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Metaqualler: SNL Season Premiere Edition

Saturday night brought us the season premiere of Saturday Night Live and high expectations, given the current political climate and given last season's when-its-on-it's-really-on moments. Watching SNL weekly as long as I can remember always made me happy as a little girl (did you catch that?! DIETER reference!!!) but obviously it's always had its ups and downs. This week's premiere was an exxxtreme example of those ups and downs. For the fantastic moments, there were maybe two absolutely terrible moments that weren't much more sophisticated than Blogulator scribe Sean's improv company (and minus Sean's level of parody.)

Luckily, Metaqualler is here to hash out the highs and the lows of this episode for you, so you know what to think. To rehash, Metaqualler reviews things from the perspective of 12-year-old Qualler (totes loved David Spade!), 17-year-old Qualler (Will Ferrell is da bomb diggity), 21-year-old Qualler (doesn't watch SNL, it used to be good) and 25-year-old Qualler (watches new SNL in lieu of having the energy to go out on Saturdays).

Sarah Palin & Hillary Clinton (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler)
12-year-old Qualler: Tina Fey's Alaskan accent is hilarious! Amy Poehler does a good imitation of Hillary Clinton! Score: 95
17-year-old Qualler: Tina Fey's Alaskan accent is hilarious! Amy Poehler does a good imitation of Hillary Clinton! And, this is political, which is neat. Score: 95
21-year-old Qualler: Tina Fey's Alaskan accent is hilarious! Amy Poehler does a good imitation of Hillary Clinton! Ugh, this show used to be funny. Well, even I admit this is pretty funny. Score: 90
25-year-old Qualler: Tina Fey's Alaskan accent is hilarious! Amy Poehler does a good imitation of Hillary Clinton! And this opener must have been written by Ms. Fey herself, because of the subtley hilarious rips on current events of today. Score: 100

12-year-old Qualler: Uhh... Score: (Shrug)
17-year-old Qualler: The future is funny, I guess. What's with that weird voice effect, though? Perhaps this voice effect will be cool in the future. Score: 65
21-year-old Qualler: The video is definitely better the more times it is replayed. This Andy Samberg guy has some talent! Score: 75
25-year-old Qualler: The SNL digital shorts have quickly become the best thing about SNL today -- in fact, I'd like it if the entire show was a combination of well-written political sketches and digital shorts. (I guess that would make it less "live" and more MadTV style, but I digress.) Watch for Samberg getting stressed out over his calculator and the fact that an "unnamed" individual accidently hit the self-destruct button (i.e. him wearing sunglasses.) Love it! Score: 85

12-year-old Qualler: Hahahaha pretend commercials are funny! Score: 70
17-year-old Qualler: Hahahaha pretend commercials are funny! And, Jason Sudekis does his best job channeling Will Ferrell's "I drive a Dodge Stratus!" suburban father. Laff factory! Score: 70
21-year-old Qualler: Ughhhhhh, this is what is frusterating about watching SNL these days -- making fun of T-Mobile commercials is such an easy target. Score: 55
25-year-old Qualler: This is an example of turning a sketch that on paper sounds lame but in execution is smarter and wittier than one would expect. a)They took a lame commercial and took what the real-life effect would be to its logical conclusion; b)Kristin Wiig and Jason Sudekis are great at taking mundanity and turning it into something a little more subversive. This happens more often than not these days on SNL which is why the show is more of a weekly appointment for the Qualler household these days. Score: 70
The episode also had its share of clunkers, like pretty much any time Michael Phelps tried to act, new cast member Bobby Moynihan's "Hey, isn't this guy a bad waiter?" sketch (which came on after the "Space Olympics" sketch, further highlighting the show's inconsistency), and Kenan Thompson as Charles Barkley (no matter what happens, Kenan is still the guy from Nickelodeon's All That and, like Darrell Hammond, doesn't really fit the current cast) so it's hard to give the entire episode a great review. But there were definitely inspired moments, like the opening sketch, and some of the other aforementioned moments. We'll see what this season of SNL has to bring and hope that other similarly-themed shows this year hit high marks, especially with the coming election. Of course, I'll still be looking forward more to Ryan vs. Sean.

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  1. Blogger DoktorPeace | 8:33 AM |  

    I like how only one version of Qualler knows how to spell "imitation" correctly.

