Immediate Mid-Season Thoughts:-
- I’m gonna try to get some things off my chest here, some confessions, predictions, and hopes for the second half. As I’m writing this, it’s around 8:51 PM eastern. So, only hours before the live show begins.
- First of all, I do think the season overall is pretty good, judging from the average ratings, and the solid number of segments rated between four, four-and-half-a-star, and five-stars.
- I’m very surprised to see only three live pieces get the five-star rating out of nine. And, how solid the number of live skits that got the four-and-a-half-star, hoping that trend to continue, as I seriously believe we may get about a dozen or so great pieces in these potential 12 remaining episode, and would love to add a number of live segments.
- This season, so far, is somewhat stronger in pretapes than live skits. I do recall last season to have a particularly solid number of great live skits in the second half (Mirror Workout, Dating After Covid, Barfly Awards, High School Graduation, etc.) so I’m hoping this will continue this year, as this season so far has about double the number of ****1/2 and ***** in my view than 46.
- I’m somewhat surprised by the number of one-star segments, as they stand as nine so far, while I do stand with my ratings, I do feel I was somewhat too harsh on a couple of segments.
- Speaking of being harsh, I’m frankly shocked by the average of Jonathan Majors’ episode, I did expect a mediocre episode. Then, I started rewatching it and was pleasantly surprised by the consistent quality after the cold open, until the nosedive post-Update really hurt the overall assessment of that episode, I do still believe that it was more mediocre than flat-out bad.
- I was pleased to find out that Billie’s episode was decent overall, despite some misfires and moronic decisions made post-dress, because if the PDD and Angelo pieces got on air, that episode would’ve actually turned out solid with barely any bad pieces.
- As for this episode, I’m hoping and kinda predicting a very strong hosting job by Ariana, due mainly to her theatre background. Also, I would love either a backstage monologue or a musical one, in a vein similar to Michael Keaton’s monologue from season 40.
- I’m crossing my fingers for some newbie showcases, especially for Sarah and Aristotle, now that Drezen and a number of writers that mainly wrote for Aidy/Cecily/Kate left the show midseason.
- Hopefully, this will mean more showcases for the female cast, other than Sarah, Chloe, and Melissa. Chloe, in particular is having a surprisingly subpar year, especially compared to her breakout previous season, when she would go viral almost weekly with her impressions and skits.
- I’m also hoping, in regards to the female vets, a little bit of phasing out, the same way Kristen Wiig barely did anything in the final quarter of her last season. While I’m hoping that Cecily will (mercifully) be phased through the second half, the same should happen to Aidy and Kate, the latter of which I’m about 95% certain that she’ll be leaving by the season’s end.
- Finally, hoping for a rather strong Update with a belated joke-swap tradition, Colin is thankfully back, and we need an episode overall that will tell us that SNL is here for us to laugh.
- Funny enough, this episode will be the first one to review while it’s new, I’ll obviously rewatch some segments later to asses them in the best manner, and to not grade too generously nor too harshly. This review will be very interesting as I cannot wait to read Jesse’s review of this episode also, seeing that I’m mostly on the same page as him, if not quite generous with panning many more skits than him.
- And, we will be having episodes on January 22 & January 29, and perhaps only one in early February due to the Olympics. I’m hoping for Will Forte to host very soon, and for a conceptual, absurdist, and premise-driven episode that includes some really dark & creative skits, not to mention a full-on crazy Forte on the loose. If done right, don’t be shocked if I give it the highest rating average this year, although it’s hard to beat Jason & Rami’s episodes.
- Now that I got this all out of my chest, Let us wait for a bit and then get this episode done with!
Cold Opening – Message From the President
- A timely return for James’ President Biden.
- By the way, this is Ego’s 200th SNL sketch, a great milestone.
- This again, features some surprisingly sharp satire from SNL, and I could say that they finally nailed how to parody an administration, for the first time since probably the early George W. Bush years.
- Good laugh from Biden warning us not see the Spiderman movie.
- A creative & fun turn With Pete as Biden from another timeline.
