Being the 40th season, I'll be doing brief reviews of each episode this year. The season premeire started off with Chris Pratt & Ariana Grande.
Overall, it was an average episode, no real clunkers. It got off with a roasting of the NFL, using CNN's "State of the Union". Keenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah were present with great impersonations of Ray Lewis and Shannon Sharpe (respectively). Chris Pratt portrayed Roger Goodell during his horrible press conference.
Chris Pratt did a predictable safe, singing monologue, with a cameo appearance by his wife Anna Faris. That was followed by another fairly predictable commercial (although it had its moments) on "Cialis: Turnt".
The first skit was just bizarre. A kid (Kyle Mooney)'s He-Man toys came to life, and I just don't know what was happening. Was chock-full of sexual innuendos though. Ariana Grande made an appearance.
The next skit at least got back into the realms of normalcy, but it was a "done that" Animal Hospital sketch.
That was followed by one of the highlights of the episode, a spoof of Marvel trailers. This was just brilliant, and surprisingly wasn't really overdone as even the best skits/pieces tend to be.
Weekend Update saw the introduction of Michael Che, as he joined Colin Jost. Che was visible nervous (which was understandable), but he started to get into the pace of it. Colin is still too much like Seth Myers. Cecily Strong made a nice return as "The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation At A Party".
Writer Leslie Jones made a hilarious return to Update in what will hopefully become a regular appearance.
New featured player Pete Davidson also made a brilliant appearance on Update as the "resident young person", (He's just 20!). Davidson made everything with this. He really established himself, and you can already tell he'll be around SNL for a while.
Aidy Bryant was featured well in a singing 'girl's night out' bar scene, also with good work from Pratt.
SNL continues trying to make the Kyle Mooney/Beck Bennett features a thing, and while they've had some good work, it just hasn't coalesced yet.
There was a good (if not somewhat ripped from Key & peele) NFL lineup skit, with the players (Ravens/Panthers) announcing their criminal convictions instead of their alma maters.
The night ended on another bizarre skit, on video game testers playing an odd, sensual puzzle game (yes, you read that right). Vanessa Bayer made it work somewhat.
Avg. Score: 7.50 (each segment was scored out of 10, and averaged, including the musical act).
Chris Pratt - 7.5