'Saturday Night Live' Season 40: 10 Burning Questions

'Saturday Night Live' Season 40: 10 Burning Questions

Big Questions loom for Cecily Strong, Michael Che and more

With the fortieth season of “Saturday Night Live” just around the corner, we have a few questions about the upcoming year. It’s a huge year for the show, and we have some big queries for it before the September 27 premiere.

Chris Pratt will host the September 27 premiere with Ariana Grande as musical guest. They'll be followed by Sarah Silverman and Maroon Five.

Bill Hader will return for the October 11 episode with Hozier as musical guest.

And that leads to our Burning Questions...

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Outlander_S1_E7
Credit: Starz

Recap: 'Outlander' - 'The Wedding' is less important than the honeymoon

Alternate episode title: "MORE WINE!"

Last week Claire — and the audience — were subjected to a harrowing experience. We got up close and personal with an honest-to-God psychopath wrapped in a shell of gentility. Black Jack Randall is welcome to die in a fire. 

But with the help of Scottish Santa, Claire escaped…and was immediately betrothed to Jamie to save her from falling back into the British army’s clutches. So without further ado, on to “The Wedding!”

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Full disclosure: By the end of this episode,  I am still solidly Team Frank. 

Instead of opening at the wedding, or with a flurry of wedding preparation spearheaded by Mrs. Fitz (because she’s back at Castle Leoch), we open at another wedding. Claire and Frank’s to be precise. Just grind that salt into the wound harder, Starz.

Frank and Claire are holding hands and walking past the courthouse when Frank stops. Claire is puzzled but she looks so sharp in that off-white ensemble that I’m momentarily distracted. Why is 1940s fashion so pretty!? But it’s a good thing Claire is wearing a wedding appropriate outfit because her beau just proposed. Why wait to get married?

We just learned a few interesting things. Whenever this is taking place, Claire has not yet met her future in-laws. Frank is far more spontaneous than I would’ve pegged him for. And he’s also romantic and cares not for convention. He just wants to spend the rest of his life with his lady love, the societal pressures of his family be damned! He pops the question on the spot and Claire kisses him…

…but we are never to know if they went into the courthouse before heading to dinner as the new christened Mr. and Mrs. Randall. Claire was having a flashback to a happier moment while kissing Jamie. At THEIR wedding. Awkward. 

During some voice-over narration, our heroine tries to explain her current mindset. She compares her situation to broken string of pearls, with each pearl being a memory of her life with Frank. Slowly, each one is rolling away from her and into the darkness, and one day she might not remember it at all. As a happily married woman, this analogy terrifies me. Someone is getting a super long hug later. 

While Claire voices one my literal worst nightmares, we transition to the honeymoon suite. Jamie enters and looks uncomfortable as hell. Whether this is because his wife has been on the verge of tears all day, because he has no idea what he’s supposed to be doing, or because all the boys downstairs won’t leave until the marriage is consummated, is left up to viewer discretion. I’m going with “all of the above.”

Trying to diffuse the mood, Jamie quips that only Tweedle Hagrid and Tweedle Dumb have to watch the consummation. In a delightful moment of time-forgetfulness, Claire sarcastically calls him a “regular Bob Hope.” Jamie — and any audience members under the age of twenty-five — are confused. Who?

Speaking Claire’s language, Jamie hands his new wife a decanter of wine. It’s not Rhenish, so she tucks in fast to get drunk enough to handle what is about to happen. Three glasses disappear in quick succession. Poor Jamie tries to save the moment by giving a lovely speech about their new life together but Claire just pours herself another glass, while maintaining a look that screams she’s either about to pass out or throw up. 

Damn girl, you and Cersei Lannister are lush sisters separated at birth. Slow down!

Awww. Jamie thinks she’s knocking back enough fermented grapes to kill a small horse because she’s afraid he’s going to force himself on her. Claire is like, “Hahaha! I would never have thought that. Excuse me while I get another bottle,” before distracting her new husband from any thoughts of sexytimes with an impromptu Q&A session. 

