SNL Viewers Club: Amy Adams and One Direction

SNL, Saturday Night Live, Season 40, review, episode, One Direction, Amy Adams, Laser Time

She’s been a princess and Superman’s arm candy, and now she’s returned to Saturday Night Live for another go at hosting. How did Miss Adams fare?

Last week’s stellar outing with Martin Freeman set a high bar, but it’s not the only hurdle this week’s show had to overcome. With this being the last show before a month-long break, the writers had to fight against phoning it in for their last effort of 2014. Quite a conundrum…

So let’s break this down. People like numbered scores, so I’ve chosen to rate every sketch at 0, 1/2, or 1 point. A sketch not worth watching at all receives a 0, a sketch that doesn’t stand out but didn’t totally flop gets a 1/2, and a sketch that does its job of entertaining and delivering a few laughs will earn 1 point. A standout sketch that goes above and beyond will receive the normal point plus 1 bonus point. Cool? Cool. Let’s talk about it!

Air Date: 12/20/14

Host: Amy Adams

Musical Guest: One Direction

Sam Smith/Dr. Evil Cold Open

Well this sketch took a turn quickly. Let me say I’m so proud of the writers for going this route instead of doing a by-the-numbers routine with Bobby Moynihan as Kim Jung-Un or Jay Pharoah as President Obama.  Well done. 1 point

Monologue

I guess I should have expected a trite musical number for the holiday. At least Adams can sing, and I appreciate inter-cutting the song with a cameo and some reindeer Chippendales men. But at the end of the day, it’s still a lame Christmas number. Is there anything worse? 1/2 point

Asian American Doll

Mini rant: today’s political correctness climate is a buzzkill for comedy and artistic expression. Thank you, SNL, for subverting that. 1 point

Christmas Serial

Though it dragged on a bit too long, this was a smart parody of one of the top podcasts out there. Props to Adams for her hilariously naive mom. 1 point

Girl Friends Talk Show with Amy Adams and One Direction

This is one of the few recurring sketch that hasn’t been overused, and Aidy Bryant KILLS it every time*. Not even a cheap cameo from my sister’s favorite boy band brought this one down. 1 point

*If you frequent this column, you know my fanboy-ism for Miss Bryant. There’s your full disclosure.

Office Christmas Party

It’s a pretty accurate take on office parties, but nothing really stands out. 1/2 point

Weekend Update

Lots of good jokes from the Colin Jost and Michael Che team this week (they had plenty of fodder with The Interview fiasco). And we didn’t get him in the cold open, but you know Bobby Moynihan had to show up as Kimmy at some point. Props to the Update crew for subverting the usual role of a guest with this one. Keenan Thompson had me cracking up too, with his hilariously tragic Willie. On the flip side, I thought we were well past the god-awful Garth and Kat. I guess not. And we were so close to a perfect update… 1 point

A Very Cuban Christmas

There’s a weird pattern of weak sketches immediately following Update. This one was a parade of bad accents except for Kate McKinnon’s brief bit, but I sadly have no quarter point score to give. 0 points

Singing Sisters

I can’t find a word to describe this beyond “weird,” but it made me laugh throughout. PS – WHAT WAS WITH THAT ENDING!? 1 point

Cat Rescue Commercial

This sketch was weak the first time, but it was full of genuinely funny lines this time around. The Adams-McKinnon pairing was quite endearing. 1 point

Total: 8/10 possible points

A solid episode overall; shows have definitely gone to break on worse. I’m excited to see where the crew picks up next month with the ever energetic Kevin Hart.

3 thoughts on “SNL Viewers Club: Amy Adams and One Direction

  1. I thought this was a really good episode that unfortunately had next to nothing to do with the host. Great cold open with a surprising cameo, a monologue that was saved by Wiig, and a set of good-to-great skits besides the lame Cuban Christmas sketch. The weekend update anchors continue to get better, and the Singing Sisters may be my favorite skit of this season. If only Amy Adams had more to do… Final grade: B+

  2. I’m going to echo the AV Club here on the Weekend Update front, because it is the worst part of the show. Right now it’s two guys delivering toothless jokes without any personality. I mean there’s been multiple instances of hacky stoner jokes in the past couple weeks (this week a joke about how stoners are paranoid) which have been done to death. I also find the presentation of the jokes to be pretty mangled. This week, Weekend Update started with two jokes in a row about The Interview, and both was preceded with about a half minute of the same set up for each joke. Why not just amalgamate the two?

    Also, the Weekend Update really, really, REALLY needs some sort of interplay between Jost and Che. Right now it’s just two vanilla dudes taking turns delivering their joke and then smirking with dead eyes. This week the show’s writing staff missed a HUGE opportunity to break out of the boring Weekend Update formula. At one point, Che delivers a pretty good dig at Jost and his music taste. Camera cuts to Jost, who without missing a beat delivers his next joke. This was a perfect opportunity for Jost to have a reaction or for the two to riff and show some chemistry, but it was squandered. What the writers need to do is allow for some interplay between the Weekend Updates anchors to occur, rather than the standard joke-joke-joke-guest-joke-joke-guest formula. Even if the anchors were allowed to play off each other for the joke (ala Really? with Seth and Amy), it would be better than what Weekend Update is now.

    Other things:
    Man, I really wish Kenan would show a capability of doing ANY voice other than his default voice that he uses for every character on the show. His character from WU this week is indistinguishable from every other character he plays on the show.

    That singing sisters sketch was excellent, silly and fun. Best sketch the show has done this season for sure, and even going back to the last season, I can’t think of anything that compares. I wish SNL would give us more of that, outside of the end of the night sketches from Beck and Kyle.

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