SNL: Sofia Vergara/One Direction

COLD OPEN
ZOË RICE: An opener that captures Mitt Romney’s disingenuous pandering and the essence of his campaign woes. A chuckler more than a guffawer, but well done.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Agreed. Perfectly fine, but doesn’t attach to any particular zeitgeist.

MONOLOGUE
ZOË RICE: Although I know Sofia Vergara said stuff here, I had a hard time getting past the gorgeousness. She is stone cold stunning. I imagine for a guy it was like watching on mute. But her delivery was adorable – she has an all-around enjoyable persona.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Believe it or not, guys can listen and watch at the same time. Her monologue was perfectly fine, though in general, SNL suffers when monologue isn’t either high-concept or delivered by a stand-up comic. It does seem like she was aesthetically designed in a lab, though.

JUST FRIENDS BOOTY SHORTS
ZOË RICE: Not a new gag and better executed with the Ambiguously Gay Duo. Fun enough, but something of a throwaway.

BEING QUIRKY
ZOË RICE: Thankfully Abby Elliott’s Zooey Deschanel does not yet feel stale, and Kristen Wiig’s Drew Barrymore was right on target. Vergara held her nasally loud own as Fran Drescher. Good writing, solid performing, and a clear and worthy subject.

ALMOST PIZZA
ZOË RICE: Very one-note. But is this social commentary on processed frozen food? Or just a weird commercial spoof?

HOWARD MEGDAL: Really liked this- offbeat and funny. Amusing take on frozen pizza. Nothing too profound, didn’t last long enough for the one note to become tired.

CHANNEL 5 SAN DIEGO PROMO
ZOË RICE: I am trying to imagine a scenario where the pitch, “So this news team is doing a promo, and one guy can’t turn”  is met with the response “That’s hilarious!” I am failing. Armisen continues to underwhelm every week.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Seriously. This was one note. And I have no idea what the target was. This one note wasn’t even funny the first time.

GILLY
ZOË RICE: Stale, stale, stale. The highlight was Vergara’s pronunciation of “pooberty.”

HOWARD MEGDAL: Really thought this had been retired. Too optimistic.

ONE DIRECTION
ZOË RICE: On my way to the gym Thursday I saw the girls camping out for One Direction outside NBC Studios.  I can’t say I get it. But it’s true that One Direction’s hair seems determined to out Bieber Justin Bieber on his Bieberiest day.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Crazy- right in the middle of SNL, some high school’s senior prom photos broke out!

UPDATE
ZOË RICE: Seth was cute and sharp as always, and Moynihan’s Drunk Uncle was epic. He gets it so right.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Agree: think Drunk Uncle will go down as Moynihan’s greatest character. Overall, one-liners were good, not great.

MANUEL ORTIZ SHOW
ZOË RICE: This sketch was inevitable with Vergara as host, but that doesn’t mean I have to become a fan. Wiig’s dance, wig, and accent were the highlights.

HOWARD MEGDAL: This one never fails to underwhelm me.

LITTLE POUNDCAKE
ZOË RICE: Isn’t this the third time they’re repeating this?? Fail.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Repeat commercials are a no-no, though this one I happen to love. Three weeks off should mean original content.

ANDY COHEN
ZOË RICE: I’ve only seen Andy Cohen in interviews a few times, but Killam’s impression seems pretty spot-on. A bit long and Andy Cohen-heavy, but I suspect the real show is too.

HOWARD MEGDAL: This probably works much better if you’ve ever seen him, I assume.

ONE DIRECTION
ZOË RICE: A generic boy band with generic songs. Oh to be 12 years old again?

HOWARD MEGDAL: No thanks. At 12, you get to like them. At 12, I have to pretend they aren’t terrible when I talk to girls.

PANTENE
ZOË RICE: Speaking of Sofia Vergara and product-pushing, which commercials is she not in? I could swear she was hosting the commercial breaks too. But I loved this sketch. New Girl as Penelope Cruz had me laughing out loud at her readings. A simple concept – Penelope Cruz saying complicated words with an accent while trying to look sexy – but totally laugh-worthy. Nicely done, New Girl.

HOWARD MEGDAL: But the problem here is an aesthetic one. I mean, this is no reflection on New Girl, but she doesn’t look like Penelope Cruz. And I think that means you can’t go with a Penelope Cruz skit, because you don’t have people buying in from the start.

HUNGER GAMES
ZOË RICE: I am likely the only person who has neither read nor seen The Hunger Games, and so I’m not really qualified to judge the sketch. Nice puppy bowl shoutout though.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Same thing. I have to wonder if this was funny. I am the other person who hasn’t read or seen The Hunger Games.

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