Immediate Pre-Review Thoughts:
- Hello everyone, and welcome to the first review in my season 40 coverage. This season, is the very first SNL season that I started to watch live as it originally aired, after falling in love with SNL in the summer of 2014, when I watched the original era and several SNL specials. These reviews will be written due to positive feedback and many of my SNL friends advising me to expand this blog and for me to grow as a reviewer
- These reviews will be posted with three reviews hopefully before the Jake Gyllenhaal episode & three others before the Lizzo episode, with frequent breaks for me not to be burnt out from doing them, as I did feel very tired halfway through my season 46 reviews, as I started them fairly late & had to speed-through several episodes, and I do want to keep these up to you, my dear readers’ standards.
- I do hope these reviews live up to the standards and hopefully these reviews of mine will shed a light into how fascinating this season is to revisit and rewatch as the beginning of the current era, and how the show slowly shifted into its current style and sketch work.
Cold Opening – State of the Union
- Boy that’s one hot audience. I’m assuming because of our musical guest.
- Boy, Aidy’s flubbing her lines left & right at the beginning of this.
- Not caring for Aidy’s lines in this so far.
- Our first of MANY sports-related opens this season.
- Jay’s annoying the hell out of me with his constant unfunny mugging here, I recall mostly NOT caring for Jay’s SNL tenure, outside of few impressions, but I do hope to find some shining moments in these two seasons that I’ll review with him in them.
- Chris’ solid in his performance in here, but the writing so far is certainly not serving him well.
- An average way to start the season.
- New montage. This one means a lot to me, as it’s the first montage that I saw debut live, and as a fanatic of all things design-related, I recall loving it and considering it amongst my top 3 SNL montages of all-time, and rewatching it now, it still holds up.
- The number “40” has been added next to the new SNL as a celebration of SNL’s milestone 40th season.
- Darrell Hammond has taken over as SNL’s announcer after the death of the legendary Don Pardo.
- Michael Che & Pete Davidson are added to the cast tonight.
- The first of rather an excessive amount of musical monologues throughout this season. As I said before, I have higher tolerance for musical monologues when they’re fun & contain some actual, you know, JOKES.
- Chris’ yet again coming off energetic and likable here, but MAN, I’m not caring for these lyrics.
- An ok inclusion of Chris’ then-wife Anna Farris.
- Ok, this is getting better as it goes along, helped yet again by Chris’ fun commitment.
- An alright musical monologue, it had charm & some fun moments. And, most importantly, if my memory serves me right, is FAR better than the coming Bill Hader & Amy Adams ones, which I recall being TORTURE to sit through.
- I already miss Beck’s fantastic voice-over work, and this ad is reminding me of how damn great he was at that.
- Boy, it feels surreal to see Taran Killam in this, considering how his tenure will end prematurely.
- A weak and one-joke premise to this commercial, with that “turn down for what” parts being repeated to death. It reminds me of how some, back in SNL’s message boards, considered this commercial & a certain Aidy sketch halfway through this episode as SNL’s desperate attempt to stay relevant and cool.
- An awful commercial overall.
- Kyle in blonde wig #36367 in his tenure thus far.
- A fun & creative premise, it reminds me of this season’s transition to original, one-off, premise-driven sketches, abandoning by that recurring-heavy sketches & episodes. I think the Woody Harrelson & particularly Martin Freeman’s episodes as the ones that made me feel that this new era truly began.
- Some cheap laughs from the visual of Chris & Taran pointing to their crotches.
- An interesting inclusion of Ariana Grande, who’s already showing us how solid of a host she’ll be next season.
- Ah, Aidy’s delivery & reactions to the action figures is absolutely stealing this whole sketch. This is one of the first moments that made me fall in love with her, and knowing her strong tenure in these coming six seasons, I stand correct.
- A good ending to a fun sketch.
- Meh, they’re bringing this already-awful sketch form the mediocre and troubled previous season?!
- Blaaah at the over-the-top southern accents & characterizations, this is aggressively an Anderlette sketch.
