The latest episode of Saturday Night Live was a perfect encapsulation of everything that is wrong with this show. It managed to combine all of its worst elements: a host drawing back upon past successes, a musical guest forty years past his prime, Trump and Kanye brought back into the spotlight, and a slew of lazily written sketches. Yes, it was as bad as it sounds.
This episode saw the return of Alec Baldwin as President Trump in the cold open, and it provided me a good 5 minute-long eye roll. Yes, of course they had to comment on Kanye’s visit to the White House but… why? Do we need to give Trump & Kanye the spotlight every single week? Having Kenan play a shocked Jim Brown was a fun spin, but making light of Kanye & Trump’s psychotic and narcissistic tendencies continues to be an awful choice. It is a point of strong disappointment to know that we will be subject to Baldwin’s Trump portrayal for months to come.
Seth Meyers hosting was… fine, I guess? One of the best writers in the show’s history and also one of their best ever Weekend Update hosts, Seth came back to host and promote his late night show. He was never great working in sketches and that continued here, but I enjoyed his monologue a fair amount. The monologue was more of him acting in his element and it showed as he fell right into routine.
Seth’s came back to join Che & Jost on Weekend Update where the three of them brought back his long running sketch, Really? I enjoyed the concept of this, but again, they resorted to talking about Kanye AGAIN! Look, is shitting on Kanye & Trump all SNL is going to be this season? Can’t we get some well-written comedy to help us escape the terrible news that is built into our daily lives in our Twitter feed? I mean, Really?!
The best part of the episode was an SNL short titled Trees, playing with the idea of Pete Davidson and Chris Redd being Migos members. The song was catchy as hell and worked perfectly, with both stars playing the bit to perfection and the two of them continuing to be standouts of the show. It really felt like a callback to the old days of Sandberg doing digital shorts as The Lonely Island. Hopefully the show will realize the budding talent they have on their hands with Davidson and Chris Redd and continue to showcase their energy both in digital shorts and live sketches.
Overall, this was an episode of SNL that is well worth forgetting. The current season is off to a very rocky start and trying too hard to be political in a time where what we really need is to escape. We can only hope that the show will take a break from politics and start to feature some more depth in its writing and execution, but that is likely very wishful thinking.
Saturday Night Live continues Saturday 11/3 at 11:30/10:30ct on NBC
with Jonah Hill / Maggie Rogers