Emma Stone seems poised to become Hollywood's new “what would have happened to Lindsay Lohan if she didn't become a living trainwreck” ginger superstar, having just starred in the hit movie Easy-A and poised to appear in the next Spiderman sequel, so naturally she was invited to host SNL. Unfortunately, the episode was overall flat, albeit a few high points and even Emma's several changes of slutty outfits couldn't save the entirety of the show. The most disappointing aspect of the episode had to be that the writers just did not seem to match Emma's level of enthusiasm in this episode – Emma seemed to give it all she got for several of the sketches, desperately searching for those few giggles and chuckles that sadly, never followed suit.
Obama/Reid Cold Open – This cold open really set the precedent for the rest of the episode... utilizing a concept that could have been hilarious but never going anywhere with it. Obama (Fred Armisen) tries to help Harry Reid (Paul Brittain) get re-elected and Reid blatantly tries to distance himself from the President. First off, the resemblance between Paul Brittain and Will Forte is almost uncanny and second off – Paul Brittain, I understand you're a new featured player, but please don't just blatantly read the cue cards. We, the audience, can see your eyes glued to the cue cards throughout the entire sketch and it's a little off-putting.
Monologue – Oh hey Emma. Whoa... oh hey, Emma. So, Emma Stone's incredibly attractive; we all get it. But she addresses to her large audience of nerd-followers that she, will not, in fact, make out with them, leading to a collective sigh all across the nerd-universe. New featured player, Taran Killam's impression of squeaky-voiced Michael Cera was spot-on and came out of nowhere.
Baby Spanx – Frankly, I didn't know what spanks were until one of my friends last year introduced me to the fat-reshaping wonders that they are. Throw some spanks on babies, or rather – incorporate babies into any sketch – and you can't go wrong with eliciting some chuckles from the audience. This was probably even more ingenious than the “Baby Toupees” commercial.
Dream Home Extreme – In this sketch, Emma Stone plays one of those characters from real life who would piss me off to no extremes. She's completely apathetic as spastic reporter, Kristen Wiig, tries to elicit even an iota of excitement from the woman since she... just won a two million dollar new home! Stone' poker face is only transformed into one of genuine excitement when a neighbor brings her a few hard-boiled eggs. If not for my fascination of Wiig's strange faces and gestures, I would've thought this was an excessively weak first sketch.
Headline News – A local news-station reports on the supposed new underground fads that teens all over America are engaging in, such as “souping” (getting high off of expired soups). Best line of the night comes from Nasim Pedrad, who plays the anchorwoman, “Are teens taking turns hiding Osama Bin Laden?”
Digital Short, “I Broke My Arm” - The past few digital shorts of this season have all been underwhelming, but this one definitely turned the tide for me. Stone plays the popular girl in junior high who raps about breaking her arm over spilled jelly and eventually breaks her entire body, succumbing to wheelchair paralysis. Wheelchair jokes abound afterward, which I always enjoy but the climax had to have been the dancing/rapping adorable piece of grape jelly. Easily the most absurd yet enjoyable sketch of the night.
The View – I used to get really excited for these sketches but then I realized that every time it was The View on SNL, it'd be the exact same thing. Whoopi's (Kenan Thompson) judging the world with the flick of her eye movements, Elizabeth's (Kristen Wiig) bitching incoherently about something in the corner, Joy's (Fred Armisen) simultaneously complimenting and insulting her own boobs and Barbara's (Nasim Pedrad) babbling herself closer to her own retirement. Emma tries to spice things up, appearing as Lindsay Lohan but that couldn't even save the sketch, as no jokes accompanied her otherwise good Lohan impression.
Brett Favre Wrangler Commercial – What a mess this man is. And now Favre (Jason Sudeikis) wants to make jeans with open flies, letting it all hang out. Cheap shot, SNL, but I approve.
Weekend Update – An uncharacteristically weak Weekend Update, which I thought I could have always counted on as a midway point pick-me-up of any episode. Obscure Jimmy McMillan (Thompson) stopped by complaining that the rent is “too damn high” and even Stefon (Bill Hader), the lovable and almost too-gay-to-function city correspondent could not completely bring Weekend Update up-to-par. Comedian and fellow SNL writer John Mulaney also returned for inexplicable reasons in a segment called “I Love it.”
Les jeunes de Paris – Someone in the SNL writers' room must have taken an acid trip to write (or not-write, for that matter) this sketch, because I legitimately had no idea what the hell was going on. First of all, the few lines of dialogue were in freakin' French. Then, they broke out into a wildly choreographed dance. Utterly unfathomable, yet amusing – did not feel like an SNL sketch at all.
My Brother Knows Everything – Even though Pedrad, again, plays a spazzy adolescent, she is essentially the future of SNL. The ranks of Armisen, Meyers, Wiig, Sudeikis, Hader, Thompson and Samberg are undoubtedly facing their last few seasons on the show and Pedrad and Moynihan are the only newbies who have proved time-and-time again that they can hold their own. In this sketch, Pedrad plays an 11-year-old girl Morgan, who along with her best friend Meredith (Stone), have an unhealthy adoration toward her older brother (Samberg).
Budget Costumes – Thompson plays the owner of Googie Renee's Costume Store, where he sells secondhand, disgusting Halloween costumes. Stone was his slutty assistant, who was fun to look at.
“Sex” Ed Vincent – I love cheesy, sleezy 80's-styled videos, so this sketch did not disappoint for me. Although again, I have to reiterate how much Paul Brittain reminds me of Will Forte; Will Forte could have easily played the role in a creepy sketch as this one, where Brittain plays a speaker who travels America and specializes in sex topics, leading to a delightful array of sexual innuendos. Offhand comment - I would also like to comment that Brittain looks kind of like an elf.
Musical Guest – I have to be honest, I fast-forwarded through Kings of Leon, since for whatever reason, listening to them puts me to sleep every single time, but those for those of you interested, they performed their new songs, “Radioactive” and “Pyro.”
Overall Episode – C+... the sketches were all mediocre, with the exception of “Sex Ed Vincent,” “I Broke My Arm” and “Baby Spanx,” which ironically, was all filmed and therefore, not live. Emma Stone's effort deserved an A though.
Next week... star of Mad Men and Hollywood's new “It-man” Jon Hamm hosts (surely not to disappoint as he absolutely rocked his two previous hosting stints) while the “Only Girl in the World,” Rihanna takes the musical stage.