- Meh at the ”your pet is dead” line being repeated 3,6363 times as if it would make it funny.
- This is repeating the same unfunny, annoying, one-note premise way too many times. I do recall many online SNL fans feeling that this season feels like season 20 and they even thought of it as a potential disaster season. Yes, dear readers, it got to THAT degree. It’s funny, however, knowing in hindsight how well this season will eventually turn out to be. Yet, I do recall some rough episodes from the first half till the Dakota Johnson episode, and if my memory serves me right, as it’s been agars since I saw many of these episodes since they aired live, then it would be painful for me to review those coming weak episodes.
- An overall big waste of my time.
- Solid voice-over work & production value on this commercial.
- Meh, a weak and yet again, one-note premise to this parody, with the same music and several reveals of the coming Marvel big-budget projects.
- Aidy nearly saves this commercial with her funny brief moment as “Pam”.
- Not one of SNL’s best ad parodies, but not as bad as I recall it being back when it originally aired.
Musical Performance – “Break Free”
- Jesse Nathan: I’m far from the first person to say this, but it’s very eerie how Ariana Grande was the musical guest on Pete’s first episode.
- I like how this performance starts out on the home base stage, giving it a somewhat unique feel.
- I see Ariana is still wearing those cat ears that she loved to wear during this time period.
- What is on Ariana’s ear?
- Interesting how this is starting out as a piano ballad instead of an uptempo EDM song that it actually is.
- Ariana sounds great here, but that shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone who was hammered with her throughout the years.
- Nice camera angles of the audience.
- Ah, so now we transition to how the song normally sounds, as she walks over to the musical guest stage. I like that.
- Why are we getting pre-recorded vocals interlayed with her normal vocals?
- Nice choreography from everyone involved, and I like the addition of the searchlights.
- Okay, Ariana’s vocals aren’t really blending in well with Zedd’s instrumental, at least on this live performance I’m currently reviewing.
- Yeah, this performance has started to go somewhat downhill once it got to the Zedd part. A damn shame as I actually really like this song.
- The ending seemed rather shortened.
- I like Ariana’s smile after the performance ends.
- Ah, the debut of the Che/Jost era of Update.
- Boy, it feels surreal not to see the audience going crazy over Jost & Che after their sign-on.
- Ooof, Michael’s already stumbling over his FIRST joke. I feel bad for him.
- Colin’s still somewhat green & Seth Meyers-y in his performance here. I cannot wait when he becomes his hilarious, witty, sharp, normal self as the season progresses.
- Funny U2 joke, and it brings up when that damn album was EVERYWHERE on Apple music.
- Cecily’s Girl You Wish… returns to Update.
- Meh, I never cared for this character & her various puns and intentionally dumb takes.
- Ah, I got a good laugh from the China babies line and Cecily’s follow-up to it.
- An overall average commentary from Cecily.
- Solid delivery in Michael’s OITNB joke.
- Leslie Jones, boy it feels weird seeing her here. As I never cared for her a cast member, although loved her as a person, and boy, if my memory serves me well, she’ll be giving us some particularly rough moments & sketches, including a very notorious one in few episodes.
- Some ok laughs from Leslie’s story about her ex, and her naturally likability is showing here. Although, she’s too loud and is basically abusing my eardrums just now.
- OH GOD. She needs to just stop yelling.
- Wow, surprised how quick Leslie’s commentary was. It will be interesting to see her tenure in these coming months, as I never had the undying devotion that some had for her. I liked her, but never thought that she fit the show, nor that she had any actual value in the cast. It will be interesting to see if my opinion will change when I eventually review her entire tenure.
- The debut of Pete Davidson on SNL & Weekend Update, in his first of MANY Update commentaries.
- Boy, Pete’s doing pretty well so far into this commentary, while I’m not laughing that much, I’m really enjoying his commentary so far & his confidence is showing.
- Good laugh from Pete’s comment about his mom.
