The Village Voice profiles the "new" SNL
There has been plenty of press lately on the "new era", slimmed down, Tiny Fey-less Saturday Night Live. Some promising, others pretty dismal. On the somewhat positive (yet neutral) side we have Rachel Sklar's piece on SNL in a recent The Village Voice.
Rachel was pretty much given full access to rehearsals, two full shows, cast members, and Lorne Michaels himself for the piece. And, from what she sees, this cast is much different from ones that had previously graced the stage at Studio 8H. Gone are the days of booze, drugs and over-sized egos. In its place is a troupe of more responsible performers who want to sit back and catch up with each other rather than face-off on how much better they are. It's actually harder to do that these days because, as Sklar points out, everyone is being given more face time due to the loss of actors such as Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz.
Rachel doesn't go too much into whether or not the show is better or sucks as much as it did over the last few seasons. Any observations on the current season and its cast she leaves to executive producer Lorne Michaels, who says that this is a rebuilding cast and that turnover is needed to develop new talent. As for the loss of such players as Sanz, Parnell, Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch, Michaels says it was hard to see them go, but they were leaving at a good point in their careers and that it actually helped in building the current cast.
On the negative side of the SNL coin is Nikki Finke, who writes for LA Weekly. Finke says that SNL stinks even worse this season than it has in the past (the title of her column is 'Why SNL Stinks Even Worse This Season', so there's no mistaking the writer's feelings). Nikki actually quotes Rachel's Village Voice piece and feels quite depressed about the whole thing. In fact, Finke thinks the entire season is 'a total turd' (her words, not mine).