We are thrust into our second flashback of the episode as Jamie explains why he would even agree to this. Budget Ben and Dougal have cornered our lad in the stables. You can tell this is serious because BB has a huge book of law. If Jamie hadn’t agreed, my money is on they were going to beat him with the letter of the law until he relented. They let Jamie know that if he doesn’t agree to this, Claire is going right back into the tender care of Black Jack and nobody wants that, DO THEY?? When Jamie asks why Dougal even cares what happens to Claire, it boils down to she didn’t rat them out to the British and one good turn deserves another. 

After laying on the guilt nice and thick, Dougal is forced to reveal the kicker. For the law to stick, it has to be a proper wedding. Jamie will actually have to sex Claire up…because just lying about it or making it look like they had sex is too complicated for these masters of law manipulation. I mean, she’s not a virgin. How would they even prove it? If Jamie came out and was all “Yep, it’s done,” who’s going to argue with him? Hell, pull an “Easy A” and have the two of them jump on the bed and moan to make it convincing! 

I am so disappointed in their lack of commitment to Sparkle Motion. Even Jamie’s Fairy Godfather is all “Dougal, you are supposed to be anti-rape. man!” But Dougal would rather split hairs about “persuasion.” And just like that he is back on my shit list. I’m getting whiplash from his numerous conflicts of personality. Dude, just be good or evil. Stop acting like a three-dimensional person! God!

Back in the present, we’re all distracted by Claire’s cleavage. And if you claim otherwise, you are a liar. She is one deep breath away from a wardrobe malfunction. 

Jamie makes another attempt to get the conversation back around to wooing his new bride. He says now that they’re married, she is safe. Claire has his name, his clan, and his protections. “AND MY AXE!” yells Gimli, wandering in from the wrong universe. 

It seems to be working, they go in for a kiss and…”TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAMILY!” Super subtle, Claire. But it works. Somehow she manages to keep her husband’s mind off sex for hours as they swap stories about their families and lives, all while going through enough wine to put Dionysus to shame. So long in fact, they end up having to light candles. Maybe even too long, because suddenly Tweedle Hagrid and Tweedle Dumb! They burst in hoping to find the couple In flagrante delicto, but alas they’re just boring old talking. In their clothes still. The boys are disappointed but beat a hasty retreat before they are struck down where they stand.

So, did Jamie seriously not lock the door? If not, rookie move man. You’ve clearly never had college roommates.

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Doctor Who - Time Heist
Credit: BBC

Recap: 'Doctor Who' - 'Time Heist' is an old-fashioned bank robbery with a twist

How do you break into the most impenetrable bank in the universe?

After last week’s episode, which was arguably one of the strongest entries into the Whovian lore in years, can the show maintain that momentum? “Time Heist” looks like a straight forward bank caper in the vein of the Rat Pack or the new Rat Pack Ocean’s Eleven. But things are rarely, if ever, straight forward when the Doctor is involved.

Away we go!

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<p>Derrick of &quot;Big Brother&quot;</p>

Derrick of "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Wednesday - Eviction reveals the Final 3

Did Victoria, Beast Mode or Cody join Julie Chen on Wednesday?

As much as I hated the BB Rewind twist, I was perfectly content with the way things went down on Tuesday night's "Big Brother," with both the elimination and with the results of the Head of Household competition. 

It may not have been a great "Big Brother" season, but surely it's all coming around to a satisfying end, right?

Click through and follow along in case things somehow go pear-shaped because this is "Big Brother" and ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

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Frankie Grande

Recap: 'Big Brother' Final 4 Snark With Andy Herren

Now that we're down to four, BB15 winner Andy Herren joins us to sort out the pros and cons of the remaining houseguests.

Well, it happened. One ridiculous game twist ruined Frankie Grande's otherwise admirable game. The pink-haired imp was sentenced to 50 years of shellacking his sister's ponytails, and we may never hear from him again (unless you count Twitter and YouTube, where he apparently engages in "mogul"-like activities). Tough break, (31-year-old) kid. 

Man. We're down to four: Victoria (who is about as threatening as a panda in a pop-up book), Cody (a man with gold pecs who's turning in a bronze-worthy performance), Derrick (a genius who is nice enough to feed his fellow players millet and cud every so often) and Caleb (a backwards cap with feet). Let's check in with our pal Andy Herren, the winner of "BB15," and put together our thoughts on the remaining players and the legacy of Frankie Grande. We've divided this week's evaluations into "What to love" and "What to hate," since Andy and I are incapable of any other emotional response.  

