Saturday, September 7, 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 16 “Host: Sandra Oh” (B-)

Sandra Oh is on fire right now, having taken home a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for her lead performance in the show “Killing Eve” and looking likely to top that off with an Emmy win for that same role. Hosting SNL couldn’t come at a better time for him, and after a so-so opening with her not being able to accept compliments, she displayed an extraordinary willingness to inhabit whatever role she got in each sketch. Her performance in the duel movie was probably the best showcase of her talents as she got repeatedly hit by stray bullets fired accidentally by the two men fighting for her affection. Her future girlfriend who owned Samsung wasn’t quite as endearing, and her roles in the Kate McKinnon kiss sketch, the Cheques commercial, the Jarvis Fillmore bit, and the closing substitute teacher scene weren’t terribly central or memorable. She still did pretty well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she won. The other Emmy nominee for this episode makes less sense, and that’s Robert De Niro, who, earlier in the season, excited fans when he first appeared as Robert Mueller and got to have a laugh opposite Ben Stiller’s Michael Cohen. For some reason, the guest acting nominee chose this episode as the best showcase of his work, likely because it provides a pretty direct parody of the person he’s mocking. A win for him would prove voters don’t really watch the episodes but rank instead on how much they like the actors, since the other three nominees from his show did much better.

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