Review: Saturday Night Live - January Jones/Black Eyed Peas
by Annie Wu, posted Nov 15th 2009 12:32PM
(S35E06) There was a strange moment of nodding recognition at the end of the night, as I watched Jason Sudeikis and January Jones in the cloud-gazing sketch. Throughout, the man pauses to consider the woman's weird behavior and then concedes, "Ohh, you're a very pretty, pretty woman." Yup. That's pretty much how I reacted the entire night, especially during really bad sketches like the farting Grace Kelly (take a moment to think about that: Farting. Grace. Kelly.)
Jones was kind of a stiff host with not particularly daring material, but, goodness gracious, her real-life 50s Barbie prettiness was mesmerizing. Her performances in the mid-century instructional video and the aforementioned cloud-gazing sketch were the best of the evening, but that's not saying much since the rest of her appearances were strange and wooden. Even her good night felt like it had been programmed in and auto-tuned for maximum polite insincerity.
I knew we were in for trouble even as I watched the monologue. Was it live television nerves? Was she just not comfortable with so little rehearsal? And in case you guys aren't aware, Fred Armisen's "I like Peggy" during the monologue was extra-great because he recently married Elizabeth Moss. Didn't know? Well, now you do.
It's been over a year and Jason Sudeikis's Joe Biden impression still hasn't progressed much. I like the character that they've created for Biden, but the accuracy just isn't there. It's similar to Amy Poehler's Hillary Clinton, who was funny but just sounded like an upper-class white lady archetype.
Also, his Jimmy Stewart actually started off kind of cute and then it turned into a bastardized Nic Cage. On that note, I spent a great deal of the episode trying to come up with reasons why this week's installment suddenly became so Sudeikis-heavy. Maybe January Jones is secretly a complete nightmare to work with and Sudeikis drew the short straw, forcing him to be in just about every sketch with her. I imagine most of SNL's backstage stuff works by drawing straws.
Also, they're letting Jenny Slate speak again, so we're finally going to get to see what she can really do. She didn't have much to work with this week as Hoda Kotb, but it will be interesting to see how she works with a character that Michaela Watkins previously perfected.
Weekend Update was okay this week, with my favorite line being Seth Meyer's half-chuckled "Come down to Rockefeller Center to watch a tree slowly die." Darrell Hammond once again stopped by to play Lou Dobbs, because I guess they still haven't found an impressionist half as strong as Hammond. Did you know that Hammond actually lives in Studio 8H on an old Coneheads living room set, specifically set aside for him?
The Digital Short this week was slow but had a fantastic punchline. I didn't laugh as much as I cringed out of my seat, but it was hilarious just the same.
Here are some clips from the evening:
Next time: Joeseph Gordon-Levitt and the Dave Matthews Band. I feel like this line-up could have existed in the late '90s. Anyway, I like JGL quite a bit, so I'm looking forward to this.
[Watch episodes and clips of Saturday Night Live and other shows over at SlashControl.]