Sunday, March 4, 2012

Don't Call It A Comeback

Lindsay Lohan is one of my favorite celebrity hot messes of all time (topped only by reformed mess, Miss Britney Spears), and by favorite, I mean I get sad when I look at her but at the same time want to know what she is doing always so that I can determine how hot a mess she really is. Also, she has my name. And she spells it correctly. So there's that.

Like everyone else in the world, I was transfixed with LiLo when I saw her in such pop culture classics as Freaky Friday, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, and of course, the most quotable movie EVER, Mean Girls. I mean, where would we be today without Mean Girls? Would there be a Rachel McAdams without Regina George? Well, McAdams would still exist by any standards, but would we (or Nicholas Sparks) care who she was? Could someone had made "fetch" happen? More importantly, would anyone below the age of twenty have ever heard the name Danny DeVito?

There are so many questions, but the one that seems to be asked the most is, "what the f*#k happened to her?" Lindsay has been on a downward spiral for so many years now, that people forget how not scandalous her original antics really were in comparison to the real life felon she is now. Remember when she was just hitting up a couple clubs before she was, oh a little less than 21? Like not even 18? What about when her most serious relationship was with Wilmer Velderamma, again, when she was not 18 (and he was like 35... or 26. whatever)? Or the time that she verbally assaulted a bunch of paparazzi, telling them that Paris Hilton threw a drink at her, and the next day she pretended like it never happened and said the photographers made it up and they were best friends?

Those were the good old days. She still had so much life and career ahead of her- she was in a movie with Meryl Streep, for chrissakes! Even though it seemed like she was something of a wild child, I really didn't think anything of it. First of all, we didn't really know a lot of the stuff she was doing, a lot of it was speculation. I just assumed she was being young and famous and rich. Then she got arrested. A lot. Then she was into girls, which is totally cool, except that they were like the Ike and Tina Turner of young club hopping lesbians and couldn't keep their shit together. Then there were like, physical photos of her with coke in the background. Suddenly, it was all there. There was no denying what had happened to her. It was one thing when you heard that she was out partying all night, drinking out of a glass "something that appeared like" alcohol, it was another to see her crash her Mercedes into a tree. It's like, whoomp, there it is.

And since she hasn't been in a movie in what, four years?? It's easy to kind of forget that she existed, other than seeing a headline about her inappropriate court attire show up on your Yahoo! home page. So you can imagine my surprise (along with the rest of the world's) two weeks ago when I saw her listed as an upcoming host for the March 3 episode of Saturday Night Live. Let me preface this by saying that SNL is, and always will be, one of my all time favorite shows. I've been a viewer since I was probably thirteen and have pretty much seen every episode since, including the previous three that La Lohan hosted, one of which I saw IN PERSON when she dyed her hair blonde and got really skinny and there was that picture of her and Nicole Richie walking side by side like living shriveled corpses. Ah, the good old days.

After going through my initial reactions in my head (which were a series of expletives followed by a general wonderment), I couldn't figure out what emotion accurately represented my feelings towards this decision from Lorne Michaels. I always knew that she had a good relationship with SNL, as it was the birthplace of her relationship with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, plus the fact that she was being chosen to host for the fourth time at age twenty-five is pretty impressive. It took John Goodman years to do that. Also, they have been one of the few media outlets (yes, I consider Weekend Update a reliable source of news, what of it?) that hasn't taken a swipe at her failures over the past few years.

I settled in to watch her supposed comeback last night with a hefty Mediterranean calzone and my best sweats (by now you understand that I have classy sweats reserved for only the finest TV watching, and ghetto sweats that I wear when I watch I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant) after a particularly harrowing day at work. I started watching on my requisite 15 minute delay to avoid commercials. Immediately, I was giggling at the opening skit with Bill Hader playing Fox News' Shepard Smith. I don't know who this person is in real life (again, all the news I get is from SNL), but I am obsessed with Hader's slightly gayish impressions of anyone. After the credits, it was time for the big event: the monologue. Entering the revered SNL stage in a muted blue sheath dress and completely non-matching multicolored blue platforms (it was the mullet of ensembles- business on top, party on the bottom), she received an enthusiastic welcome from Studio 8H. However, once she appeared in frame, my excitement began to wain...


