Oh, Saturday Night Live, you held so much promise with the announcement of Tina Fey as the host for your 39th season premiere. Sadly, as the premiere went on expectations were not met.
It’s always fun when an old cast member hosts. One reason is they bring back well-loved characters, but, as Tina Fey pointed out in her opening monologue, she really didn’t have any. Still, fans had reason to expect great things. Tina Fey has hosted the show three times before this, and they were all better than this one. This one felt as if it was thrown together last minute.
First, there was quite a bit of focus on the new cast members. Sure, there was “hazing” at the beginning, which I would have been fine with, if that was the only time they were in the spotlight. But the show started to feel like it was mainly focusing on the new members, rather than the veterans who have paid their dues.
Case in point: The whole “Is it a new cast member or a member of Arcade Fire” should have been scrapped. We get it SNL: You have new cast members. You don’t have to throw it in our faces constantly. Plus, the one thing that could have saved the skit wasn’t used. When Tina asked to use a friend, it would have been better if an old cast member had come out. Amy Poehler was the obvious choice, and the majority of my Twitter timeline was expecting it. Amy did not come out, or even Jimmy Fallon. Instead, Lorne Michaels was the friend. It was disappointing. One reason it was so disappointing was he acted as if he did not know his new cast members by sight. And I would like to remind SNL: Even if Amy was in Los Angeles, phoning a friend would have worked. There is this beautiful thing called technology, and they should have taken advantage of it.
I was disappointed by the lack of old cast members. It is one of the things I look forward to the most when an old cast member hosts. Yet, I saw none. There was no Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Maya Rudolph, no one. There was another great chance missed when Weekend Update was on. Of course Tina Fey would show up because she helped host it. First she hosted with Jimmy Fallon, and then with Amy Poehler. Again, the show missed another great opportunity by not having one of them or both come out during Weekend Update. Think about how great it would have been to see all of them together.
One of the few things that saved this new cast centric episode was Aaron Paul’s cameo. With Breaking Bad’s finale airing tonight, they made good use of him. It almost felt like he was co-hosting with Tina with how much we saw of him. This leads me to conclude: Aaron Paul needs to host SNL soon. He shone with the skits he was involved with. However, it’s sad because he had more memorable material than Tina. Cameos are meant to help highlight the show, not take over.
*Cecily Strong is now co-hosting Weekend Update with Seth Meyers, and when he leaves she might be the first woman to host by herself. Keep an eye on her.
*And more Aaron Paul