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"Unwatchable" Saturday Night Live Actually Pretty Solid

Though honestly we should start calling it Saturday Night Taped...

Lily Sparks

The election may be over, but Saturday Night Live is still trying to convince everyone not to vote for Trump with another political cold open starring Alec Baldwin as the President-elect, this time poking fun at his tweeting habits. It's really impressive Kate McKinnon has morphed into Kellyanne Conway so she can stay at Alec's side post-election; but these cold opens are starting to feel a bit like watching someone beat a dead horse while salt is rubbed in your wounds.

(Our TV Critic-elect, by the way, was not a fan. "Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable!" tweeted Donald J. Trump at 12:13am ET. "Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad." Baldwin helpfully responded by tweeting back: "Release your tax returns and I'll stop. Ha.")

Thankfully Emma Stone as host was just the breath of fresh air we needed, with a charming monologue about how SNL was essentially her high school experience that let her walk through the backstage areas (don't you love it when we get to see the backstage areas?)

And then this gem was given to the world:

An jaw-droopingly gorgeous pre-taped commercial of an 80's singing trio telling us the story of a candle that could be re-gifted called "Christmas Candle" was the best part of my holidays so far. It both looked amazing with some snazzy lo-fi-style filters to make it look more like old school television and they got REAL about re-gifting candles (and not making the mistake of pairing a candle with a lotion.)

This was the first of several world-class pre-taped segments. SNL has been slowly morphing into a non-live-action sketch show for some time now, and I am not complaining! From "The Hunt For Hill" (a parody of a supernatural investigation show looking for the former State Secretary in the Chappaqua woods like she's a cryptozoological creature such as Wendingo or Bigfoot, whatever, we'll take McKinnon's Hillary any way we can get it)...

...to this surreal parody Playskool commercial selling a Well Playset for sensitive, introspective little boys...

...Saturday Night Taped has frankly been knocking it out of the park. Although the live segments obviously still have the energy of uncertainty and surprise, like the cameo from Jennifer Aniston (there to plug her latest movie and looking none too thrilled about it) who joined Weekend Update to talk about Friends:

...and stuck around for a Paley Fest round table where actresses discussed the difficulties of making it in Hollywood, where Kate McKinnon undeniably stole the scene.

All in all a solid offering, and as far as we're concerned the Candle Song belongs on the SNL holiday highlight reel right alongside "Have a Happy Happy Hanukkah" and "I Wish It Was Christmas Today."

Next SNL will return live on December 10th, hosted by John Cena with musical guest Maren Morris.