    I think current Qualler is far too kind to this show. They had a whole summer of material to build upon, and half the sketches were on the level of a Spanish class sketch. For whatever reason, though, I felt like the bad waitress bit was one of the better ones; maybe because it wasn't so formulaic? or maybe because my standards had been lowered so far by that point in the episode.

    I caught SNL on accident this week, which is pretty much the only time I'll be watching the show this year.

  2. Blogger Brigitte | 11:21 AM |  

    yeah, that spelling thing...has plagued qualler for awhile. at various ages. certainly not the fault of anyone else who was supposed to read over the post for such errors...eeee!

    i love this feature. and i did enjoy SNL, even though it was a weak episode overall, but that's probably just because i'm getting old. so is qualler. that's why current day qualler goes easy on things. cause you know how some people get old and crabbier? i think it's the opposite for the quallers...we've just accepted mediocrity, and are getting too happily senile to mind it.

  3. Blogger Brigitte | 11:23 AM |  

    i'm also glad i didn't know 17 year old qualler. he seems to hate everything... :-/

  4. Blogger qualler | 11:26 AM |  

    17-year-old Qualler says: Hey spelling nazis, get a life!

    25-year-old Qualler says: I'm like Roger Ebert, getting softer to pop culture in age.

  5. Blogger qualler | 11:26 AM |  

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Blogger DoktorPeace | 11:49 AM |  

    I'm no officer of the Third Reich, but a sentence that appears to be cut-and-paste features three different spellings of the same word in four lines. On some level I believe this is an incisive barb at ???, but on another level I'm simply baffled.

  7. Blogger Brigitte | 12:29 PM |  

    i really liked the digital short this week. SNL should just be digital shorts and the news.

  8. Blogger Sean | 3:01 PM |  

    am i the only person that thinks kristin wiig is seriously hot? she is soooooooo hot. i love that character of her's where she says stuff that bests other people stuff that they just said. and then she turns invisible.


  9. Blogger Nicole | 3:13 PM |  

    Maybe I've been watching CNN too much, but I thought SNL was much more funny than I've seen in a while. I liked when Michael Phelps wore the mouth guard and played the saxophone. The skit itself wasn't funny, but that image was:)

  10. Blogger chris | 3:16 PM |  

    It's confusing to me how I anticipate the political sketches, and while I usually giggle at them, they're hardly memorable other than the "I can't wait for ___ to spoof ___" feeling that we all innately get from growing up with both political idiocy and SNL.

    Even though it was basically that Hero of the Night sketch but with vocoder and in outer space, I also laughed way much at the Digital Short.

    And someone forgot to mention Lil Wayne, who totally killed it! Seriously, I loved that. So many melodies at one time.

    Overall, there's potential, but it seems impossible for SNL to ever tap it correctly to make watching its entirety on a weekly basis worthwhile.

  11. Blogger qualler | 3:25 PM |  

    To me, complaining that SNL is good or bad is pointless. It's difficult for any show that is 90 minutes long to sustain itself consistently, so even when it's "good" there are bound to be better or worse parts. What is true, though, is the cast today is generally a good, talented cast, and the sketches/videos are generally a little more daring than usual. Add to the advent of DVR/NBC.com showing clips and it's easy to sift through what is there every week and get some quality stuff.

  12. Blogger DoktorPeace | 3:33 PM |  

    Sean - Wiig is pretty cute, but her characters too often turn into Cheri Oteri spas-es. Could work in the bedroom, though...

    Qualler - You may be right on the irrelevance of SNL good v. bad. However, I expect far more of those supposed to be some of our nation's finest comedians. I appreciate absurdist humor as much as the next, but SNL struggles to make it flow into a cohesive skit. For instance, the Quiz Bowl bit: It was just easy anti-Pentacostal jokes thrown together into a barrel of blah. I shouldn't feel exhausted and bored after 5 minutes of show.

  13. Blogger qualler | 11:52 AM |  

    Yeah Sean, Kristin Wiig's a total babe!

    Doktor: I totally agree with you -- notes on the craptastic sketches like that Quiz Show one were left out of the post, but that sketch is a perfect example of half-baked crap that they often churn out and could probably be better if they just took more chances.

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