Sunday, January 1, 2017

SNL 42.8 Review - Emma Stone, Shawn Mendes

Original Airdate - 12/3/2016

Emma Stone is one of the funniest, most genuine actresses in Hollywood.  Naturally, she would get several looks at hosting Saturday Night Live.  This was her third hosting gig as she prepared for the release of her critically-acclaimed film La La Land.  She hadn't hosted in five years, and after the show ended, you wondered if it would be another five years before she was asked back.

Cold Opening
Despite President-Elect Donald Trump constantly criticizing SNL's portrayal of him (even though a year ago they were helping him get elected), Alec Baldwin keeps coming back with more and more scathing satire.  This time around, Trump is ignoring a security briefing and instead spending time on his Twitter re-tweeting high school kids.  It sounds like a stupid premise until the cast constantly reminds you that these were actual tweets that Donald Trump re-tweeted.

For her monologue, Emma Stone talked about how returning to host again is like returning to high school.  She then tours the set while the cast fulfills every high school stereotype.  This tactic is often used in the monologue, but so many people do it so much better (such as Lin-Manuel Miranda earlier this year).  This felt tired and forced.  The most notable part of the monologue was discovering that Emma Stone and Aidy Bryant grew up together in Arizona.

Best Sketch
It was hard to find a standout sketch in this episode.  The most notable sketch was probably this one taking a shot at over-sensitivity of children.  For some kids, the only toy they need is a well to sit at and contemplate life.  It's almost too true to be funny, but this was about as good as it got.

Weekend Update
Weekend Update is the one place you are guaranteed to get quality in every episode.  The two guests to the Update desk helped with that as well.  First, you had Leslie Jones talking about ... well, whatever she feels like.  Second, you had Vanessa Bayer returning with her Rachel from Friends routine.  What made this one notable was the appearance of the actual Jennifer Aniston to shed some light on the legitimacy of the impression.

Worst Sketch
There were several candidates for this spot, however the title has to go to this sketch about the first Christmas.  Everyone is excited about the shepherds and wise men visiting except for Mary, who is more concerned about not quite being presentable after giving birth.  The problem with this sketch is simply that it isn't funny.  It's really quite boring.

Dark Horse Sketch
This sketch was weird, but that's kind of the point of a Dark Horse Sketch.  It's weird, but in a funny way.  This sketch is about a kid not wanting to do his math homework.  In a dream, his posters come to life to tell him why he needs to know his math.  All of them are helpful except the hot girl with the hot dog.  You just have to watch it to understand.


A lot is expected of someone just naturally funny like Emma Stone.  However, this episode really fell flat.  It just wasn't funny for the most part.  As part of the final push into the Christmas season, you expect something a little better than this.  Not even a Jennifer Aniston cameo could save this one.  It was definitely the worst episode of the season so far.


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