SNL is back, and it means a little something more this year. Last season was pretty rocky. There were a bunch of cast and crew shake-ups and the every-changing team seemed to be having trouble finding their groove. The show received terrible reviews and viewers thought it might get cancelled, while fans of the show (like myself) argued that it was just a transitional season, and as we’ve seen with transitional seasons in the past, the show always finds its stride and makes a strong comeback.
Leading up to this episode, I was pretty excited. Chris Pratt is really having his moment right now and it’s well deserved; it seemed like it could be a pretty great show. Aidy Bryant opened the show as Candy Crowley and I was laughing almost instantly. Chris’ opening monologue wasn’t hilarious, but it was kinda cute and Anna Faris was there, so I could be forgiving. But the sketches that followed really–simply put–weren’t that funny. I honestly have a hard time remembering them and I don’t even care because they weren’t even worth watching the first time around. However, there were three stand-out moments: Aidy and Chris hitting on each other in rap at a pub, the bad boys sitcom and Pete Davidson’s appearance on Weekend Update.
The pub sketch was almost perfect. Aidy was hilarious, as always, and Chris was almost there. If the episode had been filled with sketches at this level, it would have been a pretty great season opener.
The bad boys sitcom was awkward and silly, but the star of the sketch was the editor. Whoever timed the cuts and chose the b-roll was the real comedian behind it. However, Kyle Mooney really could have been used better in this sketch because this type of thing is exactly his humour. He was there and pretty funny, but someone really missed an opportunity to give him some more lines.
Finally, I know I’m not the only one talking about it, Pete Davidson stole the show on Weekend Update (and was also pretty good in a later video game testing sketch). Beside fellow noob Michael Che–who seemed a bit uncomfortable and fumbly–Pete played the resident young person talking about how young guys ask each other how much money it would take for them to go down on another guy–for his character, it was $3000 easily. I’m hoping that it wasn’t just the luck of good writing for him, or if it was that they keep hitting the right notes, because he could easily become the next big name out of SNL if things continue this way.
Anyway, back to Chris. Clearly, he wasn’t really the standout of this episode, and I have to say it’s because SNL just isn’t the right format for his style. He’s a really hilarious guy, but this is not the place for him. SNL has a way of making really funny people appear not-so-funny (see: Lena Dunham last season), and a way of making somewhat funny people seem hilarious if their style is the right fit (see: Justin Timberlake). It’s kind of a letdown that it didn’t work for Chris because in my head, it seemed like a good match. Whatevs, it happens.
All that said, I’m just as excited for next week’s episode as I was for this week’s. Sarah Silverman is back since her one-episode stint (though she wrote for more) on the show 20 years ago to the date. Basically, she was just way too awesome and original for the show back then and had to leave to make it her own way, so let’s just see if she’s willing to play along this time.