SNL Weekly Review by Dylan Zsigray ’18

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Season 42 of Saturday Night Live got off to a good start last night with host Margot Robbie accompanied by musical guest The Weekend.  With the loss of Taran Killam and Jay Pharaoh, along with  Jon Rudnitsky, it was unknown how the chemistry of the cast members would be affected.  Three new additions joined the cast as Featured Players this season and it was nice to see all of them included in the show last night.  However, not all Repertory Players were featured, such as Vanessa Bayer, who didn’t appear in any sketch last night.  If this trend continues throughout the entirety of the season,  there could be even more cast members that choose to leave.  However, focusing on last night’s episode, it was pretty good.  The sketches were original and although not all of them were great, there were a couple of standouts.  Below is my review of last night’s episode.

Scoring Breakdown for Sketches

“SUPERSTAR” Sketch: 5 points

“I gotta have more cowbell” Sketches: 4 points

“Well, isn’t that special” Sketches: 3 or 2 points

“Buh-bye” Sketches: 1 point

The above scores will be applied to each sketch in the categories and then will be averaged to get an average score for the show.  The score of every show will be tracked and compared throughout the season.

“SUPERSTAR!” (The Best Sketch of the Night)

“Live Report”: This sketch was very funny.  The concept of the sketch: an awkward man with a beautiful wife bewildering a reporter was unique. It was good to see Kenan Thompson deliver his lines in such a manner where you couldn’t help but just laugh at his disbelief.  Margot Robbie and Mikey Day had surprisingly good chemistry as a couple and it made the situation that much more believable.  I continued to laugh out loud as Kenan Thompson pointed out more and more flaws in Day’s character and also when I saw Robbie’s character defend her husband.  This definitely was the most memorable sketch of the night for me.

Score: 5 points

“I gotta have more cowbell!” (Good Sketches)

“Celebrity Family Feud: Political Edition”: I’ve always really liked the Family Feud sketches on SNL.  Kenan Thompson is a terrific Steve Harvey and each cast member’s portrayal of a celebrity is always good as well.  Last night was no different.  It was great to see Darrell Hammond’s Bill Clinton again and Bobby Moynihan played a very convincing Chris Christie, especially through saying constant references to a past scandal of his.  Larry David also returned as Bernie Sanders and I must admit, I exclaimed when he came on the screen.  I absolutely love David’s portrayal of Sanders.  It’s like they’re not even different people. I was convinced by the end of this sketch that if this would actually occur in real life, it would look exactly like this.

Score: 4 points

“Melania Moments”: When I was watching this, I instantly remembered Steve Martin’s recurring sketch: “Deep Thoughts.” This sketch was executed very well and I’m positive that Melania Trump sits by her window every day and wonders about the layout of streets in her city.  I would actually like to see more of these inserted throughout the season, especially as the election nears.

Score: 4 points

“Mr. Robot” Parody: I’ve never seen an actual episode of Mr. Robot before.  However, I really enjoyed the interaction between Pete Davidson, as Elliot Alderson, and Leslie Jones, who was an average person who just doesn’t know how to use her computer.  I loved the references to Windows 95 and when Jones spelled out her password and was surprised when Davidson was able to figure it out after four letters.  This sketch was very well done.

Score: 4 points

“Weekend Update”: Behind Seth Meyers, Michael Che and Colin Jost may be my favorite hosts of Weekend Update.  Their chemistry has really improved over the course of the past couple of seasons and it shows.  The banter between them and how they interact while reporting makes the weekly sketch that much more enjoyable.   Che is also always willing to address current issues in society head on in a satirical manner, which I applaud him for.  Although maybe not as noticeable at first, Che’s points resonated with me after the show ended.  Two characters appeared during Weekend Update as well.  The Undecided Voter character (portrayed by Cecily Strong) was a good concept, but too hard to understand.  David Ortiz (portrayed by Kenan Thompson) is a great recurring character during Weekend Update and Thompson plays the role very well.  Weekend Update was good this episode and I’m excited to see how both Che and Jost continue to grow this season.

Score: 4 points

“Well, isn’t that special” (Hit or Miss Sketches)

“Actress Round Table”: I know that other reviewers of Saturday Night Live really enjoyed this sketch.  I didn’t.  That’s not to say that I didn’t laugh at McKinnons’ eccentric character, because we all know that there are actors and actresses in Hollywood that are just like that, but I didn’t understand the point of it.  Perhaps I’m reading into it too deeply but I just didn’t see that much here.  On a lighter note, McKinnon continues to add to her track record of making hosts break character in a sketch.  Well done, Kate McKinnon!

Score: 2 points

Margot Robbie’s Monologue: When I first began watching SNL, I always would fast-forward through the monologues. Since then, I’ve gained more of an appreciation for them.  Margot Robbie seemed really natural on stage during her monologue last night.  The fact checking part that she, and other cast members, performed was a great concept, but I thought that it wasn’t executed very well.  However, needless to say, some of the cast members’ fact checking bits were very funny, including that of Leslie Jones.

Score: 3 points

“Presidential Debate”: This perhaps was the most anticipated sketch going into last night’s episode as it was advertised very heavily online and on social media.  I’ve got to say, it was good.  Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton is a character that I will never grow tired of and seeing Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump was very satisfying.  However, I feel like so much more could have been done with this sketch.  It went on for too long and I feel like it could have felt as if it was moving faster had Baldwin and McKinnon branched out from their characters.  Both seemed too reserved, but perhaps that it because it was the first sketch of the season and there was a lot of pressure.  I’m confident that we’ll see much more of Clinton and Trump in the near future.

Score: 3 points

“Buh-bye” (Bad Sketches)

“The Hunch Bunch”: When I was watching this, I recognized myself in Margot Robbie’s character as one who constantly questions what is going on and doesn’t just let the situation unfold as it should.  Aside from that, I didn’t really care for this sketch and I felt as if it was added in as a time filler.  I didn’t really see any real chemistry between any of the characters in this sketch, which is understandable because not every sketch can have amazing chemistry.

Score: 1

“The Librarian”: I really didn’t like this sketch.  The concept of it I guess was good, but I just didn’t like how it played out.  I found it to be unsettling and just weird overall.

Score: 1

Tonight was a good start for the rest of the season and I am anxious and excited to see what is in store for the future.  Next week, October 8, Lin-Manuel Miranda will host with musical guest Twenty One Pilots!

Average Score for Episode 1 – Margot Robbie (out of 5 points): 3.1 points

Past Shows:

Margot Robbie: 3.1 points

 

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