The finales of ‘The Good Place,’ ‘Arrow,’ and ‘BoJack Horseman,’ The Super Bowl, J.J. Watt on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ and everything else you don’t want to miss on TV this week


Continue reading “The finales of ‘The Good Place,’ ‘Arrow,’ and ‘BoJack Horseman,’ The Super Bowl, J.J. Watt on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ and everything else you don’t want to miss on TV this week”

In which Adam Driver continues to be one of the most consistently great ‘Saturday Night Live’ hosts

Saturday Night Live
Adam Driver & Halsey
January 25, 2019

Adam Driver specializes in intensity. The characters he is known for tend to be barely containing their emotions, be it rage or anger or rage … And so it’s easy to forget — even after having hosted Saturday Night Live twice before — that he’s a brilliant comic actor. Now, a lot of that humor is based in his perceived intensity; in fact, three of my favorite sketches from last night were firmly predicated on the idea that Driver’s characters are on the edge of becoming dangerous (or, in the case of Kylo Ren, have firmly crossed it). But I’m not complaining — this weekend’s Saturday Night Live was funny (almost) from beginning to end, thanks in large part to Driver being such a great comic actor that he elevates what might otherwise be a mediocre bit in the hands of a less funny actor.

kylo ren snl thumbs up saturday night live adam driver

Continue reading “In which Adam Driver continues to be one of the most consistently great ‘Saturday Night Live’ hosts”

This is not the Obi-Wan public relations mess Disney+ is looking for

Continue reading “This is not the Obi-Wan public relations mess Disney+ is looking for”

The Democrats did great yesterday in the impeachment trial! But we’re not going to hear from any witnesses or see any evidence. Here’s why:

Continue reading “The Democrats did great yesterday in the impeachment trial! But we’re not going to hear from any witnesses or see any evidence. Here’s why:”

Houston superhero to host ‘Saturday Night Live’

Continue reading “Houston superhero to host ‘Saturday Night Live’”

‘Star Trek: Picard,’ The Grammys, ‘Awkwafina is Nora from Queens’ and everything else you don’t want to miss on TV this week

Continue reading “‘Star Trek: Picard,’ The Grammys, ‘Awkwafina is Nora from Queens’ and everything else you don’t want to miss on TV this week”

The queens are coming back next year to fix The Golden Globes.

Continue reading “The queens are coming back next year to fix The Golden Globes.”

Happy Boxing Day! Here’s all the TV news I could find to fit into … a small box. (I don’t know where I’m going with this.)

Continue reading “Happy Boxing Day! Here’s all the TV news I could find to fit into … a small box. (I don’t know where I’m going with this.)”

Relive Eddie Murphy’s almost-perfect ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live
Eddie Murphy & Lizzo
December 22, 2019

I’m going to try to avoid overthinking this episode because comedy never benefits from thinking about it too hard. (It’s one of the reasons I never recap comedies.) But, Eddie Murphy returning to Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years is not just a historically notable TV event, it’s one that required a little contemplation on both our part and the writers’.

Here’s the thing: Eddie Murphy blazed into superstardom on Saturday Night Live in 1980 when he was only 19 years old with characters like Mr. Robinson and Buckwheat — characters that made fun of racist stereotypes in a way that was so close to the chest that some viewers may not have understood they were supposed to be laughing with Murphy, not at him. Murphy was never putting on a minstrel show, he was pointing out how racist the minstrel show was. The problem is some viewers, particularly white ones, might have missed that nuance. (Honestly, maybe the greatest SNL sketch of all time is the one in which he went undercover as a white man — genuinely brilliant and tackling race in a way that remains as stinging and poignant 40 years later.)

So because a great deal has changed in the past 40 years, it was always going to be a delicate dance bringing some of these characters back to the show in a way that not only would be relevant but culturally palatable. But God damn, if they didn’t pull it off. Murphy’s 80s characters found themselves up against 21st-century issues like gentrification and the #MeToo movement — and that tension is where the comedy blossomed.

Then when you add to all of that the fact that Eddie Murphy waited long enough to come back to the show so that there were no more hard feelings, that he had shed enough of his movie star ego and aloofness that he could really enjoy himself on that stage in an uninhibited, genuine way … well, it made for the best episode of the year, certainly, and one of the best episodes of Saturday Night Live I’ve ever seen.

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In which ‘Watchmen’ blows my mind one last time.

Continue reading “In which ‘Watchmen’ blows my mind one last time.”