SNL Weekly Review: October 15, 2016 by Dylan Zsigray ’18

snl-oct-15

You know, I went into last night’s episode saying that I did not expect it to be good and I was right.  Every part of last night’s episode felt forced.  Along with this, I did not really hear the audience laugh much throughout each sketch.  It was a really quiet night.  Emily Blunt seemed to be uncomfortable on stage from the beginning of her monologue and although she got more confident as the night went on, it still affected the show as a whole.  But, SNL cannot have a good episode each week and this is one of those times where there were good moments, but not really a good show.  

On another note, as I have reviewed each episode of SNL, I have been making changes to the structure of my reviews and starting with this review, I have decided to remove the point values for each sketch, as they do not play a role in my rankings of each episode.  Below is my review of last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live.

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

“Weekend Update”: In a perfect world, I would not award any sketch with the “SUPERSTAR” classification.  However, to have continuity throughout my reviews, I will always try to pick a sketch that stood out from the rest and last night it was Weekend Update.  Both Michael Che and Colin Jost were more reserved with their dialogue last night and perhaps that is because of the show’s mood overall.  However, I continue to enjoy their dialogue on scandals surrounding Trump and other news about the election.  Both Che and Jost do a good job of adding satirical commentary to the otherwise awkward world of politics.  In terms of last night’s Weekend Update characters, Olya (Kate McKinnon) returned from Russia and Laura Parsons, who might be my favorite character of Vanessa Bayer appeared.  Both were really good and fun to watch.  It helped distract me from the other sketches in the show.  

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

“Chonk”: The only reason that I actually enjoyed this sketch was due to the suddenness and abrupt inclusions of “CHONK” in the clothing advertisement.  It was funny to see the reactions of those modeling for the commercial as they slowly realized the negative connotation of “CHONK as it was played over and over.  I could not help but laugh because the timing was spot on.

“Escorts”: This sketch was both a mix of awkward and funny, which made it very entertaining to watch.  Mikey Day and Alex Moffat portrayed two bachelors in way over their head really well and it was humorous to see their interactions with both Blunt and Leslie Jones.  On a side note, I’m impressed that SNL is including the Featured Players more heavily this season. Maybe they learned their lesson from the Jon Rudnitsky issue last season. The fact that Leslie Jones could only act as a character from Family Guy was cool to watch and Blunt seemed to get more comfortable as she broke character a couple of times when she said that catchphrase from her own character.

“Short Film”: This is my worst nightmare when I attend film festivals and SNL did a really good job of capturing the awkwardness that a sole audience member can feel when seeing a short film.  Vanessa Bayer did a really good job in this sketch and played the role in a stellar fashion. And may I add, the short film that was shown was so befuddling that it made the sketch that much better when the cast members over-analyzed it and the audience member did not know what to think.

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

“Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton: 2nd Presidential Debate”: This sketch certainly played off some funny moments that occurred during this week’s debate, but I felt like this sketch was more nonsense than structured.  I did like how they took each audience member’s question verbatim and read them because I thought that it made the sketch that much more realistic, but the way that both Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon acted in the sketch was just awkward, besides from the facetious shark attack that Baldwin was doing.  The best part of the sketch however was Bobby Moynihan’s portrayal of Ken Bone.

“Emily Blunt Monologue”: As I said above, Blunt seemed a little uncomfortable in the beginning of the show and I suspect that this is why so many cast members appeared during the monologue and why they had a lot of audience interaction.  I’m sure however that all the audience members love their new puppies or cookies that they received.  Blunt’s monologue as a whole just was not that good and unfortunately, the tone it set early on continued to be felt the rest of the show.

“Honda Robotics”: This sketch was good for two reasons.  First, the robots were realistic and acted in a way that I envisioned the future to be like: robot waiters who cannot take your order or bring your food without breaking down. The concept was definitely here, but I felt like it needed an additional conflict or part added to it. There seemed to be a continuity error throughout the script as Moynihan said to turn everyone’s phones to Airplane Mode but Jones said to use WIFI, but it was subtle error that did not affect the sketch as a whole.  Also, Kate McKinnon broke character this time, which is awesome because it’s usually the other way around!

“Buh-bye” (Bad Sketches)

“Drive-Through Window”: There was absolutely no point or concept for this sketch and I felt like it was an excuse to have each cast member act as an eccentric person.  The sketch went on for way too long and I think that Pete Davidson was actually getting tired of it.

“Great British Bake Off”: I fast-forwarded through this sketch (as I watched it this morning) after only seeing the first couple minutes of it.  To be honest, I found Blunt and Cecily Strong’s baking characters to be really annoying to watch and it just dragged the whole sketch down.

“Hamsters”: I also fast-forwarded through this sketch.  This sketch was painful to watch because it was not funny and it was an odd concept that had no substance.  I think that it was put in as a time-filler.

“Melanianade”: This sketch was not good and while I was watching it, I felt like it could have been.  The main cause of this sketch being bad was the writing.  The sketch was awkward to watch and I think that it is because the cast members did not really have that much to go off of.  The sketch was also hard to follow at times and I lost track of the overall storyline, besides the fact that all of Donald Trump’s female family members and friends were mad at him.

“Melania Moments #3”: The first couple “Melania Moments” to appear this season have been good, but this one was just so-so.  I felt like the sketch was giving the impression that Trump is holding Melania captive inside his house and that she can never see the outdoors or “touch the sand.”  It just wasn’t realistic.

“The Sink”: I really just did not understand what this sketch was getting at.  The sink is a sink….a normal sink.  There, I solved the problem and the premise of the whole sketch.  Instead however, it turned into a 90 second time-filler that had no point.

It was not a good show tonight for SNL and I had expected it.  Next week, Tom Hanks will be hosting with musical guest Lady Gaga, which I hope will give SNL an opportunity to rebound.

Dylan’s Ranking of the Episodes:

  1. Lin-Manuel Miranda
  2. Margot Robbie
  3. Emily Blunt

 

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