The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Amy Adams

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Amy Adams hit the SNL stage last night. She’s one of cinema’s great new chameleons and has a song and dance background, which makes her a strong pick for SNL and its many impression-filled sketches. With so much happening in the news this week, expect to see a lot of references to the Sony hacks and President Obama’s lift on the Cuba embargo. Oh, and Christmas! Dig in, below.

The Best

“Sam Smith/Dr. Evil Cold Open”

Mike Myers returns to SNL as Austin Powers villain Dr. Evil. This is fun considering the new James Bond film Spectre was just announced, and it references the original Dr. Evil — the character Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Myers seems to throw in a little bit of Wayne Campbell’s accent during his impression, but the cameo is fun nonetheless and addresses the Sony/North Korea debacle.

“Asian American Doll”

Meet Asian American doll! She has no academic strengths or weaknesses. Just take her or leave her. She comes with a few harmless accessories, which went through 40 focus groups, and was made from a place of fear.

“Christmas Serial”

If you haven’t listened to Serial yet (and why not?!), you’ll be lost during this sketch, which relies heavily on Cecily Strong’s dead-on impression of podcast host Sarah Koenig and the little ins and outs of the series. Strong’s Koenig investigates the whole Kris Kringle situation (he even sounds like Serial’s Adnan Syed). It lends a creepy vibe to the Christmas theme and demonstrates again that SNL’s pre-recorded sketches are one of its major strengths. Props to the writers for creating a visual version of an audio show, and making it seem natural and believable.

“Girlfriends Talk Show with Amy Adams and One Direction”

“This is a girl trap. I can feel it.”

“Weekend Update”

An awkward Bill Cosby joke. Lots of Sony/The Interview jabs. Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig return as Garth and Kat (which will either delight or infuriate you). Nothing outrageously funny or truly awful here.

“Singing Sisters”

Here’s some late-episode, weird SNL magic. Adams, Strong, and McKinnon play 1940’s club singers who get a couple of guys to buy them drinks. The girls make a bet with them — and it’s bizarre. The comedic ‘40s banter is on point. The joke isn’t up until the very end, keeping the audience hooked in all the right ways.

“Cat Rescue Commercial”

Charlize Theron did it better, but Adams’ handsy version of the Barbara-obsessed crazy cat lady was unnerving. “Why won’t you say you love me?” cuts deep.

The Worst

“Amy Adams Christmas Monologue”

Kristen Wiig vomits Christmas all over the stage like a lunatic. Adams is kind of boring. A spectacle doesn’t always equal entertainment.

“The Tenderfield Holiday Rap”

A family raps something unintelligible about the holidays — but they’re white and old and rapping and isn’t that funny? No. (Points for Kate McKinnon’s psychopathic sister.)

“Office Christmas Party”

Maybe it’s because office holiday parties are easy to make fun of, or because shouting “Office Christmas Party!” over and over again got dull. I just didn’t feel it. I’d love to see Pete Davidson and Jay Pharaoh together again, though.

“A Very Cuban Christmas”

Nope.

Musical Guest: One Direction