minutes, and my hungover attention span had my thoughts bouncing all over the place.

Once again, I loved the Les Jeunes De Paris sketch and still can’t for the life of me figure out why they keep placing it right after the news when it is the perfect sketch for the end of the night that’s more adorable than hilarious, making it ideal for a sweet send-off to La La Land... no pun or reference intended... well at least not until I realized a reference was there to be made.

Just as I’ve been continually complaining about this season, it took nine segments for our host to finally be the primary source of humor/star of the sketch. I don’t get it. She did great, as has every other host from this year with their first starring scene hidden in the second half of the viewing. Fortunately, when it comes to tonight, even though the second half has continued this trend, the first half was solid enough that I wouldn’t be complaining one bit if it wasn’t for the first five episodes.

I wasn’t familiar with the second Coldplay song either, and I wasn’t as big of a fan as I was of the first song for whatever reason. I did like the sketch that followed where Emma Stone and the cast all sang Adele’s Someone Like You because the sketch itself was pretty funny but it was nice to hear music that I actually am at least aware of to the point where I could sing along as well.

Where typically, I don’t like when a fake ad ends the night, and I guess the We're Going To Make Technology Hump sketch wasn’t technically an ad, either way, it was funny enough that I felt it was an appropriate/solid way to end the show with a laugh instead of the filler content they’ve been using to wrap the shows up as of late.

Though I still feel this season is under-utilizing their hosts, this was the second night in a row where I’ve seen improvement with this episode taking the lead as the best viewing so far from this year. With that, I’m going to jump right in and dig deeper into the details of each sketch so I can lay down and take a nap. In order to do so, I now give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with more parody coverage of another Republican Presidential Debate where this time Bill Hader as a wasted Rick Perry steals all of the other wacky candidate's thunder while trying to remember the three branches to the political system that he’s running to control. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York...”

  2. Emma Stone then officially opened the show with a monolog where she shared that she was going to be in the next Spider-Man. This led Andy Samberg to lower down, upside down from the ceiling dressed as the superhero in an effort to reenact the show opening back in 2002 when Kirsten Dunst made this same exact announcement when she was the show’s host. Only this time, Samberg was disappointed to learn that Spider-Man was going to be British this go-around as Andrew Garfield, Emma superhero of a co-star joined the two on the stage.

  3. Secret Word then returned for another installment of the Password style game from the ‘70s and once again, as usual, Kristen Wiig and our host played two fictional entertainers from the time who are too out of it to understand this straightforward game.

  4. WXPD News was another sketch to return for another installment with Bill Hader as the grumpy old reporter who seems completely over his long career while interviewing Emma Stone as a resident involved an apartment safety dispute.

  5. We then got another SNL Digital Short/music video called Wish It Would Rain where Andy Samberg played a mullet-headed singer who was singing a song about how he needed rain to make his music video, but he picked the wrong city and wrong time of year.

  6. Coldplay then took to the stage to perform Paradise.

  7. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Jason Sudeikis returned as The Devil to share that he is outraged when he learns that the situation with Jerry Sandusky at Penn State was more than a simple recruiting scandal after a bit of a rant when Seth informed The Devil what the college coach was actually in trouble for. Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen also returned as their singing character to make up a few more songs on the spot with the help of Chris Martin who joined the duet, making them a trio with a new Thanksgiving-themed album to promote. (Clip 2) (Clip 3)

  8. Les Jeunes De Paris then returned for more fun and dancing at the French café where Emma Stone and Taran Killam had a rematch dance-off from the last time that she was on.

  9. Bridal Shower Gifts had Emma Stone as a socially-inept co-worker who was desperate to fit in as Kristen Wiig’s bridal shower but keeps making a mess of things by giving increasingly inappropriate gifts throughout the night.

  10. Coldplay then returned to the stage to perform Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.

  11. Sad Song was pretty much the same as the series of sketches of guys telling stories in between singing the chorus to a popular song over drinks. Only for this sketch, there was a blend of men and women who all sang Adele’s Someone Like You while sharing a cry as coworkers who just lost a major account.

  12. We're Going To Make Technology Hump had Emma Stone and Andy Samberg as to tech geeks who shared a video of their efforts to get technology to mate with each other to create hybrid products.

  13. Finally, Emma Stone closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Though I do feel Charlie Day may still be my favorite host so far this season since the show utilized him just a tad bit more than Emma Stone, as far as the overall content goes, thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments, I’d say this was the best show so far this year. First, I loved We're Going To Make Technology Hump because there was the perfect blend of crassness and playfulness that brought me back to my juvenile days when it was more common to make inanimate objects hump. Next, I really liked Bridal Shower Gifts because I felt Emma Stone’s performance was good enough that this sketch could easily lead to a reoccurring routine whenever Emma returns. Finally, I was a fan of tonight’s Secret Word because it was the first time since the series’s debut that I actually really liked this segment.

 
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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.