Splitsider: The Best of ‘SNL’ Season 37
May 22, 2012 Leave a comment
The first of a two-part review of SNL‘s 37th season on Splitsider. I discuss the season as a whole and recognize the some of the best moments.
“What struck me most about this season was the apparent hunger for new hit sketches. While the show’s tendency to recycle worn sketch premises lives on, Seth Meyers and his writing staff have eased back a bit from tentpoling the lineup with pieces from seasons past, occasionally striking gold with a new premise, and hustling to bring it back as soon as possible. J Pop America Fun Time Now, Drunk Uncle, Lord Wyndemere, Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel, Piers Morgan Tonight, and The Californians — children of Season 37 — were all reprised within a few episodes of their first appearances.
With the departure of Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer at the end of last season, the digital short, after enjoying five years as SNL’s most popular segment, fell to a sporadic hit-or-miss status. In its ashes arose a crop of fresh live sketches, often with dark, bizarre premises, which have crept up from the final (often cut) 10-to-1 timeslot into the front half of the show. Sketches like Les Jeunes de Paris, Brutus the sexually abused monkey, and Slow Motion Hallway let their freak flags fly more than typical SNL sketches.
Those pieces, along with other sketches that targeted specific subcultures — Bein’ Quirky, You Can Do Anything, The Californians — contributed to a rawer, more risk-taking energy that found its way into the show. SNL expanded its mockery of cable news into a full-on assault of cable television for its lowest-common-denominator programming, most notably the E! network (Kardashian Divorce Special), Bravo (Watch What Happens Live), and Spike (Downton Abbey on Spike).
When it came to the hosts, SNL was blessed with relatively few duds (the uncooperative Ben Stiller and the full-out disaster Lindsay Lohan) and several amazing first-time hosts — Melissa McCarthy, Charlie Day, Jason Segel, Channing Tatum, Zooey Deschanel, Sofia Vergara… not to mention “virgin” hosts Jimmy Fallon and Maya Rudolph. A special shout-out to the females of the pack, who, Lohan excluded, typically helmed the better episodes.
It’s been a great year. Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, the cast, the writing staff, and the entire crew have much to be proud of.”
Read the full post on Splitsider.com.