Cold Open – Dueling Town Halls
- This overlong text crawl opening is going on forever.
- I’m still hearing Fire Marshall Bill in Carrey’s Biden impression, and his wild mugging & physicality are not doing him any favor nor succeeding in hiding the lack of a take on the Democratic nominee.
- Just got a laugh (first ever in an open this season) from the shot of Chris & Heidi being the only people asking questions.
- I guess you could tell what my reaction is as I see Trumpwin up on my screen.
- Great reaction from Chris after Carrey’s Biden answers his question, giving me yet another laugh in this overlong, rotgut, aimless open.
- While the concept of a dueling town hall between the two presidential nominees might sound fun & promising on paper, especially if handled with sharp writing and brisk, fun pacing, it is unfortunately not working here due to lack of focus, lack of commitment from the performers, and most importantly the sluggish pacing.
- Chloe is absolutely stealing this open with her spot-on impression of the crazy Trump lady.
- Some great line deliveries from Chloe & she’s much like Chris, are the only reason I’m still surviving this open.
- Alec is mugging even more of a storm than usual playing Trumpwin.
- Is it part of Maya’s contract to appear in every cold open so far this season? It made sense in the latest one, but come the hell on, SNL.
- Are they freakin’ kidding me with the cutaways to Biden playing dress-up as Mr. Rogers & Bob Ross?! I’m especially offended by them bringing Mr. Rogers’ memory in such a hacky, uninspired fashion.
- I’ve just realized before sending the review that this open was Melissa’s FIRST appearance in this whole season, Jesus Christ! And knowing how neglected, disrespected, and overshadowed by she’ll this whole season, makes it even sadder for me to review her as the season goes along. And, IIRC, she barely if EVER makes any actual useful appearances in the 2nd half. Oof to say the least.
- This season is now 0-for-3 in terms of decent cold opens, and if my memory serves me right, we’ll have to wait MONTHS to get an actual good one.
- Right out of the gate, I’m liking Issa’s delivery and general presence.
- Some decent laughs from Issa’s story.
- By the way, it’s great that this is our third host-only monologue.
- Nothing much to say here, but that from Issa’s delivery, I can tell that I’ll enjoy her hosting performance.
- A very popular sketch from this season.
- A somewhat questionable premise of a show making fun of Canada and Canadians.
- Solid accent & performance from Bowen as the anchor.
- Kate’s French accent always gives me good laughs.
- Issa’s accent is not that convincing, but she makes it seem more charming than worrisome.
- An ok mention of Drake, considering how fantastic of a host he turned out to be. I would love it if he pulls doubly duty and hosts soon.
- An ok sketch overall, still baffled how some think of this one as a season highlight.
- There’s a certain pretape toward the end of the season that garnered a lot of hype in the episode hosted by………uh…….oof, well, let’s just say a certain host who will be the ultimate chore for me to review and probably the most difficult episode I’ve EVER had to cover in my career as a reviewer (you know whom I’m talking about now, huh?). I did find that pretape to be the ultimate comedy poison when I first saw it, but I do not know what my reaction will be when I eventually review it in few days from now.
- A very creative concept.
- Beck is absolutely brilliant in his portrayal here, the subtleties in his demeanor, vocal inflections, and reactions are phenomenal.
- I’m really enjoying Kenan’s voice-over work here, wish he did more voice-over work throughout his tenure.
- Beck’s brilliant portrayal here reminds me of his great performance in the ”Boop-It” commercial from Rupaul’s episode in season 45. Beck’s always fantastic in selling a character’s misery and inner turmoil.
- Great ending with Beck jumping out of the window.
- Overall, put this one in the ”Standout Beck Bennett showcase from his final season”, and that folder will be filled entirely before the season’s end.
First Date Exes
- Happy to see Chris getting some solid airtime, considering how invisible most of the cast has been so far into the season.
- Yet another hilarious facial expression from Chris, this time when he realizes that Issa used to date Kenan.
- A fun bit with Pete as the “Karate Man”.
- Great robot makeup on Bowen who’s stealing this sketch with his brief bit.
- Punkie in an actual funny role! And as usual, she’s coming off a total natural and getting some good laughs.
- A decent, fun-feeling sketch overall.
- Funny ad-lib from Colin when he misses his cue, this Update team is great in general when they improvise.
- A solid Rudy joke from Colin.
- Very pleased to see another Trump Brothers commentary, the chemistry between Alex & Mikey, and the funny lines and performances always make these work for me and others.
- The usual funny moments between Mikey’s professional and mature Don Jr. and and Alex’s goofy and childish Eric.
- I love how Eric is always imitating his brother’s gestures and mouthing his speech, it never fails to make me laugh.
- It’s so good to see Alex getting some big laughs in this Update commentary, as I recall this season, much like the previous one, a particular low point in terms of his utilization.
- Hilarious bit with Alex’s Eric trying to figure out how to use the hand sanitizer.
- Chloe continues to have a solid season with her appearance as Tiffany Trump.
- Chloe’s steals yet another segment tonight with her hilarious voice and gestures as Tiffany.
- Guilty laugh from Alex’s “Notvanka”
- Big laughs with Chloe’s Tiffany and Alex’s Eric increasing the amount of money Trump owes.
