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Review: Saturday Night Live - Taylor Lautner/Bon Jovi

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 13th 2009 12:58PM
taylor lautner bon jovi
(S35E09) Hello, Twilight fans. I know you're only here because of your screaming hearts, thudding so hard that every beat is a case for internal bruising. I'm going to be upfront: I don't like Twilight. I tried reading it before it was a "thing" because my friends recommended it to me and I found myself struggling to get through it because, well, even then I knew it was embarrassing. I also watched the film, which I thought was very funny, though I realize that was probably not the intended effect.

That said, I thought Taylor Lautner did a great job. See? I'm not just swimming in haterade. Obviously, I wasn't prepared to like him, but just like Blake Lively from last week, Lautner delivered a strong performance. He seemed really comfortable throughout the entire episode and was surprisingly natural, more natural than some of the actual cast members at some points, at least in terms of blatantly looking at cue cards.

And thanks for keeping your shirt on for all 90 minutes, Sharkboy.

Unfortunately, the writing was kind of draggy for the most part this week. There were enjoyable parts, sure, but the rest fell flat. Also, the studio audience was really tough! Hopefully it was just the microphones not picking up on their laughs because there were some bits that made me laugh out loud and the studio audience just sounded dead silent, especially during the "Football Taping" sketch.

BEST

Monologue: Funny approach to a weird situation. I didn't even mind that the Kanye West/Taylor Swift incident was so three months ago. Lautner's delivery made me feel better that we weren't in for a choppy performance.



Eternal Spark of Love: God, this was ridiculous. Lautner played it really subtle, which was nice, and every time Kenan Thompson glided on- or off-screen was hilarious. However, this sketch further affirmed what we learned from Twilight: Lautner cannot pull off wigs.



The last bit of Surprise: I love Kristen Wiig, and I died the first time she did the Surprise Party character. The writers get really creative with the last parts of these sketches and make something spectacular, but it would be cool if they could shake up the first half, which has started to get extremely repetitive.



NOT SO GREAT STUFF

Show Choir: Bless their hearts for trying to save this, but I don't think I laughed once. Not even Andy Samberg's goofy face helped.



Football Taping: Only because no one was laughing and that kind of triggered some major second-hand embarrassment. I thought Lautner did a funny job with the material though.



OTHER STUFF

Doorbells: Hey! They're letting Jenny Slate actually do stuff by herself now. This sketch had its moments; her character was interesting. Could someone ring Henry Higgins and confirm what the hell that accent was? And yeah, I just totally made a My Fair Lady reference. I'm that hip.

Slate and fellow new girl Nasim Pedrad have remarkably annoying go-to voices, by the way. It's like something about their voices resonates with my ears in a terrible, terrible way. Maybe it's not a problem for anyone else and my eardrums are just incompatible with their voices by nature. I'm going to pretend that's a thing.



Team Jacob vs. Team Edward: Oh, of course this had to be addressed. There could have been worse ways to bring up Twilight, so this was pretty all right. Jenny Slate plays teen well, and kudos to Lautner for not embarrassing himself by even trying to put on a girl voice.

No Jon Bovi: I'm not sure if it was a good or bad thing that there was no Jon Bovi this evening. It was the perfect opportunity, obviously, and most people were probably expecting it (at least a little), but I suppose it wasn't necessary. It was kind of like how there wasn't a "Prince Show" sketch even when Prince was the musical guest and Steve Martin was hosting, promoting a movie he was doing with Beyonce.

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Jovifan

Regardless of Taylor's performance, anything with Bon Jovi in it is worth watching. "Superman Tonight" is a fantastic new song of theirs.

December 31 2009 at 8:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
oneill

you kind of don't know what you're taking about, huh, annie?

December 14 2009 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
davidm3825

I am surprised he didn't take his shirt off. That was the big thing in the movie and he mentioned it but never did it.

December 14 2009 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nick

Considering how utterly craptastic most of the season has been, I was pleasantly surprised by TL's comedy chops. His timing and rather effortless delivery carried the episode, as did his willingness to look pretty idiotic at times. There was a lot of iffy writing, but his performance overall was able to get him through most of it. Decent monologue (call back to Reba! HA!), and that ninja stuff was impressive. I actually laughed at the football sketch though it went on too long (They always do. Learn how to edit, folks), but his faces and poses were pretty hilarious.

