Monday, August 28, 2017

Emmy Episodes: Saturday Night Live

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the second year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Saturday Night Live: Season 42, Episode 2 “Lin-Manuel Miranda / Twenty One Pilots” (B+)

NBC’s very long-running sketch show did better than ever before this year, earning twenty-two nominations setting a record for the most nominations for any show in history with 231. It’s bittersweet and sort of tragic watching this show and all of its election coverage knowing how it all turns out, with everyone making repeated references to how Trump had officially cost himself the election with everything he did. Starting with him “aplogizing" for the Billy Bush tape scandal, which was breaking news at the time, was pretty funny, and it’s very easy to see that both Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon are headed for Emmy wins this year. McKinnon is great as Clinton as always, but she was also pretty hilarious as Kellyanne Conway, whose day off was constantly interrupted by Trump saying and tweeting increasingly ridiculous things, which started out as true occurrences and then just went off the deep end. But this episode is actually Emmy-nominated for its host, Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Tony winner starts out by joking that no one knows him and trying not to sing his famous “Hamilton” song, but quickly gets into that since that’s where his talents lie. He’s not nearly as prominent as a lot of other hosts, doing a lot of rapping and playing a substitute teacher trying to embody all the inspirational clichés. I did enjoy “Diego Calls His Mom,” which was pretty much the only real Miranda showcase aside from “My Shot.” I was distracted during the “Wells Fargo Wagon” parody since I know the lyrics better as “The Ten Plagues are a Comin’,” a Passover song written by my mom. My favorite segment from this episode was the “Stranger Things” segment, which was very well-timed as I’m almost done with the first season.

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