- Loved how Chloe & Alex said “He goes to jail” in unison and their subsequent facial expressions.
- Good laugh from the very brief bit with Aidy.
- Ah, here comes an Update commentary of Heidi’s that I always loved.
- I do recall Heidi having a particularly standout season in 46, with several solid Updates and great showcases in the pretapes. It is with this season that Heidi became officially my favorite female cast member on the show, and that’s after I turned against Aidy Bryant by the 2nd half of the season.
- Great & believable look on Heidi.
- Strong sudden dramatic turn from Heidi, and the hints of melancholy & sadness that she’s so effortlessly able to convey in her voice and expressions is outstanding.
- You could tell by the audience’s reaction how captivated they are with Chloe’s commentary.
- Love the bit with the phone call.
- An overall, strong & melancholic commentary from Heidi, which is only the beginning in what turns out to be a fantastic season for her. I’ve always loved Heidi Gardner & she became one of my absolute favorites right from her fantastic first season. Her lived-in, captivating, and expertly-performed characters are one of the reasons that make me look forward to the rest of her tenure on the show.
Your Voice Chicago
- A good laugh from Chris’ still photo.
- Ugh! I did not need yet ANOTHER Maya Rudolph sketch appearance.
- Maya seems to be using her trademark sassy throaty voice from back in her days as a cast member.
- Good to see newbies Punkie Johnson getting some solid airtime. Sadly, this is because we have a black host, as I recall her being extremely underused for the majority of the season.
- Not caring for Punkie & Maya’s rap, it’s performed well at least.
- An ok sketch overall, with some fun performances.
- Always great to see a backstage piece.
- Good laughs from Kyle’s bad singing.
- CHANCE THE RAPPER!!!!
- Ah, Chance is being his usual funny, charismatic self.
- Thankfully, it is Chance in this segment and not freaking Bieber.
- I’m liking the turn with the dance challenge.
- My goodness, this is Andrew’s first appearance since the premiere, and we barely even see his face. The way the newbies are being utilized this season is LAUGHABLE & sad.
- An overall good segment, if not slightly below-par for Kyle’s standards.
- Newbie Andrew Dismukes gets his first co-starring role, and IIRC, this will be his only actual meaty role in the first half of the season.
- Some solid line deliveries from our three leads, and I’m liking the chemistry that Beck & Kyle immediately developed with Andrew as a live performer. Knowing that he wrote the classic Del Taco Shoot with them before he was promoted to be on-screen cast member makes it even better.
- Funny look on Kenan.
- Lauren stuck in dull non-comedic role #369.
- Not caring for the part with Lauren.
- Nothing much to say here, but as usual with this era’s commercials, the visual style is spot-on imitation of eBay ads.
- Funny brief bit with Chris & great look on him.
- A decent, if not average commercial from this season.
Cut For Time: Sunday Night Plans
- I’m not familiar with Lovecraft Country, but I don’t think that I need to in order to enjoy this sketch.
- Some technical issues as Issa’s speaking.
- Issa’s performing this really well, it might be one of her best performances of the night.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
First Date Exes
Your Voice Chicago
CFT: Sunday Night Plans
Dueling Town Halls
- Our second consecutive reliable & solid episode this season.
- Issa Rae was a fine host whenever she was used, but she was weirdly invisible from the 2nd half of the episode. She still gave energetic performances throughout the episode & came off very likable and game.
- Seeing this episode’s quality & the previous one might fool some into thinking that the rest of this half will be solid. But not yet, as I recall only two upcoming episodes being above average, and only after a particularly wretched episode in the 2nd half that the season finally finds its footing.
Adele hosts with musical guest H.E.R.
3 Replies to “October 17, 2020 – Issa Rae / Justin Bieber (S46 E3)”
“There’s a certain pretape toward the end of the season that garnered a lot of hype in the episode hosted by………uh…….oof, well, let’s just say a certain host who will be the ultimate chore for me to review and probably the most difficult episode I’ve EVER had to cover in my career as a reviewer (you know whom I’m talking about now, huh?). I did find that pretape to be the ultimate comedy poison when I first saw it, but I do not know what my reaction will be when I eventually review it in few days from now.” So…Murder Durder?
“Beck’s brilliant portrayal here reminds me of his great performance in the ”Boop-It” commercial from Rupaul’s episode in season 45. Beck’s always fantastic in selling a character’s misery and inner turmoil.” Funny that you mention that, as I’m currently writing my review on that episode, though I’m still at the cold open.
“only after a particularly wretched episode in the 2nd half that the season finally finds its footing.” Is it Krasinski?
Once again, I can’t help but notice that your ratings, aside from Bonjour Hi, are literally EXACTLY THE SAME as mine. That just makes it easier for me to calculate your average. Speaking of which:
Rock – 4.6
Burr – 7.0
Rae – 6.5
Overall average (so far): 6.0
Yup, that pretape & Yes Krasinski. I cannot WAIT for the review to be posted and thanks for calculating the averages by the way.
Holy crap, I just realized another interesting coincidence: that RuPaul episode has the same musical guest as this Issa Rae episode. That makes this the second time you posted your review of an episode while I was working on my review of another episode with the same musical guest (The first being Adam Driver and Kim Kardashian).