- A decent meta moment with Pete commenting on himself and his paparazzi-filled lifestyle.
- Hearing that vocal modifier on Pete, reminds me of how much he impressed the hell out of me in the Mirror Workout sketch last season.
- An amusing inclusion of Spiderman in this, pretty sure there’s a writer underneath that costume, love how much goofy fun they have some times.(ADDENDUM: it turns that Aristotle is the one in the Spiderman costume. His ONLY appearance tonight in a pathetic & completely thankless role, in an episode where his two fellow newbies get major airtime, and Sarah, who struggled like him in the beginning gets a major well-received showcase, a THIRD in eight credited episodes. I couldn’t think of a way to describe how angered I’m seeing how disrespected he on in the show).
- A pretty good & fun cold open, although with some trimming it could’ve been slightly better.
- Already, Ariana is coming off like she owns the stage, due to her theatre background of course. Her few ad libs and comments here are pretty fun.
- Ariana is our milestone 200th female host, and this is also coincidentally Kate’s milestone 200th episode, as well as previously mentioned the milestone 200th Ego sketch.
- Some lovely talk regarding the importance of Broadway and theatre in general. And as a former student of drama, I cannot agree more.
- Kate shows up here, I would whine, but I happen to like Kate MUCH more than either Aidy or Cecily, and this also breaks the host-only monologues, and pretty much confirms one of my wishes for a musical monologue.
- Unsurprisingly, Ariana is absolutely FANTASTIC here.
- Great to see Kate’s lovely singing voice used again, reminding me of the legendary Diner Lobster piece.
- Ah, the ”I feel Pretty” bit reminds of that famous & legendary season 1 sketch. One my top 10 favorite SNL skits EVER.
- Ah, ALREADY, you could feel the new direction the show’s having, as we got some solid wide shots in this.
- This pretty catchy & fun so far, and Ariana is coming off again very charismatic.
- This is an absolute blast so far.
- For a musical monologue, this was pretty solid and thankfully SNL did not have the cast as cheesy background dancers. I can already tell that Ariana will do great.
NBA On TNT
- A funny mention of Blake Griffin, due to how I, and Jesse teared into a certain episode that he cameoed in.
- A hilarious appearance from Bowen in this, the visual alone gave me a solid laugh.
- Wow, Ariana basically blended well into the cast here, despite her somewhat brief bit.
- Some ok laughs from the various photos, with some decent comments.
- Overall, an ok lead sketch, and despite me not being in the targeted demographic (never been a sports guy) this was well-performed and had good pace.
- An inspired & hilarious premise of a modernized R-rated version of Family Matters.
- Great usage of Chris’ always-funny Urkel impression.
- I can see hints of the great Grouch pretape in this, the darkness & gritty atmosphere especially.
- A very solid Carl Winslow from Kenan, and he looks JUST LIKE him in this.
- Ariana was very solid & believable in her brief scene.
- Some surprisingly-strong dramatic acting from both Chris & Kenan, I always love it when we have pretapes that focuses on them, like the great That’s the Game pretape that I mentioned in a recent review.
- Solid inclusion of Urkel’s famous catchphrase.
- A hilarious final line delivery from Kenan & great ending to ANOTHER very strong pretape.
- A great pretape, yet I would’ve loved more world-building and more delving into darkness. Hey! Cannot complain as I found it very solid & featured a phenomenal Chris Redd performance.
Ron and Donna Lacatza’s Formal Emporium
- A great & unexpected pairing of both Pete and Sarah.
- This was written by the PDD guys, which again further confirms that they’re taking charge of the show, and using Sarah’s abilities as a performer to their advantage.
- I see that Pete is using his fantastic Adam Sandler impression in this.
- Sarah continues her low-key solid first season.
- I’m loving the old school feel & look of this piece.
- As with her first major showcase, Sarah is nailing the delivery & adding an air of likability and charm to her performance.
- You could tell this is a PDD sketch by how perfectly executed these absurdist non-sequitur lines, pretty much like the great Men’s Room sketch from earlier in the season.
- Hilarious reveal of Andrew’s character in this.