- A solid first introduction to Pete Davidson. I did enjoy his first commentary, but I do recall it getting A LOT of hype online back in 2014, with some even comparing him to Eddie Murphy’s debut and Norm Macdonald, which is frankly absurd from my standpoint, as he’s WAY too young here and obviously inexperienced for those people to expect this much from him. I would say, however, that despite my dislike of Pete as a cast member overall, particularly as his tenure progresses, this commentary of his definitely still holds up very well to me. I would also say that the other time that an Update debut garnered this much hype and went viral, is the debut of current first-year featured player Sarah Sherman behind the desk. And, I certainly believe that her debut was much stronger & more impressive than Pete’s, which is still pretty solid on its own.
- An overall good start to this new era of Update, and knowing its growth over just this season, it will soon become my all-time favorite Update era tied up with Norm’s era.
In Memoriam – a photo of Don Pardo marks his passing
- OH NO. I recall this sketch being dreadful back when it aired, and was also considered as an example of how this season will turn out to be a potential disaster year for the show. As I said before, these concerns by some hardcore fans turned out to be absurd at the end.
- It feel utterly JARRING seeing Kate here in a supporting performance, and barely doing anything in this episode. Knowing how legendary her trajectory will turn out to be, and how huge and insanely popular of a performer she’ll become starting really with this season, which was her true breakout into stardom. It still feels surreal seeing her in this sketch knowing all of this in hindsight.
- I see Aidy’s showcasing her surprisingly solid rapping skills.
- Catchy & committed rapping with strong flow from Aidy.
- Meh, not caring for Aidy’s mention of her ass, and I do recall her mentioning that in several music videos this season and the coming ones.
- Chris’ surprisingly pulling his rapping well.
- A very juvenile and yet again tonight, one-note and one-joke premise, again another season 20 comparison in this episode.
- Terrible ending.
- A very rare misfire for the so far consistently brilliant and solid Aidy Bryant.
- The On-air debut of these 80s/90s sitcom parodies by Back & Kyle. I do like these, yet again not as much as Stooge and some other fans.
- Great look on Chris.
- I’m enjoying the anti-comedy feel and intentionally bad acting in this short.
- A good laugh from the visual of the castle.
- A solid laugh from the part when the kids try to make Chris steal the ball.
- An alright ending.
- Yeah, I got nothing left to say here, beside that this short, while pretty good, is NOWHERE near as strong a some of the upcoming ones, particularly the Claire Foy & Larry David installments.
NFL on CBS
- This feels similar to the classic Key & Peele sketch with the same premise.
- Chris looks hilarious with that mustache.
- It feels weird seeing Back & Taran, considering that Beck will basically take over as SNL’s male cast leader after Taran’s firing next season.
- Good laugh from Pete’s cocaine line.
- Bobby’s stealing this whole sketch as Bart Doleman.
- Not caring for Leslie’s moment, but I do respect how confident she is generally as a performer, despite the very noticeable limitations. And her part did get a great reaction from the audience, so kudos to her.
- An overall fun, ensemble-led sketch with some standout funny lines.
Musical Performance – “Love Me Harder” ft. The Weekend
- Jesse Nathan: I like the starry background behind Ariana.
- Why does Ariana still have that hella big earpiece?
- Ariana’s vocals on this song aren’t as good as the last song.
- Is it just me, or is the drum tuned slightly different?
- Again, Ariana’s vocals are rather poorly mixed with her pre-recorded vocals, making this seem rather pointless.
- Now we get The Weekend making his very first SNL appearance. Such a shame that we didn’t get The Weeknd Update, but then again, this was the first episode of the Jost/Che era of Update.
- Abel’s vocals still need some work done, as he often seems slightly out of tune.
- Boy, The Weeknd seems rather awkward in this performance, especially compared to how good he would end up being in his Season 45 performances.
- There’s something about Ariana and Abel’s chemistry that’s putting me off, but I can’t put my finger on what, exactly.
- Okay, Abel’s vocals are getting somewhat better on the final chorus.
- Ah, it feels great to review Vanessa in this blog of mine. As I recall LOVING her work in her final two stellar years, and halfway through this season, that greatness will start to show up.
