Immediate Pre-Show Thoughts:
- Hi everyone & welcome to my season 48 reviews. I’m going to share a few quick points about the new season that I sure hope the show commits in doing.
- Phase out Che & Jost by having newbies & newer cast members showcase their talents behind the desk. The only downgrade that last season had when compared to S46, is how hollow & lackluster lots of the Updates were, especially the surprisingly low number of commentaries from a lot of the cast members.
- Less Cecily.
- More experimentation, which I do think this new era might do, especially in the first few shows of this season, and sticking at the end with what worked.
- Let Andrew, Ego, Chloe, and James take over the show this season. Andrew has had such a strong season last year, with some of the best sketches & moments. He also displayed strong utility skills & great straight man abilities, use both, especially with how fragile the male cast seems to be at the moment, as well as his underrated sketch-saving abilities, especially during some shakier shows as the season goes along. Ego’s airtime last season was very inconsistent when compared to S46, where she either appears throughout the show, or be relegated to measly one or two appearances, I’m hoping it’ll be better this season. Chloe as well has a huge potential of breaking out this season, as she’s a total pro, strong impressionist, and has found her writers. I can see a strong trajectory for her if used well. I recall Curly Joe, one of the more reliable commenters on all things SNL, bringing up how she seems to be focused at times with being a celebrity & attending red carpet events than focusing on SNL, which is such a sharp point that I never noticed about her last season. Both I & Curly Joe like Chloe fine enough, but I totally agree with his take that she needs to make it clear to us that her priorities remain at the show & not celebrity lifestyle. As for James, he should be used in as many utility roles as well, showcased behind the desk, and be utilized to his full potential as a glue/utility leader for the next few seasons while phasing out Mikey in the process.
- Less Cecily.
- Let Sarah do more roles beside her oddball trademark pieces. I want more & more normal roles for her, and much less shouting & Roast Jost.
- I want the four newbies to get solid showings not only in the premiere, but through the first half of the season in general, and when they succeeded at that, give them more and more room to show their talents.
- Did I say less Cecily?
- All in all, let’s hope the season turns out great and the beginning of a hopefully new golden age for the show. Let the review begin!
Cold Opening – ManningCast
Peyton (host) & Eli (AND) Manning eye SNL; Jon Hamm & Shaun White cameos
- Thank God we’re not starting the season with a 10 minutes hellscape cold open.
- Fun & funny seeing Miles Teller in the cold open, especially playing Peyton Manning, considering how some compared how he looks in the promo to him.
- Great seeing newbie Michael Longfellow in the cold opening, hereby getting the rare honor of appearing on the show before he is first announced in the credits.
- Good energy so far, especially how Andrew & Miles are surprisingly working well together. And the meta turn in the opening is very well-handled.
- Jon Hamm! And now this cold open is only getting more and more fun to me, which is something rare to see with SNL since the early 00s where the cold opens basically kill the energy dead for a while.
- Hey, there’s also newbie Devon Walker!
- And here’s Marcello & Molly, this is getting more and more meta & fun.
- Great to have Sarah & all the four newbies as well say LFNY. It is surprising that this is Sarah’s first LFNY, as she didn’t say it even once in her debut season.
- A pretty solid, fun, and clever way to start a new era of the show.
- New Montage!
- Great to see Andrew being promoted to repertory player, especially after how much he killed it last year. And I hope that Punkie’s promotion as well will lead to her eventually having more airtime, especially after the nice upswing in airtime that she experienced during the homestretch of last season.
- Is it too bad that I already miss Alex & Chris so very much?
- I absolutely LOVE both the new logo & especially the continuous way this montage is shot, reminding me of the very fun & ambitious season 29 opening credits.
- Holy shit, is Cecily OUT?!
- Marcello Hernández, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker join the cast tonight as featured players.
- Molly is SNL’s first non-binary cast member, which is an incredible milestone for the show. And Marcello is the show’s fifth Latino cast member.
- Love the cast shots here, especially Punkie, Molly, and Sarah’s.
host shares home movie of his performance as a Spartan cheerleader
- Miles Teller has to be one of the more random choices for a season premiere host. Not only that, but as the host of what’s clearly a whole new era for SNL. On the other hand, I do greatly admire the choice of not having a nostalgia host or old favorites to host the premiere, as it’s showing confidence in both the cast & the writers.
- Moving past that, Miles is handling himself quite well here, and is bringing nice energy & enthusiasm to the show.
