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Pete Martell

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  1. "Dreams" has had a revival in the last few months because of a Tiktok video that went viral, so on paper, it could have gotten a reaction. I think the problem was the threading - the piece just didn't flow well and there wasn't anything behind it. Doing a good impression isn't enough in this format - there needs to be some depth. (to be honest, while I do think Melissa is a very good impressionist, I didn't even think it was that great of a Stevie Nicks) One of the reasons I do like Melissa and want her to have her moment in the SNL sun is because she still offers some unpredictability. I never know quite what she will do behind the desk. A satirical song, or impressions, or a character piece. Unfortunately, this just felt so thrown together, and was not anything to connect her to viewers.
  2. I think Cecily is excellent. I mostly just meant that it isn't really how she markets herself, whereas Melissa was known for impressions pre-SNL and hired for that reason. That is Melissa's main expertise, whereas Cecily is more rounded.
  3. Melissa tends to speak openly about her mental health struggles as well as her struggles with finding comedy right now...but, much as I do think the audience is a bit lackluster at present (I know I could say "It's because the material isn't funny," but there have been guffaws at much worse material over the years so I can see why the performers might be frustrated), being quite that blunt isn't the best idea. I do like Melissa as a performer, but for someone who was cast for her impressions, I think that they have consistently let her down because there is nothing underneath them. It's not enough to just do impressions. Cecily may not be as technically good as Melissa but she is able to create characters with her impressions and make them seem real. Melissa tends to just sort of do the voice. That is also what helps Chloe. Almost everything that I have enjoyed with Melissa was her work in sketches where she was reacting to something (or that sketch where she rapped about her hobbies or the one where she went out on a date). Her Update appearances I've liked have also been when she is playing a character (like the teenage girl in a cop show). Even in this episode, she was much better in that political ad where she talked about how she isn't going to go back to caring about her kids. I don't see her staying on the show past this season, one way or the other, but if she wants to stand out more, the character roles, and finding a strong writer to help her, are the way to do it.
  4. You don't get to see Beck's physicality on the show very often, other than stuff like this, and then when he first started. I wish they used this element of the cast more often - Alex Moffat did physical comedy in basketball games for several years but that terrific leap he did in the YMCA piece was one of the first times the show ever used that skill. Mikey has used his dancing a little more often (like in the stakeout sketch with Chris Pine), but probably never to as good of use as here (turn the volume way down).
  5. Tonight's Vintage is Kate Hudson/Radiohead. You can get a look here at a full episode review and that way you can check later to see what didn't make the Vintage cut. https://www.onesnladay.com/2020/02/17/october-14-2000-kate-hudson-radiohead-s26-e2/
  6. Before this becomes completely irrelevant - someone talks about a few of the cut sketches and being in the audience. (the Standby Line podcast goes into detail about a few other cut sketches)
  7. Bowen on the sketch. (not intending to dredge this up over and over, just saw this today) Kate was wearing Savannah Guthrie's actual outfit. https://www.eonline.com/news/1199804/how-savannah-guthrie-helped-perfect-kate-mckinnons-saturday-night-live-sketch
  8. Some photos behind the scenes. https://www.wsj.com/story/how-snl-gets-it-done-under-covid-74eaad93 Lorne's Today interview. https://www.today.com/video/lorne-michaels-on-snl-always-adapting-to-the-times-even-during-a-pandemic-94085189520
  9. I think that season had some great highlights and was overall a decent year, but when I watched some of those 2016 pre-election episodes earlier this year, I felt like they were surprisingly choppy compared to what I had expected, other than the Tom Hanks episode, which was pretty good almost all the way through. The Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda episodes in particular (although as is usually the case with SNL there were still a few things in each I enjoyed). I suppose one big difference is this was when people like Mikey Day first joined the cast and his presence and some of his sketches could add some new energy, and you also had people like Kate, Cecily and Aidy who were at their peak. Now you have a lot of people who are clearly in the process of leaving, and you have people like Mikey who have mostly repeated their sketches for about 4-5 seasons now. I think the new people have mostly been a shot in the arm for the show - Ego is a very natural and charismatic utility player, Chris is a smooth, likeable presence who excels in the pre-tapes and is strong support in sketches, Heidi is a great dramatic actress (even if her attempts at playing 'weird' don't work for me), Bowen has a lot of energy and fun (even if I don't really like his sketches as much as I wish I did), Chloe is one of the best impressionists they've had in years, and the glimpses we've seen of Punkie and Andrew also seem promising to me (I'm afraid Lauren will just end up being seen as Aidy 2.0). But we haven't seen them get enough of a chance due to the older cast members. I agreed with you more about the cast in the premiere, but I think overall their work has improved quite a bit these past two episodes. The election material is pretty weak, and I don't believe they get anything out of writing for Trump or Biden and just feel they have to because of ratings (I don't think the 2016 election material was much good either but I could at least say that others did). I think they have toned Biden's malevolence down heavily from when Woody Harrelson played the role, but now it just feels like a mush rather than a character. So it's hard to know when we are even meant to laugh or why we should care or why we are just watching a checklist. Whoever wins, if they cut down the bloated cold opens and allowed for more material, then the variety alone would make the episodes breathe easier. I may not be the best judge because, outside of the cold opens I kind of like the halting style and attempts at finding some sort of different direction and having a more serious tone the last few weeks - it feels like the show starting to finally realize they have to move on and trying to figure out how. But the last two weeks may be a blip and we may be back to "somebody has a funny name, let's make a face," this coming week, I don't know. I am trying not to get my hopes up about long-term changes until we finally get the cast exodus which we are now just getting hints of.
  10. Regarding the Bonjour Hi sketch, I've seen reactions veering in many directions. One writer seemed to be aghast that a show as inferior as SNL even mentioned their city, rather than talking about the sketch itself; various people from Montreal replied to his tweet saying they weren't bothered by the sketch; Bowen Yang also replied before deleting his Twitter. I suppose it shows what a bubble I'm in because I thought it was a cookie cutter piece and wouldn't have remembered it if not for the controversy. Here is a Global news piece interviewing various Montreal residents. https://globalnews.ca/video/7404809/montrealers-react-to-snls-bonjour-hi-media-skit
  11. H.E.R. was also a guest on the new All That, so maybe she will be in a sketch as well.
  12. I read the article - I agreed with parts (although I didn't think Issa was that poorly used), but not so much with others - mainly the "America needs a good Joe Biden." Lorne and NBC only have themselves to blame for being in that position by putting so much emphasis on the election material, but America's fate does not rest on a sketch comedy impression. I personally would love to see Jason Sudeikis on the show again, but I am still not sure he fits current Biden. With that said, I imagine Lorne chose based on a ratings spike, not on who fits, so maybe once the election is over they will either ask Jason to return (if Biden wins), or go with a cast member. I can't see Carrey wanting to stay around for 4 years. Cut for time sketch:
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