I know everyone's been talking about her appearance for a long time. From her gigunda boobs that appeared overnight, to her freckles that have somehow been "disappearing," nothing she has done to alter herself, either cosmetically or otherwise, has gone unnoticed. But come on, how can you now be frightened when this is staring back at you in high definition?!

once again kids: your face + drugs= this

I know that many people have been saying that's she's been staying out of trouble and that there has been no boozing or drugging going on (which shows you how out of touch I am with the culture- is drugging a thing? is that what we're calling it?), seeing her live and in color on SNL made me doubt the validity of her sobriety, because you'd have to be jacked up on something to think that that looks good.

The thing I do appreciate about her is that at least on SNL, she has always been able to make fun of herself. I figured as much, as the promos they've been running all week were very similar to the one liners poking fun at her dalliances with the law during her monologue, in which multiple cast members appeared to be showing support but were in fact checking her for any illegal behavior. I was kind of thinking that once it was over, and we had gotten the "hey... she's a convicted felon and a habitual user of drugs but we love her anyway and this is her comeback, by the way," stench that hung in the air out of the way, it could just be a normal show. But it didn't feel normal, because after a pre-taped Housewives spoof (more on that later) was the Psychic Awards sketch, where she was only required to stand in a gold sequined gown and speak minimally. I don't remember a thing about it except that it ended rather abruptly but I was okay with it because I was just happy it was over.

After that was the "Scared Straight" sketch, which I remember being funny in the past (uh hello, Betty White as a reformed thug talking teenagers out of committing crimes? comedy gold!), but seemed to only be a vehicle in this episode for every prison rape joke that was ever invented by anyone, EVER. And this was the first time I began to doubt if Lohan had been able to physically past the SNL test (which in my mind is montage of tests of physical strength, mental agility and quick change exercises that every celebrity must go through to prove they are fit to host), as she couldn't perform three words without staring down her cue cards with a focus so hard I thought they were going to catch on fire. The best part of the skit was at the very end when all the cast members started laughing, and she had already exited the stage, so we know it wasn't because of her. Cue Debbie Downer noise.

Next up was Jack White, who I don't particularly care about but was kind of fascinated that his band was composed entirely of women, horribly dressed women, but women nonetheless.

After the musical guest comes "Weekend Update," which was specifically amazing last night for two reasons:
1. No Lohan.
2. James Carville.

Again, I don't know who this is in real life. And it doesn't matter, because that guy could flee the country and Bill Hader could spend the rest of his days living as James Carville and I think everyone would be okay with it. He is officially my second favorite Bill Hader "WI" impression after Stefan, of course.

Then our beloved Bobby Moniyhan-as-Snooki made an appearance, which made me smile as of course, and Snooki's supposed guidette in the oven made for plenty of "Update" fodder last night. And then... I fell asleep.

I am not joking. I had a really long day and I've been fighting off the end of a cold that just won't leave my body and I was not so mesmerized with Lindsay Lohan that I could fight off the sleepies that were beginning to attack me. And I will be totally honest: I am writing this post still having not watched the rest of it.

And why do I think that's okay? Because this was not the "comeback." This show did not do what everyone (or at least her people, and by people, I mean Dina) hoped it would do, because she just wasn't ready. Sure, she's sober (supposedly), but that spark and dry wit that she had before is gone. Well, maybe not gone gone, but it's definitely on a ten second delay. There were times it seemed like she was stumbling every three words or so, and that's when she was straight staring at the cue card. So even though I have the episode in its entirety saved on my DVR, I don't even know that I feel like seeing the rest of it, because I know that she's not going to get any better from here. And to be honest, her face is so terrifying (the CHEEKS! oh, the cheeks) that I found it so distracting that it didn't really matter whether she was hilarious or not.

I just want her to... go away. Just for a little while longer. She's like just barely off probation and she's already casted herself as a young Elizabeth Taylor in her biopic (I'm saying this because I refused to believe anyone beyond the voices in her head have casted her as ANYTHING). She's actually been doing well in court and then she goes and screws up her face like that. She's just not ready to live among real people out in the world yet. And that's okay. But I need her to make like Paris and just fall off the planet of for a little while. Except unlike Paris, I would welcome her back, because the believer in me thinks she could still do something great someday, and Paris I'm hoping is going to remain a blip in our society, merely a footnote on the "Year In Review" section in your yearbook.

So if you missed it, this was the crowning moment of SNL last night. It really has nothing to do with Lindsay specifically, she could have been cut from this sketch or played by another woman entirely and it still would have been hilarious, which goes to show how unnecessary it was to have her as a host right now.

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