Okay, so maybe this week’s SNL won’t be quite as exciting as it would be if a certain other Sherlock star were in the hot seat.
Which isn’t to say that Martin Freeman is anyone’s second fiddle. From The Office to The Hobbit to Fargo to the parts of Sherlock when Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t sucking up all the attention in the room, the man otherwise known as Dr. Watson has more than proven himself capable of holding his own onscreen. And even if his personal following isn’t quite as fervent as the Cumberbitches are—though what fan clan is these days, except maybe Beliebers?—it’s still plenty huge, thanks to the cultish appeal of his most notable projects: See, for example, reports from this summer’s West End production of Richard III, where some theatergoers complained that Freeman’s fans were “ruining” the show by clapping and cheering at inappropriate moments.
So yeah: Prepare, perhaps, to see someone stand up during the show and ask if she might be able to feast on Freeman’s yumminess. Thankfully, we can also probably count on a better-than-average show, as long as it plays to Freeman’s strengths. I’m predicting a lot of sketches that cast Freeman as a befuddled, stodgy straight man, placed in contrast to the wackier personalities of the SNL cast, which could lead either to great things or a lot of repetitive bits. Hopefully at least one of those sketches will also let Freeman cut loose and expose his own madcap, more dangerous side—à la the first episode of Fargo. (Not to mention his American accent, which I’m curious to hear without a Minnesooota twist.)
On the musical stage: Charli XCX, another artist who first found widespread fame as a sidekick (featured both on Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” which Charli actually wrote, and on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”) before proving herself with a solo effort (“Boom Clap,” the sound of The Fault in Our Stars). She’s a dynamic live performer, if a little on the nasal side, and it’ll be interesting to see her youthful exuberance contrasted against Freeman’s middle-aged world-weariness.
What are you hoping to see from Freeman and Charli XCX tonight, as well as the rest of the SNL crew? Think the show might have learned from its mistake last week, and won’t cut the lineup’s one incisive sketch for “time” this time around? Which of this week’s big events—Obama on Colbert, the opening of Ridley Scott’s White Egypt, the whole Aaron Sorkin/campus rape kerfuffle—will make it into the show today? And finally, what’s the over/under on a Cumberbatch monologue cameo?
Check back in the morning for a full recap.