SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE – ALEC BALDWIN / ED SHEERAN

Recap, Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: The best and most talked about part of last week’s show is back again; Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer is in the building. Possibly the only person who is capable of upstaging the host of the evening, Alex Baldwin. The sketch has Spicer commenting on various topics like the federal court’s ruling on President Trump’s Muslim ban and Nordstrom dropping Ivanka Trump’s line, with him doing a mini QVC-like commercial for the fashion line. We get a mini Kate McKinnon cameo with her doing a impression of the newly appointed attorney general Jeff Sessions. If President Trump had a problem with a woman impersonating Spicer, he probably won’t like this. The sketch concluded with Spicer showing off his upgraded podium from being moveable to being on wheels. Oh, and he finally got the timing right on the “Live from New York…” line.

MONOLOGUE: Here for the millionth seventeenth time as host Alec Baldwin is here tonight. Best known of recent months as being the SNL in house Donald Trump, he gets the opportunity to be on the whole night. He’s here to promote his new movie The Boss Baby, which is an animated movie that probably nobody is going to see. Joined by the youngest cast member Pete Davidson, they go through the history of Baldwin’s hosting gigs, the first of which Davidson wasn’t even alive to see. All in all, an okay monologue, but we all know what we’re here to watch.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (The People’s Court) After having to wait until after Weekend Update to see Baldwin’s Trump we were ready for this. Inspired by President Trump’s tweet after the federal court denied his travel ban, insisting he will see them in court, SNL made it possible by setting the interaction in The People’s Court. The perfect setting for his preposterous idea, as the sketch said “a TV court for a TV President.” The sketch also included Vladimir Putin as a character witness for Trump. All in all it was not the best Baldwin impression of the season, but it was definitely one of the better sketches of the night.

(Beyonce Ultrasound) On the week it was announced that Beyonce will be having twins, SNL ran with this and set this skit in her ultrasound. With Baldwin as the OB/GYN we witness the unborn babies of Beyonce being none other than Tracy Morgan and Keenan Thompson. It was awesome to see Morgan back on the SNL stage, and with a Destiny’s Child burn included a solid sketch for tonight’s show

(Leslie as Donald Trump) Poking fun of the idea that Baldwin will be doing Donald Trump impressions for the next four years, Leslie Jones wants in on the action. This pre-filmed sketch has Jones inspired by Melissa McCarthy’s impression of the male Sean Spicer that she wants to do a Donald Trump impression of the show. This idea kind of backfires, but you should definitely YouTube it.

WEEKEND UPDATE: Honestly after the monologue the show was kind of slow until the first musical performance, but Weekend Update is here to save the day, hopefully. Jost and Che start off with a recap of the past week of President Trump’s antics, which could really be a whole segment but they cannot spend the whole night bashing the President and his cabinet. Kate McKinnon made an appearance as Elizabeth Warren. They also introduced a new character “The Guy Who Just Bought a Boat” that was just cringy. And for it being the ‘Valentines Day’ episode of the season I’m quite disappointed that Leslie Jones is not there as the relationship expert of the night. A missed opportunity in my opinion, but she was there as one half of a couple who newly tried BDSM a la “Fifty Shades Darker” in which she had major Jimmy Fallon character break moments.

MUSICAL GUEST: This week’s musical guest is Ed Sheeran. Set to release his third studio album ÷ in March tonight he’s here to perform his first two singles off the album live. The first performance “Shape of You” is definitely the more upbeat of the two. Showing off his impressive guitar playing skills, it was a great performance. The second and final song of the evening was “Castle on the Hill.” He played this slower paced song with a faster tempo than the recording, which made the performance more uplifting. The band that accompanied him for the evening was a great addition to this singer-songwriter that usually performs alone. Both of these songs and their performances on tonight’s show just makes us greedy for more songs from him.

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW:

“I want one day without a CNN alert that scares the hell out of me” – Cecily Strong

 

March 4

Host – Octavia Spencer

SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE – Kristen Stewart / Alessia Cara

Review, Saturday Night Live

COLD OPEN: In a wonderful introduction to what we can expect next Saturday, Alec Baldwin is back as President Trump and this week Steve Bannon is also in SNL’s cross fires. Dressed as the grim-reaper we witness as Bannon eggs Trump on in calling various world leaders. We witness the horrendous call between Trump and the Australian Prime Minister, his failed attempt to getting Mexico to pay for the wall, and what Zimbabwe’s leader thinks about the current commander and chief. Pretty solid cold-open, but what else do we expect at this point. Cannot wait to see what a whole episode with this guy will be.