- Pete & Sarah: ”because Donovan wouldn’t know where to start”.
- Sarah: “And with our sweaty son, your daughter is guaranteed to remain unpenetrated”.
- Andrew: ”uh, maybe someday”.
- There’s certain dark undertones in this piece with how Pete & Sarah are so mean and exploitive to their son.
- Some funny testimonies from different girls who went with Donovan.
- It’s so sad seeing Melissa here, a six-seasons veteran being relegated to a very brief bit in a skit that’s STARRING a female performer barely just halfway through her first season.
- I really hate to say this, but Sarah here is really putting Melissa to shame, and as much as I love Melissa, she’s nowhere near as magnetic or charismatic as Sarah, I’m hoping again for some good showcases for her this year. Yet, with Sarah quickly rising through the ranks, and teaming up with PDD, I do not think that Melissa’s chances will get better.
- By the way, if Sarah’s screen time continues its solid growth, she’ll pass Melissa’s entire airtime in both the 45th & 46th seasons. Showing us, like Chloe, that she she took sometime to fit into the show.
- A disturbing & hilarious close-up towards Andrew’s lips.
- An actual fun ending & great way for Sarah to simply go full-on Sarah Squirm and closing the sketch by basically hilariously ambushing the camera.
- Overall this was pretty great, SO many lines to quote and, again much like Sarah’s first big skit, featured a fantastic duo, again showing Pete’s growth and how Sarah is fitting even more into the show by each passing episode.
- You see SNL?! THIS is how you do a densely-worded piece. Hopefully, the writers exodus will limit the number of self-indulgent pieces from past-their-time players. Very pleased to a Sarah showcase, and she’s now 3-for-3 in killing it & impressing me.
Eric Adams Press Conference
- Ah, it feels so great to Chris front-and-center in another piece tonight.
- I’m somewhat surprised that this one wasn’t the cold open, it’s very rare nowadays for SNL to have a political sketch outside of the cold open.
- Only a minute or so into this, and Chris is absolutely FANTASTIC so far, his dancing with Ariana (giving a strong supporting performance here) His ”Swaggerless” comments, his flirting is phenomenal and basic Chris Redd.
- Great opening lines & Chris is already doing an absolutely hilarious and brutal take on Adams.
- Chris: “I’m just playin, unless you like that”.
- Chris is using his fantastic standup style in his hilarious portrayal of mayor Adams, displaying unbelievable charisma & natural likability, basically commanding 8H to look at him as crushes it.
- Interestingly, you can some close-up in this skit on some of the cast, a unique new directorial style is already on display it seems.
- Chris: “I’m glad you brought that up Princess Peach, and I’m glad you escaped that castle”.
- Chris’ many nicknames for the various journalists are endlessly funny, loved the nickname for Bowen, aside from the highlighted hilarious Princess Peach comment.
- A particularly brutal JFK joke.
- Chris’ various ”I was a cop!” outbursts are absolutely fucking priceless.
- A very funny tough vs cough comment, and solid interjection from Ariana.
- Chris: ”Bitch! I’m from New York”.
- Such a biting takedown of Eric Adams, this skit not only featured strong satire, endlessly hilarious lines, but a standout tenure-highlight performance from Chris, and with this performer especially, this is certainly saying something. Simply, Chris was beyond incredible in this.
- Welcome back Colin, missed the hell out of you.
- A very lovely site with the audience going wild over Colin’s safe return to the Update desk.
- Right out of the gate, we got some fantastic, witty, and sharp takedowns by both Colin & Michael
- Colin: ”Biden’s approval rating is so low, it’s on power save mode”.
- Michael: “Mitch McConnell, seeing here losing his battle for his breakfast burrito”.
- Great ”fun fact!” ad-lib from Colin in response to yet another dark & brutal joke from Michael.
- Colin: “Republicans don’t want voting rights, because if voting was fair, they’d lose”.
- Colin: “No one wants to hear Ted Cruz say Fo’ Shizzle”
- A particularly dark Catholic church joke from Michael.
- As expected with him, some fantastic, sharp, and pointed comments regarding racism from Michael.
