Because I believe in journalistic integrity, I feel it necessary to disclose that I was about two bottles deep in my new favorite wine (Tempranillo). This, I am sure, did not sway my opinion in any way.
I adore Jason Segel — from Freaks and Geeks to How I Met Your Mother to the Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Segel is a great choice for host; he sings, he writes, he dances, he is genuinely funny and he does impressions. Sold.
I think there is something about having a host who has been in TV for a long time — they have a way of devoting themselves to characters and having no shame that make them perfect for SNL. When you have to kiss a half dozen people, or mockingly masturbate or pretend to be the legendary Andre the Giant — that takes training and experience.
I really tried to hate this episode. I dissected every sketch and impression looking for flaws and problems. I thought that the Weekend Update, which is normally so awful, was entertaining. The commercials (though Red Flag was a repeat) were amazing and the impression of Zooey Deschanel was nothing short of enlightened.
I also give a show some credit for having random-ass guest stars popping up all over the place. Paul Rudd was there, and Olivia Wilde was in the Digital Short (which was so fucking funny and 80’s pitch perfect I almost pooped myself) and The Muppets appeared in a few sketches as well as Florence herself. You know it is a good episode when celebrities are not embarrassed to be a part of it.
This is as good a time as any to discuss the musical guest: Florence + the Machine. Tori Amos, anyone? Just kidding. Aside from not really knowing who the shit the Machine is, I have to say that Florence appeared ethereal and elated to be in the spotlight. Despite playing at least 1 less instrument than the actual host of the show, Florence is a Ginger Genius. With her forceful vibrato that makes her songs IMPOSSIBLE at Karaoke, she is pure whimsy. I love hating how much I love her. Rock on.
Please watch this episode. So far this season, it is hands-down the best. Hulu is even showing the full unedited episode with all the sketches, so treat yourself!! Watch this and remember that SNL is not always a ragged, last-minute suck-fest. It can, truly, be magical.
Okay, that last sentence I will blame on the wine.