"Saturday Night Live" may not have been the best venue for Lindsay Lohan to help her current comeback attempts. With her new Elizabeth Taylor role and glowing reports from probation officers, it's clear the actress is trying to straighten up her life and reignite her once-promising career. The fact that she kept her commitment and worked her way through "SNL" at least gives her points for reliability, but her nervous, blatantly cue-card-reading performance on the show unfortunately won't boost perceptions of her onscreen talent.
Best of the Night
The taped "Real Housewives of Disney" promo was inspired, with all the ladies of the cast and the host, as Rapunzel, giving their best entitled, gossipy, melodramatic reality star insanity. The brightly colored satin outfits, perfect replicas of the princesses' signature garb, made all of the wine-swigging, screaming and back-stabbing even more hilarious. Nasim Pedrad totally owned her Jasmine role, boldly declaring, "I don't need to rub a lamp to get what I want," before tearfully confessing to an affair with Iago the parrot because his Aladdin impression was just that good.
Kristen Wiig had fun with her boozy, bitchy Cinderella, and Taran Killam was delightfully catty as her less than ideal Prince Charming. "Never marry a guy who's really into shoes," Cindy slurred to the camera. Catch all the Disney kingdom goodness, including Snow White's high-fiving dwarves at the "Saturday Night Live" site.
Lohan appeared in the 2012 Psychic Awards sketch, but as a mere presenter who helped set up the jokes for everyone else, she didn't have a lot to do. This was a great surprise of a "Saturday Night Live" segment, because it looked like a possible groaner but the clever premise got funnier with each new development. The psychic nominees of course knew who was going to win each category, and no long-winded thank yous were necessary, courtesy of mind-reading from the audience. The In Memorium segment turned out to be about who was going to die in the future, including a suddenly very panicky audience, and the cast's reactions to the news of their imminent deaths were priceless.
The "Saturday Night Live" Weekend Update was solid this week, with a line-up of funny news items and two solid guests. Highlights included what Seth Meyers considered a very bad plan to rename a bridge after a well-known martial artist and actor, because "Nobody crosses Chuck Norris." Bobby Moynihan showed up as Snooki to address her pregnancy rumors in typical "classy," obnoxious fashion, and Bill Hader went off the deep end as usual with his bizarre and freakishly entertaining James Carville impression.
Worst of the Night
It's unclear why "Saturday Night Live" chose to leave female cast members aside for this teen girl gang sketch, instead electing to put Fred Armisen in a dress and detract from the hot-pants-wearing host of the show even more. The bit consisted of the gals defiantly dancing in the streets and the man in drag getting hit by several cars in succession, which allowed for maybe one laugh as a mannequin version of Armisen went flying by the screen.
Many times on "Saturday Night Live," the writers seem to put too much emphasis on Wiig. Despite her talent, the hugely exaggerated characters can get tiresome when the rest of the sketch isn't funny. Tonight our former "Freaky Friday" star guest host got stranded in a segment as a prospective house-sitter who gets increasingly more worried as her employer gets freaked out by a serious of apparently stalkerish phone calls. The fact that Wiig has been butt-dialing her own home phone made for an amusing punchline, but Lohan was left with not a lot to do and the overdose of Wiig wigging out overshadowed any of the few laughs it earned.
Best and Worst Simultaneously
The "Scared Straight" segments on "Saturday Night Live" are always a bit awkward, as both the cast and host of the week often do a lot of cue card reading. However, Kenan Thompson's exuberant convict portrayal, which includes choking, shaking, and ripping off the shoes of teenage offenders and trying to frighten them with horrific puns about prison rape, gets funnier the more chaos ensues. That was equally true this week, and a similarly unpredictable performance from Jason Sudeikis had Hader hiding giggles behind his hands and the audience completely cracking up. Unfortunately this was a failed attempt to feature Lohan, and she spent much of the sketch standing by silently, and then painfully flubbed every line as she stared frantically at the cue cards when she did get a chance to speak.
Hader helped spice up the usual "Saturday Night Live" "boring Mitt Romney" cold open with his creepy Shepard Smith, the "shy possum" that spent time talking to his "Psycho"-esque corpse of a mother. The monologue, which was supposed to make light of Lohan's recent troubles with the law, somehow came off more sad and uncomfortable than funny--though the real Jon Hamm as the host waiting in the wings gave the audience a good laugh.
The "Saturday Night Live" writers could be blamed for not giving the guest host good material this week, but there were plenty of signs pointing to the fact that she didn't seem able to handle anything more. The show included two reruns of previous commercial sketches, a couple of quick infomercial-spoof type videos of Jason Sudeikis sitting by a fire, and they still ran short, leaving the onstage goodbyes filling up a lot of extra time after the show ended.
Lohan probably did the best with the Minnesota radio hip hop segment as "Illiterate Lisa," seeming most comfortable with a sketch that actually required her to screw up her lines. Whatever chuckles she inspired, however, were overshadowed by a hilarious match-up of Moynihan and Killam, whose exuberance and chemistry helped sell a lot of silly jokes about it being painfully early and Arctic-Circle cold.
Jack White did an interesting switcheroo on the "Saturday Night Live" stage, performing "Love Interruption" with a sassy, 60s-inspired all girl band and back-up singing, and then swapping the girls for guys on the same exact instruments for "Sixteen Saltines." I preferred the former number, as the female vocalist added texture to the dreamy, guitar-strumming number, while the final performance was a lot more grinding guitar and unintelligible lyrics.
What did you think, "Saturday Night Live" fans? Did you think better or worse of Lohan after her performance on the show?
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- Lindsay Lohan