- Guess what? yet ANOTHER great joke, this one regarding Durst and the Trumps.
- Michael: “Maya Angelou is on the new Quarter…which is NOT What Black people mean when we say ‘we need change'”.
- Fantastic & dark Prince Andrew joke, with an equally great Michael ad-lib.
- ANOTHER phenomenal joke, this one with Michael’s lesbian bar, a new favorite of mine from this season, and what a reaction it got.
- A great ad-lib from Colin in response to that.
- Boy, Colin and Michael are even more fantastic than usual tonight. I see the Colin comeback really made them riled up, love it.
- A very rare, yet welcomed visit to the Update desk from Chloe.
- Shockingly, this is, IIRC Chloe’s THIRD time on Update, considering the strong showing she had in the previous season, and how great she was in the two previous showcases, this is surreal to watch. As Chloe, with Ari and Sarah, could EASILY become major Update fixtures in the future. I would’ve expected Chloe to average 3-4 Updates per season, instead of boring commentaries like we sometimes have.
- A funny Elmo voice from Chloe.
- A funny recreation of that famous meme.
- A huge laugh from the reveal that Rocco will both be the host AND musical guest on SNL.
- An an absolutely HILARIOUS cutaway to Rocco’s ”family”.
- Michael, as usual, is absolutely hilarious & great in his interactions with the guest, and that’s still true tonight.
- I’m more than happy that we had this flawless Update, after a couple of Updates ranging between weak to average, we FINALLY have our usual strong Che/Jost Update, and in my view the fifth five-star worthy Update from them, after the two mentioned in 45, the post-2016 election one, and the fantastic one from Chris Hemsworth’s season 40 episode.
- According to dress report, a Pete commentary was cut, and (thankfully) a Heidi piece resurrecting her one-note Kelly party character was also cut. I’m sure Pete’s would’ve been decent, but thankfully that Heidi’s got cut, as it would’ve lowered my rating for this Update.
- So far, this episode is absolutely PHENOMENAL, the hottest streak of great skits so far this season.
- Our obligatory musical sketch of the night.
- The set reminds me of Kristen Wiig’s infamous cameo in season 39 as Dooneese, in a similar The Sound of Music parody.
- Great to see Sarah fitting more into the show.
- An accurate black British accent from Chris, who’s been having THE greatest night of his tenure so far.
- A surprisingly very solid English accent from Sarah, who’s most likely having the most screen time so far into her tenure, nearly doubling her previous record from the premiere.
- Solid supporting performance & a pretty fun straight man work from Kate in this, as the latter is a speciality that I always felt she was extremely underrated in.
- Very well-performed & fun piece so far, Ariana is once again coming of great here.
- Some funny music & solid bit with Homer Simpson being brought up.
- A great Queen Latifah bit just now.
- Lovely & fun ending with Kenan as his usual reliable & legendary self.
- A fun-feeling & harmless musical sketch that used our cast very well.
- Certainly, quite the premise.
- Another skit that actually has some fun LGBTQ+ cultural elements in it without being too inside joke or pandering to straights.
- Some ok reveals in this so far, and Kate is performing this well enough.
- Lovely to see Chloe’s solid night continues.
- A pretty funny bit regarding Gillian Anderson, considering how much she’s revered in the gay community, and by Kate herself.
- Pretty decent overall, mercifully there’s no selfish vanity pieces tonight so far, keeping the solid & comfortable quality alive.
- Already, I’m loving how this feels like a sequel to the Andrew Dismukes-written Bayou Benny’s Liberal Lagniappe skit, one of my favorites from season 44.
- VERY amusing accents & voices from the cast, and another sketch in which Andrew uses his natural southern accent & showcases his home culture.
- Very fun near-breaking from Heidi, which is extremely rare, if ever happens with her.
- Ariana is once again fitting PERFECTLY with the cast, I would frankly assume that she was a newly-hired cast member if I didn’t know that she’s the host.
- Hilarious appearance from Alex who’s just now getting an ACTUAL funny performance, and we’re halfway through the season. Unbelievable.
