Carey Mulligan Hosted Saturday Night Live

The Average

Minnesota NewsSaturday Night Live previously played this game with a news broadcast that turned into a competition between white and Black newscasters tallying how many crimes had been committed by each race. A different approach is taken here as the white anchors clearly agree that the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin deserves justice, but the Black anchors don’t think it’s actually going to happen. It can be hard to make comedy out of a situation like this, but the writers did so with just the right amount of care and observation without digging too deep into the actual issue. It’s Kenan Thompson and Ego Nwodim’s slow execution of “Welllll,” each time that really sells it, and that little shoutout to DMX was a nice addition.

Star Trek Spin-OffStar Trek has been parodied countless times on SNL, and this one lands somewhere in the middle of the pile as it brings The CW-level drama to the bridge of a starship. A group of young millennial crew members are struggling with having to deal with things not going their way for the first time, and they can’t help but whine endlessly. It’s a bit of a one-note sketch, but there’s a single moment that deserved to land a little more firmly before being rushed over by a camera cut. Mikey Day yelling, “Move, Clem!” at the alien crew member had me cracking up.

The War in Words: Bertie and Mary – Remember how we said SNL doesn’t always know what to do with prestige British actresses? Well, one of their go-to bits is to toss some period garb on them and put them in a situation like this. Even the comedy-inclined Phoebe Waller-Bridge did this bit when she hosted in the fall of 2019. It’s a solid formula where the escalation of Mikey Day’s panic and annoyance is good for laughs, but this one didn’t work quite as well as past iterations.

Weird Little Flute – Is it just me or has the presence of rap music videos on SNL been increased by around 1000% in recent years? It feels like every episode has one. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve consistently been great and they often offer Pete Davidson the best chance to shine, but I feel like SNL‘s musical horizons need to be broadened a little bit. Regardless, this sketch that gets Kid Cudi on the action is still decent, even if it stretches a simple observation about rap songs too thinly into an entire song. Also, I’m not sure why the real Timothée Chalamet popped up, but it was a solid surprise.

The Worst

Study Buddy – Honestly, this sketch isn’t terrible, but it just goes on for far too long while staying at the same level of comedy. There aren’t any peaks here to bring about raucous laughter, and the nerdy caricatures are a little tired despite getting a boost from being portrayed by Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant. But overall, the sketch feels like it could have used another pass or just been replaced by something else.

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