Saturday Night Live: Drew Barrymore/Regina Spektor
by Annie Wu, posted Oct 11th 2009 10:29AM
(S35E03) Drew Barrymore is energy. Pure, almost-scary energy. It's disorienting to watch when one is bleary-eyed and staring at a tiny TV in the wee hours of the morning, but this trademark makes for consistent television-viewing. While the quality of Saturday Night Live's writing may waver from episode to episode, every time Drew Barrymore returns, one can safely expect absolute enthusiasm and a palpable willingness to step back and laugh at herself.
All right, little Ms. "I Extra-Love Female Empowerment," prepare for me to work that ego.... Especially when one compares her to the typical "hot girl" host (see: Megan Fox's SNL premiere), Barrymore doesn't box herself in and offers a lot more opportunity for fun characters. Would someone like Fox ever be willing to bolo it up to play Nina Wilkes Booth? I doubt it.
This episode was fun, but not all sketches were winners. It felt strong in performance and a little weak in writing.
At the top of the show, I got my hopes up a bit. SNL has been doing some great Obama material in the last two episodes, and I'm sure they could have pushed the Nobel Peace Prize controversy even further (though I suppose the did touch upon it more during "Weekend Update").
I loved the idea behind the monologue, as Drew Barrymore impressions are addictive to both watch and try. I once did one during a conversation and, weeks later, I was still catching myself talking out the side of my mouth occasionally. Apparently that's a side effect. Then, in a strange twist, I actually enjoyed a "Gilly" sketch for the first time in a long time. Barrymore's expressions as Gigli were fantastic and maybe even a little disturbing.
Then, after that, the funny kind of dropped a little and rode the "okay" line until the end of the evening, with a few big laughs here and there.
The billiards sketch was just an excuse to make tampon jokes that a writer had probably been holding onto for years and was desperate to work into a sketch. I mean, not that I didn't crack up at "Tampax, helping you relax when Mother Nature attacks your slacks." Ohh, menstruation jokes.
Barrymore's beau, Justin Long's surprise cameo as Matthew McConaughey during the celebrity ghost stories sketch was a demonstration of another go-to impression that rarely fails (really, you've just got to smirk/grin and growl, "All right, all right").
The Digital Short wasn't nearly as hysterical as Barrymore's first, "Body Fuzion", but that is to be expected, since this one didn't involve 80s-tastic leotards and Kristen Wiig repeatedly winding her legs in a scary way.
And, of course, once again Seth Meyers worked the "Weekend Update" desk like he wasn't lonely for a co-anchor. Strong material that wasn't covered in the Cold Open was touched upon here, and it was another pretty solid installment.
Then that was about it. Again, nothing big happened, it was just a... cute?... episode. Though, I am curious as to whether or not there a special request made to pump up the episode with Will Forte? Or, more specifically, Will Forte in strange hairstyles and moustaches?
Here are some clips from the evening.
Next week: Gerard Butler and Shakira. They go like PB & J.
On a final, barely related note, I am so pumped to see Whip It, Barrymore's directorial debut, if only to watch roller girl action on the big screen. If you have never witnessed roller girls do their thing, then, damn it, find a team or bout near you
[Watch episodes and clips of Saturday Night Live and other shows over at SlashControl.]