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How'd Jennifer Lawrence do on 'SNL'?

How'd Jennifer Lawrence do on 'SNL'?
Tom Larson/ CNN
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Monday, January 21, 2013 - 3:53pm

In theory, having the typically witty Jennifer Lawrence host "Saturday Night Live" sounded like a perfect fit. But in reality, the episode ended up falling fairly flat, although not for lack of effort on Lawrence's part.

Saturday's show, "SNL's" first in a month, had Lawrence riff on the backlash to her "I beat Meryl!" Globes comment in her opening monologue, with the 22-year-old actress going after her Oscars competition with (pretty corny) disses.

Seeming not totally comfortable with the sketch, Lawrence called "Zero Dark Thirty" star Jessica Chastain "Jessica Chast-ain't winnin' no Oscar on my watch," and told Quvenzhané Wallis that "the alphabet called, [and] they want their letters back." She did follow up every crack with a bit of praise, in case anyone wasn't clear that she was joking.

Entertainment Weekly thought that while "Lawrence herself got better and better as the episode progressed, shedding the nervousness that seemed to plague her during her opening monologue ... the material she was given didn't follow the same arc --- especially the weak sketches that followed a curiously shortened Weekend Update."

One of those could have been the "Top Dog Chef" sketch that included Lawrence as one of the canine contestants challenged with creating a dish out of garbage. The Huffington Post's Mike Ryan called it lazy, while New York Magazine's Vulture isn't convinced it wasn't just a holdover from a "30 Rock" episode.

Similarly, a sketch of a "Hunger Games" press conference was entertaining enough, but "fairly tame," as Time magazine points out.

But "SNL's" take on Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy, based on the idea that the filmmaker is needlessly stretching out his content, was one sketch that included Lawrence that was a clear hit. As The Hollywood Reporter said, "Perhaps Tolkienites bored by the hour it takes for 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' to leave the Shire should take comfort in this sketch. It could have been much, much worse."

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