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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday Night Live premieres with Amy Poehler

     NBC may be (unfairly) holding Parks and Recreation until mid-season, but Amy Poehler returned to the network this week as host of Saturday Night Live's season premiere.  Not only did Amy show up, brought she brought a multitude of friends with her.  In her awesome monologue, she relayed a dream she had supposedly had the night before, and the sequence was filmed for our enjoyment.  She had a kissing scene with Justin Timberlake, who proclaimed her a horrible kisser. Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon taunted her, saying they were back, and she would not be doing the Weekend Update segment.  A polar bear devoured her friend Rachel Dratch.  The whole thing was bizarre, and also very funny.

     SNL has been uneven for awhile now.  One could argue that last season was pretty bad, on the whole.  This week's episode was mostly polished and sharp.  While Amy's friends did fill in during the monologue, only a couple of them appeared in skits, so they can't get all of the credit for improving the quality of the show.  Justin Timberlake was in one very short skit with Andy Samberg called "Actor II Actor".  There wasn't much to it, but I laughed out loud the entire time.  Maya Rudolph also returned for a brand new "Bronx Beat", which featured Katy Perry in a sly nod to her Seasame Street video that was cut.  Perry also returned for an Oscar segment that was probably the worst part of the episode.

     Two cast members, that I noticed, are no longer with SNL.  Jenny Slade had not been on the show that long, and she's gone.  Also, Will Forte resigned.  I do not know if his departure had anything to do with the box office failure of the Macgruber movie, but it wouldn't surprise me.  The show added four new cast members to this year's lineup, but they weren't featured much, so it's hard to form an opinion yet.  My current favorite, who really stood out this week despite very limited screen time, is Nasim Pedrad.  I wasn't overly impressed with her last year, but her mock of Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie was spot on, and she also could easily replace Amy Poehler in the "Rick" sketches.

     The one did a Will Smith impression during Weekend Update that marked the only blemish in that part of the show.  Update was fantastic this week, with one of the best "Really!?! With Seth and Amy"s of all time, covering Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and gays in the military.  The real Governor David Patterson also showed up to face-off with his rival, and played along with the recurring bits.  My favorite sketch of this week's episode was probably the Mosque commercial.  The sad part is, there are people in this country that would take that seriously.

     Next week Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) will be the host, and Kanye West is the musical guest.  Tune into NBC Saturday nights at 11:30 to watch the show.

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