Saturday Night Live: Scarlett Johansson 3/11/17

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Somehow this is the fifth appearance Scarlett Johansson as the host of SNL. I would never have guessed. Despite having such a seasoned host, the episode got off to a bit of a slow start, which gave me pause as to whether the show was struggling with a 2017 funk. Luckily for me (and I guess for the show too, but mostly me), that wasn’t the case with Scar-Jo’s fifth time.

Perhaps her greatest quality as a host is that she just looks like she’s having a blast. It’s a novel idea, I know. Throughout the night, in character or not, she routinely flashed the hint of a smile and it was clear that she was having the best time. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Continue reading “Saturday Night Live: Scarlett Johansson 3/11/17”

More Baseball Previews, YEA!

In an attempt to wear my finger to the bone, I’ve been pumping out more MLB division previews over at Lunch Mod. Despite my complaints, it’s been really fun so far. The regular season can’t come soon enough.

Here’s the NL East: http://lunchmod.com/mlb-preview-nl-east/

Here’s the AL West: http://lunchmod.com/mlb-preview-al-west/

Here’s the NL West: http://lunchmod.com/mlb-preview-nl-west/

The AL/NL Central previews will drop next week. Stay tuned!

Saturday Night Live: Alec Baldwin 2/11/17

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This season of SNL has been the highest rated in over 20 years, and this week, the show turned to its most decorated host, a man who has helped contribute to that ratings spike (fittingly he’s plays the other person responsible for the huge viewership). I had high hopes for Alec Baldwin’s 17th stint as a host. And after last week saw a surprise cameo from powerhouse Melissa McCarthy, I thought the show would have plenty of tricks up its sleeve to build on the momentum.

Would Rosie O’Donnell come on to play Bannon? With Baldwin hosting, would they bring in Meryl Streep to don the wispy blonde-ish wig and play Trump? Would the show continue to surprise and push the envelope?

The short answer: not really. McCarthy was back as everyone’s favorite cartoon press secretary, and as usual, she was amazing. That said, I didn’t enjoy it as much as last week’s iteration and it felt as though the novelty had worn off a bit. I love Melissa McCarthy and want her to be in everything ever, but I really wish they hadn’t gone back to the well so soon.

The disappointment led me to another thought. Should SNL really stunt cast just to prickle the President? Sure it would be pretty funny (in theory) for Trump’s arch-nemesis to play his chief strategist, but is the point really to just elicit some mean tweets the next day? I don’t know. It feels weird, and I wish it didn’t. Last week’s episode felt fresh and the start of something while this week just felt…there.

Anyway…

Continue reading “Saturday Night Live: Alec Baldwin 2/11/17”

Saturday Night Live: Kristen Stewart 2/4/17

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Despite her laid back, nonchalant image, Kristen Stewart was pretty fun as a first time host. The monologue may have been her highlight, as she dredged up her history (at least, Twitter history) with our now president. If you thought it was creepy for a man in his 60s to be commenting on the relationship of 20-somethings, well, you’d be right. And it didn’t get any better when Stewart read the President’s tweets urging Pattinson to break up with her and to come hang out with Trump at the Miss Universe pageant. You know, typical 66-year-old bro stuff.

The monologue was capped perfectly with Stewart dropping an accidental f-bomb while proclaiming her excitement to be hosting. It was followed swiftly with a proclamation that she likely wouldn’t be asked back.

Stewart was game, and there was some really good stuff in this show, but this episode was great largely for one reason, and one reason alone. Melissa Freaking McCarthy.

Continue reading “Saturday Night Live: Kristen Stewart 2/4/17”

Saturday Night Live: Aziz Ansari 1/21/17

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Oh boy, this show. As the first show after the inauguration, I was curious about how SNL would handle an actual Trump presidency. On the first day we had one of the largest protests in history, one of dumbest lies in history, and a president pissing off intelligence leaders. So, um, yeah. Quite the day. But with crazy stuff happening so fast and so frequently, I wondered if SNL could even keep up with the crazy-o-meter of the Trump news cycle.

I wasn’t particularly encouraged by the cold open. Using the Russian hack on our election as a punchline just felt,¬†weird. Following that up with Putin joking about making his vocal opponents disappear just felt tone-deaf. I don’t know, the laughter seemed a little more nervous as opposed to genuine. However, Kate McKinnon came to the rescue with her OlyaPovlatsky character and saved the day. After kowtowing to Putin, she showed up outside his window and brandished a pink hat. It was the perfect way to end the sketch.

I had a feeling that Aziz Ansari would be a great host and my feelings were pretty much confirmed the second he started his monologue. Stand-up comics are always the best at SNL monologues, and Ansari was no different. His performance felt like¬† the other side of the coin to the cold open. He was measured and empathetic, not to mention funny. His plea to not enable secret racists was spot on, and he made it with both logic and humor. If SNL can provide this sort of commentary, I think we’re in good hands. Aziz Ansari was awesome.

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