Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Saturday Night Live returns, kinda sorta

Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber
Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber
Screenshot: YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXvo6ksBHnI)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, April 10, and Saturday, April 11. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

Saturday Night Live (NBC, Saturday, 11:30 p.m.): Well, this ought to be interesting. Like many other late-night stalwarts, Saturday Night Live has made the decision to return to the air this weekend, albeit in a highly unusual form. And what will they be doing? Absolutely no idea.

A statement from NBC said the show would include a Weekend Update of some kind, as well as “other original content from ‘SNL’ cast members.” How long is the episode? No idea. What does “other original content” mean? No idea. Will it actually be live, or should we just expect a bunch of digital shorts? Will it just be 90 minutes of Kate McKinnon doing Justin Bieber? Probably not, but a website can dream.

We’re just hoping for at least one good sketch, zero instances of Alec Baldwin using Zoom as Donald Trump, and a great Dennis Perkins recap. The last, at least, is guaranteed.

Regular coverage

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Disney+, Friday, 3:01 a.m.)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1, Friday, 8 p.m.)


For kids

A Celebration Of The Music From Coco (Disney+, Friday, 3:01 a.m.): Get ready to weep your way through “Remember Me” again. This special, hosted by Eva Longoria and Benjamin Bratt (one of the film’s voice actors), features a 60-piece orchestra and many of the performers from the film’s voice cast.

Wild cards

The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel (Lifetime, Friday, 8 p.m., premiere): “The vocal performances soar, but the story seems to be the same one America idolizes in its young successes. Domestic abuse, poverty, and an uphill battle tracks through all of the great Black American vocalist biopics, like Ray, What’s Love Got to Do With It, and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. The most unique angle of this production is the stage mother, a theme that hasn’t been cinematically explored for Black Americans. By the end of the film, the burning question is who was Mattie Moss? Where did her life begin, and why did she feel so called to do the work of God? The story of the Clark sisters may be muddled by opinion, but Miss Mattie Moss Clark’s story rings clear as a bell.” Read the rest of Joelle Monique’s pre-air review here.

Les Misérables (Amazon, Friday, 3:01 a.m., streaming premiere): “[Ladj] Ly’s immersive film, a crime drama that evokes both the unrelenting energy of Training Day and the empathetic investigative spirit of David Simon’s The Wire, shares more than a location and a revolutionary spirit with Victor Hugo’s novel. Like Hugo, Ly—who also shares a screenwriting credit on the film—picks up his tools and uses them to chip away not at the moral failings of his characters, but at the world that made them who they are. Jean Valjean broke the law to feed a child, and that act defined the rest of his life; centuries later, the people of the Parisian suburb Montfermeil find themselves, like Hugo’s famous protagonist, left only with bad options.” Read the rest of Allison Shoemaker’s review of this 2020 Oscar nominee.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!