Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics
The 'Anchorman' star and the pop phenoms kick off the show's December run
Paul Rudd and One Direction
We’re in the home stretch for 2013 episodes of “Saturday Night Live.” Starting tonight, we have a run of three weeks involving hosts familiar with the program. Paul Rudd is making his third appearance as host to kick things off, and if you think he’s the only actor associated with the “Anchorman” franchise that will appear tonight in Studio 8H, well, I have some swampland to sell you. Not only is Will Ferrell an alum of the show, but the film’s co-writer/director Adam McKay tweeted earlier today that he would be writing another iteration of a moderately-famous recurring sketch as well. (And others involved with the franchise have experience as well, almost too many to name here.)
What will be interesting to see over these next three weeks is how much the new cast gets integrated versus pushed to the side. Logically speaking, the latter will happen, which only once again raises the question of why "SNL" culled such a large cast together this season in the first place. Throw in the fact that there’s almost no way One Direction won’t appear in at least one (if not more) non-musical segments, and you have a very good chance that more than half of the cast will get next to no screen time tonight.
Jax smooths over the Irish troubles but his personal life won't be so easy
Yeah, Tara, that's how we feel about 'Sons of Anarchy' this season too.
As sprawling and convoluted and ludicrously overlong as this season of "Sons of Anarchy" has been, it basically boils down to two major storylines: Jax's attempt to extract SAMCRO from the business of gun running and longstanding connections with the IRA and Tara's attempt to extract her boys from the dangerous world Jax is trying to make safer.
Family ties, haunted houses and tree monsters: It's Thanksgiving, 'Sleepy Hollow'-style
Here's something you don't see every Thanksgiving
It's Thanksgiving on "Sleepy Hollow," and that means an episode rich in family, traditions and ... tree monsters?
The star of "The Hunger Games" makes his debut as host
Josh Hutcherson and Bobby Moynihan
Look, Josh Hutcherson
seems like a nice enough guy. And I understand he’s one-third of the love triangle in what is currently the biggest non-Marvel, non-“Star Wars” franchise around. So when I say I don’t know why he’s hosting, I want you to understand that I understand the business
side, just not the creative
side. If you want to pimp out “The Hunger Games”, there are probably a dozen other people in that film franchise that would generate more excitement as host than Hutcherson. Again: he’s a good actor, when the material is right. (Check out “The Kids Are Alright” if you don’t believe me.) And I hope I’m surprised by how well he does. But if the first half-hour consists of Panem-centric parodies and Hutcherson playing himself, strap in for a world of pain.
The body count skyrockets in the season's most shocking episode
Another strong episode argues the show could be more than just a guilty pleasure
Irving (Orlando Jones) brings Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) to work on her first day out of the asylum
"Sleepy Hollow" is officially on a roll. Two weeks in a row of first-rate episodes and everything's coming together. I'd say "Necromancer" is as close to a perfect episode as the show has delivered so far. (Though some may consider it a misstep that we now have a backstory for Headless... more on that in a bit.)
The pop star pulls double duty during her first hosting gig
They live for the applause, applause, applause...
I’m sure there are some reservations about Lady Gaga hosting “Saturday Night Live
” tonight. But I’m not sure I see the problem, at least in theory. Her musical output has produced some of the great highs and lows of modern pop music, and I wouldn’t be the least surprised to see either extreme matched comedically tonight. I’ve enjoyed her sketch appearances in the past (in 2009 and 2011), and her larger-than-life presence will at least add some excitement to tonight’s proceedings. For someone as image-conscious as she is, Lady Gaga has not been afraid to send up herself during her brief appearances on the show in the past. So I’m going into this with an open mind and hoping for the best. Tonight will probably go one of two ways: in one scenario, she’s a team player in an episode that doesn’t really stand out from the rest; in the other, this is Guest Star-A-Polooza, with countless cameos throughout that turn the episode into a circus. (Maybe Timberlake returns the favor for her cameos in 2011, for example?)
Jax faces a series of big decisions involving Tara, Galen, Clay and Patterson
Jimmy Smits and Katey Sagal in 'Sons of Anarchy'
By now we know what's working, and what's not working, this season on "Sons of Anarchy," and "Huang Wu" suffers for focusing too much on the wrong half of that equation. After last week's episode so effectively built up urgency and suspense, this week's was the equivalent of letting the air slowly out of a balloon that had been primed to pop.
It's Ichabod versus the Internet and we all win
Ichabod (Tom Mison) has his 'Alas, poor Yorick' moment
"Paul Revere, you rum beggar!" - Ichabod Crane
You're just not going to hear that anywhere else on television. And I think at this point we can safely say that's one of the key reasons why "Sleepy Hollow" has become the breakout hit of this year's freshman class.
What advice can Bill Murray, Amy Poehler and Mike Myers give?
In the middle of the second break of the thirty-ninth season of “Saturday Night Live,” we here at HitFix have some homework for the cast before they return to live TV on November 16th. With the show still struggling to find its identity, we’ve paired up each current cast member with a past one. Why? So those still on the show can watch footage of former Not Ready For Prime Time Players in order to glean inspiration, hone existing skills, and potentially develop new approaches. There’s something to be learned from almost everyone that’s ever performed in Studio 8H (both good and bad), but here are some pairings that we think would improve not only the individuals but also "Saturday Night Live" as a whole.
Check out the story gallery below and share your own thoughts in the comments below.