"Since the departure of its prior core group of stars (the last of whom, Seth Meyers, departed midway through Season 39), SNL has struggled to build a major identity around its newer ensemble," says David Simms. "(Kate) McKinnon, the show’s one bona-fide star, and Kenan Thompson, its longest-running cast member, are two hall-of-famers. Everyone else is a mix of solid but unspectacular performers, some of whom (like Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong) have been with the show for six years without ever quite making it their own." Simms notes that Saturday Night Live is doing fine, ratings-wise. But, he adds, "beyond the growing staleness of its Trump material, SNL struggled to really address some of the biggest news stories of the year, especially the #MeToo movement." The one standout episode was the one hosted by Donald Glover, he says. "There’s a lesson to be learned from Glover’s episode: Its distinctiveness is what made it work, and helped so many of its sketches travel online in the days following," says Simms." More often than not, SNL succeeds when its cast members and writers build up recognizable brands of humor that can recur throughout the show. That’s never been true for much of SNL’s current cast, partly because they’re not given enough air time to define themselves onscreen, and some of the longer-serving veterans may have missed their chance to do so entirely. It’s a problem the show knows that it has—and a mistake it should steer clear of when it begins its next rebuild around newer stars."