MONOLOGUE: Kristen Stewart is here to host this week! She may have nothing to promote but she’s famous enough that she doesn’t really need to plug anything for people to know who she is. People primary know Stewart from being in the Twilight films, which were the ‘it’ movies back in 2012, and Stewart was Donald Trumps ‘it’ tweeting topic during that time too it seems. In her monologue, Stewart introduces the audience to actual Trump tweets from back in 2012 in which the current President was very invested in Stewart’s then relationship with Robert Pattenson. Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds. Why a grown man would be interested in that, who knows? There are so many questions at this point, this one seems pretty low on the list. There’s a small bit at the end where Kate MacKinnon and Aidy Bryant try to seem cool to the too-cool-for-school Stewart, but the best part was the accidental f-bomb from Stewart as she’s kicking off the night 🙂 a great start to the night.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (The Press Conference) Not since Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, which was just back in September, has there been a more perfect impression than Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer. This will go down has one of the greatest moments from this season of SNL, I’m calling it now. Acting as the current press secretary, McCarthy perfectly encapsulates Spicer’s frustrated demeanour of trying to convince the press that the past 12 days of the current President’s time in office is completely normal for a president. Completed with props and an also perfect Kate MacKinnon impression of the Secretary of Education, this was the sketch of the night, and might I say the season. Fingers crossed for more McCarthy!

WEEKEND UPDATE: Most of the time, Weekend Update can pick up the slack of the evening’s episode. But tonight, nothing could really top Melissa McCarthy’s cameo. Jost and Che gave it their all though. Continuing the theme of throwing punches at Trump there was also Keenan Thompson as Boston Red Sox’s Big Papi. There was also a cute moment where Jost tried to end the segment early. Oh Jost, McCarthy’s awesomeness was just too much for everyone it seems.

MUSICAL GUEST: This week’s musical guest is Alessia Cara. And for those of you that are not Canadian or didn’t go to Taylor Swift’s concert, she is a singer from Brampton, Ontario. For her first song of the evening she started off with “Scars to Your Beautiful,” it was a nice way to start off the show. The slightly upbeat song was great being accompanied by the band and back up singers. The song allowed her to move around the stage and engage with the audience. For her final song for the night, she lowed down the tempo with “River of Tears,” just her singing from a microphone with a piano backing her up. Two solid performances for this first timer. Honestly most of the time I have no idea who the musical guest is, or usually not really that big of a fan of them, but being a Canadian I like her and her music so this review might be biased.

 BEST LINE FRONT THE SHOW:

“I’m here to swallow gum and take names.”

– Sean Spicer (Melissa McCarthy)

NEXT WEEK:

Host – Alec Baldwin

Musical Guest – Ed Sheeran

TV RECAP: Girl Meets Goodbye (Series Finale)

Recap, Television

Airdate: January 20, 2017

The Matthews are moving to London! Well maybe… possibly… we don’t know yet, Topanga (Danielle Fishel) hasn’t decided. As Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) try to grasp what could happen to their friendship if Riley moves away they enter into Cory’s (Ben Savage) classroom and see the worst thing possible written on the chalkboard, Belgium 1831. You know, the lesson that Cory as tried to teach his class multiple times over the years but more important life lessons got in the way. Well, now it seems like life wants them to know it now. As Cory explains to the class, the Netherlands were a collection of states that thought they would be together forever (*nudge), until Belgium made the decision to leave (*nudge*nudge). Becoming its own independent country, ready to meet the world on its own (*nudge*nudge*nudge). Cory wanted to save this lesson until they were ready to learn about what it’s like to leave each other but, as life will have it sometimes, some lessons come earlier than expected.

Cory asks the class how would they know if they are ready to leave or stay? And of course there are two perfectly good choices, you realize what you have in your life right now and what it means to you. Or you consider the wonderful opportunities a new place can offer you. Neither option is 100% perfect, but they have the possibly of impacting one’s life forever. Cory tells Riley that he know Topanga will not make any serious decision like this without consulting everyone important in her life.

And everyone important in her life she got. When Cory, Riley, and Maya enter the Matthews’ apartment they are greeted by every great character that both Girl Meets World and Boy Meets World has introduced to us over both shows. So many emotions coming out in one shot. Topanga is determined to get the opinion of everyone in that room before she can come to a decision.
 

