Friday, September 6, 2019

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 fourth 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 44, Episode 5 “Host: Liev Schreiber” (B-)

There’s a reason that Liev Schreiber isn’t nominated for hosting this episode. I like “Ray Donovan” and his performance on it, though I’ve also grown tired of it at this point, and he seems like a stronger asset in drama than comedy. That said, I do remember first encountering him as a time traveler in “Kate and Leopold” laughing about the word “erection.” Here, he didn’t seem like he knew his lines, and despite being more than willing to put on an accent, is far from a positively memorable hosting gig. The Incest Twins, Dave Outside the Women’s Bathroom, and the hose-spraying bit weren’t very funny at all. This episode is, however, a fantastic submission for Kate McKinnon, who has already won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series twice. She was amazing in the cold open as Jeff Sessions, so committed to the role and able to handle nearly the entire sketch on her own, and you can tell how funny she is by the way that everyone else around her couldn’t stop laughing during every line she uttered during the paranormal encounter sketch. I’d be perfectly happy if she won for this episode since she’s great in it, truly putting in effort to make each character she plays work, even if they’re not written so well. The scene I enjoyed most that didn’t involve McKinnon was where Pete Davidson came on Weekend Update to apologize to the congressman who lost an eye in Afghanistan that he had mocked a week earlier, which was humorously followed by that same congressman appearing next to him to get in a few cracks at him. This variety series’ use of real people it has parodied is one of its most charming elements.

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