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Victoria

 

What’s to Love?

Andy Herren: EVERYTHING. Victoria started the season as a joke and she has triumphantly morphed into something much more…JUST KIDDING. She’s still a joke, and it is so wonderful. Last night, Big Brother showed a clip of her staring at pita bread while everyone else talked game, insinuating that Victoria’s version of playing Big Brother is staring at pita bread. I’m imagining that Victoria is still unsure of the rules of the game, and she thinks the pita bread may have some sort of power. “Please help me, pita bread. I’m the last girl standing, and Derrick has stopped talking game to me,” Victoria bemoans, to which the pita bread replies, “Who are you?” Victoria remains unable to win a competition, which is yet another reason to love her. She is playing the most brilliant final two game I have ever seen played on Big Brother. Even better than Porsche from season 13, and Porsche from season 13 was replaced by a brick wall halfway through the season and nobody noticed. Lastly, Victoria’s Diary Room sessions are unbelievably entertaining. Sure, they are completely scripted, but can you blame the producers? I feel like Victoria walks into the Diary Room, sits down, and exclaims, “I wish I was a mermaid because mermaids get to talk to fish and I feel like fish have a lot to say!” The producers, exasperated, reply, “Yeah, Victoria. Mermaids are great. Read theses lines for us and we will give you a new necklace. It’s SHINY!” Victoria blinks twice and they have a deal.

HitFix: It is always, always fascinating watching Victoria pretend she has been alive and playing "Big Brother" like some sort of breathing, thinking organism. It takes nerve to stand on the block and announce you've "worked really hard" to get this far in the game when you spend most of your time losing staring contests with pita bread. Even Caleb, who is only capable of whooping in empty rooms and staring like a lonely Precious Moments figurine at Amber's portrait, made a mocking face at Victoria during her speech. She just presses on. And she's nothing. Go, nothing, go! 

What’s to hate?

Andy Herren: Absolutely nothing. VICTORIA FOR AMERICA'S FAVORITE PLAYER!

HitFix: This woman is very likely to get second place. I'm not saying it won't be hilarious watching her sit on the witness stand and come up with reasons for angry acquaintances to give her $500,000 ("Zach's hat was a strong competitor and I took it down."), but it will be -- regardless of comedy -- the ultimate anticlimax.

Derrick

 

What’s to love?

Andy Herren: Derrick has singlehandedly masterminded this season. Every week he has gotten his way, with the added perk of spending the entire season avoiding being nominated for eviction. He is one of the best, most masterful players to ever play Big Brother. He consistently remains five steps ahead of everyone else in the house. If anyone even mentions putting him up, they either find themselves evicted or profusely apologizing to him or DEAD.

HitFix: If you're a rational, un-obnoxious, thinking person who is chosen to be a contestant on "Big Brother," you are a true anomaly for the ages. I want to study you using a microscope and form controversial theories about your genes. Derrick's utter calm is just provocative. How did he get to be this savvy? Sure, he's a cop, but that doesn't explain how he's able to manipulate his closest pals in the house into believing he's the weakest member in the klatch.

What’s to hate? 

Andy Herren: Derrick has made this season BORING. I was accused of being a boring player last season, and even I had a few standout moments (most notably framing Elissa on live television). Derrick has deterred fights, calmly orchestrated nearly every eviction to be unanimous, and taken out all of America’s favorite players one by one (Zach, Donny, Nicole, JOCASTA). Derrick also has a habit of blatantly lying in his Diary Room confessionals. Like, GURL, we know you wanted Donny out. Quit telling us you “did everything you could” to save him. Just own up to your actions and stop treating the viewers like they are idiots. AT THE END OF THE DAY, however, Derrick is playing to win, and for that I say, “I hope Derrick wins.”

HitFix: Derrick is almost officially the Boston Rob of "Big Brother." Yes, his potential victory would be mighty, but he mostly succeeded because of dunderheaded competition. I like a man with a plan, but I also like a real fight. Cody shaking his head in the diary room and calling every noun in sight "Kid" is not much of a duel. 

Cody

 

What’s to love?