- Alex is KILLING his delivery, very impressively delivering his lines with complete ease & confidence. I again ask: how did this man not reach Bill Hader-esque legendary status???? I’m really hoping for a strong 7th & 8th seasons for Alex, as he is definitely one of SNL’s most unheralded talents in all of its history.
- I love how this turned into a gossip chat around Heidi’s character.
- Funny outburst just now from Heidi, who’s been having a good season so far.
- Speaking of having a good season, Andrew is having a pretty strong one, and he has been EVERYWHERE tonight. Great to see him get used well, as he has proved his worth by the conclusion of last season.
- An actual sentimental & fun ending.
- A great sketch to end this solid episode with.
- Lovely to see JAJ proudly displaying his best dad shirt and jumping up & down with Sarah, congrats James!
- Streeter Seidel & Allison have been promoted to head writers tonight.
- Showing once again tonight how different the show will look now that Patrick took charge, we get a very rare shot of the audience applauding the show.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Eric Adams Press Conference
Ron and Donna Lacatza’s Formal Emporium
Message From the President
NBA on TNT
- An absolutely fantastic & consistently creative episode, especially in the first half which was particularly very strong with THREE five-star rated segments, consisting almost entirely of nothing but original & unique pieces, with many of them featuring elements of absurdist dark & oddball humor, which are definitely my type of humor, and calumniating in what I feel is a legendary Update. We particularly had a fantastic political piece with a magnetic Chris Redd performance that was most definitely the strongest of his entire tenure. Again, I’m hoping for him to gain much bigger exposure, as I could see great leadership potential & legendary trajectory in the future from him.
- The difference between how much fun & creative in this episode & the few previous ones is like day and night, especially the Simu Liu & Billie Eilish episodes.
- We had an incredible and legendary five-star worthy Update tonight that felt very special, not only with Colin’s comeback, but with it being literally flawless from beginning to end.
- Ariana DeBose was an absolutely phenomenal host, especially in the post-Update half of the episode, displaying solid deliveries, strong characterization, and incredible vocal and physical range. I could easily see her being a potential five-timer host soon.
- Chris was absolutely incredible tonight, even more so than usual, which is certainly saying something, as he was always an incredibly consistent & reliable performer. I would call this episode his definite best in his entire tenure.
- Glad also to see Sarah get another major showcase, and pleased to see how well she & Pete worked together tonight. Pete was particularly good, having another strong consecutive performance by him.
- Sarah’s biggest advantage seems to be how well she can deliver her lines & control the room easily getting big laughs and remain the focus of the sketch. She has proven her self as a FAR better performer than Lauren Holt who was very bland, low-key, and uncharismatic, she was the polar opposite of Sarah. I cannot wait to read Jesse’s analysis of what went wrong with Lauren’s tenure.
- Also, Sarah provided some range with her surprisingly pretty solid English accent and attempting a ”normal” performance in the New Governess skit, I would love to see a straight man performance & impressions from her so I could judge her entirely & fairly.
- One cut sketch from dress, Porno Covid Safety, sounds particularly hilarious & topical, I would’ve love for it to either get uploaded on YouTube or performed later into the season, that one would be interesting to review, either a potential five-stars masterpiece or a Cruz Street level disappointment.
- This episode’s very strong quality is unsurprisingly partly due to the exodus in the writing staff, and that Aidy and Cecily were NOWHERE to be seen all night, AMEN to the latter.
- On the other hand, Kate was pretty good tonight, performing utility-player roles which I always found, like Wiig before her, to be the best utilization of her talents. Hopefully she’ll have a great potential final year.
- I’m starting to get nervous for Aristotle, as his screen time is tanking, compared to how Sarah’s remained mostly-consistent after her breakout piece in the Jonathan Majors episode, I seriously hope he gets some showcases soon, as I would trade him with about half the current cast, especially those past-their-prime anytime.
- WILL FORTE!!!!!! Cannot be happier for a legendary cast member to host the show and make his triumphant return home.
