Even Emma Stone can’t save this ‘Saturday Night Live’ (though she tries her best)

Saturday Night Live
Emma Stone & BTS
April 13, 2019

Emma Stone is so charming, so good-natured (or at least seemingly so), so up for anything, that she makes even weak material better with her sheer pluck. That said, “better” isn’t “good,” and as I’ve said about countless other episodes, Emma Stone deserved better than whatever this mess of an episode was. Sure, there were a pair of good sketches that I might fondly remember at the end of this season (but not by the beginning of the next) but there were many more clunkers and sketches that were just flat-out terrible that I feel genuinely sorry for our host.

I am sure Stone will return soon enough to claim that Five Timers Club jacket — the show clearly loves her and trusts her. I just hope when she returns they give her material worthy of her.

This week’s cold open imagines hardened criminals in prison being confronted with some really crazy mofos: Lori Loughlin, Michael Avenatti and Julian Assange as played by a delightfully loopy Michael Keaton. Why Michael Keaton? Who knows, but he’s having such a good time it doesn’t really matter. Also, why would Lori Loughlin be thrown into a prison cell with a bunch of dudes? Yeah, don’t think about it too hard. It’s a perfectly serviceable sketch that points out the ridiculousness of these people’s crimes — although as someone who is sending a kid off to college this fall, the idea of spending $500,000 to get your kid into USC is far far crazier than hacking governments for their secrets.

Grade: B+

It’s Emma Stone’s fourth time hosting and while she knows that the fifth time is the landmark for most people, she is still expecting the cast to do something special for her in this not good opening monologue. Also, what is this 1980s nightmare she is wearing? Who put her in this because they need to be fired.

Grade: C+

A kid struggling writing a history paper falls asleep where he dreams that the posters on his wall, which feature rapper Lil’ PerCocet (who is a real person, Grandma Therese learned this morning), some Black Panther characters, a WWE wrestler and a pinup, try to encourage him. Except the pinup is a dumb bimbo who just makes things worse. It’s not even the fact that this sketch is offensive and demeaning, it’s that the conceit itself is inherently stupid.

Grade: D+

I would 100% shop at this store. In fact, my husband probably suspects that I already do. This is the most relatable thing I’ve seen on SNL in a long while.

Grade: A++

Fact: The last time SNL did a The View parody, it was 2010. Since then, the show has hired Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, thank God, and this is the first time they have taken over the roles of Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar from Kenan Thompson and Fred Armisen, respectively. And I’m not saying that Thompson and Armisen weren’t funny as the daytime talk ladies — I use the “SO WHAT, WHO CARES?” gif by Armisen all the damn time. I’m just saying Jones and McKinnon really capture both women in a much more fundamental way. Also, Aidy Bryant as Meghan McCain? She’s the real breakout star here. My only complaint about this bit is that Emma Stone’s Jenny McCarthy didn’t really have much to work with. Otherwise, this is an eerily spot-on spoof of my favorite daytime talk show I love to hate.

Grade: A-

Melissa Villaseñor and Emma Stone rap about their hobbies and it’s not as charming and cute as they seem to think it is.

Grade: B-

I … I don’t know what is happening in this sketch. Is it supposed to be a spoof on 80s music videos? What is going on with Beck Bennett? Is the entire joke that they all peed in a fitting room? Is this funny? Am I hallucinating? Did I take a Lil’ Percocet? I … just … what? How is this not the final sketch of the night?

Grade: ???

“Weekend Update” tackles Julian Assange’s weird arrest (“That is not how you are typically removed from an embassy. That is how you are removed from the F Train.”) and Trump’s plan to release a bunch of immigrants into sanctuary cities. “Yeah, man, that’ll show ’em. I don’t know they’re going to handle a bunch of immigrants in a city like … New York.” (Side note: seriously — what is this plan? Is this supposed to be a punishment? Do they not get that big cities are filled with immigrants and that we don’t think twice about it? Or are they so fucking racist that they think adding more immigrants to a city’s population is going to increase crime? Because spoiler alert: it won’t.)

Grade: B+

7th-grade travel expert Carrie Krum returns to the “Weekend Update” desk to recommend visiting her family in the midwest. Aidy Bryant’s charm is what makes this whole thing work.

Grade: B

The obnoxious Instagram couple is also back to the Weekend Update desk to bitterly fight and break up. I don’t know why I love these two, but I do. Deal with it.

Grade: A-

Prince Harry tapes a video ahead of his baby’s birth in a reprise of a sketch they did when Harry and Meghan got married. It was funnier the first time.

Grade: B-

In arguably the best sketch of the night, Emma Stone plays an actress with a bit part in a gay porno, and she takes it very very seriously. I don’t know for sure that this was written by Julio Torres, but I’m guessing this was written by Julio Torres. (He is the writer responsible for a few of my other recent favorite sketches, including “Wells for Boys” and “Diego Calls His Mom.”)

Grade: A

And the answer to “Why wasn’t ‘Ladies’ Night’ the finals sketch of the night?”:

Grade: D+

Oh, hey, so BTS was the musical guest and they’re apparently a big deal or something? I am 11,000 years old, so what do I know?

Final Grade: B-. I don’t know how this grade is so high, frankly. I guess the “Fashion Coward” and “The Actress” sketches pulled it up, because otherwise, woof.

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

One thought on “Even Emma Stone can’t save this ‘Saturday Night Live’ (though she tries her best)

  1. 10/10 would definitely shop at Fashion Coward. It reminds me of a Brit panel show where David Mitchell explained his fashion sense in terms of bland enough to avoid notice, but not so bland as to reemerge on the other side attracting notice. The other panelists didn’t understand the concept at all. I totally understood. I have a coworker who refers to my wardrobe as Sicilian Widow Chic.

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