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Every once in awhile I read reviews of SNL. Almost never do the reviews say
"it was OK". Unless it is a review by a frequent viewer, they always say
something like "SNL is great again!" or "SNL sucks now". Usually these
reviews are from people who never or rarely watch the show, and only
remember it from 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years ago. These types of reviews
have been the same for as long as I can remember. The periods that people
now call "classic" frequently met with poor reviews at the time.
One thing to remember is that the show is an hour and a half, longer than most any other TV show. It is hard to fill such a long show with consistently funny material. It is also hard to make every episode funny. Therefore the show (like most shows) wavers between great and awful, depending on the sketch or episode you are watching at the moment. To judge an entire series on one episode (or part of one) is a mischaracterization.
I've watched SNL for most of its life, and although it has ranged from hilarious to horrible, I would say the average show is "pretty funny". The bottom line: there's nothing better to watch on Saturday night, so until there is, I will always watch SNL!
The first five years of S.N.L. will always be the "golden era" of this show. Belushi, Akroyd, Chase, Curtain, Newman, Morris, Radner and Radner will always represent an era when some of the best comedic talent of the 1970's were all on one show and as a springboard for greatness. However, once the original cast was gone the show went in decline for me. Even though talents like Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscapo, Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, Martin Short and Billy Crystal became big stars as a result of being on the show, the magic that the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players will never be duplicated. They made Saturday nights worth staying at home.
I like to describe this show like a on and off relationship because one year this show is funny and the next it sucks and it's like that year after year. Still it always manages to make you laugh and it has been the breakthrough show for some of the greatest comedians of all-time.
An earlier reviewer said this show sucks and that the "new cast" is terrible. What is interesting about SNL is how whenever there is a changeover of cast, it has become almost a tradition to hate the newcomers. In truth, however, many of the episodes that have aired in recent years -- even since the 1998 review I refer to -- have now come to be considered classics. And the cast members so many of us hated at first are now often seen in a favorable light alongside the "classic" cast of the late 1970s. And what cannot be denied is no TV program in history has been such a fertile breeding ground for future stars. Just look at the cast list and be amazed.
What promised well from the early seasons has become, more seasons than
not, a safe and homogenized sketch comedy. It's basically the McDonalds
of TV sketch that has pushed worthier competitors out of the way for
Performers and writers are basically encouraged to ruin sketches with one-note repetition/dragged-out premises, breaking character (essentially on purpose) and smug self-satisfaction... and all of this in the least interesting way possible. What could have been an American version of the avante-garde sketch-breaking started with Monty Python has instead evolved into the pettiest of petty irony "lol I'm in a sketch" onanism; professional 'high school pep assembly' sketches.
The teleprompter-life-support terrible acting that has plagued the show since the 80's or so deserves its own separate paragraph.
The next part may be tough to talk about in a year as politically polarizing and maddening as 2016 is, but I'm nothing if not willfully oblivious: The sketch and satire has picked a direction instead of bravely throwing punches at all valid targets. However, due to the nature of most kinds of satire, from the Ancient Greeks onward, this political directionality itself is forgivable, even if the occasional punch in the other direction would be more intellectually honest. But far, far worse is that instead of an open-minded, sharp, liberal satire, it has chosen, especially in the last 15 years or so, a sophomore-level, party-line Democrat 'satire'. So instead of leading in their own particular apologize-to-no-one way that satirists should do (and as South Park does and The Daily Show and Colbert Report almost always did- they are not always right, but they are always satirists), they follow the party line.
Instead of the 2/10 that I'm giving for the occasional good sketch, would you find it reasonable to give a 1/10 to a show that has for 40 years: had essentially its pick of the litter on writers and performers; had a decent budget; has cornered the market (merely by being first to market) on the national attention that no other show of its kind has come close to rivaling; and for all that has given us a batting average of good/rewatchable sketches somewhere around the 5% range?