- Will happens to me in my top 3 cast members of all-time, despite his horrible final season, wherein he was mostly furniture, and only had two major pieces, the two-parter Closet Organizer, and the classic Potato Chip. I’m hoping for an episode similar to tonight, premise-driven, original, and featuring some absurdist & dark pieces, particularly our 10-1 of that night. Finally, I won’t be mad to see Sen. Tim Calhoun & Macgruber back next Saturday!
- Overall, I generally feel that this is my strongest review so far, and happy to see it about a great episode. Goodbye for now!
10 Replies to “January 15, 2022 – Ariana DeBose / Bleachers (S47 E10)”
I agree with the theory that Aidy and Cecily’s absence must be responsible for the increase in quality tonight.
There are a number of segments that I’m not quite as high on as you are, such as the New Governess sketch and the Sappho sketch, which I found to be weak, but not frustratingly awful like some of Cecily’s vanity pieces. And I don’t think that the Eric Adams sketch is a five-star masterpiece, but it’s still good.
And finally, the rating averages:
Owen Wilson – 7.1
Kim Kardashian – 5.0
Rami Malek – 7.6
Jason Sudeikis – 7.7
Kieran Culkin – 6.5
Jonathan Majors – 5.8
Simu Liu – 6.3
Billie Eilish – 6.3
Paul Rudd – 6.0
Ariana DeBose – 7.9
“And I don’t think that the Eric Adams sketch is a five-star masterpiece, but it’s still good.”
I should’ve written that the biggest reason that I changed my original rating from four-stars to just five-stars is due to Chris’ performance and the biting takedown it was on mayor Adams. It was the strongest political sketch behind a podium (Dershowitz in Hell is still SNL’s strongest political piece since season 26) since the great Sean Spicer cold open. I cannot be more excited for Forte, and hoping for a very solid & strong episode. I think the season will probably end very well, similar to how strong & refreshing season 38 was, yet hoping for a strong season 48, and for it not to be a trainwreck with a weak cast which is one of the reasons Lorne is slowing the transition.
By the way, you gotta fix the title of the review. It should read 2022, not 2021.
“There are a number of segments that I’m not quite as high on as you are, such as the New Governess sketch and the Sappho sketch, which I found to be weak, but not frustratingly awful like some of Cecily’s vanity pieces.”
I should clarify that I like musical skits, if they weren’t those unwatchable Gemma skits and couple of Anderlettes pieces from previous years. Diner Lobster in particular is an all-time SNL highlight for me and many others, and the two epic musical pieces that followed are also five-star and four-and-half-a-star pieces respectively. I would like to also say that I give passing or give a half star more for the performances, that’s the reason I gave a couple of ** and **1/2 pieces were I would’ve given a lower rating. The episode in general was great, partly due to the phenomenal first half, and hoping Forte’s would be strong, the season clearly is stronger now due to the exodus and Aidy/Cecily not being there with their self-indulgent bullshit. I would assume it might reach seasons 38 or 40 level for me, very solid but not top 15 ever. I’m certain that we will be having couple of big bombs soon, and some average episodes, SNL always had shaky quarters and some strong ones, like 40 which was a strong season in general, yet had 5-7 flat-out unwatchable episodes. This season had only two subpar episodes, and I’m assuming that we will have about 4 or so more.
One final thing, and don’t take it the wrong way, I really want to hear your thoughts regarding these review more in depth, like you did in couple of others, it matters greatly to me to know how am I doing with these so far, and your insights are always great. Thanks and hopefully Forte’s turn out great.
So Will Forte is in your top 3 who’s the other two
If this one is directed to me, then Ferrell is my #1 and then Phil Hartman at #2.
I’m 100% certain that was directed towards you. Also, what about the guy on my profile icon?
Love him, but he had a huge part in several sketches that I DESPISE, so Hader is top 10 for me, not 5 at least.
Wow same as Stooge just replace Forte with Dana Carvey I like all 3 but mine are in no particular order Kenan Thompson, Bill Hader, and Adam Sandler with honorable mentions going to Carvey as well as John Belushi
I take that back its now in order Hader, Carvey, and Phil Hartman with honorable mentions Will Ferrell and Gilda Radner