- Good to see then-newbie Pete Davidson getting some good airtime in this episode, and IIRC, he is completely absent in the next episode.
- Blaah, yet again, at this juvenile premise, while I should be visually pleased seeing two attractive people making out in front of me, this premise doesn’t sustain a full sketch.
- The audience’s reactions throughout this sketch is getting on my last nerves.
- Well, I’m enjoying the part with Chris removing parts of his shirt, for obvious reasons.
- Kenan looks hilarious in that outfit.
- Weak ending.
- A mediocre sketch overall.
Cut For Time: Jason Statham’s Jason Steakums
- Solid Jason Statham voice & accent from Chris.
- A pretty funny product reveal.
- Is Chris’ struggle with the product’s name intentional? It seems like it, although it doesn’t come off as funny as it could.
- Not interested in some of the lines here, Chris’ delivering them well though.
- Kenan’s Brief moment is hilarious and is helping this sketch.
- An overall average sketch, certainly not bad, and is helped by Chris’ commitment. It was certainly better than several pieces that did get on air though.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
NFL on CBS
CFT: Jason Statham’s Jason Steakums
State of the Union
- A weak season premiere which is very surprising considering the well-known quality of this season as a whole. Nothing in this episode stood to me as particularly strong or noteworthy in quality, and nothing rose above being “pretty good”. I would say that Chris Pratt was a pretty good host, coming off funny, charming, and committed in his sketches. I’m still surprised that he never hosted after this episode.
- Pete Davidson had a solid debut episode, coming off funny, charming, and likable. Also, Leslie, while one-note and still not officially in the cast yet, came off charismatic and confident. You could tell that the audience liked her too. So, no wonder the show added her in the cast in few episodes from now.
- Former one-season wonder Sarah Silverman return to 8H as stand-up comedy superstar with musical guest Maroon 5.
15 Replies to “September 27, 2014 – Chris Pratt / Ariana Grande (S40 E1)”
Insightful and well-written as always Blood, and you hit the nail on the head re: this ep looking like a bad sign for S40. Thankfully it evened out nicely and became one of the best seasons of recent memory.
That said, we disagree on a lot of this episode. It had bits and pieces that worked, but we’re not on the same page in terms of which ones.
I’m with you on Turnt, which was bad and just wholly unnecessary. It did not succeed in making SNL seem young and hip-hop-oriented, and this cast is far too young here to create a “haha middle-aged folks look funny acting young” vibe.
But personally, I look at Action Figures as perhaps the WORST sketch of the entire era. I despised it live and hated it on every rewatch, and when this review was posted I watched it again to look for a different vibe. But my GOD is this one an unfunny slog for me, for several reasons. Any sketch that’s made up of mostly grunts and one-word sentences is a tough sell, but to reduce Taran & Pratt cartoon freaks strikes me as a waste. I kept waiting for a reveal of “These guys are actually wildly smart/treacherous/absurd in some way” but it never came – the grunting is the whole joke, which just isn’t enough for me. Not to mention – I am absolutely no prude whatsoever, nor am I any sort of poster boy for wokeness. I believe that even the most sacred institutions and social mores should be put up for ribbing and satire – whether it’s the President or Ukraine or MeToo or pediatric lupus. But having Taran & Pratt practically whacking off to what’s supposed to be a teenaged girl was pitiful. Not because it was dirty; I wasn’t offended by it, as it takes a LOT to offend me. But it smacked of the lazy S20 bullshit we all know and roll our eyes at. There were limitless ways to take that premise; tonight SNL chose “Aw hell just make ’em grunt and give ’em boners.”
Then there’s Aidy, whom I love dearly, but (like every cast member not named Ferrell or Hartman) has her own set of quirks that grind my gears. And one of them is her reliance on an “ironic” hip-hop vernacular that’s badly overused IMO. She’s torpedoed a number of sketches for me by throwing in a “Oh that’s wassup!” or in this case “Ooh girl I KNOW you a freak!” that just screams “I’m trying desperately to boost this sketch with some Instagram clapter.”
