Each day this month (assuming I don’t get busy or bored!), I’ll reflect on a tiny sliver of pop culture that I enjoyed or appreciated this year — scenes, shots, gestures, verses, sights, sounds, moments. Today: Leslie Jones triumphs over the haters by being who she is.
The first monologue of this current season of Saturday Night Live began in fairly typical fashion. Host Margot Robbie looked ecstatic as she smoothly navigated her first few jokes and an appearance by Kenan Thompson, who joked that he’s been on the show for so long that he “slept like a baby” the night before the premiere. (Actually, I doubt that was a joke. Side note: I hope Kenan never leaves SNL. He’s a treasure.)
Then Leslie Jones arrived onstage, and the crowd exploded.
Devin and I took to our microphones right after the 2016 Emmy Awards ended for a discussion of a surprisingly enjoyable telecast. We also reveal the winner of our 2016 Emmy pool, a race more hotly contested than any on the Emmys themselves.
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On this episode, Devin and I review one of our favorite movies of the year so far, Don’t Think Twice, which is set in the New York improv comedy scene. Then we transition to the “real thing,” assessing the recent departures of several prominent Saturday Night Live cast members and what the news might mean for the future of the show.
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Ghostbusters is a movie directed by Paul Feig starring four of the funniest women alive. It’s a remake of a beloved 1984 comedy that’s attracted one of the most intensely sexist online controversies in recent memory. And…it’s pretty good! In this episode of The M&M Report, Devin and I talk about what worked and what didn’t.
Also: Devin is moving back to California. That means this podcast is the last one recorded in the same room with me for the foreseeable future. I’ll miss him, but I won’t miss the podcast, because it’s not going anywhere! We’ll still be recording regularly in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned for more.
Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and download the feed directly into the podcast app of your choice. If you have the time, rate and review us on iTunes as well. We’d greatly appreciate your support.
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.
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.
A year ago at this time, I wrote a blog post addressing Saturday Night Live‘s frustrating lack of commitment to diversity, exemplified by a sketch in which Kerry Washington played several prominent black female celebrities capped off by a title card backhandedly apologizing for the show’s dearth of nonwhite performers.
During the season finale and throughout this anniversary season, the story was different. Perfect? Of course not. But diverse voices in front of and behind the camera were one of the factors that made this season of SNL a significant improvement on the last few.
As with most people, the word “reboot” sets my teeth on edge. I’m always a proponent of discarding tired concepts and flagging franchises in favor of original material. But reboots aren’t inherently bad. Tuesday’s “Ghostbusters” announcement offers hope that at least one upcoming remake won’t be cringeworthy. Read the rest at The Eagle.