The first episode of “Saturday Night Live” is one that we constantly do have a certain level of expectations for, and for by and large one reason: They’ve had a ton of time to work on it.
Some of these sketches for Chris Pratt were in the works for a long time, and while there were some very good ideas, there were also some that dipped too much from rehashed “SNL” tradition and one or two others that were a bad idea to begin with. For a first show, we were shocked that it really didn’t get going until after the first commercial.
We’ll be updating our review throughout the end of the show, and once we get to that point, we will organize the sketches into the good and the bad.
Living He-Man – This was hilarious, offensive, and surprisingly early in the show given that so much of the sketch involved action figures and self-stimulation. Pratt killed it, and bonus points for Ariana Grande for making a silly cameo without taking away from the rest of the sketch.
Marvel movie – A very clever idea to implement “Guardians of the Galaxy” by making other Marvel movies about random people coming together to stop crime. There wasn’t even anything out there that seemed too much of a stretch for the comic-book company anymore.
Weekend Update – While Michael Che struggled at first, we instantly find him better than Colin Jost, and while we miss Cecily Strong, we were very happy to see the return of the Girl You Wish You Hand’t Start a Conversation with at a Party. The guests really made this work, with Leslie Jones returning with her crazy emotion, and Pete Davidson brought a pretty random set about making money having sex that he has probably done at numerous shows. We really thought this was fun! A good start to the new “Weekend Update.”
Legends – Moderately funny because Aidy was trying so hard, but why does the show continue to play her as either the innocent young woman or the one who is overly aggressive? She never gets any middle ground.
Roommates – As far as these Beck Bennett / Kyle Mooney pre-tapes go, this was one of their best. Heartfelt, funny, and offbeat, we’re expecting big things from the two throughout the year.
NFL Cold Open – We didn’t like the introduction to this, mostly because of Aidy Bryant flubbing her lines. We really liked Kenan Thompson the first time as Ray Lewis, but this was somewhat flat.
Chris Pratt Monologue – We’re not going to sit here and say that we laughed much during this, and we don’t love the musical openings. With that being said, Chris is such a charming guy that it easy to see why so many like him.
Cialis Turnt – This was completely ridiculous, but in a way still funny. We weren’t really on board at all until the end of the commercial made the connection between it and Lil Wayne. Then, we started to really laugh.
The vet sketch – This was a repeat of a sketch we saw back during the last season, and to be honest, we didn’t love it then either. It’s really just a personal thing, since comedy is subjective and we just have a harder time laughing at dead animals. Still, we understand why some would enjoy it.
Almost everything else – Let’s face it, this was not a show that really will be remembered like the past premieres were. The real highlight was seeing the return of “Weekend Update” as something with real thought and originality put into it, and the rest of the show now needs to catch up. Grade: B-.
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