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Date Posted: 23:21:16 09/01/17 Fri
Author: Mike (Male)
Subject: 2016-17 Season in Review
In reply to: Stooge 's message, "Retro Reviews - August 2017" on 02:13:46 08/01/17 Tue

A memorable season, to be sure – and to SNL's credit, I don't think it will fall victim to cries of “overrated,” at least not right away. Yes, Alec Baldwin's Trump wore out his welcome by midseason (of course, right around the time of the inauguration) – but his first few appearances were genuinely surprising revelations. Apparently he'd practiced all summer to nail the impression, and he pulled through.

This season's other plus: more genuine surprises than usual. The mood before the Kristen Stewart show seemed to be universal dread, but she actually fronted a solid episode. Louis C.K. bounced back from his very weak 2015 show with a much more memorable effort this time around. And when the last four shows proved that people on the West Coast would adjust their schedules to catch SNL actually live, that's a solid signal of staying power.

Other commenters have picked up on this – aside from the (essentially mandatory) political sketches, Mikey Day's more absurd bits made the most waves. Here's hoping he gets more freedom to crank them out next season. Yes, Trump will always provide more material than Obama ever did, but it will get tougher for SNL to lampoon him at the current pace without repeating ideas.

As has become the norm, the start of the season was much stronger than the end of it, with the cast and writers never quite hitting the highs of the Tom Hanks show. Baldwin's hosting gig was certainly disappointing. But SNL booked a solid crop of hosts overall. And while Jon Rudnitsky flailed last season, Alex and Melissa found their roles much more successfully – and Mikey might as well have started as a full-fledged cast member.

Bobby and Vanessa should be happy to know they've made solid contributions to the show. As trouble as Sasheer's tenure seemed, she may have been the actor we needed to pave the way for Leslie Jones. If I were Lorne, I wouldn't hire more than maybe one new actor, and give the trimmed cast an opportunity to gel even more.

This season's top three musical guests were obvious. Nobody else stood out as really memorable, and more of the acts sadly veered toward boring.

FANTASTIC
1. Tom Hanks / Lady Gaga
2. Louis C.K. / The Chainsmokers

VERY GOOD
3. Dave Chappelle / A Tribe Called Quest
4. Kristen Stewart / Alessia Cara
5. Emily Blunt / Bruno Mars
6. Margot Robbie / The Weeknd
7. Aziz Ansari / Big Sean

OK
8. Scarlett Johansson / Lorde
9. Alec Baldwin / Ed Sheeran
10. Emma Stone / Shawn Mendes
11. Dwayne Johnson / Katy Perry
12. Benedict Cumberbatch / Solange
13. Melissa McCarthy / HAIM

BELOW AVERAGE
14. Felicity Jones / Sturgill Simpson
15. Octavia Spencer / Father John Misty
16. Lin-Manuel Miranda / Twenty One Pilots
17. Kristen Wiig / The xx
18. Chris Pine / LCD Soundsystem
19. Jimmy Fallon / Harry Styles

BAD
20. John Cena / Maren Morris
21. Casey Affleck / Chance the Rapper

--

MUSICAL GUEST RANKINGS
1. A Tribe Called Quest w/ Busta Rhymes, Consequence
2. Sturgill Simpson
3. Bruno Mars
4. LCD Soundsystem
5. HAIM
6. Lady Gaga w/ Mark Ronson
7. Chance the Rapper w/ Noname
8. Alessia Cara
9. Lorde w/ Jack Antonoff
10. The Weeknd
11. Father John Misty
12. Ed Sheeran
13. Harry Styles
14. Maren Morris
15. Katy Perry w/ Migos
16. The xx
17. Twenty One Pilots
18. Shawn Mendes
19. Solange
20. The Chainsmokers w/ Emily Warren
21. Big Sean

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