- Miles is coming off fairly likable & fun. And between his performance in the cold opening and how he’s handling himself in his monologue, I’m getting comfortable with him as the host tonight.
- Love the mention of JK Simmons, considering how much I absolutely loved his hosting stint from season 40.
- I’m loving the adorable childhood home video of Miles doing the Spartan Cheerleaders, and if you know me, you KNOW that the late 90s/early 00s is my favorite era of SNL.
- Solid monologue overall.
Send Something Normal
celebrities creepily reply to female Instagram DMs
- Wow, we’re doing a gameshow as our lead-off sketch of the season? And one revolving around texting scandals of various celebs? I assume this is supposed to be the “viral” sketch of the night.
- Great to see Miles playing the gameshow host here instead of Kenan playing one for the billionth time.
- What in the world is Mikey going for with his Adam Levine impression?
- Bowen is playing a typical Bowen role it seems. The Dua Lipa mention at least brought to me nice memories reviewing the underrated Fiction Workshop sketch from last season.
- This sketch is an ok way to address the whole texting scandal, but it is, on par with a lot of modern SNL, a little too padded & over-explained.
- James’ performance as Armie Hammer is the only thing giving me amusement here so far, even when he’s feeling a little wasted with some of the material.
bank robber (host) loses focus by embracing the BeReal social media app
- Good to see Miles being showcased in a pretape for a change, instead of having him being just part of one. Also, did we really need Mikey here? A dead giveaway that he wrote this piece.
- I’ve never heard of this meme/app/whatever, but the energy here is good so far.
- A fun turn with Miles getting interested in the app & acting goofy, even when the turn here is SO on-brand with Seiday, Miles is making it come off likable and fun.
- Not too much to say here, but this was a piece that had good pace, energy, and overall clear through-line.
teenage Charmin Bear (host) has a passion for dancing, not toilet paper
- The hell is this sketch?! This concept feels at least five years too late. And not to mention that this is NOT the type of humor I want SNL to focus on.
- While it feels silly seeing some of the cast members wearing these costumes, it’s encouraging some bad mugging/vamping from the performers, in particular Kenan who’s hamming it up.
- This sketch feels a little “off” so far, despite commitment from Miles especially. An indicator that we might be in for a pretty rough night.
- Didn’t care for that ending in particular.
in a bar, awkward day traders (host) & (MID) have no game with the ladies
- The setting of this sketch is reminding me of the Seth Meyers bar sketch from the season 30 Paris Hilton episode. Not exactly an episode you want to be emulating.
- Mikey & Heidi are having a pretty big night so far into the premiere.
- This is such a boilerplate SNL sketch to me, to a tiresome degree. It’s working fine here, even though it feels a little too slow to be placed in the cushy pre-Update half of the night.
- Miles & Mikey continue to be a good team once again tonight, which is the most interesting thing I could say about this sketch.
cineaste Nicole Kidman (CLF) inspires messianic fervor in AMC moviegoers
- Geez, how many brands are we going to be doing sketches about tonight?
- As always, a very dead-on impression by Chloe, and it feels interesting to have her star in another pretape considering the success of the two she did during the second half of last season.
- Boy, this parody feels a bit late, as all the Nicole Kidman memes about her AMC commercial feel pretty ancient by now.
- Did we really need Kenan doing various REACTION shots here?
- Ok, the whole turn with Chloe’s Nicole Kidman having superpowers is weird, but it’s making me laugh.
- I love Punkie’s scared reaction at the end, she steals this short for me.
Musical Performance – “Rich Spirit” & “N95”
Mitch McConnell (JAJ) countenances Herschel Walker’s (KET) nonsense
MIL describes his relationship with his conservative, anti-vax father
spotted lanternfly (BOY) taunts haters like a tabloid talk show villain
- Man, does it feel awkward to be still reviewing Michael & Colin behind the desk considering how many vets left the cast by now.
- The same old same old jokes from Colin & Michael here. Nothing really to point out.
- Great to see James not only marking his debut behind the Update desk after how he surprisingly didn’t appear at all last season making him the only one not to do an Update piece, but also for him to debut yet another impression tonight.
- Unsurprisingly, James’ Mitch McConnell impression is solid (even when Beck’s will remain the definitive one for me). Yet, I cannot say the same for Kenan’s non-attempt at a Herschel Walker impression.