First, is Shawn (Rider Strong) and Katie (Cheryl Texiera). Shawn reminds Topanga about their decision to leave Philadelphia for New York City. How that choice changed is life forever. Because if he didn’t he would not have met his wife Katie, nor have Maya in his life. Someone he now sees as a daughter to him. For him, leaving was the best choice, he got to rewrite a bit of his history. With Mr. Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn) in the room as well, Boy Meets World fans are able to witness this glorious reunion between the two characters. With Mr. Turner being a father figure to Shawn in high school, it’s beautiful for Shawn to show him what he has made of his life, to show that even after years have passed, the support he gave him was impact. Shawn gives Maya some paper, adoption papers to be exact. The Matthews get to witness a family being formed, one that included their greatest friends. Now that Maya and Shawn, the best friends, may be okay without them, maybe it can be okay to leave.

Next is the parental advice. Because no matter how old you are you never really stop needing guidance from your parents. They are still that much older than you to know more about the world than you do. There can be no surpassing them. Again, Cory and Topanga are reminded of all the times they have left, for college and NYC. But this may be the greatest move of all. Auggie (August Maturo) gets advice from aunt Morgan (Lily Nicksay, Lindsay Ridgeway -> remember they both played this character during Boy Meets World, so it’s funny that they are both back playing the part). Because they both share the role of being the youngest in the family, Auggie is told that his parents will not make a decision without considering what is best for him.

The Matthews turn to Mr. Feeny (William Daniels) for guidance next, because what important decision can be made without consulting the man that has been giving them life lessons from the very beginning. It was over the backyard fence in Boy Meets World and now it’s the kitchen table. Without really giving a position on where he stands whether they stay or go, he reminds Topanga that she has always been the best decision maker when it comes to important matters.

For some comedic relief, they send in Eric (Will Friedle). Always the one needed to lighten the mood, and boy was it needed after Feeney. But he also gives the best advice out of everyone, Eric in his infinite wisdom tells Topanga that listening to her heart will tell her what to do. That she needs to go to her quiet place, and decide what is best for her. And with that advice, Topanga leaves the apartment.

At Topanga’s the gang meets for a possible last time. Smackle (Cecilia Balagot) uses this opportunity to tell Riley that because of her and how she has changed because of her, she has come to understand sadness. Sadness because of how much she cares about Riley, an emotion she did not understand until then. Zay (Amir Mitchell-Townes), the most underrated/underused character in the show, tells Riley that he will make sure Lucas (Peyton Meyers) is okay if she leaves. Riley tells Zay how much his friendship means to her, that she never felt her group of friends was complete until he came into their lives 😦 . Farkle expresses his feelings to Riley, that no matter where she is in the world, he will always care for her. Stopping the train of farewells coming out of everyone’s mouth, Maya tells them that “life” will not let Riley move away because she still needs her, that there is no replacement for Riley in Maya’s life. It is at that precious moment that “life” would have in-it-for-the-long-game-Josh enter Topanga’s to join them. Understanding the role that Josh could possibly play in her life, Maya comes to the realization that Riley could actually leave her.

Lucas excuses himself from the group so that he and Riley can talk outside. He tells her that no matter what happens in life, she will always be his first girlfriend. She tells him that he holds the same spot in her life. Showing the importance of firsts in one’s life. No matter how much time as passed, or how many people you date, you only get one first boyfriend/girlfriend. How you choose to hold that importance is up to you, for Riley and Lucas they take that title seriously.

It is time for Riley and Maya to move to the bay window, but they find it already occupied. Auggie and Ava (Ava Kolker) sit by the window, two young kids that are faced with the serious possibility that Auggie may have to move away. In a some-what similar position that Riley and Lucas are in, these two love birds will always remember each other because of who they were in one another’s life.

After that heart-aching goodbye, come Riley and Maya. The relationship between these two was really what this show was about. Boy Meets World focused on Cory and Topanga and how they managed to stay together during high school and college, but Girl Meets World chose to centre their show on the friendship between two girls. A relationship that can easily be torn apart because of high school, boys, or simply just growing up. But Riley and Maya made it through all of it. Every obstacle that could of potentially split them up they cleared by a mile. But now it seems they have reached a hurdle that no friendship can truly be unchanged by. This goodbye surprisingly hurt more than watching Cory and Topanga break up.