And to top it off, we get timing/awkwardness issues here too. Was THIS sketch really that hard to nail down?
What I did like in this ep – and there wasn’t a ton – was good but not great. The fact that I liked the Marvel trailer so much is quite the achievement, considering I avoid anything and everything related to superheroes and couldn’t tell you the difference between Guardians of the Galaxy and League of Extraordinary Scorpionmen or WTF-ever. And I love the 90s Sitcom bits that Kyle & Beck did, even if I don’t think 3 (or more?) installments were necessary.
NFL State of the Union ***
As an avid NFL watcher and journalist, I do enjoy these impressions. They made Pratt look EXACTLY like Roger Goodell, right down to the lack of a human soul, which you notice anytime you look into Goodell’s beady eyes. Jay annoys me here, and Kenan isn’t really even trying to sound like Ray Lewis, who in reality speaks like some kind of superhero/pro wrestler/80s PSA star. But overall, this made me chuckle.
Mostly harmless despite MORE music, and I did like the inclusion of Anna Faris. It wasn’t as obnoxious or attention-whoring as when famous family/friends unexpectedly pop up – Demi Moore in particular was annoying on one of the Kutcher eps.
Cialis Turnt *1/2
Yikes. Very little here to like. I like to ask myself when evaluating a shaky sketch: “Could this work, with a little adjustment, in any other SNL era?” And no, if you gave this to Ferrell/Shannon or Hartman/Hooks and adjusted for the time period, it would bomb just as hard. Let’s stop building sketches around concepts like the word “turnt,” which we could all tell in 2014 would die a quick death in our vernacular anyway. Shit like this has no half-life.
Action Figures *
Wish I could go lower, honestly. And this led off live sketches for the season premiere? Yeesh.
Animal Hospital **1/2
These could be worse, but could be much better with some variety and without the pointless accents.
Love the absurdity here, and I love that I don’t have to know much about these movies to laugh.
Booty Rap **1/2
Not bad, and as Blood pointed out, both Aidy and Pratt showed off real (comedy) rap skill. But this reeeeally dragged on – this can’t sustain 5-6 minutes. I laughed uproariously the first time Aidy threw down a “my big fat AAAAASSSSSSSSS” but much less the next 37 times.
Bad Boys ****1/2
Love these dearly, and I actually consider this the best iteration of it. They sit right alongside Chris Kirkpatrick, Inside SoCal, and The House as some of the few Kyle/Beck recurrers that I truly enjoy. Blood and I have discussed my issues with them as a duo, but anytime they went after (a) 90s pop culture or (b) douchey teenagers, they usually knocked it out of the park.
NFL on CBS ***1/2
Quite good with some GREAT one-liners, but pales in comparison to what Key & Peele did with a similar concept.
Video Game **
Not a bad concept but any means, but as Blood put it, one of those very mediocre sketches you want to like more than you do. It could’ve gone in any absurd direction, and as Blood likes to say: absurdist, one-joke sketches need to elevate the one joke, not collapse 150% into it.
CFT: Jason Staham’s Steakums ***
I’d never seen this one prior to this morning, so thanks for being thorough Blood! Ultimately, I wanted to like it more than I did, and a better host could’ve pulled off lines like “Don’t worry, that just means it’s time to chew.” Thankfully, the “100% Cow Face” bit came along to boost this half a star.
Great as usual to read your in-depth & detailed commentary fyodoren. Yes, this season will be a blast for me to watch & review. And, aside from few classics and few bombs, the rest of it and the majority of the coming seasons are a blur to me, so rewatching them will be fascinating for me to revisit. I’ve refrained from reading Stooge’s blog & any reviews about the season, as well as the upcoming ones. Yes, Aidy is great & desperately tries to save sketches with her fun commitment, but I did not like that rap sketch. I’ll be, however, giving her A LOT of love in these coming seasons, as she was, as I disclosed before, my favorite cast member on the show till the end of season 45, and her many brilliant and fun pieces (particularly in seasons 42 & 45) will be a blast for me to rediscover. I get why you dislike the Action Figures, but it worked for me & others as the type of dumb fun that I enjoy. Boy if you thought of it as this bad, wait till I reach Magic Bridge, Worf M.D., and Dino Bones. On the issue of the 80s/90s sitcom pieces, I only recall not caring much for this one, but loving the Larry David & Claire Foy ones, and I do love most of what Beck/Kyle will deliver this season and the upcoming ones. Also, get ready, a I’ll be reviewing all of the CFT pieces, as some of them, particularly in this season, happen to be some all-time favorites of mine.
