Edward Norton and Bobby Monyihan prepare for "Saturday Night Live"

Edward Norton and Bobby Monyihan prepare for "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Edward Norton and Janelle Monáe

The first rule about Ed Norton hosting the show: Let's talk about Ed Norton hosting the show
Edward Norton isn’t exactly known for his comedic talents, relying mostly on intense turns in such films as “Fight Club” and “American History X” for his rise to fame. But he’s had plenty of intentionally funny roles as well, such as in “Keeping The Faith,” “Death To Smoochy,” and his recent foray into the world of Wes Anderson films. For those with even a hint of interest in the behind-the-scenes world of Hollywood, Norton is also known as an opinionated talent who often provides creative input into his many endeavors, even when said input isn’t sought. But when it comes to “Saturday Night Live,” collaboration is the name of the game, and it should be interesting to see just how much Norton is willing to puncture his own persona tonight. Along for the ride will be musical guest Janelle Monáe. If you’ve never seen Monáe perform, you’re in for a treat.
 
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Walton Goggins and Katey Sagal in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Venus (Walton Goggins) bonds with Gemma (Katey Sagal) in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: Venus rises in 'Sweet and Vaded'

Walton Goggins injects some heart and soul into the season before Tara brings the nasty

Certain parts of "Sons of Anarchy" inevitably feel like a little boy's fantasy of what it means to be a grown-up man: a tough, cool guy who wins every fight, scores with any woman he wants and outsmarts every rival. But to the show's credit, "Sons" has always been equally interested in its female characters, routinely giving them the same level of badass cred as the guys. There's plenty of reasons to quibble with the way certain characters are (or aren't) developed, but when it comes to storytelling "Sons" rarely discriminates based on gender. Maybe that's one reason the character of Venus van Dam works so well.

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'SNL': 10 observations about the new season after three shows
Credit: NBC

'SNL': 10 observations about the new season after three shows

Do hosts even matter any more?

We’re only three episodes into the thirty-ninth season of “Saturday Night Live." But that’s not stopping us from making ten observations about the current season as a whole. Who has shined? Who has faded into the background? What trends can we already detect?

Read on to find out about the current state of the show.

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David Labrava, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan and Theo Rossi in 'Sons of Anarchy'

David Labrava, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan and Theo Rossi in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'Salvage' pauses the insanity

A murder-free episode reasserts the show's interest in brotherhood while setting up more trouble ahead

If I had to speculate about what helped make "Sons of Anarchy" such a big hit for FX, it wouldn't just be the extreme violence, the soapy twists, the provocative peek into outlaw culture or the availability on Netflix Instant. Those are all important factors, sure, but so is the strong sense of friendship and brotherhood at the core of SAMCRO. At one point or another, I think every fan of "Sons of Anarchy" has bonded with the characters because of their bonds with each other. And that's not something we've seen much of this season, at least until "Salvage."

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Tom Mison and Katia Winter in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Katrina (Katia Winter) share a moment in purgatory in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Credit: FOX

'Sleepy Hollow' recap: Roanoke, pestilence and 'John Doe'

Ichabod struggles with lost time, Abbie wrestles with her faith and the show loses a bit of its spark

I suppose sooner or later there needed to be a "Sleepy Hollow" episode dealing with Ichabod feeling out of place in the 21st Century, but I'm not sure it needed to be quite as clumsy or underwhelming as "John Doe." Not that the hour was any kind of severe misstep, more like a minor stumble as the still-promising show continues to find its voice and build its narrative foundation.

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Bruce Willis and Cecily Strong promote this week's episode

Bruce Willis and Cecily Strong promote this week's episode

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Bruce Willis And Katy Perry

The action star returns to his comedic roots in Studio 8H

The thirty-ninth season of “Saturday Night Live” has seen a lot of changes in its cast from the past few seasons, but really not much change in terms of overall quality. You take the good, you take the bad, you take the Drunk Uncle, and there you have the facts of “SNL” in this decade. It doesn’t matter if you throw up a seemingly slam-dunk host like Tina Fey or a potential wild-card like Miley Cyrus: the core elements of the show are what they are, meaning that there’s little in the way that’s going to change until the new writing staff figures out how to work with the new cast in ways that honor the show’s history while forging its future. 

That’s why tonight’s episode isn’t really about host Bruce Willis and musical guest Katy Perry, a past host who will undoubtedly end up in at least one sketch tonight. (Late update: Nope! I was wrong.) It’s more about seeing if any synergy between the on-screen and off-screen talent has sparked something that might indicate how this version of the show will operate. It’s not about expecting a fully-formed unit bonded over an intense three-week period to suddenly appear on the small screen. Rather, it’s about seeing any hints about what this iteration of the show’s cast might offer. The six new cast members have barely made a dent thus far, and the returning cast members have largely done new iterations of old characters. There will be at least two weeks between this episode and the next, so the show needs to make some impression that will last for that fortnight. (Update: Ed Norton will host in two week's time, as announced during tonight's broadcast.)
 
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Katey Sagal and Jimmy Smits on 'Sons of Anarchy'

A rough week for Gemma (Katey Sagal) and Nero (Jimmy Smits) on 'Sons of Anarchy'

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'The Mad King'

It's officially just 'Melrose Place' with more motorcycles

Is Jax Teller actually the worst president in SAMCRO history or is he just an unfortunate victim of TV writers trapped in a twisted competition of "Look how far I can go!" absurdities?

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Tom Mison in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and his fancy hat in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Credit: FOX

'Sleepy Hollow' recap: 'The Lesser Key of Solomon'

Abbie faces off with her sister and the freaky demon gets a name

In case you haven't heard, "Sleepy Hollow" received some good news after last week's episode aired: Fox officially renewed the show for a second season.

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Miley Cyrus and Taran Killam get ready for 'Saturday Night Live'.

Miley Cyrus and Taran Killam get ready for 'Saturday Night Live'.

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Miley Cyrus

The pop sensation/lightning rod returns to host the show.

Miley Cyrus is the host and musical guest for tonight’s episode of “Saturday Night Live”. And I’m here with a bold prediction: This will be terrible…unless it’s incredible…unless it’s pretty much as tepid as most episodes. Of this, we can be sure! 

Look, it’s fun to talk about Cyrus’ new public persona, and her choice of outfits and/or dance moves, but all that is as unimportant as what any other star brings to the table. When she hosted two years ago, she did just fine: She was game for all sorts of sketches, excelled in a few, and was let down by the writing in others. Sound familiar? It should, since that describes 90% of the hosts that the show gets. That Cyrus is arriving at a point in which there’s never been more ink (virtual and real) spilled about her mental state works in the favor of “Saturday Night Live” as a driver of headlines. But it’s not inconceivable that she’ll be a perfectly fine host who may lick a sledgehammer when it’s time to sing but play by the company rules when the comedy light is on.
 
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Tommy Flanagan and Charlie Hunnam in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) is concerned about Jax (Charlie Hunnam) on "Sons of Anarchy"

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'Wolfsangel' ups the body count

Multiple deaths aren't enough to justify another flabby 90-minute episode

Everything that happens in this week's "Sons of Anarchy" could've been condensed into a pretty solid hour of TV. So why did "Wolfsangel" have to be yet another unnecessarily bloated 90 minute episode?

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