More and more each year, TV executives quake in their stylish, yet affordable boots over the exponential increase in peak TV, even as us ravenous viewers eagerly take it all in. Fall 2015 is no exception, cramming your DVR with everything from superheroes new and old, to Scream-ing gore-fests, animated staples and so much more.
You’d need some sort of … television … guidance … periodical to navigate it all, but because we love you, we’ve compiled over 30 of Fall 2015's biggest must-see premieres. Remember to sleep, and take in the onslaught of fall 2015's TV madness by our full preview!
The summer of 2015 has afforded far too many absurd and newsworthy sagas for SNL to sit out, and Season 41 is already exploding off the bench. Not only will Miley Cyrus host the October premiere, but SNL will follow up with Amy Schumer, and a momentous return for alumni Tracy Morgan.
Every week, SNL ends up having to cut a sketch or two for time — these segments are released online as “digital exclusives.” Sometimes, those segments are better than anything else that aired, like this short that was cut from the Season 40 finale, featuring Louis C.K. and Kyle Mooney’s pitiful fictional comedian Bruce Chandling.
This season of SNL has had some definite highs and definite lows (I’ve been seriously questioning the writers’ ability to deliver great material for the female hosts), and the last few episodes have only been consistent in their clumsiness. What began as a strong season has faltered in the final lap, but the promise of Louis C.K. hosting the Season 40 finale inspired some optimism thanks to both his comedic talents and his track record with SNL. Sadly, this week’s outing proved to be as so-so as the last few episodes, resulting in a finale that’s merely half-decent.
Reese Witherspoon has had an interesting time lately: the producer of Gone Girl, nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Wild, and the recent star of the not-so-funny Hot Pursuit. But Witherspoon is funny — she’s also immensely charming and versatile (obviously), and she knows how to light up a room. Unfortunately, she’s not really the star of this week’s SNL, suffering from the same fate that befell Scarlett Johansson in last week’s underwhelming episode. Throughout the bulk of the episode, Witherspoon is more like a supporting player than the star, and I’m growing concerned about how terrible these female-hosted episodes have been lately and what that says about SNL in general.
Last night’s generally unremarkable episode of SNL peaked early when it took advantage of its proximity to Mother’s Day to do something kind of remarkable. As part of her opening monologue, guest host Reese Witherspoon declared that the show was going to mark the occasion by bringing each cast member out with his or her mother...and then forcing them to apologize for their childhood transgressions.
It’s not coincidence that Scarlett Johansson guest hosted SNL on the same weekend that Avengers: Age of Ultron opened in theaters, so of course the show had to do a Marvel sketch of some kind. And unlike the previous Avengers sketches cooked up for Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner, this one is actually a pretty effective dig at the Marvel movie machine. More importantly, it’s very funny.
When the SNL writers decided to craft a sketch mocking the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, they had no idea that the “fight of the century” would turn out to be a huge bust that would leave sports fans enraged. This adds a level of meta-humor to an already funny sketch. In many ways, SNL’s very silly take on this fight is significantly more interesting than the real thing.
Taraji P. Henson is only the eighth black woman to host SNL in 40 years, which is only half the reason why her appearance on the show is awesome — in addition to her killer role as Cookie on Empire, Henson is a versatile actress who’s been impressing us for some time now. That versatility certainly came in handy as this week’s guest host, although the writers never really figured out how to use Henson’s strengths. Read on as we rank this week’s SNL sketches from great to not-so-great.