Cory, Riley, Maya, and Auggie all enter Topanga’s where they find, unsurprisingly, Topanga. This is where she chose to go after Eric told her to find her happy place. She tells them all the positives that can come out of moving to London, but with all those positives in going, she can only find one positive in staying. She tells Riley and Maya that she was envious of the bay window, and what that spot meant to their friendship. They grew up because of the conversations they had there, and she always wanted similar to that for herself. She tells them that she has always loved running the coffee shop, getting to watch Riley and her friends talk and plan what the next steps of their lives. Topanga’s coffee shop is Topanga’s bay window, and she does not want to leave it. The Matthews are staying in New York City.

Back in the classroom, Cory asks what Belgium 1831 has taught them. And since Farkle has always known what Belgium 1831 was and how it could play into their lives, it is fitting that he be the one to rub the lesson off the board. He knows that him and his friends are not quite ready to learn how to move on away from each other. And because Riley is staying in NYC, they do not have to.

With everyone now in Topanga’s Cory tells Riley and her friends the same speech he gave to young Josh during Boy Meets World. That the world is out there for them to become a part of. It can deal you some hard hands, but also can give you great friends and family. Those friends and family that the world gave give you help you find your place in it. Riley and Maya know that through everything the world will throw at them, they will always be together. Thunder. Lightening. Done.

 

FAVOURITE LINE(S) FROM THE SHOW:

(because it is the series finale, I think I can get away with more than one)

 

“I did my best. I hope you remember me fondly.” – Riley

 

“I hope that wherever you are, that you get to keep on being Riley.” – Lucas

 

Riley: “Girl meets world.”

Maya: “Now I get it.”

TV RECAP: Girl Meets Sweet Sixteen

Recap, Television

Airdate: January 13, 2016

 

So the news has been broken that Girl Meets World will not be returning for a fourth season 😦 that just means we’ll have the cherish these remaining two episodes has much as we can.

 

Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) are in a rut. Feeling like they have done everything that they can do at their age, Riley decides that she is going to have a “Sweet Sixteen” party. Even though she is still fourteen she feels like a sweet sixteen is arbitrary and that she should be able to celebrate it whenever she wants. With Maya by her side, they decide to have a “Surprise Sweet Sixteen,” just to keep that alliteration going.

In Cory’s (Ben Savage) class Riley and the gang are taught about landmarks, the historic moments in one’s life that defines who they are, that change their life. Giving examples like the day you’re born, your fist steps, your first day of school, etc. When Riley tells Cory about her wanting for a sweet sixteen he uses this as a launch pad for his assignment, Cory asks the class to think about what their lives would be like at sixteen, being juniors in high school. What are they doing, what are they planning for their future? Have the landmarks that have already happened in their lives enough to prepare them for the unknown that lies ahead?

Armed with Cory’s assignment, the gang sits down at Topanga’s and thinks about what their lives would be like as juniors in high school. Trying to figure out what would be different in their lives Riley is adamant that her and Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) will always be best friends, but upon being asked whether her and Lucas (Peyton Meyers) would still be together she couldn’t give a concrete answer. Smackle (Cecilia Balagot) has figured out that feelings, something that is still brand new two them, is crucial in how their lives will form. Unfortunately for her, feelings cannot be scientifically calculated, making this assignment impossible in getting a correct answer.

Riley and Maya think about what being a junior would mean for them. Knowing that when you are sixteen, you begin to think about where you are going for college. Where Riley’s dream is for her and Maya to go to college together, Maya interjects with the possibility that they do not get in to the same school, or that she may not want to go to college right after graduating high school. Realizing that has hard as it is for friends to stay together during high school can be, it becomes even harder for friends to stick together while they’re all away at different colleges. Sweet sixteen isn’t as swet as they thought it would be

While Smackle as a meltdown over the possibility of her failing Cory’s assignment, Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis) asks Lucas to talk to him. Out of hear shot of everyone else he tells Lucas that is Smackle truly has feelings for him then he would step out of the way for them to be happy. It seems like all the flirty comments that Smackle as directed towards Lucas has gotten to Farkle, and he wants to do what Riley did for Maya during the last season with Lucas. When the rest of the group joins them outside Farkle himself questions if the group would stick together after high school, since is the theory of evolution that proves people change. Recognizing the theory of evolution Maya realizes what Cory has done for her and her friends, since she failed it in Cory’s class but he made sure she knew it, because she would need it someday in the future.

