Emma Stone hosted her third SNL and Alec Baldwin managed to stick to president elect Donald Trump yet again. Shawn Mendes provided the musical talent on the night and Stone did very well despite the uneven pacing of the show’s skits.
The cold open, with Kate McKinnon playing Trump’s mouthpiece again, was spot on. The Twitter lambasting upset Donald who took to Twitter for real to complain…yet again.
The open was nearly the highlight of the episode. However, Weekend Update was on top form with their skewering of Trump. Each joke drove the nail home with a sledgehammer.
Picking on the man’s tweets as well as his Taiwan faux pas was the run up to taking on the political debacle that is Standing Rock. Leslie Jones came on to talk sexual inadequacies for all those women in long term relationships while Vanessa Bayer give great Rachel Green from “Friends.”
Sadly, the skits were uneven. The pre-recorded Christmas candle advert was amusing but not actually that funny. The “Hunt for Hil” however was more on point with the documentary feel of the search for a Clinton in hiding.
Jennifer Anniston joined the fun for the McKinnon laugh riot that was “Women in Film.” Anniston worked perfectly with Kate’s old “battle-axe” with the non-PC memories and the sexual innuendoes as well as outright saucy sexual jokes.
The other fake advert, “Wells for Boys” was funny and a tad pithy. Stone played off the young actor who “starred” in the advert.
This episode was better in terms of overall skits, although the improve section felt off. Emma Stone killed it as the grumpy virgin Mary who spends the entire skit moaning about her lot in life.
Stone is an old hand by now and she managed to make the most of her third stint as host. The best bits of the show by far though were the jibs aimed at Donald Trump, made all the more sweet by his almost predictable reaction on Twitter the day after.
The season finale of Maya & Marty featured more of the same in terms of overly long comedic sketches. Although it was nice to hear the Kenan Thompson lyric in the closing song. He sings about the show being “Maya, Marty & Kenan” something we suggested last week. The series did end on a bit of a high note with guests Emma Stone and Sean Hayes.
Stone first appeared in the faux commercial for cleaner. The skit featured Maya and Kenan and not Martin Short. Another one of those overly long gags that did so for a reason. Almost as annoying as the real adverts that repeatedly give the number to call, it finished with a fade to sepia and an allusion to The Twilight Zone.
The next gag featured Sean Hayes as noir gay detective Burt Cassidy. As Maya channelled her inner Kathleen Turner Hayes spouting rapid fire narration. The gag was amusing but not overtly funny. On the bright side, it worked well as a parody and was reminiscent of those old fast paced (machine gun dialogue delivery) Howard Hawks films like “His Girl Friday” with a Sam Spade touch.
Carmen Miranda and The Ghost Interns:
*A note from the reviewer. The word of this episode of Maya & Marty is “Bug.” *
In both the Carmen Miranda sketch and the Interns, bug was used as part of the routine. The Carmen Miranda routine has Maya swallowing one, after Kenan’s sailor mentions having bugs.
The next sketch was the Ghostly Interns. Kenan’s office worker can see the spirits. Martin Short’s manager cannot. Throughout the routine both Stone and Day, as the dead spirits use the word bug repeatedly, “Sorry to bug.” There were some issues with the lighting cues but overall the skit amused.
Standout moments were Short maintaining character as both Stone and Day spew red goo on his face and “blub” in his ears. The final twist was cute.
Up next was the highlight of the episode (if not the entire season) where Stone and Rudolph sing “Call your Boyfriend” while playing butter tubs. The routine was inspired, apparently, by a YouTube video of three Swedish girls playing butter tubs.
Maya goes on to explain that she has practiced this since seeing the video and that Emma will help her to perform the song. What follows is brilliant, fun and clever. To enjoy what may be the best moment on Maya & Marty, head to the end of this review and watch the video of “Call Your Boyfriend.”
(On a sidenote: While watching this little musical number the first thought that springs to mind is this: How many takes were required to get this one right? Judging from the look on Maya’s face, either a lot, or they managed to nail it in one.)
The cowboy skit proved that Steve Martin can still strut his musical stuff, a’la King Tut, with no problem. The main problem with the sketch was TTMS – too much Martin Short. We adore Martin but he was too…too.
Short then appears as Jiminy Glick to “interview” Kelly Ripa and once again this is the least amusing portion of the series. If Maya and Marty come back for a second season, please lay this character to rest.
The last skit had Thompson and Day as hikers being lectured by Rudolph’s Earth Mother and Short’s Old Man of the Sea. There is a bit of wire work and, true to form, the sketch went on far too long.
The final number had a Mardi Gras feel to it; all graffiti and multiple dancers, and it was something of a relief to see the series finally limp to a finish. The comedy never quite worked in many of the skits and the ones that did amuse went on far too long.
On a positive note, Emma Stone rocked it in her appearances. This oscar nominated actress is a performer who can seemingly do anything. If you have any doubt as to the veracity of her endless talent, watch the “tub” song below.
Patricia Arquette kicked the hornet nest of equality at the Oscar ceremony during, and after her acceptance speech. Inadvertently, she also released a storm of controversy over her calls to minority and the LGBT community to join her glorious fight. This call to arms then sparked a row over just how racist the Academy Awards ceremony was on Sunday, “Did you see how many white people won?”
In Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton gives a performance that simultaneously works as a selling vehicle for the late short-story author Raymond Carver and conveys a certain surrealism against a backdrop of seedy reality. The film, directed as well as co-written by Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams, Babel) tells the story of Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) who turned his back on a lucrative career in a film franchise about a feathered superhero. The underlying theme in the film deals with Riggan’s self obsession and his mental state is shown by the Birdman character talking to the actor when they are alone.
Watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was like being in the middle of one the world’s most awesome video games. Speaking to another “Spidey” fan two weeks prior to this advanced screening, we both agreed that the first of the Spider-Man remakes felt as though the filmmakers had taken a leaf out of the video gameMirror’s Edge. For those who have not played the game, it was the “first” first-person action/adventure platforming game and it was developed by EA Digital Illusions CE.