Last night's SNL was never really about Ben Affleck, and he knew it. It was an important episode for both the show's future — definitely no more Bill Hader, probably no more Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen — and its present, snagging one of the world's most famous musicians right before he releases his mega-hyped new album, and Affleck was more than happy to support rather than lead. Even his cold open, in which he shared the stage with Bobby Moynihan and later, his wife, instead of any members of the Five Timers' Club, subtly acknowledged this.
That's Affleck at his best, though. Like any good director, he knows it's best to highlight your strengths, and while he's not a bad comedic performer, he's no Bill Hader or Cecily Strong, either, so might as well let them run with it and you do whatever you can to give them a foundation to bounce off of. So, yes, this was a very good, very good emotional season finale of SNL with one major caveat: WHERE THE F*CK WAS MY WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?
Watching a monkey eat its own poop for an hour would have been funnier than last week's cold open...and probably last night's, too, although it was a major improvement. Blame/thank my soft spot for chart humor (such as) and confusing senators for Matthew McConaughey.
Many years ago, before the word "Rambaldi" made me want to pull my hair out, Jennifer Garner was my girl. She was Jennifer Lawrence and Alison Brie rolled into one, and I watched and rewatched every episode of Alias, half because I loved the show and half because, Jennifer Garner. Even now, I have a soft spot for her, so I found the husband-and-wife monologue more charming than obnoxious, if not exactly uproariously funny.
Nice Matt Damon reference, too.
Park the car in Harvard Yard around the same time as the peak of my Garner appreciation was the acme of Affleck Hate. Park the car in Harvard Yard thanks to films like Gigli and Reindeer Games and Paycheck, everyone thought he was a major douche and it wasn't until 2007's Gone Baby Gone that he began to win people over in a way he hadn't since Good Will Hunting. Park the car in Harvard Yard still, as much I like Affleck now, I can't help but recall how much I loathed the seemingly self-serious prick in Pearl Harbor, which is why I was happy to see him act so self-deprecating in Bengo F*ck Yourself. His "redemption story" got played up to a nauseating degree during awards season — OH NOES HE WENT FROM HOT JENNIFER TO ANOTHER JENNIFER WHILE EARNING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS — so it's nice to see Affleck have a sense of humor about the whole thing.
This was a very gay episode of SNL. "New Beginnings" isn't available online, but "Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings" was better, anyways, and now I'm pissed Cecily Strong took my Cheez-It and a bottle of water idea.
I'll say one thing about "Depression Scene," which I have a feeling I liked more than most (remember what I said about chart humor earlier? The same goes for people talking like Jimmy Stewart): I did NOT see that ending coming. Dear, sweet, innocent Prima Donna? Big ol' prostitute, and 40 years old to boot. All this and more in Mr. Tommy Goes to Washington Via the Bus.
It's fun to imagine Amy Poehler going up to Kanye West after his performance of "Black Skinhead," and saying, "Really?!? I mean, really...?" Kanye's sheepish response: "I know..." Only Amy has that power.
Goodbye Stefon, you and Gizblow and Menorah the Explorer and Teddy Graham People and Gay Liotta and ALF in a trench coat and Black George Washington and Germufs and DJ Baby Bok Choy and Asian Balkis and Human Parking Cones and Bologna Danza and Spud Webb will be missed, at least until you inevitably return next season.
Now that Cecily Strong and Vanessa Bayer are three-for-three with them, these characters really need names. "Once I got banged up to heaven, and then the angels banged me back down. Thanks, miracles!" Beautiful. But what the hell do we call them? The Banger Sisters is already taken, so the DTF Duo? Exxx-Porn Stars? Open to suggestions.
Kanye West only wishes he could give as few f*cks as J. Mascis and Kim Gordon and Carrie Brownstein. This was a perfect send-off to the show's departing cast members, one that was much better than last year's Wiig-a-Thon. It wasn't as self-congratulatory as, ugh, "She's a Rainbow." Also, the "LM" on Fred's guitar strap: for Lorne?
Yeezus is going to be a very good, very angry, very only something Kanye could get away with album.
Stayed tuned for FCC drama, I'm sure.
I want more like this!
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