I’m not sure what to make of this. Part of me is saying that this is a bad idea due to Stooge having reviewed these episodes, but another part is saying that that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to anyone other than me. Unfortunately, I’m not as well-versed on this season as I am on Seasons 42, 45-47, and parts of 43. I have seen a shit ton of segments from this season, but the only episodes I saw in full were this, Carrey, Harrelson, Freeman, Simmons, Dwayne Johnson, Keaton, and C.K. So, don’t be surprised if my comments on these reviews are shorter than they usually are.
In regards to the somehow low quality of this episode, I personally chalk this up to this being the first episode after they fired a lot of their newbies after barely giving them a chance (sorry, John Milhiser and Noël Wells), and the fact that they’re trying to establish this as a new era, in a Seasons 11/12-esque “It was all a dream. A horrible, horrible dream”, despite the fact that pretty much everyone in the Season 40 cast was on the show during the preceding season, so obviously, there’s gonna be a few cracks when they first start.
As for Aidy, I tend to do the same thing Stooge does to Fred Armisen’s tenure and split it into three different eras: the mostly-strong years (38-42), the hit-and-miss years (43-45), and the mostly bad years (46-present). I’m not too sure if 43 and 44 work in that second era. I’m gonna have to think about that.
Also, I’m pretty sure the moment where you talk about the montage should be after the cold open instead of before, but I’m just nitpicking.
And speaking of nitpicking: “Good to see then-newbie getting good airtime”. Forget a couple words?
And now, let’s start the averages:
Pratt – 5.3
First of all, Stooge is not the only authority when it comes to reviewing SNL episodes online, and I did refrain from reading his reviews for these upcoming reviews of mine. I love him, and he is a great inspiration to me, but I did decide on reviewing this season and the coming ones due to personal desire and most importantly, encouragement from many of readers both here & especially in private. Yes, this episode is weak overall, which is surprising considering the quality of the season as a whole, the episodes you mentioned are all strong, and will get really good average ratings from me when I eventually review them. I do hope that you enjoy these coming reviews.
Oof, those three examples you gave are WOOF in their own rights. Particularly Worf MD. I will say that Dino Bones still has my wife and I saying “Random” in the ScarJo voice 8 years later. Still, NOT a strong sketch beyond that.
On the plus side of “so dumb it’s funny” you’ve got an absolute treasure trove of that coming this season. There is so much stuff coming up that I’d give an easy 5 stars to: Singing Raccoons, Wishing Boot, Waterbed Warehouse, pretty much the WHOLE Simmons ep……
I’ll say that the 4.5/5 & 5/5 total will be AT LEAST be around 40 segments (betting 40-45 tho). The Singing Raccoons sketch is a near-perfect classic to me, and when it comes to episodes that will be getting a lot of love and high ratings, wait for Woody, Keaton, Simmons, and Freeman episodes. I’ll save those high ratings for the episodes when I eventually reach them.
Jesse brings up a good point, that Stooge already reviewed these, but I welcome another viewpoint on them. Talking about something as subjective as “was this sketch any good?” definitely begs for several, varying voices. And for many of us, this is a very special era, for all of its warts.
Yeah, your 4.5 and 5 marks will be concentrated very tightly around the middle of the season, where an incredible run of episodes sit. Freeman, Simmons, and Woody in particular – all sheer modern SNL classics. Simmons just could not have blended in any better; he could easily be a cast member.
Jesse that’s a great point on Aidy’s tenure, it breaks down nearly into compartments like those of Armisen, Wiig, and McKinnon.
