SNL always goes whole hog for the holidays, but this season in particular has a distinct “eat your vegetables before you eat dessert” quality to it. We have had to wade through a lot of bitter and not very fun hosts and sketches up to this point in the season, and now our patience is rewarded with the homecoming of two of SNL’s favorite daughters, and arguably the most creatively successful of their class, to cheer us up for the holidays.
It would be hard to call Ryan Gosling an objectively good host. He is breaking throughout the show, half of his performances come off as wooden and tense, and his characters could largely be eliminated from sketches without altering them too dramatically. But damnit if Gosling isn’t just pleased as punch to be on the stage tonight.
Seriously, what was gained by having us wait until episode seven to get to the primo drama that has been running the engine of this show? Sure, the series opened with Odessa exploding, but why force us to deal with all the tedium of grief boats and HRG running around in circles when the show has HARRIS BOMBS under its sleeves. Harris bombs! That’s so cool.
It would appear Heroes Reborn is only capable of improving in half-steps. “Game Over” is far and away the best episode since the premiere, but only half of the episode is responsible for the uptick in quality. It’s fascinating, really, to see the show move at such incredibly different paces across its stories. HRG is getting shit done, but Luke is buying a grief boat.
All Tracy Morgan had to do was stand up on stage and crack a few jokes. No had any right to expect Morgan to reach the kind of lunatic heights he did in his prime. But to watch Morgan come on SNL tonight, trot out all of his old staples from the show, and absolutely slay is one of the warmest, uplifting moments to air in the history of TV.
Amy Schumer is one of the most versatile, intelligent comedians of the most recent comedy boom, and probably the most deserving of the kind of national fame that she is amassing. Between her lights out sketch show on comedy central and writing and starring in one of the summer’s best movies, hosting SNL seemed like only a natural extension of Schumer staking her claim to all things funny.
Unless the ratings for this puppy are just gargantuan, Miley Cyrus isn’t going to be hosting anything again anytime soon. The whole point of SNL having a celebrity host is to draw in viewers who are fans of that host and see how they operate in the strange worlds the show’s writers create for them. So rarely does the show, though, push its host to the side, to the point where an argument can be made that Hillary Clinton acts as more of a host than Miley.
Family is as important to the universe of Heroes as Primatech or people inexplicably coming back to life. The Petrelli’s and the Nakamura’s and the Bennet’s and the Suresh’s had grand lineages that went into controlling the evos and exploiting them and understanding them. This focus gives the series grounding: We all have family and understand the various pains and strains that those relationships and exceptions generate in life.
With “The Wrath of the Lamb”, Hannibal wraps up its run, at least for now. While all involved have been qualifying the episode as merely the series finale on NBC, the show has yet to be picked up anywhere else and several key figures have moved on to new projects. Creator Bryan Fuller has mentioned the possibility of the team reuniting for a film at some point down the line, but for the foreseeable future, this is the series finale of Hannibal, and given its bloody, spectacular climax, that feels appropriate.