Riley and Maya take their school assignment to Topanga (Danielle Fishel) and ask her if she believes that the landmarks of one’s life can help in preparing for the future. As those who were fans of Boy Meets World know, Topanga had some important decisions to make growing up. But, as she tells Riley and Maya, she wouldn’t redo anything she as done in her life, since every decision that she has made has lead her to this point. With a husband, two children, a great job and friends.

Back at Topanga’s Lucas searches out Smackle and sits next to her while she is working. Being slightly uncomfortable with the lack of personal space Lucas is giving her, Smackle expresses this closeness between her and Lucas while Farkle is not there. Lucas, acting confused, wonders why she says all these flirty comments to him with Farkle there if she does not actually want him. Smackle admits to him that her reasoning for saying all those things is a defence mechanim for herself because deep down she thinks that she cares for Farkle more than he cares for her. Only to her surprise, Farkle jumps out behind the counter and tells her that her thinking is wrong, and he does care for her very much, like he more than likes her 🙂 . But like most things are at their age, these feelings are new for him. Expressing his feelings for Smackle in the best way he knows how, he says that if he still feels like this towards her when they’re sixteen, he would allow her to go to another school then him. Smackle counter argues that her feelings would make her want to go to the same school as him. With Riley and Maya hearing this conversation at this point, Riley realizes that the schools they want to go to are far away. That time cannot slow down enough for the group to stay together forever, eventually life will create distance between them all.

In presenting their assignment to the class what Riley really took away from Cory’s lesson was that being sixteen as it’s own challenges. You’re in a position where you really have to think about the landmarks of your lives in order to figure out what the next steps of your life will be. When Riley looks back on her’s, she is aware that every major landmark is associated with the friends she has and hopes to keep. She realizes the luxury that being a freshman is, that she knows where she will be and who she will be with for the next three years.

Back at the Matthews, Riley and Maya enter the apartment to see a crying Auggie (August Maturo) with Topanga. Clearly upset, Riley asks what’s wrong. With Cory entering the apartment now too, Topanga is stunned over what she has just learned, she has just been promoted to the head of her law firm’s London office. Realizing that her mother is seriously considering taking the job, Riley now sits at a major landmark of her life right now. One that can change her future drastically.

 

FAVOURITE LINE FROM THE SHOW:

Zay: ‘Well I think the big news here is that Lucas peeked in his sophomore year and now it’s Zay time.”

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Right Thing to Do)

Television

Season 1, Episode 11 “The Right Thing to Do”

Airdate: January 10, 2017

*** warning, this contains spoilers for this week’s episode of This Is Us ***

 

Following the cliff hanger from the winter finale, we get to find out what happens to Toby after his accident. Kevin has a familiar face come back into his life, but they might not have gotten the welcoming they expected. While Randall has a discussion with William, concerning how he wants to live out the rest of his days.

The “That Is Us” Moment:

This episode shows the time in Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) life when they are expecting, only they both think they are only having one baby. But as a doctor’s appointment reveals they are in fact having triplets. This shock to their systems sends both of them into panic, because preparing for child is hard enough but three? The fear of not being prepared for triplets has Rebecca considering asking her mother for help with having her and Jack move in with them. Seeing this form of defeat from his wife, during the most heart-wrenching scene involving Rebecca having a silent breakdown behind the kitchen wall, has Jack trying to do the best he can for his family. Jack goes to his estranged father for financial aid who we have learned about during this episode was abusive to Jack’s mother. Jack asking for help from the person he does not want it from the most shows that from the beginning he was going to do whatever he could for his wife and kids, even before they were born. Having to confront his father, Jack says whatever he has to in order to receive money from him:

“You were right about me, you have always been right about me. I’m no good; I’m never going to be any good. And I come to you and I have my hand out, so can you bail me out?”

This is do hard to watch Jack do because we know that it’s absolutely false. And to see that Jack is acting more like a father now before his kids are even born than is own father had been his entire life just shows the sharp contrast between the two men.

 

So what do you think? What was your favourite moment from the episode? Comment below!

