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SNL Scorecard

‘SNL’ Scorecard: Chris Pratt Makes a Great First Impression

Chris Pratt SNL Star Wars marvel
NBC

The 40th season of ‘Saturday Night Live’ has arrived (as well as the fifth season of ‘SNL’ Scorecard -- and I just can’t believe I’ve been doing this for five years) and, boy, what a difference a year makes. Last year’s season premiere featured six new cast members and was one of the clumsiest shows in recent memory. (Hey, remember ‘New Cast Member Or Member of Arcade Fire’? Gah.) This season, we have two new cast members and, more importantly, a significantly smaller cast. This was the first ‘SNL’ in over a year where I felt some actual intimacy with the cast. Look at newcomer Pete Davidson: he was everywhere! It was almost as if this incarnation of ‘SNL’ was built just to make us forget about last season. It didn’t completely work (I’ll never forget you, Rick Shoulders), but with a first-time host like Chris Pratt (who is a natural) and what feels like a much more focused show, this was a really great start.

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‘SNL’ Scorecard: Andy Samberg Brings Back The Old Gang For The Season Finale

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The truth is, I don’t particularly enjoy reviewing ‘Saturday Night Live’ – something I’ve done now for four full seasons at three different outlets. Now, I’ve loved the show for my entire life and I love writing about the show, but it’s not easy to be critical of what these people do every week because it really is remarkable what they can pull off in less than one week on live television. (I’ve attended ‘SNL’ twice: Once in 2009 and then again for dress rehearsal last night. Watching the organized chaos that unfolds in person is almost overwhelming.)

The 2013-2014 season is now over and, no, it won’t go down in history as one of the better seasons in ‘SNL’ history. The show has lost too many stars over the past couple of years to recover that quickly, but they will recover. They always do. ‘SNL’ has always leaned heavily on recurring sketches, but what’s weird is how many recurring sketches are in rotation right now that not that many people love. When you think back, there’s always been a ‘Church Lady’ or ‘Wayne’s World’ or ‘Cheerleaders’ or ‘Stefon’ – but now, they don’t have that, and without that it’s been hard to sustain an identity.

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‘SNL’ Scorecard: Charlize Theron And The Exploding Whales

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Save for a few moments (basically when whales weren’t exploding), last night’s Charlize Theron-hosted ‘SNL’ was … not great. Something just felt off for almost the entire show. Perhaps it’s the realization that this long season is almost finally over, but, for the most part, everyone just looked tired. There certainly was an energy missing in the studio last night. And Theron seemed to be genuinely trying, but, for whatever reason, not a lot was working. And there were times it almost seemed like the show was trying to kill time – I can’t remember the last time I watched a member of the band give a guitar solo while precious time clicked away (and, not surprisingly, there are THREE unaired sketches from dress on Hulu this morning). Hold on tight, as we fly off to the penultimate Scorecard of the season…

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Filed Under: , , Category: TV News, TV Reviews

‘SNL’ Scorecard: Andrew Garfield Brought Along His Spider-Man Costume and Emma Stone

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Andrew Garfield always seems so sincere, which is a great attribute to have as the host of ‘SNL’ because I sincerely believe he wants to be there. The show was fine and was saved partially just because Garfield looked so excited to be a part of the whole process. (An

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‘SNL’ Scorecard: Too Bad We Didn’t Have Any Of Seth Rogen’s Drugs

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Except for a couple of notable exceptions, everyone seemed to be going through the motions last night. Look, this happens. Especially at the end of a three-show run -- near the end of a long season –- looking ahead to the final stretch of shows of this season, which begin on May 3. The end is in sight! But, boy, there were some dull moments during Seth Rogen’s hosted effort that played out, at times, in front of an almost-silent studio audience. (Shhh! Don’t wake them!) Here’s this week’s pretty mellow Scorecard…

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‘SNL’ Scorecard: Anna Kendrick Sings and Sings and Sings and Sings…

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Anna Kendrick is the perfect type of ‘SNL’ host – to the point that, as a performer, she could easily be a member of the cast. (I have no idea what her sketch writing ability is like.) Kendrick blends in with the rest of the cast so easily, it allows the show to be about the sketches and not about the host. Not to mention, she’s quite talented, which allows for a lot of singing and dancing – and there was a lot of singing and dancing last night (and a lot of Disney references). This was by far the most consistent show of the season, which makes it the best show of the season (even though I'm hesitant to use the word "best"). So much, in fact, that I wish I could set today’s Scorecard to the music of ‘Treasure Planet.’

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‘SNL’ Scorecard: Louis C.K. May or May Not Have a Darth Vader Up His Butt

SNL Scorecard Louis CK
Photos: Getty Images/NBC; Illustration: ScreenCrush

So, yes, welcome to 'SNL' Scorecard’s third official home (we started way back in 2010 at Movieline before moving to HuffPost) and I hope everyone found their way over here okay? There's a new graphic! Anyway, can we dispense with the introductions now because that’s not why you’re here? Great, moving on…

What an interesting show this was! It certainly wasn’t the best show of the season – though it just might have had the best sketch – but there were a lot of oddities last night. And oddities are a good thing, as opposed to just the parade of current popular culture references that seemed to litter the first half of this season. Louis C.K. returns for his second hosting gig – and C.K. is an interesting host because (A) he’s good and (B) he’s been, let’s say, known to give up on a sketch when he knows it’s not working. (Remember when he sandbagged the “Mountain Pass” sketch?) And last night we finally did learn if Louis C.K. has a Darth Vader action figure up his butt. Anyway, let’s get to the Scorecard…

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