Review: Saturday Night Live - Blake Lively/Rihanna
by Annie Wu, posted Dec 6th 2009 2:35PM
(S35E08) I will be perfectly honest: I was not at all looking forward to this episode. A few months ago, I had forced myself to watch two seasons of Gossip Girl for blogging purposes (okay, it was also an excuse to stare at their fantastic costuming), and I couldn't bring myself to continue. One of the reasons why I disliked the show so much was Serena, Blake Lively's character.
However, I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. Lively was minimally awkward and brought great enthusiasm through the entire evening (though not an exhausting amount of zeal Joseph Gordon-Levitt style). I liked how it didn't seem Lively went on the show with a mission (apart from showing off her crazy legs); she didn't try to show off her musical side, cling to strictly "pretty girl" skits, or get controversial. She was just there, having a good time.
Also, for the most part, the writing was solid this week. Probably the most consistently funny installment in quite a while. Even the strange treatment of the Cold Open (with the Obama party crashers) was adorable.
SNL Digital Short: Rihanna and Shy Ronnie, a new deadly duo. I guess The Lonely Island doesn't have any more singles from their "Incredibad" album and are just going to push forward with new material? I really wanted a video for that "Boombox" song they did with Julian Casablancas. Anyway, this sketch was great. Rihanna, sporting half of Nick Carter's late-90s haircut, was an unexpected addition but her style fit perfectly with the formula. This was also a lot catchier than the last musical Digital Short with "Reba."
Kickspit Underground Rock Festival: Yes. Yes. And also yes. This was a pitch-perfect parody of the Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos, the commercial for which seems to have blinked out of existence on YouTube. I saw it a while ago, and now all the videos have been marked Private. Boo. Anyway, trust me, it was already ridiculous enough to look like a sketch from SNL but I'm glad the show took it to the next level. Mrs. Potato Dick, Ass Dan, Gunt and everybody getting pitchforks were some of my favorite bits.
NOT SO GREAT STUFF
Potato Chip: The big pay-off was the gross-out moment, but it was a long, long walk. Every once in a while we get an absurd little sketch like this, and there's a very distinct voice. I wonder if it's one writer that keeps pitching these week after week.
Virginiaca: Kenan Thompson does well in these sketches but I don't think it's been beneficial for any host yet. Once again, Lively reminded us that she is very proud of her legs.
Swine Fever: Ehh, this wasn't hilarious to me the first time, and I was kind of bummed out to see it again. Also, swine flu is sooo one month ago.
Cold Open: Again, a cute way of treating that weird party crasher news. And despite the fact that there is very little accuracy in Jason Sudeikis's Joe Biden impression, I really, really love the character that SNL has crafted for him.
Monologue: Completely random and generally pointless but fun just the same. Bill Hader as Animal totally makes Muppet sketches for me, and Jason Sudeikis's Fozzie face is also pretty great.
Tiger Woods: As soon as this sketch started, I immediately thought, "Oh, no! Stop the sketch! Rihanna might see!" which is ridiculous, I realize. Obviously it's another one of those strange double standard things; had the tables been turned and a man was suspected of beating up his wife, there definitely wouldn't be a lighthearted sketch like this. But since it's female-on-male domestic violence, our current culture deems it kind of, sort of okay to make fun of and the scandal had to be addressed before it lost heat. I don't know, it's touchy ground. I wouldn't have thought twice about it if Rihanna wasn't the musical guest.
Ladies' Bowling: Obviously not high-brow comedy by any means, but, like the tampon-tastic pool competition from Drew Barrymore's episode, it's a chuckleworthy way of getting all these jokes out of the writers' systems. I predict douches will be next. To make jokes about, I mean. Not to get stuff out of the writers.
Late Night with Chris Hansen: Beautiful, amazing idea that had so much more to be explored. I hope they continue this and really push it as far as they can go.
Legs: No, seriously. The tiny dress in the monologue, that outfit from the Virginiaca sketch, Cher... Okay, Blake Lively. We shouldn't eat crab-cheese wontons for breakfast. We get it.
|She did a great job!||259 (35.2%)|
|She was terrible!||57 (7.8%)|
|Wow. Legs.||419 (57.0%)|
Next time: Taylor Lautner, Bon Jovi. Start placing your bets now on how shirtless this episode will be.
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