Saturday Night Live got straight into Deflategate last night, and it was probably because Lorne Michaels occasionally says, “Well, let’s just go downhill fast.” The cold open did a great job of deflating oblivious coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady (in a great turn by Taran Killam), and even ended the sketch strong with the introduction of Bobby Moynihan as the scheming Assistant Balls and Equipment Coach.
And then the rest of the show had to happen, with the dopey SNL writers unable to come up with a better idea than writing a bunch of country-themed sketches around Blake Shelton as host and musical guest. Yeesh. The monologue did a pretty good job of addressing the issue, but it wasn’t a teaching moment.
The rest of the show just had a lot of dopey country-themed sketches, plus a token The Voice sketch that was really an excuse for Celebrity Family Feud. All of these felt like they went on way too long–although something still went wrong, and SNL wrapped up 55 minutes early. There was a time when the SNL cast would consider that a great opportunity to improvise something fun and exciting. This version of SNL just pads things out with commercials.
Oh, well. This is what smart people saw before turning the channel during the Saturday Night Live opening credits…