1 "Saturday Night Live" has the next couple of weeks off, which is an extra-good excuse to catch up on last weekend's season-high episode with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey for co-hosts. The show's most famous alumni of the '00s reprised their roles as Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton in irresistible fashion, with current standout cast member Kate McKinnon more than holding her own as a second Hillary. Even better was their middle-aged spoof of Taylor Swift's heroine-filled video for "Bad Blood." Best of all was their "This Is Your Life"-like game show, "Meet Your Second Wife," which was bold enough to have both sides of the gender aisle cringing. You can find the episode at NBC.com.
2 The title character in the gritty, darkly funny one-act play "Sunshine," played by Sara Marsh, is an exotic dancer fleeing an abusive husband. She takes refuge in the apartment of Nelson (Nels Lennes), a paramedic who appears to be suffering from PTSD. But these two souls have more in common than it seems: Their trades both involve the human heart. Dark & Stormy's production at Artspace Grain Belt Warehouse features acting that delves into the psychological gnarliness of the situation. (Ends Jan. 9; darkstormy.org.)
3 Director Todd Haynes' "Carol" is based on "The Price of Salt," a groundbreaking lesbian romance published in the early 1950s by Patricia Highsmith. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are remarkably good as the sort of real, flesh-and-blood people looking for a way to begin a relationship that postwar American society rarely recognized, much less approved of. Completely free of irony or sarcasm, Haynes has created a romance that will make your tear ducts beg for mercy.
5 With Bob Woodward's latest book, "The Last of the President's Men," our "long national nightmare" of Watergate may finally be over. And it's a fitting conclusion, revisiting the role of Alexander Butterfield, the Nixon aide who revealed the secret taping system in the White House. Butterfield comes across as a conflicted and, frankly, hypocritical man. He found Nixon to be so cold and unlikable that he had every reason to walk away from the job — but that would mean leaving power. A fascinating read.
4 After 14 years, the restaurant Vincent is closing its doors for good on Dec. 31. That doesn't leave a lot of time to enjoy the Vincent Burger. Slice into the thick, carefully charred patty, and its secret appeal is revealed: a center stuffed with pulled beef short ribs and hunks of smoked Gouda. Forget the Jucy Lucy — this is the stuffed burger that all others are measured against. The restaurant (1100 Nicollet Mall) is open through Thursday.