My feelings about erotic asphyxiation have always been complicated.

Cold Opening – Booknotes
Reading sexually explicit exploits in a matter-of-fact, calm tone – that’s how you do it.  Also, thanks for the shit-faced grin on Fred Armisen’s face. B

Jeremy Renner’s Monologue
Wow.  Most awkward monologue ever?  Not bad considering. B-

Your Hometown
I appreciated this commercial parody for the nature of its cinematography. B

The Californians
Yeah, there’s really not much more humor to wring out of the obsession with directions.  Although, I did enjoy Tim jumping up and down to get a spot in the mirror. C+

The Situation Room
“Long time viewer, first time reporter” – classic.  The repetitive – but occasionally tweaked – style of the Jill Kelley walking to her car footage offered some nice attention to detail. B

The Stand Off
I liked the music.  This was the most Lonely Island-ish of the post-Lonely Island pre-filmed bits thus far. B+

Maroon 5 perform “One More Night”
Man, Maroon 5 sure is boring. C+

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: Wow.  Seth actually seemed to acknowledge the audience’s existence. B-
-The Segments: -Winners/Losers: A dig at Florida is usually appreciated, especially now.  Otherwise, whatever. C+
-Katt Williams: Solid impression, germ of a nice routine. B-
-Chris Christie: Willing to play along.  Nothing more, nothing less. C+

The Avengers
Yeesh.  All Hawkeye does is shoot arrows – what an incredibly thin premise.  But it actually could have worked!  But … pretty much nothing happened.  Also, the staging was incredibly stiff. C-

Movie Set
The Dick Fuel/Dick Juice cracks were surprisingly bearable.  The punching gag was a little overdone, but it was generally solid, and there was enough else going on. B-

Maroon 5 perform “Daylight”
Man, Maroon 5 sure is boring. C-

Midnight Snack: Cool Drones
There seemed to be some sound issues with this, although that could have been my sound system.  (But it’s not like my sound system is terrible, so…  I think it should have been easier to hear.)  Anyway, this was a bold idea that won points for its boldness but didn’t have a whole lot of jokes.  But its starkness – particularly the extended sequence of the drones firing away – was fascinating. B+

I was thinking this was going to be the same joke over and over again, and that wouldn’t have been terrible, because the first laugh was a solid one, but they wound the misidentification gag all the way around, and on top of that, Bill Hader was playing with Taran Killam’s body, making for the best 10-to-1 sketch since The Potato Chip Thief. A

My first estimation of the overall quality of this episode was that there were three great sketches – Coroner, The Stand Off, Cool Drones – that kind of made up for an otherwise bad episode.  But then I looked back over the other sketches: Booknotes, Your Hometown, the Situation Room, and Dick Fuel were all decent; Update was good enough, and the monologue was awkward, but it had the brightness of a good idea shining through.  Really, only the Avengers sketch was truly bad.  So, what was giving me the crappy sense?  There seemed to be a lot – a lot – of technical snafus: the quiet piano in the monologue, the bad sound mix during Cool Drones, and just in general some off directing decisions.  So, really, this episode should have felt better than it did feel.

In this best sketch of the night, I kind of want to see what he’s gonna say, and you should too: