Saturday Night Live
February 27, 2020
Nick Jonas has been on the 8H stage before: he and his brothers were a musical guest on SNL in 2009; and in 2016, he was a solo musical guest and was invited to participate in a couple of sketches. But last night was Nick Jonas’ first time hosting, and he was … fine. He wasn’t a natural who you could imagine joining the cast like some of his fellow superstar/pop star/former child star peers, notably Justin Timberlake and Drake. But he was fine. For me the big difference between Jonas and Timberlake and Drake is that Jonas seemed to be trying to maintain a modicum of dignity — he didn’t ham it up and didn’t seem willing to really allow himself to be the butt of the joke. He was fine! But in the end, Jonas was a supporting actor, not the comic lead.
As for the writing last night, it was hit-or-miss, but with a higher percentage of hit than miss, at least for me. (The Cockatoo helped, but more on that later.) It genuinely seems that the writers continue to feel the weight of the previous four years lift from their shoulders, and they are able to focus more surgically on political issues as demonstrated in this episode’s cold open. The show is going on a month-long hiatus — let’s hope the writers are able to keep this relatively strong streak going when they return.
Continue reading “Nick Jonas is fine — but nothing more — in a hit-or-miss ‘Saturday Night Live’”
Saturday Night Live
Regé-Jean Page & Bad Bunny
February 20, 2020
Though he had been in the cast of the Shonda Rhimes series For the People and the remake of Roots, not many people had taken notice of our host Regé-Jean Page until he starred in the Shondaland series Bridgerton on Netflix which only debuted in December. So it’s a little strange that someone whose name I had to look up when he was announced (and I say that as someone who writes about television every day and who binged Bridgerton), would be hosting Saturday Night Live already: Regé-Jean Page’s hardly a household name.
But it turns out Page is not only good at playing smoldering 19th-century counts in Regency-era London, he’s also a charming comedic actor who seemed to genuinely be enjoying himself on the live stage last night. Last night, Page demonstrated that he is a versatile actor, with great range and a bright future ahead of him. He will be a household name soon enough, I predict.
As for the episode itself, it was fine. There weren’t any sketches that really stood out — for good or bad. It just felt like the writers were coasting on some B-level material. But you know what? Sometimes that’s as much as any of us can give. After the week I’ve had, I’m inclined to cut people a break: so what if they didn’t knock it out of the park? They tried and they didn’t cut anyone’s power or water off in the process and they didn’t just say “fuck it” and got to the Cancun Ritz Carlton, and so I’m proud of everyone involved. Good job, kids.
Continue reading “Regé-Jean Page heats up ‘Saturday Night Live’”