Saturday, August 29, 2020

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 fifth 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 45, Episode 2 “Host: Phoebe Waller-Bridge” (B+)

I’m not always overly fond of this show but I’m definitely on board to give it a try when someone I really like is hosting. I knew that Phoebe Waller-Bridge was on the Emmy ballot for her guest spot on “Run,” which I enjoyed, but of course she ended up getting in for this show instead (unlike fellow nominee Maya Rudolph, who earned bids both for “The Good Place” and “Saturday Night Live”). I was a big fan of the first season of “Fleabag” and then didn’t get to watching season two until after it scored major Emmy bids across the board, and once again I’m late to the party after Waller-Bridge has already been nominated for another Emmy following her three victories last year. Her opening monologue was and felt very much like her brand of comedy, acknowledging the many genitals in the room, and I wasn’t sure how she’d be in sketches. There was nothing extremely funny about any of the characters she played, though she was entertaining enough in the black criminal versus white criminal news anchor battle (which aged interestingly) and the war letters sketch, which worked pretty well even if it was ridiculous. I would have nominated Waller-Bridge for “Run” instead though I’m not annoyed about her inclusion since I do like her. That closing bit where every cast member couldn’t control their laughter while they were pretending to be mad in the bar was enjoyable even if they were frequently breaking character, but that’s part of the fun of this show. Kate McKinnon impressed as usual as Elizabeth Warren making donor thank you calls during Weekend Update, and my favorite part of the episode was Mikey Day playing supercentenarian Mort Fellner, who got Colin Jost to walk into every one of his lines that ended with someone dead.

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