Why I still record this show I don't know (I think I've seen pretty much every episode since...well, ever), but it's always nice to see new talent emerge - he should really do more comedy because he's good at it, even with sub-par writing he still kept me laughing.

December 14 2009 at 5:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kia

I think Taylor did a awesome job....( I was like whatever you do Taylor .. Don't trip, Don't trip..Over anything!!... And Guess What? He did not trip...Over-nothing...Words,Lines,...Nothing!

Go Team Taylor!!

December 14 2009 at 2:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
deppgirl1

I thought the lack of laughter was a bit harsh too...considering much much worse has gone over better this season.

Also, they seriously missed a trick with Jon Bovi. It's not like the band doesn't do sketches (I remember the 'JOVI PUNCH!' and the DeMarco Brothers a waaaays back). It was definitely a noticeable absence.

December 13 2009 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matt

I thought the audience was pretty cold, and that the lack of laughs in the "football taping" skit kind of set the mood for the rest of the show. I thought Lautner did a pretty good job of looking naturally uncomfortable for the camera in the Oregon uniform, and I was laughing like crazy, but only silence from the TV.

I thought "Surprise" had run its course, thought "Team Edward vs. Team Jacob" should have been more outrageous in some way, and thought Update was hurt by the long long long joke of the "Native American" comedian whose jokes all involve made-up words. "Show Choir" needed to have a lot more than four singers to make it work.

Good job for Lautner, but most of the show was a bunch of "this would have been really funny if" moments.

December 13 2009 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joanna

I thought Taylor did a good job with what he had. The show is so unfunny I am not sure it matters who hosts it.

I think what they need to do is bring in Alec Baldwin, Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken in back to back episodes in January. If still no laughs, cancel it!

December 13 2009 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy

This was the first time I have read this womens SNL review and it will be the last. This show was horrible and unfunny at all parts. It was so bad I finally just had to change the channel. Whoever is paying you to watch TV and the review it needs to fire you because you know nothing, this show and this season have been total crap. I suggest you watch some SNL from earlier years if you need to see how funny this show really is. Also, as another poster said, the audience was not laughing because the whole f-ing show was not funny and you laughing shows you probably should find a new job cause you suck at your current one.

December 13 2009 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Andy's comment
Paul

Every era of the show, there are a bunch of people saying how great the show USED to be back in ____. Guess what? Most of those people are either a) referencing the era that was on when they were 15-20 years old, or b) only remembering the hits, and not all the misses.

I've watched SNL steadily for the last 15 or so years (can't exactly remember the first year I watched it, but I must've been about 11 or 12, and I'm 28 now). I've also watched a lot of the earlier seasons, right back to the first. There was a lot of good and a LOT of bad mixed in, going way back to the first season. Nobody thinks of the bad sketches when one or two of the sketches from each episode have become so legendary over the years.

I remember when Will Ferrell was on SNL, I thought it was "awful", because his era came only a couple years after the great Sandler/Myers/Farley/Hartman years. Looking back now, I watch the Best Of videos and think they're pretty good. Part of it is realizing things weren't as bad as I thought they were, and part of it is that the Best Of videos only show the good sketches.

There have always been PLENTY of crappy sketches and entire episodes, throughout the history of Saturday Night Live. And there still is. This season has been more hit-and-miss than I can remember. But when they have a host who's game for trying stuff out of their comfort zone, and they have less-conventional writing, they can still do hilarious things. Yes, even this season.

Finally, have you ever thought that maybe comedy is subjective? And maybe YOUR opinion on comedy isn't the gold standard by which all other opinions should be based? I don't even agree with Ms. Wu on a lot of her thoughts on this episode (some of what she liked, I hated, and some of the things she didn't like I thought were pretty great), but she's overall shown to have such a good taste in comedy that I respect her opinion, even if I disagree with it.

December 14 2009 at 5:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim Sparks

I am too old for SNL. Have been for years. Why do I keep trying??? So sad, so sad.

December 13 2009 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim Sparks's comment
Jordan Beard

What age group is SNL aiming for? I'm 19 and it seems like they're trying to get an audience a whole lot older than me (somewhere around 45-49) (judging from the non-Digital Shorts skits and the advertising), but then again, lately it seems like they're also trying to attract 13-15 year olds with the hosts they've gotten and the topics of the skits

December 14 2009 at 5:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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