Monday, September 13, 2021

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 sixth 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 46, Episode 20 “Host: Anya Taylor-Joy” (B)

It was interesting to have this episode open with the cast members standing together addressing the audience and looking back on the year not in character, and it’s a shame that they didn’t have Bowen Yang join the four other Emmy nominees who happened to be grouped on stage. Having only screened eight other episodes, it doesn’t seem like I missed all that much. I was pleased to see Anya Taylor-Joy as a host since I was a big fans of her in “The Queen’s Gambit” as well as in the film “Thoroughbreds,” and she has another film currently screening at film festivals, “Last Night in Soho.” Signing off before the first commercial in Spanish was a nice touch, and I like that there wasn’t a parody of her Emmy-nominated show since she seemed perfectly game for any sketch. There wasn’t much that was all that memorable from her, and I think her not laughing at Aidy Bryant during the Brawn Bar bit was probably most impressive. She did not earn an Emmy nomination for this episode, of course, but Cecily Strong did. I like her a lot because of “Schmigadoon,” and I was disappointed to see her only briefly outside her Jeanine Pirro impression. That was definitely funny, and she’s great at it, but it wasn’t quite as substantive as I might have liked. The Hollywood Squares with everyone being cancelled didn’t aim too high, and the joke-swapping during Weekend Update was pretty standard since I’ve seen that game a few times now. The father holding a gun for the prom picture was funniest for his daughter and her boyfriend’s insistence that they would still have sex, and the human woman team examining the human man design managed to turn immaturity into entertaining absurdity. I should note that NYU does not have a “film studies” department, but that’s okay, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Vin Diesel invitation back to the movies that highlighted, among other things, how the holes in the trash cans are just slightly too small.

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