I do get and respect Jesse’s point, and I do believe another opinion on this season (mine), would be interesting as you said. I do think that Aidy was still mostly strong till the end of her 8th season (cannot WAIT when I have to eventually review it). I would concede that I thought she was low-key solid in seasons 38, 39, and 44, with few flops of course. And yes, this is a special era for many & my “own” era if that makes sense. Yes, the very high “best of” which are segments between 4.5 & 5 will be in several of these episodes, as well as some other episodes having one or two 4.5 segments in them. Again, it will be a blast to revisit them, and having refrained from reading Stooge’s blog, it will allow mine not to be influenced & stay fresh and unique. I did spoil, however, some of my choices to you fyodoren, won’t tell you the other ones tho, a surprise is much better than knowing everything in advance.
I think my request to move the montage portion of the review might have caused an error. If you look closely, your grade for the cold open was accidentally moved below the opening montage.
Just fixed it Jesse, that’s what happens when you write your reviews while being half-asleep. I do apologize if I sounded harsh in my response to you, these are done due to personal interest and passion & popular demand both public and private. I hope you do enjoy them.
Out of the sketches I’ve seen
Cialis Turnt **
Action Figure ***½ (not gonna lie when I first saw this I kinda felt bad for kyle’s character)
Booty Rap **
NFL On CBS ****
Video Game ***
Same here @Imalive, I also felt badly for the Kyle character. That only added to the surprising bleakness of the sketch for me, as not much of this era is focused on that punching-down attitude where one of the characters is relentlessly picked on or just made into a loser. Of course, we’re seeing that a ton in the current era.
Here’s my first musical performance review of the season. Hope you like it.
I’m far from the first person to say this, but it’s very eerie how Ariana Grande was the musical guest on Pete’s first episode.
I like how this performance starts out on the home base stage, giving it a somewhat unique feel.
I see Ariana is still wearing those cat ears that she loved to wear during this time period.
What is on Ariana’s ear?
Interesting how this is starting out as a piano ballad instead of an uptempo EDM song that it actually is.
Ariana sounds great here, but that shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone who was hammered with her throughout the years.
Nice camera angles of the audience.
Ah, so now we transition to how the song normally sounds, as she walks over to the musical guest stage. I like that.
Why are we getting pre-recorded vocals interlayed with her normal vocals?
Nice choreography from everyone involved, and I like the addition of the searchlights.
Okay, Ariana’s vocals aren’t really blending in well with Zedd’s instrumental, at least on this live performance I’m currently reviewing.
Yeah, this performance has started to go somewhat downhill once it got to the Zedd part. A damn shame as I actually really like this song.
The ending seemed rather shortened.
I like Ariana’s smile after the performance ends.
Love Me Harder ft. The Weeknd
I like the starry background behind Ariana.
Why does Ariana still have that hella big earpiece?
Ariana’s vocals on this song aren’t as good as the last song.
Is it just me, or is the drum tuned slightly different?
Again, Ariana’s vocals are rather poorly mixed with her pre-recorded vocals, making this seem rather pointless.
Now we get The Weeknd making his very first SNL appearance. Such a shame that we didn’t get The Weeknd Update, but then again, this was the first episode of the Jost/Che era of Update.
Abel’s vocals still need some work done, as he often seems slightly out of tune.
Boy, The Weeknd seems rather awkward in this performance, especially compared to how good he would end up being in his Season 45 performances.
There’s something about Ariana and Abel’s chemistry that’s putting me off, but I can’t put my finger on what, exactly.
Okay, Abel’s vocals are getting somewhat better on the final chorus.
Great job! I loved your thoughts and I just added them to the review. Thanks again.
Yeah, I think the thing that impressed people the most about Petes’ first Update commentary was how this virtually unknown at the time 20yr old NYC standup just coming off some MTV gigs BARELY seemed to be phased by the fact that he was on LIVE TELEVISION for the FIRST time ever in his career. Also, I don’t remember being as harsh on Booty Rap as you were, but to each their own. Solid review of a rather unremarkable episode.