Kristen Stewart Hosts An Underwhelming 'Saturday Night Live', But At Least There Was A Heroic Dog

After delivering a solid Halloween episode last weekend, the cast and writers of Saturday Night Live must have decided to phone it in this week, perhaps due to too many Halloween parties. Kristen Stewart returned as host, and not only was she barely anything other than herself in different wigs and wardrobe, but the sketches surrounding her left a lot to be desired. There were still some good laughs to be had, even in the

The Best

New Paint – When this started out as a live commercial parody, I was wondering exactly where this was going. But thankfully, I was rewarded with what Aidy Bryant does best. If there's one thing Bryant can do magnificently, it's play these overdramatic, breathy type of characters, and this sketch is the perfect portrait and that comedic magic. That along with the new developments about how unnecessarily expensive and terrible this new paint is made this one of my favorites of the night.

Elizabeth Warren Town Hall – While SNL has been bombing with a lot of their satire during the presidency of Donald Trump, whenever they use Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Warren, it usually works out. That's why the cold open was refreshingly great, as McKinnon portrays Warren as this feisty, stand-up comedian sort of politician. She's always got a little twinkle in her eye, and the way she breaks things her health care plan down in this exaggerated manner is hilarious.

The Average

Hero Dog Press Conference – Not only do we get Kate McKinnon showing her incredible range of characters, going from Elizabeth Warren to the monster that is Kelly Anne Conway, but we get a beautiful dog doing his best. Much like the recent Dog Court sketch from David Harbour's episode, the dog in this sketch isn't always cooperative. It does make for the kind of laughs that only Saturday Night Live can bring, but it also ruins the pacing of the sketch, which otherwise might have been a lot better. Still, the translated responses from the dog have some solid punchlines.

Corporate Nightmare – It's always funny to be how rebellious punk rock groups appear to kids when that band is part of a capitalist corporate machine just trying to sell you a product. This pre-recorded sketch bites on that awareness but turning a Green Day or Good Charlotte kind of band into part of the corporate machine. It's a predictable kind of sketch, and I don't think the lyrics take full advantage of the potential of the premise, but it was decent.

Duolingo for Talking to Children – Duolingo has helped a lot of people learn a different language, but they'd expand their reach even further to help awkward adults who have no idea how to talk to kids. Again, this is a premise that has a lot of potential, but I don't think it's fully reached here. In addition to explaining how to respond to meandering, long-winded stories and just generally respond to kids, this could have been used as a way for adults to talk to kids about weird situations too. But maybe that's a whole other premise. At least Kristen Stewart knew perfectly well how to be awkward around kids.

A Proposition – Kristen Stewart might as well have been playing herself in this sketch as a pansexual nightclubber who is just trying to get a three-way going with Ego Nwodim and Kenan Thompson, and older married couple just trying to enjoy their food. The couple seems adorably clueless in the young woman's pursuit, which is where some mild laughs come from. The best joke comes at the end, but it's not enough to make this remarkable.

The Worst

Rosie the Riveter – Here's another solid premise for a sketch that just didn't land nearly as well as it should have. The military wants a woman for their new campaign to help inspired more ladies to support the war efforts, and some of the candidates don't shine quite as well as Rosie the Riveter. Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon and Kristen Stewart play some rough around the edges, inappropriate blue collar ladies who have some ides of what they'd do to Hitler if they saw him. There are a few funny lines here, but more often than not it's kind of hard to understand what they're saying and their timing seems to be completely off.

Stargazing – The premise of this sketch doesn't work for me at all for one logistical reason. This is a constellation tour, and my immediate thought is how the tour guide is even showing these people the constellations. That can easily be explained by an app that all the tourists have, but when Beck Bennett and Kristen Stewart come along as this horny old couple who makes all the constellations dirty, how the hell do these people even see these images? That alone took me out of the sketch, but even beyond that, it's just not all that funny in general.

Hungry Jury – Is this a sketch that Kenan Thompson stole from the new All That? Sometimes the goofiest, dumbest premises can become memorable sketches, but this is not one of them. A jury trying to determine a verdict is a little hungry, and some of their stomach growls are rather audible and embarrassing. That's where the bulk of the comedy is meant to come from until the stomach sounds get out of control and sound like "Pony" by Ginuwine. It just didn't work for me.

Weekend Update

In a strange turn of events, Weekend Update was actually one of the better parts of this episode of Saturday Night Live. Michael Che and Colin Jost seemed to be having a good time with each other with plenty of playful banter surrounding certain jokes. It's become rather entertaining to see Che visibly react to whether or not the audience likes the joke. He even gets the best bit of the entire segment with the story about a 67-year old woman giving birth.

Kid Genius Riley Jenson – Taking a shot at daytime talk shows featuring "genius" kids and their adorably awkward and nerdy tendencies, Melissa Villaseñor perfectly becomes a precocious little girl who is increasingly disappointing to her offstage mother when it comes to answering questions about what she's supposedly an expert on. Villaseñor is meant to be the star here, but Heidi Gardner is a scene stealer as her upset mother.

Smokery Farms Responds to Plant-Based Burger Boom – If NBC gave Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant their own SNL spin-off, I would watch it in a heartbeat. Nearly every single time these two are a duo, you know it's going to be good, and this Weekend Update bit is no exception. Helping the laughs that come from the sketches are the genuine reactions to the smell of the real seafood they're given in the second half of their presentation. It's a perfect combination of the kind of comedy that only a show like Saturday Night Live can deliver.

The Host

Kristen Stewart used to get a lot of flack during her Twilight years for not doing anything more than mumbling and biting her upper lip. She's actually quite the fine actress, and she's proven it time and time again in lower key indie movies. But that doesn't mean she's all that great as an SNL host. You can tell her enthusiasm is there, albeit in that awkwardly muted fashion that people have come to love about her. The only problem is that doesn't work well on a show like SNL, and she never seems to play any real characters in an entertaining fashion. It's probably why she rarely does comedies.

The MVP

Saturday Night Live - Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant

Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon – These two were a laugh riot tonight, both together and independently. Each of them were the reason the two best sketches landed where they did, and even in the less than stellar sketches, they were still responsible for plenty of laughs. I'm honestly surprised no one has made a movie with these two in the lead. I don't know what that movie would be about, but I would watch the hell out of it.

The Final Word

I don't know if the cast and crew of Saturday Night Live were saving their energy for Harry Styles when he pulls double duty as host and musical guest later this month, or if Kristen Stewart just didn't liven them up at all for this episode. Though this episode was probably the worst of the season so far, it wasn't necessarily downright terrible. But having a mediocre episode is almost more frustrating in some ways. Hopefully they can pick things back up in a couple weeks.