Who knew? Taylor Swift pulled through to give us the best Saturday Night Live episode of the season, bringing us a Twilight spoof, a few impressions, and a show that was actually worth watching until the very end.
Swift started the show with a musical monologue, wherein she dropped a few references to her ex-boyfriend, Joe Jonas, and her rumored boyfriend, Taylor Lautner, as well as an expected zinger about Kanye West:
Click to view
My favorite bit of the night was Firelight, a Twilight parody that replaced sparkly vampires with love-struck Frankensteins (well, technically, love-struck Frankenstein's monsters), mostly due to Swift's Kristen Stewart impression: she has the lip-biting and hair-tucking down pat.
In this "teen driving PSA," Taylor plays "Samantha Samuels," a concerned teen driver who calls out parents for their dangerous driving activities, such as "driving while lecturing" and "driving while revealing family secrets." I have a soft spot for dorky teen sketches, so this one made me laugh quite a bit:
Amy Poehler made a surprise appearance on Weekend Update for a round of "Really?! With Seth And Amy," and as happy as I was to see her (I think they need someone else on the Weekend Update desk to balance out Seth Meyers), the bit seemed a bit off, for some reason.
Abby Elliott also dropped by Weekend Update as "Sarah McLachlan," in order to spoof the singer's incredibly depressing (yet apparently quite effective) ASPCA commercials. It was nice to see female cast members other than Kristen Wiig getting a bit of screen time this week.
As usual, SNL trots out "The View" in order to give a role to a female host; this time, Swift was cast as guest host Kate Gosselin. Her Gosselin impression is okay, but the real highlight of the skit is new cast member Nasim Pedrad's Barbara Walters impression, which is pretty great.
The soundtrack for "Bunny Business" gave the cast a chance to show off various impressions, including Kristen Wiig as Natalie Merchant, Taylor Swift as Shakira, and Andy Samberg as Adam Duritz. Click to view
Overall, I thought it was a pretty good show; recurring characters such as Kenan Thompson's "Scared Straight" prisoner and Kristen Wiig's "Penelope" made appearances, but Swift did a good job holding her own in these sketches and making them watchable, even though we've basically seen them a million times before. Swift seemed to be having a lot of fun throughout the show, and her enthusiasm seemed to spread to the rest of the cast. The show wasn't perfect, but it was a lot of fun, and as I said earlier, it was great to see the women of the show who aren't Kristen Wiig get a chance to show their stuff. Here's to hoping next week's episode, starring Mad Men's January Jones, can keep things moving in the right direction.