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.
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.’