Andy Herren: Cody is absolutely adorable. I’m pretty sure if my mother had to choose between saving my life or saving Cody’s, even she would choose Cody after one look at him batting his eyelids at her. Aside: I’m an only child and my mom REALLY, REALLY LOVES ME. Last summer, whenever "Big Brother "production would call to tell my mom about what would happen to me if I went to the Jury House, my mom would reply, “I don’t need to hear that. He’s not going to the Jury House. He’s going to win. I love him so much.” End of aside. Cody is also a better game player than people give him credit for. His social game is on point, and he has successfully put all of his eggs in the Derrick basket (the correct basket to put eggs in on Big Brother 16).

HitFix: Cody has an iota of game. Two minutes and twenty-one seconds is a very impressive score for that POV competition, and I really didn't expect him to win it. I expected to him to flounder at the last moment like he did during the HOH competition later in the episode. (Even when he was in the lead, didn't you have the sinking feeling he'd lose to Derrick?) But the point is: His slight skills and adamantium body are intriguing enough that he could be a Top 2 competitor. You never know: There may be an ab counting challenge in our future. 

What’s to hate?

Andy Herren: Cody is big move phobic. This is smart…to a point. To spend most of the season getting what you want without making a big move is crucial, but the time to make a big move is NOW, Cody! NOW! I have a feeling that Cody will win the final HOH of the summer, and I also have an overwhelming fear that he will take Derrick to the finals with him, solidifying Cody as the sweet boy who lived under Derrick’s guidance all summer. By cutting Derrick at the end, Cody could finally make the move he needs to make and become the best player of the season (seriously…who would vote for Victoria over Cody? NOBODY), but the $500,000 question is, “WILL HE DO IT?”

HitFix: Cody has no convictions. He's just hustling to keep up with a game that's been orchestrated without and around him. He's doing an OK job. But it's not a performance you can root for. 

Caleb

 

What’s to love?

Andy Herren: Post-Amber, Caleb has become the lovable buffoon. The Scooby-Doo among the rest of the house’s Mystery Machine, he says things like, “Judy Chop.” He sticks the vacuum hose to his face. He still thinks The Bomb Squad is a thing. He is a living, breathing fart sound effect: Good for a laugh, but not much else. However, he has proven to also be a force to be reckoned with in competitions, with is worth a mention, even though he usually lets others dictate what he does with his HOH reign. Cough Derrick cough. 

HitFix: As far as I know, Caleb hasn't  asn't been scaring the daylights out of any female houseguests for a few weeks now, and I think we should throw a few dozen chocolate coins at him in celebration. Imagine him giggling and jerking his neck around like a fancy sea lion trying to eat up all those coins. Yee-hah! A wonderful time. Also: Hey, if he makes it to the final two with Victoria, he could win this ceaseless crapshoot. How 'bout that? 

 

What’s to hate? 

Andy Herren: The fact that his misogynistic behavior towards Amber didn’t get more negative attention is quite troubling, as it genuinely disturbed me (and lots of other viewers, if I’m remembering correctly). Do I think he is a bad guy? No, I really don’t. Do I think his behavior should have been reprimanded rather than rewarded? Definitely.

HitFix: All I know is after Frankie was eliminated last night, Caleb announced to no one in particular, "[His] picture is now black and white." That's an observant fellow right there. Do you think he understands that every eliminated player's picture turns black and white? Or do you think the producers picked out that special treat just for Frankie? Either way, it's hard to imagine Caleb deserving anything more from "Big Brother" than a new beach ball to smack around with his nose. 

 

Frankie

What’s to love?

Andy Herren: Frankie is a true competition beast, winning more than his fair share of HOHs, Vetoes, and A SOLO BATTLE OF THE BLOCK. Also, his social game was on-point for most of the season. He appeared to be everywhere, and he was everyone’s friend. It all started to unravel this week, though, as everyone turned on him and he realized that pressing the rewind button was his ultimate mistake. Frankie is by far the most hated houseguest at this point in the season, and while I understand some complaints the fans have, I also find a lot of the hate to be quite extreme. Frankie seems to always have a good attitude when faced with adversity, and I really hope he doesn’t let the bashing he will get upon leaving the house get to him.

