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A game Adam Driver can't overcome lackluster writing and a sluggish pace, though a few off-the-cuff comments from Kanye West make for a memorable premiere -- for better or worse.
Even pre-Trump, Kanye and "SNL" have always had a weird hate-hate relationship, but now we're not even getting any good performances to go along with that.
Of course Adam Driver was fantastic, but Matt Damon stole the show in the cold open as Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
There were some worthwhile moments last night. The problem is that just about all of them stemmed from a guest appearance.
I don't know if this cold open is going to change anything, but you can bet your ass it's going viral.
The regular cast has been increasingly diminished over the last few years, and if last night's episode is an indication, it's happening to the hosts, now, too.
The hot buttons were brushed, if not fully pushed, the sketches were more miss than hit, Driver made for a game and likable host, and Kanye Kanye'd.
The world has changed. SNL has not. At times, this is a source of comfort. At other times, it's a source of immense frustration.
The show failed to maintain the energy of that cold open, which also included a surprise cameo by SNL alum Rachel Dratch (and a cardboard cutout of Alyssa Milano).
While Driver's approach and timing aren't yet as nuanced as some favorite SNL hosts, he once again played well with others.
It's not that Driver was a bad choice out of the gate, it's that SNL booked a singular talent for its first episode and didn't find a way to use him well, even with a summer to think about it.