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SUNDAY MORNING LIVE: Unlike 'Breaking Bad,' Josh Hutcherson Didn't Go Out on Top as an 'SNL' Host

Welcome to Edition No. 28 of Sunday Morning Live, Popculturology's look at the latest episode of Saturday Night Live. All of your questions about the Josh Hutcherson-hosted episode will soon be answered.

How'd Josh Hutcherson do?

The odds were not in Hutcherson's favor.

After a very strong start to the season, SNL finally bombed. Sorry, Hutcherson, you'll always have your Hunger Games fame, but you now also have to carry around the weight of this episode SNL with you. While we've been lucky enough to to watch inspired episodes hosted by Tina Fey, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga so far this season, Hutcherson's episode was dull and boring. Sometimes SNL speeds by thanks to its rapid-fire nature, but this week flew by since this episode didn't have any standout moments.

Not to turn this into a Hutcherson hatefest, but I don't get him. Sure, he seems like a nice guy, but during his monologue, Hutcherson even joked about the pointlessness of his Hunger Games character. I saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Thursday night, and during the scene with the monkeys, I kept asking myself why, if Hutcherson's character's talent was makeup, he didn't just disguise himself as a monkey to blend in?

Hutcherson kicked his part of the episode off with a few SNL/Hunger Games jokes. Any sketch that features Cecily Strong is cool with me, but this monologue fell flat. And sadly, the rest of the episode would too.

What were the best sketches of the night?

When I realized this sketch was happening, my notes for the episode included the lines "YESSSSSSSSS" and "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH." Besides her Weekend Update work, these sketches are what made Strong an SNL star. I love watching her and Bobby Moynihan tear into their coworkers. I really, really need to find a way to work "Planet of the Apes looking bitches" and "Going out on top like Breaking Bad" into my vernacular. Also, I'm a little surprised that SNL got away with dropping the line "You look like you were face deep in Garfield's butt" this early in the show.

This was the first time that we've seen Taran Killam's Mandrew get fired instead of whatever sad sack was being played by Tim Robinson, who is now just a writer on SNL.

This sketch was either brilliant or awful. I'm going with brilliant. Beck Bennett absolutely nailed it as a business man with a genius mind but the body of a baby. I'd love to see the pitch session that resulted in this sketch. I think it was brilliant, so kudos to Bennett, Killam and everyone else who sold the sketch.

The latest edition of Girlfriends Talk Show followed the monologue, making this the first time in four weeks that Nasim Pedrad didn't headline the sketch in this slot. It was a pretty low-key week for Pedrad, with Strong carrying most of the episode.

I love Girlfriends Talk Show. It's an exercise in awkwardness along the lines of what Chris Farley used to do with his pseudo talk shows. Aidy Bryant kills as Morgan, the shunned friend.

This short was so bizarre, but that's what made me love it. While some sketches just don't work, Mike O'Brien as Winston Sam Bass, investigative reporter, didn't work to the point where the sketch started working. Bear with me here — that makes sense. For me, the joke was sold when Hutcherson's character's name was Lance Sam Bass, which I'm pretty sure would make him Lance Bass.

How about any shorts or commercials?

This one didn't work for me. The idea of Jay Pharoah, Kenan Thompson and Hutcherson as subway performers who condensed their art down to a small scale to fit on New York City subways was an interesting concept, but this fell flat. The sketch never went anywhere.

It seems like SNL is using Kyle Mooney and Bennett to create the next generation of Digital Shorts. These guys are still trying to find their groove, but I guess it's worth remembering that Andy Samberg didn't strike gold with the Digital Shorts right away. It wasn't until Lazy Sunday aired that the Digital Shorts became a pop culture moment.

How was Weekend Update?

Just one guest during Weekend Update this week. Not sure why SNL put Update into this time crunch.

Even though Weekend Update had just one guest, Bryant was pretty fantastic as the Worst Lady on an Airplane. This character will be a lot worse if they start allowing people to talk on their cellphones during flights. You think the smell of Panda Express covering up farts is bad now? Imagine how things will be if that same person is yelling into their cellphone the entire flight.

Anything else worth mentioning?

SNL writer's pitch: "Hey, guys, you know that song Your Love and how it's about a girl named Josie? Let's based an entire sketch on that!" Someone should've stopped that writer immediately. And someone should've taught Hutcherson how to properly lip sync to a song here. Couldn't SNL have brought Ashlee Simpson in to show him how it's done?

I guess the idea of having a character only talk through lyrics from The Outfield's Your Love was cute, but Hutcherson's inability to lip sync ruined this sketch. Vanessa Bayer's line "I don't do mouth stuff" was the only thing keeping this sketch from ... um ... leaving a bad taste in our mouths. (Like pretty much any SNL sketch that features a real song, this sketch wasn't posted online.)

C'mon, SNL, George Zimmerman and Men's Wearhouse's George Zimmer? That's the best you have to start an episode? I mean, Kate McKinnon can sell anything you throw at her, but shouldn't your writers be able to kick off a show with better material than this?

I give this sketch points sheerly for the concept of Hutcherson as a son bringing home the turkey he's dating for Thanksgiving dinner. Kind of dark.

What's next?

SNL is back on Dec. 7 with Paul Rudd hosting and One Direction as the musical guest.

Previous editions of Sunday Morning Live

Nov. 17, 2013: Lady Gaga
Nov. 3, 2013: Kerry Washington
Oct. 27, 2013: Edward Norton
Oct. 13, 2013: Bruce Willis
Oct. 6, 2013: Miley Cyrus
Sept. 29, 2013: Tina Fey
SUNDAY MORNING LIVE: Unlike 'Breaking Bad,' Josh Hutcherson Didn't Go Out on Top as an 'SNL' Host Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 11/24/2013 Rating: 5

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