Saturday, December 31, 2016

SNL 42.7 Review - Kristen Wiig, The XX

Original Airdate - 11/19/2016

It is always a welcome trip down memory lane when a former castmember comes back to host an episode of Saturday Night Live.  This was Kristen Wiig's second hosting return to the SNL stage.  Her first return was an emotional nostalgia moment for Wiig, who owes her entire career to SNL.  This episode felt like she settled in a little more to her new role at 30 Rock.

Cold Opening
Now that Donald Trump is the President-Elect, the SNL group has decided to be completely ruthless in its critique of the unconventional Commander in Chief.  It seems Alec Baldwin is way too eager for his next opportunity to attack Trump through his spot-on impression.  This Cold Open looks at the fact that Trump might be in a little over his head as he prepares to be president.  Even Jason Sudeikis returns to reprise his Mitt Romney impression to show just how unprepared Trump is.  The satire is very direct and pointed.  It is definitely a sign of things to come.

In Kristen Wiig's second time around as host, she chooses to go the song route again.  This time, it is actually pretty funny as she tells the story of Thanksgiving ... well, at least that is what she claims.  Throw in a couple big cameos from Steve Martin and Will Forte, and the show is off to a great start.

Best Sketch
As liberally biased SNL tends to be, the two sketches I picked as the best display the show's attempt to be equally offensive.  First, you have a commercial making light of the liberal progressives that voted for Hillary that preach tolerance of everyone except for anyone that thinks differently than them.  It is a beautiful commentary on pop culture and political correctness.
The second sketch attacks the spin cycle that is the national news media.  Sometimes, it feels like the media just keeps saying the same thing over and over again.  Well, that might be because they do.  The twist at the end makes it all the more perfect.

Weekend Update
When Jost and Che have something really good to rant about, they are so much fun to listen to.  There were two visitors to the Update desk.  First, you had the resident young person Pete Davidson on his reaction to the election.  Next, if you need someone to make you feel better about your life, look no further than Michael Che's neighbor Willie.

Worst Sketch
It had been awhile since I could look at a sketch and say it was truly painful.  This sketch was painful.  Wiig and Cecily Strong play neighbors both auditioning for a show on QVC.  It basically just turns out to be a shouting match between the two as they are both completely crazy.  This is the type of sketch that usually keeps going until one of the cracks and starts laughing, but neither cracked the whole time.  It was as if they knew it wasn't funny also.

Dark Horse Sketch
One interesting thing about Kristen Wiig's hosting gig is she seemed to be opposed to reprising her former recurring characters.  This sketch was one of only two that brought back an old favorite, and it was hilarious.  It's a surprise homecoming, but Wiig's character is so excited and nervous she doesn't know if she can take it.


There were some truly funny parts of this episode, but there were also some real duds too.  A nice thing about bringing back a former castmember is they can jump in and be just another player in the group.  The problem with that is sometimes, that makes nothing special about the episode.  That is what I felt happened this time.  It was good, but not special.  They tried with cameos and such, but it could have been much better.


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