“Saturday Night Live” 41: Space Pants, Alien Encounters and Other Highlights (and Lowlights)

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Assigning a value judgment like “good” or “great” or “best ever” or “worst in five years” to a season of Saturday Night Live is inevitably a fool’s errand. Each season is best understood through the lens of key sketches, breakout moments and overall trends. Below, I’ve listed a few of each from this post-anniversary season of America’s most astonishingly resilient TV show.

And while you’re in an¬†SNL mood, check out my Indiewire investigation into the show’s record of diversity in its hosting choices.

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The M&M Report: 2015 in Review

On this episode of The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I look back on our favorite movies, TV, music, cultural moments and more from the past year. Listen for Devin’s passionate-ish defense of Ballers and my emotional reaction to the triumphant rise of Oscar Isaac, as well as our choices for favorite movie,¬†SNL¬†episode and late-night TV development.


Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and download the feed directly into the podcast app of your choice. New episodes should show up on your feed immediately and on iTunes within a day or two of release. Subscribe away!

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening!

The M&M Report: “Saturday Night Live” Season 41

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On this episode of The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I looked back at the first three episodes of the new season of¬†Saturday Night Live, remarking on the highs of Tracy Morgan’s triumphant return and the lows of Miley Cyrus’s…less triumphant return. Then we took previewed this week’s new episode with a discussion of whether it’s ethical, or advisable, to let Donald Trump host.

Since we recorded, the groundswell of groups urging NBC to cancel Trump’s stint has intensified. The network hasn’t backed down. Meanwhile, the customary promos featuring Trump and cast member Cecily Strong have generated controversy of their own.

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening!

“Saturday Night Live” Season 41 Premiere: High on Hillary

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Here are six takeaways from last night’s season 41 premiere of Saturday Night Live.

This Saturday Night Live premiere was never going to be a classic.

Season premieres of¬†Saturday Night Live often struggle, mostly because the show doesn’t operate on the schedule that people might assume. The show’s staff had the same number of weeks to write and prepare this week’s sketches as they do any other week: one. Much of what appeared to be sloppiness and laziness can be attributed to the gears on the SNL¬†machine¬†slowly shaking off the rust that accumulated over the summer.

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The M&M Report: “Trainwreck”

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I sorted through our slightly disappointed feelings about Trainwreck, the new comedy film from director Judd Apatow and star/screenwriter Amy Schumer.

I also reviewed the movie for the blog. For further reading, check out thoughtful analysis from Dana Stevens, Alyssa Rosenberg and Wesley Morris.

Peruse the M&M Report category page for previous episodes of the podcast. Thanks for listening!

“Trainwreck”: Bumpy Ride to Stardom

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Judd Apatow’s filmmaking style is either generous or lazy, depending on your vantage point. To a one, his movies run too long, with individual scenes stretching past their comedy expiration time, zany supporting players and celebrity cameos filling out (or overstuffing) the ensemble, ideas and themes and conventions and subversions jockeying for space. You leave one of his movies feeling sated – sometimes satisfyingly so, but other times like the feeling you get when you eat a little too much, a little too fast.

This comedy of excess makes for an awkward fit with the simultaneous goal of launching a young up-and-comer’s career as a movie star. The rise of Amy Schumer – as an actress, a character, a persona and a brand – is one of the big stories of Trainwreck, Apatow’s fifth directorial feature.

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