MOVIE REVIEW: La La Land

Movie, movie review

RATING: ★★★★☆

 

Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, J.K. Simmons

Director: Damien Chazelle

Length and Rating: 2 hrs 8 min | PG-13

 

When people hear that a movie-musical is coming to the big screens most of them run towards the door, but La La Land is a reason why people should watch. Set in modern day Los Angeles, a location where things have changed over time but also oddly stayed the same; the film follows the story of two artists that are just waiting for their big break. Mia (Emma Stone) is a struggling actress balancing going to multiple auditions a day while also working as the barista on the Warner Brothers lot, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) a jazz pianist who dreams of one day opening his own jazz bar.

When the two characters meet and a relationship begins to form they seem like the perfect couple, but when it involves two artists where success comes to them at different times, it makes it much more complicated. You see Mia go to audition after audition, where the casting directors do not seem to give her the time of day, and Sebastian is so set on how he sees the world of jazz music that he refuses to adapt to the times he lives in. You feel for both of them, you want both of them to succeed, and do it together.

More continuing it should be stated again, THIS IS A MUSICAL. Not a movie that has musical numbers in it a la Pitch Perfect, but a legit musical, where the songs in the movie move the story forward. That alone will deter people from seeing this film, but those who make the brilliant decision to do so will not be disappointed. The film is beautiful, from the sets, and costumes, and music, it does the perfect job of being set in today’s time but also pays tribute to old Hollywood musicals from the 40’s and 50’s.

Back on the screen together for a third time (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Gangster Squad), Gosling and Stone make it a hat trick with this film. Their experience at playing each other’s love interest is valuable here because you have no doubt in believing they could be together. Both of their singing in this film is great, but if told to choose Emma Stone would lead by a hair due to her gut-wrenching solo at the end of the film which gave off very similar feelings to Anne Hathaway’s “I Dreamed a Dream” performance. The music itself seems to be just as important of a role in this film as the characters, but would you expect anything different from the director that also did Whiplash? The songs throughout the film tie the whole story together and are so catchy that you will definitely be humming them says after you watch the movie.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Here’s to the ones who dream, as foolish as it may seem.”

BOOK REVIEW: Born a Crime

Book, Book Review, Review

RATING: ★★★★★

Author: Trevor Noah

Pages: 224

Published: November 15, 2016

 

When it was announced that Trevor Noah would replaced John Stewart as host of The Daily Show in 2015 many people were like, “who?” The South African comedian was relatively unknown to North American audiences. But it has been a little over a year with Noah behind the desk, with him making The Daily Show his own. This one-year anniversary of his hosting gig is also marked with the release of his book Born a Crime.

This books serves as an opportunity to get to know a bit more about the man behind the hit Comedy Central show as well as provide some insight to a completely different culture. As the title points out, the birth of Trevor Noah was a crime. Born to a black South African woman and a white Swiss-German man during apartheid, his presence was evidence of an illegal act in his country.

And that’s just the launch pad for this book, with Noah choosing to highlight more about his life and upbringing in South Africa then how be became the host of The Daily Show. With the former being the more interesting by far, Noah describes his childhood during this apartheid making his childhood incredibly different than most. But the hardships that Noah experiences and explains to his audience is never told in a way that asks for sympathy from the reader, but rather told in a ‘matter of fact’ manner. Acknowledging that you never really know what your own experience is like until you start comparing yourself to others.

The real hero in this book is not Noah (which is shocking since it is about his own life) but his mother. She is his champion and the person who seems to have taught him everything and have the most impact on his life. Writing about his mother with a particular fondness and admiration but also not shying away from her flaws which makes everyone human. The relationship between Noah and his mother, which is told from the very first sentence of the book, is the heart his story. She is the source of most of the laugh, tears, and lessons this book provides.

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.”

SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: EMMA STONE / SHAWN MENDES

Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: Because the attempt of a recount had not come to fruition yet, Donald Trump is still the president-elect of the United States. Which for us means that Alec Baldwin will have a steady appearance on the show (she writes hopefully, fingers crossed). Tonight, the show uses its cold open to poke fun of the recent actions of the president-elect, more specifically, how much time he’s been spending on Twitter. Set during a security briefing, Trump just can’t stop himself from re-tweeting the most average people in America, with Kate McKinnon playing Kellyanne Conway is just icing on the cake. Also poking fun on his recent dinner with Mitt Romney. With the sketch highly suggesting that there has been a lot of focus on the tweets Trump has been sending out instead of his actions.

