TV Club: A game Elizabeth Banks at least lets SNL get back to the comedy business

“I’m not an actor, I’m a [movie & TV] star!”

Elizabeth Banks is a confident comic performer and a consummate team player, qualities that SNL sorely needed after floundering around the black hole at the center of last week’s episode. The show will occasionally find a diamond in the dirt, host-wise, but building a show around someone so at home in ensemble comedy is undoubtedly easier for the writers and cast. It’s certainly easier to watch. Starting in her monologue—where she put her newly-minted directorial experience to use, second-guessing director Don Roy King’s every decision while she belted out the Flashdance theme—Banks’ ease in her first hosting gig helped SNL settle back into its normal rhythms. That those rhythms have been pretty pedestrian this season is another issue, but at least, with the steady, committed Banks on hand, watching the show wasn’t …

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