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 15 “Host: Daniel Craig” (B)

This was the last live episode of this show produced, and the show actually took a full month off before it returned with the first of three at-home installments, one of which I’m planning to review since it features Emmy-nominated appearances from Brad Pitt and Kenan Thompson. This episode is the submission for Kate McKinnon, who earns her seventh consecutive nomination. It’s not the most impressive work she’s done, mainly because her characters aren’t as great as they’ve been in the past. Opening with her playing Laura Ingraham and then switching to dress like Elizabeth Warren while standing next to the real-life senator and former presidential candidate was fun, especially since you can tell that she’s doing a lot of work to act like Warren. Her only other real notable moment was in the “Sands of Modesto” scene where host Daniel Craig pulled a sheet of plastic wrap over her so that he wouldn’t be coming into direct contact. This episode was all about making fun of coronavirus, and while I wouldn’t say any of the humor is particularly offensive, it also hasn’t aged that well since evidently no one then had any concept of what things would be like now. Rachel Dratch playing Debbie Bowner with a N95 mask at the punishment table at a wedding talking about asymptomatic transmission was the best instance of this, though it was admittedly entertaining. Cecily Strong’s party girl who just wanted to put her hands in Michael Che’s mouth was a solid use of her talents, and it’s not easy to write an entire monologue with that many errors purposely put into it. Craig was somewhat funny in the fake Bond clip, the cooking show bit, and the Southern-accent-turned-vomiting-on-command sketch. I didn’t see the point of the “deep quote” game sketch, and ending with the revolting “overnight salad” didn’t provide the strongest finish.

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