MONOLOGUE: Emma Stone is hosting tonight, promoting her new film La La Land that comes out December 16. The three time host acknowledges that some time has past since her last hosting gig, so she compares coming back to Studio 8H similar to coming back to high-school. Sure, we’ll try to be convinced that they’re the exact same. Although it was nice to see a non-singing monologue, in this case it might have been fun to see, just because Emma Stone can actually carry a tune. But a solid monologue none the less.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (The Paley Centre) At a panel made up of Leslie Jones, Emma Stone, Jennifer Aniston (yes Jennifer Aniston), and Debette Goldby (the brilliant Kate McKinnon), each actress describes their process of making a movie and experiences on and off set. It does take long to realize that the veteran actress Debette has had some different experiences then the other actresses. This sketch is hilarious; though it is very similar to the alien abduction sketch the show has done a couples of times. Both in format and also in how the other people in the sketch can not hold it together when McKinnon is hitting it out of the park.

WEEKEND UPDATE: Based on the format of the past few ‘Weekend Update’ it looks like a good portion of every ‘Update’ segment will be reserved to point out all of the ridiculousness that Trump seems to radiate. You can’t be mad at it though the jokes literally write themselves. We also are blessed with relationship expert Leslie Jones, who gives a great pep talk to men about their penises. I personally enjoyed tonight’s jokes because on two instances they mentioned news that actually happened where I live, so that was entertaining. To top it all off Vanessa Bayer came out and did her spot-on impression of Rachel from ‘Friends” and while we’re enjoying this wonderful gift from the SNL gods we are just get spoiled by them because they decided to deliver to us the ACTUAL JENNIFER ANISTON!!!! (Make note that Aniston stars in Office Christmas Party with Bayer but I don’t even care at this point, I will withstand any promotional bullsh*t to see this interaction) Also I mentioned this last

MUSICAL GUEST: Making his musical guest debt on the show, Shawn Mendes performs “Mercy” for his first song of the evening. Starting off solo at the piano before transferring to the microphone stand was a refreshing take on performing this song. Especially since this was the song he chose to sing during his recent late-night show circuit, plus the AMAs last Sunday night. For his second performance he chooses “Treat You Better” which was the first single off his sophomore album Illuminate. This performance was definitely more spirited with the lights and his guitar playing, and also because of his constant smiling through the whole song. It made me think he was just like us and could not stop laughing during the “Actresses Panel’ sketch. Overall, it was a great SNL debut for the guy.

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW:

“You’re not going to believe this Jost, but the media is starting to question whether Donald trump knows what he’s doing.”

– Michael Che

NEXT WEEK:

Host – John Cena

Musical Guest – Maren Morris

MOVIE: In Defence of “Love Actually”

Movie

One of my absolute favourite movies of all time is Love Actually. It had all these different love stories in it, some actors from the Harry Potter films, plus a musical number. What else could a person want? Over recent years though, there has been quite a discussion surrounding this movie that I believe is a goddamn treasure. The grip people seem to have with this film surrounds the storyline of Mark (Andrew Lincoln) and his infatuation with his best-friend’s girlfriend/wife Juliet (Keira Knightley). People are especially torn about the scene where Mark professes his love for Juliet through a series of cue-cards outside her doorstep while his best-friend is just meters away (the scene is so well known that SNL recently did a spoof of the grand gesture). I will defend this scene and what I believe Mark’s actions meant in the film below as well as provide other parts of the film I feel people should redirect their hatred towards.

When Mark comes to Juliet’s door to explain his seemingly disdained attitude towards her, I do believe it is a great moment. Because I don’t think it was done purely for Juliet, but for also his best-friend Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Peter and Juliet are husband and wife now, and Mark realizes that she will be in Peter’s life, and his, forever. So his declaration of love towards Juliet is not just for her, but so he can still have his friendship with Peter. He tells her this so he can move on with his life (hence his ‘enough’ comment) and so Juliet and Peter can have their happily ever after.

love-actually

I do believe that the relationship that the movie is trying to demonstrate with Mark is not with Juliet, but with Peter. At the beginning of the film you see him try to be the ‘best’ best man for Peter and create a beautiful moment for him and Juliet at their wedding. He maintained his distance between him and Juliet because he respected Peter’s relationship with her. AND when she came running out after him, she kissed him (I’m not one to look that much into semantics, but for the sake of argument I will make this distinction). Love Actually portrays many kinds of relationships that love is present in; through marriages, girlfriends and boyfriends, family relationships, and even the love you can have for your friends.

vlcsnap-2013-12-21-21h12m33s132

What is Actually the Worst About “Love Actually”

  1. The President of the United States

387368-4d43d21a-45b2-11e3-b6cf-917abbb54065

The President (Billy Bob Thornton) is a freaking snake in this film. First he makes a move on Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), who we all know belongs with the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant). Then he refuses to cooperate with the British cabinet during their meeting. He’s presence in the film just delays the moment that the Prime Minister can declare is love for his assistant, and he deserves peoples’ hate.

