Things I Loved This Year: Small But Not Forgotten

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: two movies that ought to have been huge hits, but weren’t.

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Some movies seem destined to falter at the box office — they’re bad, they’re lazy, they’re weird, they lack star power, they’re in another language. It’s often a shame to watch those movies’ inevitably meager box-office returns, but you saw the disappointment coming, so it’s easier to manage and rationalize.

But other movies seem tailor-made for runaway blockbuster success and yet struggle to find it. Often, you can blame the marketing, or the distribution, or an accident of fate. The best you can hope for is a fruitful run on home video and streaming.

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The M&M Report: “Don’t Think Twice” and “SNL” Departures

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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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“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: “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!