HitFix: Let's face it, even if you really disliked Frankie, it can't be satisfying to see him leave the game like he did this week. "Big Brother" basically had to break itself in order to get Frankie sent home, and that's just what happened. Frankie's flawless week of gameplay turned into a meaningless black hole thanks to the "Rewind" twist, and his scared competitors used it to punish Frankie for schooling them with his shovel-loading skills. It seems like a lot of Twitter dislikes Frankie's attention-starved antics and self-absorption, but I actually think being annoying is an asset in "Big Brother." Nutty behavior can make you seem safe, even pathetic to fellow players. I think Frankie's preteen theatrics were usually effective; that damn confession about Ariana Grande turned out to be valuable maneuver on his part. He made it farther than most of us predicted, and it's all because he was smarter than we gave him credit for.

What’s to hate?

Andy Herren: His narcissism is quite appalling, but I still don’t think he’s a terrible person. The thing I found most troubling about Frankie was his championing of Caleb’s behavior towards Amber. Also, his continuous sex stories and constant desire to be the center of attention have made the feeds unwatchable at times.

HitFix: What's there to hate about Frankie? The correct answer is: Without him, the game loses its most serious threat to Derrick's laser-blasted path to victory. A Frankie/Derrick final two would've been a sumptuous end to an otherwise humdrum season, and now we don't even get that. Look, I know Frankie was hard to take. He's basically a Tropical Skittle in H&M shorts, and sometimes I don't want to give $500,000 to a candy-coated narcissist. But Frankie was subversive, and without him in the game, we're missing some serious down-and-dirty chutzpah. Frankie might've tried too hard to be liked, but was always trying harder to win "Big Brother." Respect.

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<p>Katey Sagal of &quot;Sons of Anarchy&quot;</p>

Katey Sagal of "Sons of Anarchy"

Credit: FX

Recap: 'Sons of Anarchy' - 'Toil and Till'

SAMCRO gets a helping hand in an episode that runs only 76 minutes

Waiting to catch Tuesday night’s “Sons of Anarchy?” Better water those nicotine-laced azaleas and clean up those airstreams because spoilers abound in this review.

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Donny.
Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Sunday - The Jury Members We Miss Most

Six fallen houseguests reenter the house. And we miss them.

The only thing more hilariously lame than the first 55 minutes of last Thursday's "Big Brother" was the way Julie Chen concluded it in the final seconds. Paraphrased: "Did you like last week's mundane episodes of 'Big Brother'? Well, HERE COMES THAT VERY MUNDANITY AGAIN. Next week we're bringing you the same boring challenges, the same boring final five, and for some reason we're adding more episodes. Cheers! It's like I always say: Expect the unexpected. Unless you expected something insufferable. Then go ahead and expect that." 

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Outlander_S1_E6
Credit: Starz

Recap: 'Outlander' - To the surprise of no one, 'The Garrison Commander' is a jerk

With only three episodes to go, will Claire ever see Frank again?

At the end of last week’s episode, Claire left us with a brick wall cliffhanger. Would she out Dougal for his terrible wibbly-wobbly definition of “guest” or would she lie to the British platoon to avoid a shootout? Either way, this seems like a no-win scenario. Sort of a six of one, half dozen of a the other when it comes to an undercurrent of sexual violence. 

Regardless of her choice, tonight we meet “The Garrison Commander.”

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Recap: 'Doctor Who' - 'Listen'
Credit: BBC

Recap: 'Doctor Who' - 'Listen' to the sound of the entire fandom gasp simultaneously

Perhaps the most unexpectedly lore heavy episode in a long time.

Last week saw Twelve and Clara in a stand-alone episode. “The Robot of Sherwood” had some great dialogue and character insights wrapped in a candy coating of absurdity. I don’t know about you guys, but I was along for the ride right up until the last ten minutes. A leap of faith via suspension of disbelief is acceptable…even expected…but the “golden arrow” might be the new “jumping the shark.” Can this week’s episode “Listen”, written by showrunner Steven Moffat, right the ship? 

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<p>Dino-Cody will be back</p>

Dino-Cody will be back

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Wednesday - BB Rewind means we all wasted a week

Who's gonna tell Jeff & Jordan they're not engaged anymore?

It's time to see what the "Big Brother" Rewind actually means, because no matter how many times Julie Chen half-explains it, I don't have a clue.

All I know is that there was a button, it was pushed and it's going to undo an impressive run of challenge excellence from the otherwise irksome Frankie. 

And that's going to be fun.

Or is it?

Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. 

Let's find out...

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