The theme of Saturday Night Live‘s 39th season opener: “SNL is back… and starring a bunch of people you’ve never heard of!”
This meta focus made sense — as Tina Fey(‘s plastic surgeon) said in her monologue, this is a “rebuilding year” for NBC’s sketch series. But even though the show seemed determined to remind us about how much it had changed, the premiere was a fairly smooth ride from start to finish. Maybe that was due to a longer rehearsal period than usual; maybe it was the steadying presence of Fey herself, who always seems to have a blast when she returns to her TV home. Or maybe it’s because SNL itself has become a well-oiled machine, one built to survive any major departures — except perhaps that of Lorne Michaels himself.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s pull back and discuss the show itself — its best moments, its worst moments, and… whatever you’d call Arcade Fire.