Heterosexual Men’s Figure Skating Championships
Comedy based on stereotypes can work, but if it isn’t subversive, then it tends to perpetuate those stereotypes, intentionally or not.  It’s also just difficult to make it work as far as funny goes, because it tends to lack the element of surprise.  You have to do a really good job of playing the stereotype straight.  The performances were decent, but not spectacular.  The last routine was a little bit better than the others, in that it went beyond “stereotypical straight guy” material into “creepy guy” territory. C+

Jonah Hill’s Monologue
I was just thinking of how, in light of his Golden Globe win for Best Actor in a “Comedy,” Leo DiCaprio would make a great SNL host.  He would follow in a distinguished line of primarily dramatic actors whose dramatic chops can be effectively parlayed into comedy.  But he’s never seemed like he would be interested.  So, when everyone was asking Jonah about him, it was weird to be thinking, “So, Leo is here, right?”  This ended up being solid way of addressing an aspect of Jonah Hill’s personality – his self-seriousness as an AC-TOR – which is, I would argue, generally a better approach than addressing a single moment of the host’s life.  (Why does Taran keep making those noises at the end of his sentences as Brad Pitt?) B

The concept of a 6-year-old Catskills comedian is still funny enough on its own for this sketch to work more than it doesn’t. B-

The Hit
I was going to criticize this sketch for its lack of imagination regarding the targets of its jokes, but then it had such a strange, hard-to-pin-down rhythm.  It built to a climax that didn’t seem to mean anything.  I really don’t know what the point of this was.  It wasn’t exactly funny, but it was somehow fascinatingly inexplicable.  The grade doesn’t mean much here, but I’m giving it a C anyway.

Couples Quiz
This was reminiscent of Cartoon Catchphrase from the Kerry Washington episode in the best way possible: the concept of the sketch was not at all the concept of the game show in the sketch.  Smart call in making the joke not about the clogged toilet itself but how everyone was disproportionately insisting that Jonah own up to it.  Gradually revealing that the clog job was actually even worse than everyone was making it seem was a nice build. B+

Bastille perform “Pompeii”
Great song, band looked they were having fun, it sounded like lead singer Dan Smith hit a few bad notes though, but no big deal.  Cool style, also. B

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: A few hours before this episode, I read a ranking of every Update anchor.  It wasn’t a very good ranking (save for putting Norm at number 1), but it did make me pine for the better Update days of yore.  Maybe with all that in mind, this edition seemed worse than it actually was, but nevertheless the difference between current Update and classic Update was stark.  The Victoria’s Secret breastfeeding joke was decent, and the delivery of the man pretending to be an owl worked, but other than that: meh.  Update highlights should be more aplenty.  Also, “cookie dough cookies”?  I’m pretty sure that all cookies are made from, you know… C
-The Segments: -Officer Frank Medina: This felt like, “We’ll just talk and talk, and hopefully some of the things we say end up being funny.”  I counted two: letting Bieber “swing away until he fell asleep” and “if Ed Hardy released a line of people.” C-
-Olya Povlatsky: Remember earlier in this review when I was talking about the need for comedy to be careful when it comes to stereotypes?  Well, that need not be a concern when you give a performance as certifiably insane as Kate McKinnon’s as the Russian villager. A-

Sweetland Ranch
Cecily sounded like Kathy Bates in American Horror Story.  The physics of the first kick were kind of surprising, even though I could see it coming.  Then the sketch continued. C

I’m pretty sure this was more making fun of Jonah Hill being full of himself than it was making fun of Her.  That is to say, this definitely felt like what Her would have been had Jonah starred in it more or less as himself. B+

Boss Dinner
I thought they showed their hand too strongly at the beginning of this sketch by having Jonah go huge right from the get-go, but they somehow found a way to build and build on the insanity and make it work.  Aidy’s reaction to Jonah screaming that he blew his chance with the black guy’s wife was further evidence of her being the stealth MVP of the past few weeks. B

Inside SoCal
Bruce Chandling and now Inside SoCal have made their SNL debuts, so when will Kyle bring his man on the street interviews to a nationally televised audience?!  Is this really how young men talk in that area of the country talk?  Eh, they seem all right, if they’re willing to see “Philomania” and able to realize that “old people are pretty tight.” B+

Bastille perform “Oblivion”
Hey, the title of Bastille’s first song is also the title of an action movie coming out this year and the title of their second is the title of an action movie that came out last year!  Anyway, I wasn’t really feeling this one. C+

I’d love it if the ex-porn stars mixed up their routine a bit, but you know what: it makes sense that they would keep doing the same thing over and over, and Stefon – the best recurring character of the past five years – always had the same routine, so why can’t Brookie and “I’m okay, thank you” also have the same routine?  If they keep delivering surreally logical one-liners and anecdotes like banging 16 seals instead of Seal Team Six or banging what seemed like a quiet guy but was actually a corpse at his funeral, then I’ll keep buying.  Nice job making Martin Porn-cese fit Jonah Hill more perfectly than any of the other characters played by the host fit – I guarantee it. A-

Save for two dud sketches (one of which was at least kind of interesting) and most of Update, this was a solid episode top to bottom.  Jonah Hill has been a a little insufferable since focusing on more serious movie roles, so it’s good to know he’s aware of that and knows how to make fun of himself for it.  And he also knew how to put the intensity of his dramatic roles to good use in a couple of bathroom-based sketches.