Cameron Diaz has almost sneakily hosted 'SNl" enough times that, after last night, she’s only one away from the vaulted Five-Timers Club. Diaz first hosted back in 1998, a show that featured one of the funniest sketches of all time, ‘Jingleheimer Junction.’ This is all to say that it shouldn’t be too surprising that last night’s ‘SNL’ came off so, let’s say, professional with one sketch that even rivals ‘Jingleheimer Junction.’ On to the Scorecard we go...
Sometimes, the best ‘SNL’ sketches are the simplest. There's no real gimmick to this sketch about pretentious amateur theater and it’s awfully low-concept compared to what often makes it on the show these days, but it has a lot going for it. Chief among the things that it has going for it: it‘s really, really funny.
It‘s common for ‘SNL’ to recruit guest hosts from whoever has something new to promote, but it‘s rare for that guest host to participate in a sketch that tears apart the very thing they showed up to help sell. And yet, that's what happened when Cameron Diaz hosted, playing her character in the upcoming remake of ‘Annie’ in a sketch that's all about how genuinely weird the film looks.
‘SNL’ has rarely been afraid to wade into current events, so it‘s not surprising that the show took some time to focus on the recent hubbub surrounding new immigration policies and executive orders. And since the show realizes that not everyone is up to date on the political process, it uses the shorthand of the beloved series ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ to remind everyone of the necessary details.
It's always a good thing when ‘SNL’ lets the women in the cast fully cut loose. Operating in the same tradition of “Do It on My Twin Bed” and “Dongs All Over the World,” “Back Home Ballers” once again puts the ladies of the show in an incredibly mundane situation and lets them rap about it. And, as usual, the show once again proves that its female cast has never been stronger.
There are some actors who take their work very, very seriously—Daniel Day Lewis or Christian Bale, for instance. Guys who fully immerse themselves in their characters so much that they become the people they’re playing. This method of acting is respectable, sure, but the latest ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ featurette has a little fun with it, as Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, and the rest of the voice cast show off just how committed they were to playing their animated animal roles.
Although the earliest looks at ‘Into the Woods’ gave us the impression that this wasn’t a musical at all, the latest trailers and featurettes have been thankfully much more musically-focused. The newest featurette gives us another peek behind the scenes of the upcoming film with music by the legendary Stephen Sondheim, and features none other than Queen Meryl Streep herself belting out “Stay With Me” as the movie’s wonderful and wicked witch.
Mash-ups have become so prevalent on the internet that it’s easy to shrug most of them off these days, but we’ve gotta admit that this one is pretty charming (and well-made, to boot): someone’s gone and re-edited scenes from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ with the theme song from ‘Friends,’ delivering ‘Friends of the Galaxy,’ a sitcom that we would not mind watching at all.
We are living in the franchise-heavy film era, which can sometimes feel exhausting (see: ‘Transformers’) or can sometimes be very enjoyable, depending on the product. In television, having a clear endpoint in mind is a good thing (see: ‘Breaking Bad’); meanwhile, studios are now planning their franchises out years in advance. Again, this can be good (Marvel), or, as our own Matt Singer bemoaned, it leads to what he finds to be an unnecessary splitting of the final chapter to extend the life of a franchise. It’s refreshing, then, to know that some studios are playing things a little looser with their franchises, like hearing Andy Serkis say that he just isn’t sure how many ‘Planet of the Apes’ movies there will be.
Netflix keeps adding to its reputation as a savior of cancelled shows, most recently picking up a fourth season of ‘Longmire’ after A&E’s cancellation, but their latest acquisition proves even notably weirder. Prior to ever even airing on NBC, Tina Fey-Ellie Kemper comedy ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ has set a March 2015 premiere on Netflix, where the show has been picked up for two full seasons.