Saturday Night Live Report Card: Season 43, Episode 11: Jessica Chastain

Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain hosts SNL for her first time this week. After a string of underwhelming episodes, I'm hoping that this one can be a marked improvement. I'm hoping it can be, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Cold Open: Trump Doctor Press Conference:
This was pretty hit-or-miss, with the Sarah Huckabee parts being really funny and the doctor guy's parts being pretty dull. The best part was Pete Davidson coming out as his best character, Pete Davidson, to ask questions about the president's alleged affair. The sketch had its moments, but all in all wasn't anything special. I would have preferred a simple Sarah Huckabee Sanders sketch.
My Score: 7.5/10

Jessica Chastain Monologue:
I'm conflicted on this one because I really freaking love the song You Don't Own Me, so I'm glad to see it used anywhere. However, the monologue just wasn't really all that funny. It had a few funny moments. Unfortunately, none of those came from host Chastain, with the interjections from the cast members about the Women's March being the only really worthwhile part of this monologue.
My Score: 7/10

Car Hunk:
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I watch the Bachelor. And this may be the most accurate parody SNL has ever done. I especially enjoy Aidy Bryant's super classy character that always appears here, who's always a welcome sight. Also, mini-golf with Young Sheldon sounds fun. SNL needs to make a sketch about that.
My Score: 8.5/10

Fresh Prince:
I wasn't sure where this was going at first, but this actually turned out to be really hilarious. The Fresh Prince getting chased by a gang, faking his own death with the help of Jessica Chastain, and ultimately getting in a shootout with that gang is so absurd that it just works. I wish this was a real episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, though. That would've swept the Emmys.
My Score: 9/10

Google Talk:
This was okay, but it went on for too long, with the laughs too far and few between. The joke here was that there was a guy that looks like Bart Simpson that gets teased for that very reason. It's funny when you first see him, but it just goes on for too long to remain so. Even a call from someone impersonating Bart's sister Maggie doesn't save it from mediocrity.
My Score: 7/10

What Even Matters Anymore?:
I really enjoyed this, especially since you could see the show's host (AKA Jessica Chastain) getting more and more upset as time goes along. The creation of outlandish (but maybe not too outlandish for present-day politics) scenarios was really funny, and I loved the moment when they had Chastain stop the sketch to make sure she was okay. She obviously wasn't. Cecily storming off when she realized that nothing really matters was the moment of the sketch, though.
My Score: 9/10

Weekend Update:
Kate McKinnon has an admirable turn here as Robert Mueller, but Jost and Che's desk jokes were the best part of this Update by far. Cecily Strong's turn as Stormy Daniels was good-not-great, and the piece with Princes William & Harry was sometimes funny but was mostly annoying. That all  does drag this above average Update down a bit. On a side note, Now I really wanna see Mike Pence as a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race. Can we make that happen?
My Score: 8.5/10

Amazon's New Headquarters:
There were some parts of this that I didn't care for, like the opening portion of it, but once the representatives from each city started to arrive, it got much better. My personal favorite was Atlanta, with its mention of the Atlanta Olympics, the bombing at that Olympics, and an appearance by the one and only Paula Dean.
My Score: 8/10

Taco Math:
This was super dumb, kinda like the surgeons in this sketch that couldn't understand how to properly order two tacos, but it's stupidity actually made it very funny. This concept seems like something that would be an absolute disaster, because it just seems quite annoying, but I never actually got annoyed at it. I just laughed at it a lot, especially when Aidy Bryant's character came and offered to pay for the women's tacos just to end it all.
My Score: 9/10

Doctor's Orders:
Chad's back! And like usual, this was a wonderful sketch about someone bafflingly being in love with him. I didn't love this character at first, but it's really grown on me and I always love a Chad appearance. The only disappointing thing here was that Chad never did the Doink Doink.
My Score: 8.5/10

Movie Set:
I've started to tire of this recurring sketch, which started out wonderfully weird but has now become just weird. It's the same joke every single time, and it just gets tiring. I wish they could add something to make it more original, but the whole point of the sketch is that this acting coach makes them act goofy, and there's no way to make that original. It's time to just retire this character.
My Score: 7/10

This was a much better episode than last week's, and also the best since the Saoirse Ronan episode. Jessica Chastain did a formidable job as host, and she continues this season's trend of first-time hosts being the best hosts. While there was some stuff in the episode that I didn't enjoy, including a monologue that wasn't very funny and a bland sketch about Google, much of the content was solid. Nothing here tonight was perfect, but nothing here was terrible, either.
Grade: B+
Score: 8.5/10
Pass or Fail: Pass
MVP of the Week: Aidy Bryant
Sketch of the Night: 
What Even Matters Anymore?
Worst of the Night: Google Talk

Top 5 Hosts of the Season:
 Chance the Rapper
2) Saoirse Ronan
3) Tiffany Haddish
4) Jessica Chastain
5) Kumail Nanjiani

What did you think of this week's SNL? What was your favorite sketch this week? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll below!
*All photos courtesy of*

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