Saturday Night Live has been star-studded affairs for the past few weeks, but the real question remains; is SNL new and live from 30 Rock later tonight?
There’s been a real hot-and-cold mentality with Saturday Night Live this season. The people you expect to be goofy and grandiose with their performances (Charles Barkley, Sam Rockwell, Kevin Hart) have been dragged down by some stilted, awkwardly-written sketches and premises that haven’t taken off.
Then you get weekends with surprise newcomers like Jessica Chastain and Sterling K. Brown, two staunchly serious and dramatic actors, where they throw their heart and soul into the wackiest of premises and come out on top and performing better than some three-time hosts.
Most surprisingly has been the Saturday Night Live alums returning to their old stomping grounds and flopping hard. Despite Bill Hader and Will Ferrell’s ability to breathe life into any character they desire, the writing has not matched the level of quality they bring to the table. It’s weird when you see a two-time Emmy winner for dramatic performances have a better show than somebody who should be on SNL‘s version of Mount Rushmore.
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Surprisingly, and this is something you couldn’t imagine saying this back in 2014, Weekend Update is now the most reliably funny segment of Saturday Night Live. Michael Che and Colin Jost have finally gelled as a duo, are comfortable with pushing the limits of the audience’s discomfort, are willing to go the extra mile in solidifying their comedic message and have tightened up their performance a whole lot since the early days.
It makes up for the lack of bite coming from the politically-motivated sketches as of late. SNL was all about poking holes in the bizarre customs on display with the current White House administration, yet it feels like the cast and writers are going through the motions now.
Cold openings now are about relating actors to popular culture like The Bachelor and playing into the characters’ quirks as impressions, as opposed to having something worthwhile to say. You can even tell how lazily Alec Baldwin’s impressions have been lately; something you do not want to see out of the primary political satire candidate.
Unfortunately, Saturday Night Live is not new tonight but will return on April 7 with host Chadwick Boseman and Cardi B as musical guest. Hopefully, they help kickstart the final act of the show with grace and excellence with some real money moves.