It's difficult for me to review SNL episodes now, mostly because they're so unbelievably inconsistent. It's difficult to figure out whether or not to laud the show for is hilarious moments or chastise it for how inept it is at time. I decided to lean more towards the latter; the guest-stars the show is reeling in are great, but the writing is not. It doesn't take much to write a good skit of SNL, and right now, the writing crew just seems lazy. I liked Emma Stone here, but come on... give her something to work with besides these stupid, half-thought-out characters.
I'd say Emma's best role here was, unfortunately, her monologue. That says a lot about the characters here. When Emma plays herself and reacts to the "nerds" in the crowd (specifically Taran Killan playing a superb Michael Cera), she's at her best deadpan self. But when you add in the SNL characters, it's pretty lame. She plays a woman unexcited by winning 2 million dollars but excited for getting some hard-boiled eggs, Lindsay Lohan, a nerdy friend of a nerdy girl, a slutty looking assistant to a weird costume-designer and a young teenage student being interviewed by a strange man. All of these characters were under-written and just disappointing all around.
That's not to say that the cast didn't do a good job with what they were given. I actually sort of liked the Digital Short this week, giving us the kind of song/video that only Andy Sanberg can give us. I also liked the news articles on the various things teenagers do, especially Trampolining.. man, I've never heard of a more disturbing thing here. There were some funny moments, as usual, during the Weekend Update, and I have to say, whenever Bill Hader does Stefon, I die laughing. I don't even care that he breaks character and laughs himself, that just makes the material even funnier. And I can't say enough about the new cast doing a great job with what they're given. The new guy doing the Sex Symposium was hilarious.
But boy, there is some bad stuff here too. The View skit felt lazy and uninspired, while the cold opens remain as unfunny as ever. The show just needs to figure out a way to make the show flow better. For every good skit, there's a few that they just throw together.
But I will give much respect to Emma Stone for trying her best, and I still find her funny and entertaining despite being given a disappointing bunch of skits to perform.