Saturday Night Live “Tina Fey/Arcade Fire” Live Blog/Review (39×01)

29 Sep

tina-Fey-SNLThis season of SNL brings new changes, as well my system of weekly live blogs and reviews. Check back in after every couple sketches, as I’ll have updates every 10 minutes or so.

OBAMA COLD OPEN: The SNL political cold opens have never been all that great, but this one is good enough to kick off the season. The fact that Aaron Paul shows up is amazing, and Kate McKinnon does wonderful work here. However, there’s also a lot of unfunny stuff. GRADE: B

TINA FEY MONOLOGUE: Tina Fey’s absolutely amazing. She gets in some good lines here, but the sight of everyone dancing around her doesn’t really work as well as it should have. Anyway, hi to all the new folks. GRADE: C+

“GIRLS” PARODY: Now here is where Fey shines. Blertha is a new character in “Girls”, and everything that she does and says is absolutely hilarious here. Not only that, but the other cast members’ impressions are spot on. Bayer’s Shoshanna and McKinnon’s Jessa are great. GRADE: A-

EXPRESS AIR: This doesn’t really amount to much, except to make fun of a bunch of people that aren’t all that funny. Thompson’s huge suitcase is a hilarious visual gag and Monyihan’s creepy foreigner are great, but the sketch ends up feeling a bit overlong. Still, I liked it. GRADE: B-

NEW CAST MEMBER OR ARCADE FIRE?: Thompson is who makes this sketch work. The premise isn’t all that great, but him screaming at all the cast members and Fey is a joy to watch. While I’m bummed out that Hader is gone, it’ll give guys like Thompson and Killam some more time in the spotlight. GRADE: B

EMETH: As soon as the sketch started, I knew Aaron Paul was going to factor in somewhere at the end. It’s a short sketch, but is just long enough to get in some fantastic meth-smoker shots from the cast. McKinnon is always a treat to watch, and the sight of Thompson trying to grab a naked guy in his living room is hilarious. Also, Aaron Paul. Why not? GRADE: B+

WEEKEND UPDATE: (I’ll take a look at the two musical performances later on) I’m not sure about this yet. Cecily Strong is great, but the first update segment is a bit shaky. I like the bit where Fey gives her advice, but the news stories themselves aren’t all that great (save for maybe the Low Winter Sun slam). Newcomer Kyle Mooney shows up in a not particularly funny guest spot, but Drunk Uncle is able to close off the update on somewhat of a good note. Also, Aaron Paul again. GRADE: C

UNWANTED WOMAN: What? In what world is this funny? I tuned out somewhere in that awfulness, because all I saw was a bunch of stupid stuffed animals. GRADE: D+

RICK’S MODEL T’S: Okay, that late show fatigue is setting in. Fey does what she can as a wife of a car salesman, but her role amounts to nothing but spewing out random lines. Granted, that doesn’t sound all that bad, but nothing really lands here. Hopefully the last sketches can pick up the show a bit. GRADE: C-

ARCADE FIRE: I’ll admit that I’ve never really paid much attention to these guys. I like their style and use of visuals, though, and their sound is very unique; I don’t think I’ll be buying their albums anytime soon, but their performances here are very enjoyable. GRADE: B

MANOLO BLAHNIK: This sketch is consistently hilarious, and I probably will never get tired of it (okay, I probably will). Fey fits in well (“I saw you on House Hunters, and you picked the wrong house, bitch!”), and the other two get in some amazing lines as well (“What’s that thing you put stuff in?” “Your mouth?”). It’s a random sketch, and it’s great. GRADE: B+

Episode Grade: C+

Best sketch: I’m going with “Girls”. I had the grade at B+ before, but I’m bumping it up. It really was a perfect parody, and Fey was wonderful alongside the other cast members.

Worst sketch: “Unwanted Salesman”/”Model T’s”

Final thoughts: I was expecting more out of the premiere, especially with a powerhouse of a host in Tina Fey. There were some great moments, but the whole thing dragged on near the end. Aaron Paul was great, and I felt that Cecily Strong fit in alright Weekend Update. She didn’t get any of the guests, though, which is something I’m hoping we’ll see next week.

Next week: Miley Cyrus. Oh well.

Credit to NBC and Saturday Night Live for all pictures. I own nothing.

2 Responses to “Saturday Night Live “Tina Fey/Arcade Fire” Live Blog/Review (39×01)”

  1. Matthew Sommer September 29, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    Great recap. So glad you broke down best and worst sketch. Can’t wait to see what you think of Cecily and the new cast members next week. Clue the sledgehammer jokes.

    • polarbears16 September 29, 2013 at 5:46 am #

      Thanks! Yeah, hopefully the new cast members can make more of an impression next week.

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