Saturday Night Live S42, E8- Emma Stone, Shawn Mendes: The Cast Delves Into Feminism And 90s Nostalgia

Cold Opening: I wonder how the high school student feels about briefly getting parodied on Saturday Night Live. Also, it’s sad that politics have gotten so weird that the actors briefly to look to the camera and clarify that the events are real. The opening was pretty good, but I want to see more of their version of Steven Bannon, who seems to be either a serial killer or the Grim Reaper.

Monologue: My gosh, a rare example of continuity with Kyle and Leslie briefly making out. Also, it’s so weird how they can get Bobby Moynihan to look like a teenager. This isn’t the first time that a sketch has compared the show to high school, but the comparison isn’t stale. The last time they did it, I think Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon were still on the show and it was a film parody. Still, where’s Colin and Michael? If the current cast are high-schoolers, who are the alumni? I need to go speculate. You can watch it here.

High School Theatre Show With Emma Stone: YES! Honestly, I would happy with seeing a new rendition of this sketch every week. They’ll never run out of material for it, especially if the post-election world gets even weirder. (Read: More terrifying.) I can't see myself getting tired of their tone-deaf skits.

The Christmas Candle: All hail the mighty Candle. I wonder what they used to enhance the video. It looked shimmery, like they were also trying to parody a certain genre. Probably just a special effect or postproduction detail.

Posters: I think I can see what they were trying to do with the sketch, but some factors dragged it down. Firstly, it felt too cheesy. I know it’s trying to parody PSA-type shows, but there’s a fine line between making fun of overly saccharine scenes and becoming one. Secondly, Emma Stone’s character was really irritating. True, that was the purpose, but it could have been done in a better way. You can watch it here.

The Hunt For Hil: Absolutely spot-on parody of the ‘supernatural investigator’ style of show. It almost feels like a missed opportunity that they didn’t combine it with the recent clown sightings, but that doesn’t really matter.

Shawn Mendes Performance #1- “Mercy”: I had a good time discussing the song with my friends.

Weekend Update: Am I the only one who thinks that it’s really funny when Leslie Jones breaks character? At least in this instance, it injected some humor into a mediocre piece. As for the other guest piece, I really like Vanessa Bayer’s Rachel-from-Friends impression. I think that the funniest part would have to be Colin’s horrified reactions to the scene transitions. I also enjoyed Jennifer Aniston’s cameo, another example in a long list of real-life celebrities interacting with their SNL counterparts. You can watch it hereherehere, and down below.

Cleaning Crew: The little touches sold this sketch for me, like Christine’s condescending racism and Dan’s children being present for the disturbing Santa songs. I do wish that Melissa had more to do than just a brief cameo in the sketch. So far in the episode, she’s just had background roles. Still, the main focus had to be on the three night cleaning members, brilliantly played by Leslie Jones, Cecily Strong, and Emma Stone. You can watch it here.

Film Screening: I love it when actors play fictionalized versions of themselves. It’s equally wonderful to see the return of Debette Goldry, one of Kate McKinnon’s characters from the beginning of the season. In my book, any sketch that mentions a monkey with a tray of opium is a winner. You can watch it here.

Wells For Boys: I think it’s particularly appropriate that this ran right after the “Paley Center” sketch. It also has to do with gender roles in society, although this one is focused on children. "Wells For Boys" is a surprisingly sad, but funny, commercial parody.

Shawn Mendes Performance #2- “Treat You Better”: I enjoyed the background music.

The Nativity: I love the look of pure venom in Emma’s eyes throughout the sketch. Interestingly enough, this also explored gender roles but in a different setting. It was pretty interesting, especially with the little details to flesh out the universe. You can watch it here.

Closing Thoughts: As always, Emma Stone seemed to be having a great time, delightfully throwing herself into every sketch. She has a great sense of comedic timing, and I’m always a fan of seeing her in comedic roles.

While not the funniest episode in the season, I would give it a high C. I enjoyed the more introspective quality. A good deal of the episode focused on feminism and gender equality. From the deliberate piece on sexism in film to the more subtle “The Well” commercial parody and the nativity sketch, they all had important messages for the audience. Even if the show isn’t portraying a caricature of a politician, it can still be political.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.