Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 12/13/19

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CREDIT: A24

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Black Christmas (Theatrically Nationwide) – Sophia Takal also directed a horror-adjacent movie a few years ago that I enjoyed.
A Hidden Life (Limited Theatrically) – Oh wow, Terrence Malick made another movie.
Richard Jewell (Theatrically Nationwide)
Uncut Gems (Theatrically Nationwide)

TV
Marvel’s Runaways Season 3 (December 13 on Hulu)
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Good Times’ (December 18 on ABC) – Norman Lear and company are at it again!
The Masked Singer Season 2 Finale (December 18 on FOX)

Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Jennifer Lopez/DaBaby

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

If it’s the end of a decade or the start of a new one, it must be time for Jennifer Lopez to host SNL. Her first two times were in Februarys 2001 and 2010, and now we have her again in December 2019. Meanwhile, DaBaby is joining her for his first jaunt as musical guest. Hey, if he makes some more appearances after this one, are we going to have to start calling him “DaChild” and then “DaAdult”?

When 11:30 (or actually 11:29, according to the channel guide) rolls around, it’s time for the show to start, not because we’re ready, but because we can. (But if you record it, it’ll be waiting for you the very next morning on your DVR!) So as 11:30 hit on December 7, 2019, Alec Baldwin was unsurprisingly in his Trump costume, but he was joined at NATO (Grade: 2.5/5 Merkel Moans of Ecstasy) by a couple other guests, i.e. Jimmy Fallon as Justin Trudeau and Paul Rudd as Emmanuel Macron, and while it’s nice to see some old friends, I’m not in favor of guests always playing such high-profile roles. You gotta develop your farm talent! Although, the James Corden-as-Boris Johnson of it all wasn’t so bad, since he’s an SNL noob. J. Lo comes out for her Monologue (Grade: 3.5/5 Gravity Defiers), and we’re all expecting her to dance, WHICH SHE DOES!, but how many of us also expected her to rock that green dress again? Wowza.

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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 12/6/19

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CREDIT: Adult Swim

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Little Joe (Limited Theatrically)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Limited Theatrically)

TV
Fuller House Season 5 Premiere (December 6 on Netflix) – I still hope to be fully caught up one day!
Joe Pera Talks with You Season 2 Premiere (December 6 on Adult Swim) – I guess it’s Joe Week.
The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage! (December 7 on Nickelodeon)
-“Crisis on Infinite Earths” Arrowverse Crossover (Begins December 8 on The CW)
Mike Tyson Mysteries Christmas Episode (December 9 on Adult Swim)

Music
-Camila Cabello, Romance

The 4 Types of TV-to-Film Adaptations

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CREDIT: NBC

Adapting TV shows into feature-length films is one of the many regular ways that the cinema industry keeps the reboot process alive. As a devoted Human Being, I am particularly invested in the possible of a Community adaptation to complete the #sixseasonsandamovie prophecy. This has led me to consider two important quandaries: 1) what different types of tv-to-film adaptations exist, and 2) which ones are most likely to result in box office and/or critical success? Over the course of pondering this topic, I have come up with the following taxonomy:

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Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Will Ferrell/King Princess

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CREDIT: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC

Hey, you. Yeah, you. Do you want to know a little secret? Will Ferrell is my favorite SNL cast member of all time! He regularly graced the Studio 8H stage from 1995 to 2002, and I don’t think it’s too out of line to say that he appeared in a lot of hilarious sketches that multiple people remember fondly. Since ending his tenure and moving on to other career ventures, he’s also made time to return for some visits, which has led up to him hosting for the FIFTH time on November 23, 2019, thereby becoming only the fourth former cast member to join the Five-Timers Club. Also appearing in an official capacity in this episode is musical guest King Princess. She’s only 20 years old currently, and I think she’s someone we’ll be noticing for a while.

Alec Baldwin-Trump showed up for the White House press conference cold open (Grade: 3/5 Large Pies, Extra Cheese), and somehow it felt somewhat fresh. It helped that it was just a few minutes long, and Will F. imbued some new energy into the proceedings as Gordon Sondland. You can always bank on an excellent Monologue (Grade: 4.5 New Blorks) from Will Ferrell (or as Tracy Morgan says, “Will fuh-RELL!”), thanks to his knack for subverting common monologue tropes. This time was no exception, as he became phantasmagorically puddly-lipped in the presence of surprise guest Ryan Reynolds.

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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 11/22/19

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Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Theatrically Nationwide) – One of the year’s best!
Dark Waters (Limited Theatrically)
Frozen 2 (Theatrically Nationwide)

TV
MST3K Turkey Day Marathon (Streaming November 28 on various platforms)

Jeff’s Wacky SNL Review: Harry Styles (Season 45)

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CREDIT: Will Heath/NBC

It was a big family weekend for me this … weekend. Birthdays, food, and candles galore! So if it sounds like I’m writing this review after staying out all night partying, you know why. Hosting AND musical guesting this mid-November SNL outing is millennial Harry Styles. The last time we had someone pulling double duty was Chance the Rapper just two episodes ago. Is this a record for the least amount of time between double duties? Almost certainly so. I don’t think it’s even legal for it to happen two episodes in a row.

The opening sketch, as surely expected by anyone with expectations, centered around the congressional impeachment hearings. the formula for most SNL political sketches is: here’s our version of what we all saw happen on the news earlier in the week. But I wish more often it were: here’s this imaginary scene featuring the people in the news. I suppose this story was too big to sidestep, but at least they spruced it up a bit by turning it into a soap opera. So I give Days of Our Impeachment a Grade of a Few Fainting Spells. Anyway, then Harry Styles pranced out for his Monologue (Grade: 3 out of 5 Suspicious B-Camera Shots) and with those wonderful yellow pants and open-collar blue shirt, I’m tempted to say he’s promoting his fashion sense much more so than any of his music. And I must say, I think Harry and his episode started out strong as he played an office intern sent out on a Lunch Run (Grade: 3.5/5 Frederick Douglass Boulevards) who’s intent to get some Popeye’s chicken sandwiches in another example of SNL astutely commenting on racial American stereotypes.

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