I haven't written about "Saturday Night Live" this season because I tend not to get to the show for a day or two, and very little of it is good enough to be worth writing about. ("SNL" can be funny during non-election seasons; this one just hasn't been.)
I did watch a little of the January Jones episode last night, though, and other than noticing how much trouble she was having in the early sketches both reading the cue cards and keeping a straight face, the thing that struck me the most was that they did another Kathie Lee/Hoda "Today" sketch, with Jenny Slate replacing the fired Michaela Watkins as Hoda.
Now, I didn't like this particular recurring sketch - like much of the show these days, it leans too heavily on Kristen Wiig, who more and more seems like she's a perfect second banana being asked to carry a cast with no real alpha dog - nor was I incredibly broken up when Watkins got fired, but it seems like a major party foul to keep doing it without her. Actors leave the show and then other people succeed them as certain celebrity characters that the show has to do (presidents, movie stars), and sometimes we'll see a recurring sketch modified if somebody leaves (Rachel Dratch replaced Molly Shannon on "Delicious Dish," but playing a different character), but this is different. Hoda Kotb is too D-list for the show to need someone to play her; the point was that Wiig and Watkins had started doing this together, as these two women. Just plugging Slate into the same role Watkins used to play both says that the show felt the fourth hour of "Today" was important enough to keep doing, and that Watkins' contribution to the sketch was so minor that anyone could play the part.
"SNL" has been on so long, and replaced so many actors, that I'm sure there's been a similar circumstance to this over the years. But none are coming to mind at the moment, and I feel oddly put out by what they did here.
What do you think? Fair or foul? And has anyone been enjoying the show this season more than I have?