There is no fiercer critic of Saturday Night Live than this dude here—it has sucked consistently post-"Sarah Feylin" with the only exception being the Betty White episode, which benefited from an infusion of creativity from the show's past.
I didn't have high hopes for Justin Timberlake's spot last night with GaGa as the musical guest; I like Timberlake and respect him, but am not as enthralled by him as so many others seem to be.
But last night's show was hilarious. Really, do they bring in different writers, do the stars who give a shit (as the energetic and adorable Timberlake seemed to) bring in new ideas or is it just that the writers bring their A games when A-list stars show up? It's hard to figure out how the same show with the usually hysterically funny Ed Helms could be a D- and then you add Timberlake (and a surprising amount of GaGa—she was on the verge of being a co-host) and it's an A or A-, but it was.
Timberlake's reliance on humor that included singing was inspired—all of his sung skits were winners, and of course "Three-Way (The Golden Rule)" with Andy Samberg and GaGa is an instant classic. It playfully mocks straight men and is as subversively funny as anything the show's ever put forth. Put it on iTunes and watch it soar.
I was kinda surprised by how valuable an asset GaGa was...she sucked on the promos! She was so stiff. But on the show, she came off as able to be silly and deliver a line with better timing than at least half of the show's comedy-star hosts of the past few years. Seeing her in this goofy context was a welcome relief from the barrage of so-so-so-serious interviews she's given about saving the world with her pop ray.
Musically, both of her performances were exciting. I loved the "Edge of Glory" intro to "Judas," and appreciated that even with the heavy track on "Judas" she was singing over it or, at times, singing against and with her prerecorded voice. "Born This Way" was also fun to see. On that teeny stage, she managed to create a visually interesting space (someone will point out it looked like Madonna's former castle with all the stripes, hehe), and her dancing has clearly improved—much tighter.
No complaints, and hearing the songs live has me in the mood for when I buy the album tomorrow.