SNL season 40 has really been on the money so far (the Chris Rock episode aside) and it continued this week with Amy Adams. Adams did kind of fade in and out throughout the episode, but another strong show. Onto the review.
We knew SNL would take on the North Korea/Sony Hack situation, but the way they did it in the cold open was really inventive. At first Taran Killam appeared as Sam Smith in "A Very Somber Christmas"....but was quickly replaced by.......Dr. Evil! "1 Million Dollars. muhahaha". Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) then went on a monologue of how silly it is to be offended by Sony.
The monologue was your typical singing Christmas one, except for some reason it had to feature Kritstin Wiig (her 2nd time appearing in a monologue this season). All in all, it was pretty plain.
Next was an ad (that looked incredibly real for a minute) for an Asian American Doll....trying to be as politically correct as possible. This was pretty spot on, including the end where the ad fell apart because they included a dog.
Asian American Doll
The next skit was "Tenderfield Christmas Card".....in youtube form. It was trying to spoof the viral family videos that come up this time of the year, with the rise of youtube. It was pretty bland overall, although the children (Kyle Mooney and Kate McKinnon) saved this from falling completely flat.
It was about time. Next was the 2nd season of "Serial"...the Christmas edition. How did Kris deliver the toy to that child? The formatting of this was terrific. Cecily Strong in particular, was spot on as Sarah Koenig. You probably need to see Serial (I've just started) to get the full sense of it, but this was a really good parody.
The Girlfriend talkshow made its return, with Strong and Aidy Bryant. It was going on alright...until it was apparent that this was just a vehicle to feature One Direction. It wasn't as clever a vehicle as a couple weeks ago with Nicki Minaj (who stole the spotlight from James Franco). This was just substandard.
Jay Pharoah and Pete Davidson were featured in an "Office Party" Christmas music video. There were some good elements here (McKinnon especially), but again, this just fell kind of flat and predictable.
Weekend Update was fairly strong....well at least Michael Che was. I still have my doubts on Colin Jost, who just doesn't have his own persona on Update. He keeps trying to be like Seth Meyers. Only Leslie Jones seems to be able to take Jost out of it.
Bobby Moynihan appeared as Kim Jong Un.....and it was fairly clever how they did this. Jost broke the 4th wall saying how he didn't think this was a good idea. Moynihan kept up the character....until red sniper targets appeared on him
Bobby Moynihan as Kim Jong Un
Kenan Thompson appeared as Che's neighbor Willie, to talk about the holiday season. Willie has his spirits up...but things aren't going well for him. Pretty predictable.
The reason Wiig was here....for Garth & Kat (along with Fred Armisen). Its been a while since we've seen these characters, so the spontaneity of it worked well. They had great chemistry with Che.
Garth & Kat
The post Update skit was "A Very Cuban Christmas". This was all over the place (but with a few good ideas thrown in there). Armisen came back to play Raul Castro. Pharoah was also featured as President Obama. The best though was McKinnon as Diana Nyad, throwing "shade" at Elian Gonzalez (Davidson) for how he crossed on a boat. That was pretty much the best and only humorous moment of this skit.
The best skit of the show....and one of the best of the year, was "A Magical Christmas". Moynihan and Mooney were great here as old-time 1940s characters. That pairing is really starting to take form. Three "dames" appeared to woo them...(Strong/Mckinnon and Adams). Everything about this just gelled. Something doesn't seem normal with the three sisters, and then they place a bet with Mooney/Moynihan that if they can't guess the drinks they get....they'll "yum yum garbage", you know something is pretty off. You know its going somewhere, but you don't know where just yet. I won't spoil the sell at the end, but this was a timeless sketch (not relying on pop culture).
SNL closed out with a Cat Rescue skit featuring McKinnon and Adams. This was a reappearing sketch, but a bit of a surprising one. Then again, for a closing skit, it worked. McKinnon and Adams really worked well together here to bring it together.
Overall this season, SNL is on a really good stretch. In terms of Christmas shows, it may have been fairly average, but it keeps up a trend of consistency that Season 40 has had so far. Kate Mckinnon and Cecily Strong in particular had a really strong week (as did Kyle Mooney and Bobby Moynihan).
Avg. Score: 7.19 (each segment was scored out of 10, and averaged, including the musical act).
Bill Hader - 8.06
Martin Freeman - 7.56
Chris Pratt - 7.50
Chris Pratt - 7.50
Woody Harrelson - 7.42
Amy Adams - 7.19
Sarah Silverman - 7.15
Sarah Silverman - 7.15
James Franco - 7.07
Jim Carrey - 7.01
Cameron Diaz - 6.81
Chris Rock - 6.52