"It's a shrewdly chosen moment to start the two-hour special, both sassy and self-deprecating. Because at the beginning of the decade, "SNL" was both an institution and a mild disappointment, its position secure but its glory days seemingly in the past." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) "It is a very different world today, but it is amazing how much of the show’s comedy from that time holds up." (NY Times) "Still, if you're a fan, you're likely to come away delighted. And even if you're not, you may come away with a new appreciation for the show in its '90s variation." (USA Today) "Just what NBC needed: another show about life behind the scenes at "Saturday Night Live." Only this one is actually 100 percent officially about "SNL," and it's a lot of fun." (Newark Star-Ledger) "And we all know that "SNL" clip shows are like a bag of potato chips. Or possibly Fritos. You know you shouldn't finish the whole bag of non-nutritious goodness, but somehow you can't help yourself." (Chicago Tribune)
"Ultimately, though, unlike Bowser's Emmy-nominated maiden effort, this special finds itself with nothing particularly memorable to say — diverting in places simply by virtue of the clip highlights, but with little more depth than Adam Sandler's baby-voiced ditties and barely worthy of such extravagant made-for-sweeps primetime exposure. Then again, that's generally in keeping with "SNL" in the '00s most of the time, as well as the fleeting attention span of what has indeed become a pop-culture nation. " (Variety) "Saturday Night Live in the '90s also delves into topics like the controversial firing of "Weekend Update" anchor Norm MacDonald, and the tragic deaths of Chris Farley and Phil Hartman. Those offstage stories tend to be just as compelling as the sketches are laugh-inducing." (TV Guide) "Bottom Line: Kenneth Bowser is both authoritative and entertaining as he replays some of "SNL's" best political satire and character comedy." (Hollywood Reporter)
Compiled by Alex Weprin
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