After a two-week hiatus following its strongest episode of the season, “Saturday Night Live” is back with host Kevin Hart. I”ve seen Hart in “Undeclared” as well as in supporting roles in several films, but won”t pretend to be anything remotely related to an expert on his stand-up career. So I”m coming into tonight”s episode with a relatively blank slate. Anything is possible when it comes to this installment, so far as I”m concerned. And that”s a good thing, so near as I can tell. Sometimes the hype can be too much (as will undoubtedly be the case when Justin Timberlake hosts next week), and sometimes negative preconceptions can cripple an episode before it even starts (paging Justin Bieber, who lived down to that hype).
Here”s what I love: though not planned at all, we”re going to get back-to-back weeks in which Macklemore and Ryan Lewis perform “Thrift Stop” and Justin Timberlake performs “Suit And Tie”. Talk about the highs and lows of modern-day economic realities! Or something. Here”s the thing: if you already know this song, then you understood what was going on here. If not…you probably were completely lost. Half the fun of the song comes from its video, which sells not only the concept but its tongue-in-cheek approach. Because hey, if you drop a one-hit wonder, it”s always good to acknowledge its nature. Poor Psy right now is wondering why no one wants to do anything “Gangnam Style” anymore. [Grade: B]