It's a new year, and after a month off, can we expect a fresh, reinvigorated "Saturday Night Live"?
Not really, it seems. The Jennifer Lawrence-hosted episode was snappier than many of last fall's outings, but still a mixed bag, with some laugh-out-loud moments and one dog of a sketch.
Lawrence herself was very game, though we wish they'd used her better. She also seemed nervous at the top of the show during her monologue. She did a bit involving a sour-faced Tommy Lee Jones, then started "trash-talking" her likely Oscar competition. But Lawrence rushed through her lines a bit, not leaving the jokes much breathing room:
Hey, at least there was no singing!
BEST: B-108 Morning Show
Lawrence finally came alive in this sketch's welcome return. Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan were infectious as the hosts of Minnesota's "hottest radio show," which takes place so early that "Al Roker is still asleep." Props to Lawrence -- she's got rhyme!
COULD'VE BEEN BEST, BUT … : More Hobbit
The digital short made fun of the unending number of movies Peter Jackson can make out of one book, like "The Hobbit 11: Trying to Split a Complicated Dinner Bill." Lawrence's hissy-fit as Galadriel trying on clothes made us smile. But then the video froze, like it was buffering. Very distracting and totally baffling that "SNL" airs its shorts this way.
GOOD: Hunger Games Press Conference
Ah, the requisite reference to the host's body of work. Sure, the "Hunger Games" hoopla took place nearly a year ago. But of course, the writers had to include a sketch about it this evening. We chuckled when one reporter asked if Katniss used performance-enhancing drugs and if Peeta used performance-reducing drugs.
COULD'VE BEEN BETTER: Piers Morgan Cold Open
"SNL" has really loved opening its show with these news segments. This week, they had a lot of juicy stories to parody, from Lance Armstrong's non-apology ("Am I sorry?" Jason Sudeikis as Armstrong asks. "Yes … ish") to Manti Te'o's non-girlfriend to Jodie Foster's non-coming-out. But while they got some good zingers in there, it was a bit flat considering the wealth of humor behind all of these topics.
OVER IT: "Girlfriends"
We loved this sketch the first few times they did it, but now it's just getting old. Lawrence was good as the "edgy" Jessie, who's been to New York "two or three times." But instead of using her to bring something new to the sketch, it just felt like a complete retread.
STRANGE, BUT KIND OF FUNNY: Danielle, a Free European Woman
Sometimes, an "SNL" sketch is so silly and weird, that it ends up being amusing. That's the case here with this parody of a Cinemax-style soft-core porn movie. Why were Lawrence and Fred Armisen dubbed? Who knows, but Lawrence actually seemed to enjoy the ridiculousness of the sketch.
Check out what the Twitterverse said about last night's "SNL," then weigh in with your best and worst in the comments below.
"Saturday Night Live" airs Saturdays at 11:30 PM on NBC.