Friday, September 7, 2018

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 third 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 43, Episode 17 “Host: Chadwick Boseman” (C+)

I’ve now arrived at the first of two episodes I’ll be sampling in which the host isn’t nominated. I’ll admit that I haven’t seen “Black Panther” because I’m so far behind on Marvel movies, but I’ve resolved to see it as soon as I can once I’m done with Emmy catch-up and pilot season since I really should have by now. I’m not sure that I would have gotten any references I missed in the two relevant sketches, one of which had Boseman playing T’Challa in Black Jeopardy and the other which had the white guys being chastised for reclaiming the Wakanda salute. I was impressed by Boseman in last year’s “Marshall,” but he seemed much more dynamic and comfortable there than he was here, far from the first host who many likely thought would be funnier than he was. This episode is the Emmy submission for Aidy Bryant, the latest SNL star whose name I learned when they received a seemingly out-of-nowhere bid. Playing a lab assistant in the pregnant man sketch and a café girl at Disney won’t get her any votes, but the one segment in which she was Aidy B and was rapping angrily at chauvinists and anyone who got in her way was far funnier. Could she ever hope to beat costars Leslie Jones or Kate McKinnon, or any of the other nominees? No, but that’s life. Speaking of Life, the DACA Edition bit was moderately funny, but what I liked a lot more on the political side of things was that, in the opening sketch, the Trump jokes were actually very creative, exaggerating what he says rather than just repeating it. Wanting to get rid of the Chinese billionaire P.F. Chang and guessing that one country was called Scantonia were my favorite parts. This episode filled with an unfunny Zuckerberg segment and musical restaurant guests did not win me over.

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