- Ugh, I’m not liking where this commentary is going with us being told about how dumb Walker is & I’m also not enjoying how Kenan is playing him in his usual affable demeanor. Such a waste of James’ talents in particular.
- Now this is surprising, as tonight’s episode has been dominated by the older cast so far, we now get a major showcase for a newbie in his very first night with new cast member Michael Longfellow doing an Update commentary as himself.
- Michael is already coming off polished, likable, and funny. I especially love his quiet, deadpan delivery.
- Solid dig at Bill Maher, which is coming off funnier to me as a former fan of his.
- A pretty solid first showcase for Michael in general, and it’s no surprise that the best moment of the night to me so far was a showcase of the newer blood in the cast.
- As soon as the audience started to giggle, I knew we were in for a weird Bowen commentary, and then there he appeared wearing that ridiculous costume. Blah.
- Look, I enjoy Bowen in general as a cast member, and I see him as funny & creative, but the Bowen Vamp is fun in small doses, not in an entire Update commentary.
- Alright, the ending with Andrew (always lovely to see him on Update) as the corn did make me laugh with how silly it was.
- An overall pretty rough Update, aside from Michael Longfellow’s solid debut, we had two mediocre commentaries, and the same old same old jokes (Mitch McConnell, Biden dementia, Kamala, etc.). I sure hope this is not a preview of this potential final season for Che/Jost behind the desk…
jacked Grimace (host) tells fellow McDonaldland characters he’s bisexual
- Are Mikey, Bowen, and Kenan going to be in EVERY SINGLE SKETCH tonight? Where are the other cast members?
- Jesus Christ, is every two sketches tonight going to be about brands?! Was half this episode written by Seiday?
- Very poor use of Sarah, whose comedic talents & creativity are being completely wasted in this poor sketch, especially that her comedic sensibilities is what this episode desperately misses.
- Man, this sketch is DEAD so far. Very off & hollow feeling to it as well, which is making me downright uncomfortable sitting through it.
- What’s with the sketch’s turn about Grimace being bi? And is this supposed to be amusing? At least Miles is committing to this bit.
- This sketch is freakin’ HORRIBLE so far. Absolutely flat & a dud. The very “off” feel around it makes it even harder to sit through. What is this even GOING for so far?!
- Awful, awful ending.
Musical Performance – “Father Time”
(EGN) & (HEG) drink & chase men during long resort stay
- Boy, this sketch feels very MADtv, and not in a good way so far.
- At least it feels nice seeing Ego & Heidi in lead roles, considering how close they’re behind the scenes, so it is kinda jarring how they barely worked together in sketches.
- Ok, that photo of Ego & Heidi did give me a good laugh, and their energy is welcomed especially after how lethargic this episode has been especially since Update started.
- Kenan seems to be wearing his Good Burger hairstyle. And did we need him in yet ANOTHER sketch tonight?
- Not the best way to end the night, but at least the energy was much higher, considering the dirge that was the sketch before this one.
- I always find it endearing when the new cast members are being pointed at during the goodnights of their very first episode, I especially love the moment with Molly & Sarah.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Send Something Normal
- A very shaky premiere, with some MAJOR writing issues right out of the gate. In particular having about HALF of the sketches tonight being product placement for various brands which was absolutely embarrassing to watch, and aside from the cold open and the monologue, nothing is this episode rose to being above “ok” to me and we get some pretty worrying weak sketches in tonight’s episode, especially that awful & dead Grimace sketch. Also, the cast use was especially wonky tonight, with us getting way too much Mikey & Bowen in particular, and aside from Michael Longfellow, none of the newbies got the chance to shine tonight, which is especially frustrating considering the great first night that Sarah & James had last season. I expected a different-feeling premiere, instead we got some of what I did NOT want to see: Mikey explains, Kenan reacts, dated references, cast frustrations, sketches about brands, and especially fatigued feel in the air with how some portions of tonight’s episode having a quiet, off, and very hollow feel to them, such as the Charmin Bears & Grimace sketches.
- To say something positive about tonight’s show before concluding this review, the host & musical combo were fairly solid on their own, especially Miles’ commitment and energy throughout the night, even during the weaker sketches. And as for Kendrick Lamar, I especially enjoyed the first musical performance from him which was especially solid.
My Favorite Moments of the Episode, Represented with Screencaps:
- Brendan Gleeson hosts with musical guest Willow.
My full set of screencaps from this episode is here.