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 21 “Host: Tina Fey” (B)

This show likes to make a big deal of its season finale, which I guess is unusual to me only because most of the shows I watch are scripted series in which the status of the episode in the season’s run is only alluded to in the scope of its content, not directly mentioned. Having Tina Fey host for the sixth time makes a lot of sense since she can show up and fit in pretty easily, though they also peppered her opening monologue with a number of famous faces, including Jerry Seinfeld, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Rock, Anne Hathaway, and, of course, Tracy Morgan. She did pretty well in most of her sketches, with the aunt-niece royal wedding relative as the one real lackluster exception, and the fact that her classic Sarah Palin impression is far from her funniest bit means that she’s capable of plenty. Playing the Russian lawyer at the Trump Tower meeting, hosting Dateline: Pervert Hunters, and starring in Dick Wolf’s unfortunate Chicago Improv show were fun, and my favorite was her portraying herself as a desperate wannabe star of her successful Broadway musical, “Mean Girls.” Having Trump meet a few of his closest associates at a diner in the cold open was an entertaining parody of the final scene of “The Sopranos,” though this isn’t the best Trump-related material I’ve seen on this show. The Weekend Update jokes that they can’t say on air also wasn’t great. I’m sure I’ll reencounter this show again next year when it gets nominated for Emmys, but I’m more than happy to check out for now.

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