It’s the same old, same old for SNL’s season premiere

The last season of SNL had the highest ratings in two decades. The 69th Annual Emmy Awards marked the first time since 1993 that SNL took home an award in a top variety category.

The last season of SNL had the highest ratings in two decades. The 69th Annual Emmy Awards marked the first time since 1993 that SNL took home an award in a top variety category.

Uzma Rentia, Editor-in-Chief

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All good things must come to an end, or so it seemed with the season premiere of Saturday Night Live (SNL). That’s not to say the premiere was unenjoyable, but fresh off its most successful season in two decades, my bar was set higher than what was delivered. There were a few good political jokes, self-deprecating humor, and celebrity appearances, but overall, it seemed SNL was playing it safe.

The opening monologue by Ryan Gosling, whose first and previous time hosting was in 2015, was slightly banal. It centered primarily on the white-washing his acclaimed film La La Land was plagued with. Repeatedly deadpanning “I saved jazz” might have been funny – or just relevant – nine months ago, but now it seemed an overwrought and obvious choice. However, Gosling repeatedly breaking character, an endearing occurrence throughout the episode, a cameo by Emma Stone, and butchered pronunciations of “Nerlins,” “Chicagii,” and “NYC City” put a smile on my face.

The Cold Open fell short; rather that set up a fresh premise, it seemed like a continuation of season 42. As always, Kate McKinnon nailed playing Jeff Sessions, but bringing him into the opening skit seemed like a half-thought out way to rehash current events since the season finale in May.

Michael Che in the Weekend Update upped the ante as he skewered President Trump’s relief efforts – or non-efforts, for Puerto Rico. Calling out his tweets, golf trips, and the marked distinction between his response to Puerto and his response in Florida and Texas made for a politically fiery Weekend Update. Also returning was McKinnon on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Unfortunately, aside from clever remarks about the rise of Alternative for Germany, the only thing she had to offer were irrelevant, and frankly uncomfortable, memorabilia from her relationship with former President Obama. While I was a fan of having McKinnon’s Merkel reminisce about their close relationship, I felt SNL missed an opportunity to delve deeper into European politics, especially given the Catalonia referendum.

Aside from politics, “The Fliplets” and “Levi’s Wokes” were standout sketches. The former skewers HGTV’s hit show “Property Brothers.” SNL’s home renovation show features Gosling as the third, unhinged brother, hoping to come to terms with the family’s early struggles. “Levi’s Wokes” is a refreshing look at another extreme today. Whether its poking fun at millennials’ fixation with political correctness or brands that make disingenuous attempts to appeal to such leanings, “greb” pants are sure to get a laugh.

SNL 43 largely stuck to what it new. While there were a few laughs, the premiere was fairly subdued. It wants to find last season’s success, Studio 8H has to shake it up a bit.

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