Been watching all of SNL this season and I'm disappointed with the way the show is moving. The skit's aren't really that great and creative anymore. I don't find myself laughing at all most episodes aside from weekend update. The music guests have absolutely sucked this season - all people I've never heard of or that just stink (no big names aside from Coldplay). Every skit also finds it's only humor in sexual innuendo's. But it's just crass jokes and not even good ones (like Sweuty's Ball's). Gonna take a break from the show for now until the writers get their act together and find funny jokes instead of just jokes about sex.
So sad, I've been watching the show for over two decades and I can't deal anymore. I often get so frustrated I turn it off mid show. It use to be funny now it just tries to translate offensive behavior into humor. Tonight when they offended Christian spirituality, off it went. A couple weeks ago I watched and they refused to bring on any skits that did not whine and cry about the election results and they are still mentioning it in almost every skit. Get over it already! Other things are happening in the world. No matter who won, does that mean we have to bash the upcoming new president relentlessly. Sour grapes. You are losing a huge population of viewers, enough to apparently determined the election results. When Alec Baldwin came on in the beginning of the 2016 campaign show as Trump, I admit it was hilarious but it gave equal footing to poking fun at both candidates not just bashing one. In addition you really need writing adjustments, the material is dry and humorless. Miss the old shows.
Who invited all the Hillary supporters? Why did they replace the entire cast with a bunch of liberals? Why is this now all about politics? When the entire cast are the only ones laughing at their annoying statements(yes I didn't call them jokes) you know the show went down the drain. Who is even writing the scripts? A lab of monkeys can be funnier than these low life's. How about instead of framing people who oppose your opinions as racists, bigots, in other words people who shouldn't be part of YOUR society, how about you write things that are actually funny. Oh wait, since when did it become YOUR society. This is OUR society and every man woman and child has an equal say. Stop pushing your views onto people because that is not comedy. That's CNN and CNN is not funny. Please get back to making people laugh instead of feeling awkward, judged, feel like they don't belong.
This is my first review, and I write it with great sadness, about a show I've been watching and enjoying since I was a kid, in the 80's. It seems this show has been getting worse in the past few seasons, to the point where I now find it almost unwatchable. Of course, no comedy show can be funny every time, with every single sketch, but that's the beauty of a live show. My problem is not with the comedic aspect but the political and social messages that now completely overwhelm the comedy. It is blatantly left wing, portraying anyone that would disagree with it's points a nut. If I wanted that kind of show I'd watch Stewart or Colbert. Weekend Update is particularly one-sided. The point of the show now seems to be to preach to its viewers rather than to entertain. Seth Meyers comes across as the kid you hated in high school, you know, the one that always kissed the teachers' you-know-what, and ran for every student election, while having all the cool toys because his parents are filthy rich. Yeah, that kind of guy, completely unpalatable and full of himself. Furthermore, in just about every episode now, there is at least one scene which involves men kissing. I have no problem with homosexuals doing that in their private lives, but it's frankly disgusting, not at all funny, so don't throw it in the viewer's face. There are some bright points, like the new guy that plays Obama, he's an amazing impressionist. It's a shame Kristen Wiig left, she was Hilarious. I fast forward through the music acts so can't comment on those. Overall, watch the first 2 skits, then flip to some other show.
You just cant touch NRFPTP! The new crop is just awful. The jokes are not funny. Some of the troupe make me want to stop watching TV all together. Lorne - you have let your creation go down the toilet. The guests sometimes are good, the bands are mostly garbage. Weekend update, Seth has to tell the audience when to laugh.....Seth would get a proper reception in a Baghdad cafe though...Make sure Andy goes with him... The show has about 10 jokes in all and they just keep rehashing them over and over. Even the segments that are obviously not funny. Offending people has become the name of the game, but they cant even do that right. Just offensively. I am so disappointed with what has happened to the show, but now I also know it is safe to go OUT on a Saturday night!
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