SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE – Kristen Stewart / Alessia Cara

Review, Saturday Night Live

COLD OPEN: In a wonderful introduction to what we can expect next Saturday, Alec Baldwin is back as President Trump and this week Steve Bannon is also in SNL’s cross fires. Dressed as the grim-reaper we witness as Bannon eggs Trump on in calling various world leaders. We witness the horrendous call between Trump and the Australian Prime Minister, his failed attempt to getting Mexico to pay for the wall, and what Zimbabwe’s leader thinks about the current commander and chief. Pretty solid cold-open, but what else do we expect at this point. Cannot wait to see what a whole episode with this guy will be.

MONOLOGUE: Kristen Stewart is here to host this week! She may have nothing to promote but she’s famous enough that she doesn’t really need to plug anything for people to know who she is. People primary know Stewart from being in the Twilight films, which were the ‘it’ movies back in 2012, and Stewart was Donald Trumps ‘it’ tweeting topic during that time too it seems. In her monologue, Stewart introduces the audience to actual Trump tweets from back in 2012 in which the current President was very invested in Stewart’s then relationship with Robert Pattenson. Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds. Why a grown man would be interested in that, who knows? There are so many questions at this point, this one seems pretty low on the list. There’s a small bit at the end where Kate MacKinnon and Aidy Bryant try to seem cool to the too-cool-for-school Stewart, but the best part was the accidental f-bomb from Stewart as she’s kicking off the night 🙂 a great start to the night.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (The Press Conference) Not since Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, which was just back in September, has there been a more perfect impression than Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer. This will go down has one of the greatest moments from this season of SNL, I’m calling it now. Acting as the current press secretary, McCarthy perfectly encapsulates Spicer’s frustrated demeanour of trying to convince the press that the past 12 days of the current President’s time in office is completely normal for a president. Completed with props and an also perfect Kate MacKinnon impression of the Secretary of Education, this was the sketch of the night, and might I say the season. Fingers crossed for more McCarthy!

WEEKEND UPDATE: Most of the time, Weekend Update can pick up the slack of the evening’s episode. But tonight, nothing could really top Melissa McCarthy’s cameo. Jost and Che gave it their all though. Continuing the theme of throwing punches at Trump there was also Keenan Thompson as Boston Red Sox’s Big Papi. There was also a cute moment where Jost tried to end the segment early. Oh Jost, McCarthy’s awesomeness was just too much for everyone it seems.

MUSICAL GUEST: This week’s musical guest is Alessia Cara. And for those of you that are not Canadian or didn’t go to Taylor Swift’s concert, she is a singer from Brampton, Ontario. For her first song of the evening she started off with “Scars to Your Beautiful,” it was a nice way to start off the show. The slightly upbeat song was great being accompanied by the band and back up singers. The song allowed her to move around the stage and engage with the audience. For her final song for the night, she lowed down the tempo with “River of Tears,” just her singing from a microphone with a piano backing her up. Two solid performances for this first timer. Honestly most of the time I have no idea who the musical guest is, or usually not really that big of a fan of them, but being a Canadian I like her and her music so this review might be biased.

 BEST LINE FRONT THE SHOW:

“I’m here to swallow gum and take names.”

– Sean Spicer (Melissa McCarthy)

NEXT WEEK:

Host – Alec Baldwin

Musical Guest – Ed Sheeran

BOOK REVIEW: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Book, Book Review

RATING: ★★★☆☆

Author: Ben Fountain

Pages: 307

Published: May 1, 2012

“It is sort of weird for being honoured for the worst day of your life.”

That is the situation that Billy and his fellow Bravo soldiers are dealing with when they return stateside for their victory tour. The novel is told through the perspective of Billy, the youngest of the squad and the ‘hero’ of the unexpected attack that now makes them national heroes. The final event of their victory tour has the members of the Bravo team getting to perform in the halftime show with Destiny’s Child during the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving game.

While the story is leading up to the big event of the halftime show, the readers get a glimpse of the events that Billy has gone through to get to this point. Flashing back to the Thanksgiving diner he had with his family days before, conversations he had with his fallen Bravo solider that they lost during the attack, to the event that made him enlist in the army in the first place. This tied in with the exchanges he has with the owner of the Cowboys, his fellow Bravo members that all went through the same event together, and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader he falls head over heels for, Billy is clearly struggling.

Fountain tells his story by combining two things that are quintessentially American, football and the US armed forces. Having these two side by side makes the reader question why they value these two different entities almost equal in one another. The spectators of the game want the Cowboys to win the game equally as much as they want the Bravos to win overseas. Throughout the novel Billy is still struggling with what happened to him and his Bravo team at the same time has he is being thrown into this over-the-top spectacle that is the halftime show for the pure entertainment of other Americans.

Although the halftime show might seem like it is the novel’s climatic moment, it kind of falls flat if that is the intention of the scene. The story is more linear then that, telling the story of a young mans internal journey over several days in a more hills and valleys sort of way rather than him climbing a factious mountain to get to his moment of clarity.

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“But a lot of the time that’s how it works, life gets so dark until we think all the light’s gone out of us. But it’s there, it’s always there. If we open the door a crack the light comes pouring in.”

MOVIE ADAPTATION:

Two-time Academy Award winner Ang Lee directs this book to movie adaptation. Starring Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Garrett Hedlund, Steve Martin, and newcomer Joe Alwyn. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk comes to theatres November 11, 2016.