Jessica Chastain is very good. Last night’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ wasn’t.

Saturday Night Live
Jessica Chastain & Troye Sivan
January 20, 2018

There is an expression Dan Savage coined to represent good qualities in a sexual partner: “GGG,” which stands for “good, giving and game.” It turns out those same qualities are what is required in a good Saturday Night Live host: good at acting, giving in their exchanges with the cast mates and game for anything, including making themselves look foolish. And to the beautiful Jessica Chastain’s credit, she is quite GGG!

However, it doesn’t much matter how GGG any host is unless the material they are given is actually worthy of their goodness, giving and gameness. Last night’s sketches weren’t. With a couple of exceptions, the writers let Chastain down last night with overly broad bits and sketches that lacked a point. I don’t know who wrote which sketches, but it sure felt like last night was a wasted opportunity to give the few women in the writers’ room a chance to write sketches for an actress known for her strength and outspokenness. HIRE MORE WOMEN, LORNE.

The cold open took on The Absurd Trump Moment of the Week: Dr. Ronny Jackson’s health assessment of the President, and how it can’t possibly be accurate, based on “taking one look at the President.” The important questions are asked, including: “How broke that brain?” (Answer: so broke. All the way broke.)

Grade: A-

Jessica Chastain’s opening monologue celebrated the Women’s March by singing “You Don’t Own Me,” and making easy jokes about pussy hats and mansplaining, ending on a weirdly sour note about finding a husband. Boo. Do not like.

Grade: C+

With the return of my old nemesis The Bachelor┬ácomes the return of SNL’s fairly easy Bachelor spoof in which a series of women throw themselves at a cipher. Clearly written by a Bachelor fan, this version sees a bachelorette from “Labia, Alabama,” one whose entire personality is that she has short hair, another who is a taxidermy fan, and one who cried while playing mini-golf. As a professional Bachelor blogger, I am here to tell you this barely qualifies as a spoof. This could have been outtakes from this most recent episode.

Grade: A-

It’s a spoof of the opening credits for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air┬áthat takes a dark turn, devolving into a gang kidnapping and a mass shoot-out. I was with this until it became way too twisty and the Yakuza got involved. Simpler is almost always better when it comes to SNL sketches.

Grade: C+

The entire joke in this Google Talk sketch is that a guy is being bullied because he looks exactly like Bart Simpson. That’s it. That’s the joke.

Grade: C

“What Even Matters Any More” is a game show sketch in which Jessica Chastain’s game show host slowly melts down over Trump’s unchecked disgusting behavior. Too real.

Grade: A+

Here’s your “Weekend Update.” It’s less biting than last week’s but it’s serviceable. But why anyone continues to think it’s a good idea to let Michael Che talk about women is a fucking mystery.

Grade: B

Stormy Daniels, the hero America deserves right now.

Grade: A

Princes Harry and William visit the Update desk for some reason.

Grade: C+

Kate McKinnon adds another impersonation to her stable: Robert Mueller, and it works exceptionally well. Bob’s here to assure us that, “we good.” JESUS, LET’S HOPE SO.

Grade: A

A series of cities compete to be Amazon’s next headquarters, but really this is just an excuse — and a convoluted one at that — to trot out a bunch of celebrity impersonations, including Paula Deen, Casey Affleck of all people and Pitbull.

Grade: B

In this very annoying sketch, two ditzes can’t figure out a free taco deal. See, it’s funny because women are dumb and bad at math.

Grade: D

Hey, do you love Pete Davidson’s recurring Chad character? Good news. For the rest of us: UGH.

Grade: C-

Hey, remember that one Keenan Thompson character, the director that used to work in sitcoms, and gives his actors wacky, completely inappropriate notes? He’s back. (And it’s still not funny.) Note: this is pretty much all we see of Leslie Jones this week. What’s up with that?

Grade: C

Final Grade: B-.

jessica chastain wine snl drink.gif
Exactly, girl.

Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC.

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