Season 44 of Saturday Night Live is in the books, even if it sadly wasn't a very great book this time around. I've already written extensively on my disappointment with this season—this was a down year, though hopefully a transitory one—which was filled with bad cold opens, seemingly endless game show sketches, tepid celebrity guest turns, and nearly unwatchable political material. When the biggest SNL sketch of the week is Pete Davidson apologizing for some slightly controversial joke he made on Weekend Update, there is something deeply off-balance.

However, it also made me really appreciate the individual moments and turns of phrase that are hilarious, and the performers who turn in great character work and one-liners every episode. Heidi Gardner emerged as the queen of Weekend Update, unveiling amazing new characters seemingly every week. Kate McKinnon and Kenan Thompson remained the most valuable players on the roster, but Cecily Strong turned into the "glue guy" in the cast—a.k.a. the person who can be thrown into any sketch and make it better, whether she's playing the straight person or going for broke with a character. New castmember Ego Nwodim got a chance to get some good screentime later in the season, Alex Moffat got some great new Weekend Update characters, Leslie Jones remains a treasure, and Aidy Bryant is brilliant (and I wouldn't be surprised if she were leaving sometime soon, considering she has her own excellent Hulu series now).

The show unfortunately only had seven female hosts among its 21 episodes, but it included the two first Asian-American hosts (Awkwafina & the unbelievably great Sandra Oh) in two decades. When the show swerved from politics, as with the Matt Damon-hosted Trump-free holiday episode and the Emma Thompson-hosted Mother's Day-themed episode, it leaned into the writers' more sentimental, sweet side to great effect. John Mulaney and Adam Sandler were responsible for the most hilarious episodes of the year, but episodes hosted by Emma Stone, Don Cheadle, Sandra Oh and Paul Rudd were not far behind.

As with previous recent seasons, we've compiled our favorite pre-taped segments, live sketches, monologues and fake commercials into two posts. This is all highly subjective, but think of it as a cheat sheet for the best of season 44.

First up, check out the best pre-taped segments and commercials below. (And then check back tomorrow for the best live sketches.)

The 11 Best Pre-Taped Segments (aka The Digital Shorts Awards)

11. I Love My Dog (Host James McAvoy) started out as a typical SNL rap parody with the "bitch" wordplay you might expect, but it gets better and weirder as it goes along, especially once Kenan Thompson starts making silly voices, host James McAvoy's DJ Mark gets disturbingly violent, and Ego Nwodim brings the bunnies.

10. The Duel (Host Sandra Oh) combined florid period piece language and gratuitous violence, and was a great showcase for Sandra Oh (even as she lost limb and limb).

9. Your mileage may vary on Chad, Pete Davidson's completely blank Millennial stoner recurring character, but Chad Horror Movie (Host John Mulaney) was the best use of him yet—which might be because Davidson and Mulaney have incredible chemistry together.

8. GOT Tribute (Host Paul Rudd) is actually an ode to the little-talked-about Frankie & Grace, with Kenan Thompson providing the audience commentary, Paul Rudd joining in on the fun, and DJ Khaled getting the best line: "Grace & Frankie. They're different but they're friends. It's a nice show. DJ Khaled!"

7. On the more sentimental side of things, The Perfect Mother (Host Emma Thompson) was a pretty perfect Mother's Day sketch, showing the way people romanticize the gross chaos of caring for an infant. It was a spiritual successor to the similarly great Best Christmas Ever sketch (see below) earlier this season, but with 100% more CGI baby projectile vomit.

6. New HBO Shows (Host Kit Harington) was all about how many GOT sequel, prequel and spinoff spoofs the writers could come up with and jam into a three minute sketch, including The Queen Of King's Landing, No Ballers, Cersei & The City, Wildling Out, Hodor's House, Westerosworld, Dorne To Be Wild, Marvelous Mrs Melisandre and RuPaul's Dragon Race. The best: Castle Black (in which Jon Snow has an affair with a White Walker played by a hilarious Heidi Gardener), the Daria-inspired Arya, and GOT: Special Victims Unit, which included cameos by Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T (and was executive produced by Dire Wolf).

