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Live From New York!

A new doc looks at four decades worth of Saturday Night Live

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It seems an impossible task to document 40 years of an ever-evolving show like Saturday Night Live, but Bao Nguyen gives it a go with his new documentary. It's a chronological history recounted through clips and contemporary interviews with cast and crew members, hosts and various observers. Nguyen manages a nice mix, from amusing backstage anecdotes to sharper critiques around the show's diversity failings. As someone who hasn't watched SNL regularly since the original-cast years (when it was a rare slice of weird on TV), I actually appreciated the condensed nature of the information: It effectively showed how the show has adapted over the decades, pivoting from the early, more free-form days through pop-culture riffs and an increasingly role in political satire aimed at the viral-video generation.

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