  1. Mia

enhanced-20331-1450117370-1

Now I know it takes two to cheat but because I do not have it in me to crucify the late Alan Rickman my frustration will be directed towards the character of Mia, the receptionist who doesn’t deserve that necklace he bought her! Her character lures Harry out of his committed relationship with his wife, and upon her finding out, we see the most devastating scene of heartbreak in cinematic history. Emma Thompson is an idol and did not deserve to be treated like this. Leave this movie!

  1. Sarah’s ringtone

enhanced-5563-1450117673-1

Now, this might make people think I have something against Sarah’s (Laura Linney) brother, because her cell-phone is the connection between her and her brother who is mentally handicapped. That’s not where my issue lie. It’s in the freaking ringtone itself. Not only is one of the most annoying ringtones in movie history ever, second only to Andy’s in The Devil Wears Prada, but it is the biggest mood killer in the world. Nothing ruins a hook-up more then this tune, not to mention the volume of it causes movie watchers to go into shock.

 

So the next time you watch what is one of the best Christmas movies (or actual movies) ever, and you think, “Man, that Mark is a crummy person.” Just stop, and redirect your distain towards something else that deserves it (he’s off fighting off zombies anyways). Or better yet, just fast-forward to the “All I Want for Christmas Is You” musical number put on by the school children. That’s the best part anyways 🙂

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Trip)

Television

Season 1, Episode 9 “The Trip”

Airdate: November 29, 2016

*** warning this contains spoilers for this week’s episode of This Is Us ***

 

The time after Thanksgiving is a time spent to reflect on the pounds of food you just ate, or counting down the days till Christmas. Or in the case with the Pearson’s, letting the dust from your family fights settle. After Randall has discovered that his mother Rebecca had been in contact with his birth father William, he is fuming. Knowing that their mother is going to be selling the family cabin, Kate suggests that the ‘big three’ go up there one last time. While at the cabin Randall is confronted by a familiar face, Kevin beings to questions the people he has been spending his time with, and Kate admits her fears about her weight loss.

 The “That Is Us” Moment: Out of all the relationships the This Is Us has gotten us attached to, the one that stands out is that of Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and her son Randall (Sterling K. Brown). Mostly due to the amazing flashback scenes with her and younger Randall (Lonnie Chavis) over the season, we see the strong relationship between a mother and her adoptive son. So it only hurts us that much more when we see how angry Randall is at Rebecca after he found the letter she sent William (Ron Cephas Jones) all those years go. In this episode we flash back to a time where a younger Randall is starting to question where he came from and who is biological parents are. Both Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca, but mostly Jack, wants Randall to see himself has part of their family while also surround him with men that he can identify and see himself in. This prompts Rebecca to visit William (Jermel Nakia), who at the time is five-years sober and works at a music shop. She tells him that Randall is beginning to wonder about his biological parents, which launches William into an exciting dialogue about how his son could visit him and come by the music shop. It’s all too much for Rebecca, who slips out of the apartment while William is trying to find something. The exchange is also what motivates her to write the letter Randall found at Thanksgiving:

 “Dear William, I’m sorry for the pain it may cause, but you cannot meet Randall. This is for the best for him because he has an extraordinary father who gives him everything he needs. I hope you take comfort in knowing just how loved Randall is.”

 This is emotional in two parts. One, because as the letter is read out in voiceover we see Jack with young Randall literally on his back, doing push-ups with him in a karate initiation to demonstrate how he will always be there to support his son. But on the other hand we also see William getting the letter and putting it and the picture of Randall within a collection of papers labelled “Poems for my Son.” Realizing that William never forgot about his son and cared about him. It’s a hard pill to swallow; Rebecca wanted to honour her husband’s dedication to their son while at the same time deciding to not let him meet his biological father, another man who cared for him.

 

What do you think? What was your favourite part of last night’s episode? Comment below!