Saturday Night Live Report Card: Season 43, Episode 13: Natalie Portman

All-around great actress Natalie Portman returns to host SNL's final pre-Olympics show, where she'll hopefully rap and help deliver a great show! Here's to hoping!

Cold Open: Fox & Friends:
I usually enjoy SNL's Fox & Friends cold opens, but this one was just not very good. I'd blame it on the appearance of Baldwin's Trump, but he wasn't even the problem here. The whole this was just half-assed. I of course enjoyed the appearance of Heidi Gardner, but she didn't even really do anything in this one. The whole thing was just a pretty big snooze. And the character played by the usually very funny Chris Redd was just horrid.
My Score: 6/10

Natalie Portman Monologue:
Can you even call this a monologue? It was more of a sketch that Natalie Portman just so happened to be appearing in, rather than one she was starring in. The real star here was the cast, especially Olympics-bound Leslie Jones. It was relatively funny monolgue in comparison to ones of recent weeks, but it still wasn't comedic gold or anything.
My Score: 7/10

Revolutionary War:
As a Pennslvanian, the Philadelphia part of this really spoke to me. Especially since Philadelphia native Tina Fey represented us, providing for what was easily the night's biggest laughs. Rachel Dratch also appeared to represent the notoriously humble New England Patriots, another wonderful appearance. Now if you excuse me, I wish the Philadelphia delegation luck, and I hope they didn't have to brave any dangerous wooder or visit Wawa. Also, #TeamEagles!
My Score: 9.5/10

Stranger Things 3:
I'm a fan of Stranger Things, so I found this one to be pretty funny. It was definitely one of the night's better sketches. However, there were some jokes that just didn't land (Leslie Jones's character in particular wasn't very good), and the ending was pretty bad.
My Score: 8/10

Natalie's Rap 2:
Going into the night, this is what we ALL wanted, right? And luckily, we got it. The original was so great that it woulf be hard to ever top it, but this was an admirable attempt, raking in plenty of laughs along the way. It wasn't my favorite of the night, but I did really appreciate it.
My Score: 9.5/10

Weekend Update:
The all-male hosts of Weekend Update were easily the funniest part of this edition, which was fine but pretty forgettable. All three interviews were just okay, and not the best we've seen from the two reccuring bits.
My Score: 7.5/10

Alien Lover:
I didn't hate this, but I truly want to know: Who the heck came up with this? This is just an absolutely bizarre concept, and it didn't really work that well. I'll give points to Portman for keeping a straight face during this, but I also want to remind her that she won an Academy Award and she doesn't need to put up with this!
My Score: 6/10

Nickeledeon Kids Choice Awards Orange Carpet:
Most of the time, this wasn't funny. This was annoying. There were some enjoyable moments, like the terrifying vocie of Portman's character and an Ellen appearance, but all in all was pretty bad. The best Kids Choice Awards sketch (seriously, who in this writer's room is a diehard KCA fan?) will always be from Ariana Grande's episode.
My Score: 6/10

First Lady:
Natalie Portman can do a Jackie O impression? Whoulda thunk?
My Score: 9/10

Bunny:
This was a fine 10-to-1 sketch, but it was nothing special or memorable. Aidy Bryany's Bunny was really bizarre, but once that wore off you realized that this sketch really had no substance. It wasn't anything original, but it was kinda funny. Not a sketch of the night by any means, but for a 10-to-1 sketch, not bad.
My Score: 7/10

Wrap-Up:
This was a wildly inconsistent night. Some sketches were really great, and othere were... not. I still found it enjoyable, and I thought Natalie Portman did a great job hosting and was let down by bad writing at times. Nevertheless, it was still a mostly enjoyable show with at least three sketches that I'll be watching plenty of few times. It was a pretty good way to lead us into hiatus. Grade: B
Score: 8/10
Pass or Fail: Pass
MVP of the Week: Natalie Portman
Sketch of the Night: 
Revolutionary War
Worst of the Night: Alien Lover

Episode 12, Will Ferrell: 
I was unable to review the Will Ferrell episode, but can't go without leaving a few thoughts here. The episode delivered laughs here and there but all-in-all was pretty disappointing. With Ferrell at the helm, it should have been a better show. It was really disappointing, but not horrible.
Grade: C+
Score: 7/10
Sketch of the Night: 
Cold Open: George W. Bush Returns
Worst of the Night: Reality Stars

Top 5 Hosts of the Season:
1)
 Chance the Rapper
2) Saoirse Ronan
3) Tiffany Haddish
4) Jessica Chastain
5) Natalie Portman

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!
*Photos courtesy of NBC.com*

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