5. Sometimes the best SNL sketches have the simplest, weirdest premise, as in First Impression (Host Jason Momoa), in which Beck Bennett's character went to truly surreal lengths (and utilized a truly bizarre voice) to make a good impression on his girlfriend's parents.

4. Last November, I wrote about House Hunters (Host Liev Schreiber): "In six months, when I compile the best sketches of this season, I am 100% sure that this House Hunters parody will be on there." And I was right! It's the best kind of surreal SNL sketch, with jokes flying fast enough that you have to watch it more than once to take it all in. And who wouldn't want to live inside an abandoned split-level filled with Australian vampires?

3. "Ya'll say it's boring, ya'll say it's homogenous, but ya'll don't know it like I do," Leslie Jones says at the top of this ode to her new favorite neighborhood, The U.E.S. (Host James McAvoy). She goes on to praise the Q train ("the only train younger than World War II," "the nobody peed in here subway smell"), the endless Seamless options, and the diversity (hence McAvoy's boisterous German baker/rapper). Kate McKinnon makes a pretty funny cameo too, explaining why Upper West Siders just want to "stay home with my cat."

2. As with The Perfect Mother, Best Christmas Ever (Host Matt Damon) walked the line between sentimental and sarcastic and ended up being incredibly sweet, which is not a tone SNL seems to go for very often, but worked incredibly well here.

1. The last time Emma Stone hosted, we got the instant classic "Well For Boys" sketch. Stone (and writer Julio Torres, who also wrote "Well For Boys") pulled out a similar mood for The Actress (Host Emma Stone), a pre-taped sketch about an actress really honing in on her character's backstory (as a woman being cheated on in a gay porno). It's dryly funny work that takes its character seriously. Good job everyone!

Honorable Mentions: Kyle Mooney tries to remake himself into Pete Davidson in A New Kyle. Steve Carrell plays Jeff Bezos as the world's richest Trump troll in Message From Jeff Bezos. Adam Driver learns the dark fates of his frat brothers in '80s Frat Party. Sandra Oh got entranced by the allure of Cheques. And Leslie Jones shot at her competitors in Chopped.

The 10 Best Fake Commercials

10. In the ad for the Political Musical (Host Jonah Hill) "Divided We Stand," a Broadway musical filled with people completely out of their depth dive head first into our fractured political climate. The best detail: it is being staged at the Mariska Hargitay Theater.

9. This GE Big Boys (Host Jason Momoa) commercial did a great job of making housework look super masculine.

8. Discover Card (Host Sandra Oh) was an Us parody commercial that had tons of impressively accurate impressions and references to the film—hopefully you've seen the film by now!

7. Here's a Midterms Ad (Host Jonah Hill) that perfectly captured the apprehension of most liberals headed into the midterms. Kudos to Kyle Mooney for his expert mumbling and Leslie Jones for all her cats (and that cat reaction shot).

6. As John Mulaney revealed on Instagram, the Toilet Death Ejector (Host John Mulaney) ad was actually written a decade ago with Simon Rich and Marika Sawyer before being brought back to life this year. And it proves even Mulaney's rejected jokes are better than most.

5. It's hard to beat the visual of people doin' it inside a giant goofy dog costume in Pound Puppy (Host Don Cheadle).

4. Netflix Ad (Host Claire Foy) highlights how the company has "gone crazy" in its attempt to make every show in the world. Who would have guessed that the singularity would be achieved via shows such as Saved By The Crown and Kennymeade Deopt, all the fake movies from Entourage, the gritty Family Matters reboot (Kenan Thompson excels as Officer Winslow) and of course, Leslie Jones In A Van Getting Batteries.

3. Rectix (Host Adam Sandler) is the most grounded commercial ever about erectile dysfunction and butt plugs.

2. Fashion Coward (Host Emma Stone) advertised bland clothing for women (almost certainly a parody of Everlane). "Clothes that suggest the general idea of a person" is a perfect line. Who wouldn't want pants for the legs! Everyone did a great job here.

1. Roach-Ex (Host Don Cheadle) turned a typical commercial parody about pesky cockroaches into an intense dramatic domestic struggle between husband and roach, and also one of the best things on SNL this year.