SNL strong first half

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Screen shot 2009-12-12 at 8.47.30 PMI’ve been a Saturday Night Live fan for a long time and have stuck with it even through some very weak seasons.  The upside is that there are years when everything seems to come together nicely and makes for some great shows.  I think this might be one of those years.

The hosts so far have been pretty average with Taylor Swift being the only real stand-out.  This hasn’t stopped any of the shows from being a lot of fun since the cast really shines this year.  Some great recurring skits new to this season include What Up With That? and ESPN Classic broadcasts.  Combining these with spoofs of Tiger Woods and Fox News’ Fall election coverage have made for some fun shows.  The Digital Short offerings have also been solid with On the GroundTwo Worlds CollideShy Ronnie, and A Ladies Guide to Throwing a Party to name a few.  Lady GaGa was also surprisingly fun as a musical guest.

New featured cast members Nasim Pedrad and Jenny Slate have been great additions.  It’s just a shame that these two were hired as replacements for Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson who I enjoyed last season.

Saturday Night Live airs Saturday’s at 11:30PM on NBC.  Tonight’s host is someone called Taylor Lautner who’s in some vampire movie and the musical guest is Bon Jovi who will likely get involved in other segments of the show.  An amazing number of clips from past shows are also available from the show’s official site.


REVIEW: Away We Go

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I spent the first half of Away We Go, trying to decide if the film is a chick flick. I think maybe its themes are too mature for the typical drag your guy to the theater kicking and screaming date movie, but it might qualify for the see it with your sisters while the guys go see Watchmen or Star Trek type chick flick.

The indie-feeling “dramedy” stars Maya Rudolph of Saturday Night Live fame and John Krasinski of the American version of the Office in the most serious roles I’ve ever seen either of them play. While the film features hysterically funny moments, I was impressed with the skill both actors displayed in performing the more dramatic material.

They play a couple expecting their first child who come to realize they have nothing tying them to their home and decide to hit the road in search of a new one. In reality, the couples’ tour coincidentally leads them to encounters with different styles of families as they try to figure out exactly what type of family they want to build for themselves.

On the way we get a funny and way over the top performance from the late Rachel Dawes, a terribly sad scene in a club in Canada, and a hysterical little kid discussing what he knows about babies. Actually, I may have been the only one laughing at the kid, but I thought he stole the movie.

In the end, the film made me laugh, made me feel selfish for like ten seconds, and made me want a kid for like half a second… That’s more than I can say for most flicks.