This review was originally posted on News Cult in May 2017.

Love It
Lighthouse Features Logo – Endings are notoriously difficult in sketch comedy, so I have got to hand it to SNL when it comes up with a great closer, especially when it is the last sketch of the night, sending the whole show out on a high. The powerful conclusion in this case involves simply revisiting the stated premise at the beginning and putting a button on it to explain the protagonist’s incompetence. In between is a series of disturbing and multi-layered micro short films.

Mother’s Day seems like the ideal time for SNL to come up with fake technological products that cater to the older generation – add the ever-patient Amazon Echo Silver to that heap…When it comes to Women in Film, Kate McKinnon’s Debette Goldry (this time joined by Melissa McCarthy’s Gaye Fontaine) is only as strong as her stories, and this time she has killer ones, like removing her molars to maker her face less Polish and being married to a Nazi…Now for the continuing romantic saga of Kyle & Leslie, in which we learn that Lorne (not little Lorne) is okay with Colin being shot, because he can be annoying…The birthday party sketch ends perhaps a bit too abruptly when Melissa Villaseñor discovers her Mom Animal, but the satire of the cult of motherhood is equal parts disturbing and enticing.

Keep It

White House Press Briefing – Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer impression is one of those SNL stars that burns blindingly bright but is in immediate danger of flaming out. There is just too much confinement to one location to allow for long-lasting freshness. The trip to New York notwithstanding, the latest visit from Spicy is starting to show its sell-by date. The dollies, however (this time, Russian nesting-style), are still killing it.

The Lester Holt Interview cold opening represents the nigh impossibility of satire in the Trump era (“Absolutely nothing matters anymore”)…I think Melissa McCarthy should have handed her Monologue over to random mom Joan entirely. It might have been a disaster, but it would have undoubtedly been memorable…Michael and Colin are too amused to be angry; the latter should have used the record scratch/“I Feel Good” combo even more…Pete Davidson has kind of mellowed, even though he was already plenty mellow. Must be all that masturbating…I like Cecily Strong’s crazy neighbor Cathy Anne character in the way that I want her to have an entire one-woman Cathy Anne Broadway show.

Leave It

Just Desserts! – Melissa McCarthy is the master at having food blown into her face, but alas, she is not the master at recovering a sketch that has its super-obvious premise immediately beaten into the ground. Just Desserts! is not quite a complete disaster, thanks in particular to the phrase “stay-at-home mother of none.”

Melissa McCarthy
On a scale of HAM to Spicy, Melissa McCarthy has joined the Five-Timers Club! And while she does not do anything too fancy for her monologue, Steve Martin does stop by during the goodnights to christen her with the traditional Five-Timers jacket. This is not a “Melissa’s greatest hits” sort of episode (with the exception of Sean Spicer), nor does she appear to debut any new iconic characters (Donna from the Lighthouse Features logo is her best performance, but that might be too weird to catch on). Ultimately, this episode further confirms how valuable her presence is at Studio 8H.

On the scale of second-time musical guests, Haim have not broken out into becoming international superstars, but they are working with Paul Thomas Anderson now, and it is important to know what matters in life, you know? As for their actual performances, their outfits are colorful enough for springtime, and Este’s bass face is still out of control. I am giving them more than a little of my love, and yes I would like them back a third time.

Letter Grades:
Lester Holt Trump Interview – B-
Melissa McCarthy’s Monologue – B
Just Desserts! – C
Amazon Echo – B+
White House Press Briefing – C+
Haim perform “Want You Back” – B

Weekend Update
The Jokes – B
Pete Davidson – B-
Cathy Anne – B

Women in Film – B+
Kylie & Leslie – B+
Haim perform “Little of Your Love” – B
1st Birthday Party/Mom Animal – B+
Lighthouse Features Logo (BEST OF THE NIGHT) – B+