Lindsay Lohan had a lot riding on her return to Saturday Night Live last night. (As Vulture's own Amanda Dobbins chronicled on Friday, the gig was her latest professional "last chance" in a long series of them.) Unfortunately, if the purpose of her appearance was to prove that she had returned to Mean Girls form, it wasn't a total success. Lohan stumbled over her lines — no more than, say, a Robert De Niro or other sleepwalking host would do — and with her appearance coming on the heels of an especially strong hosting debut by Maya Rudolph, the drop-off in quality was obvious. Did Lohan get through it without falling over or vomiting on herself? Sure. Will fans be clamoring for her return? I'm not certain she HAS that many fans anymore. Here were the episode's highs and lows.
Best Reality Show Parody:
SNL has taken on Bravo's ubiquitous Real Housewives franchise before, but mashing it up with the Disney Princess characters was a new innovation that really pays off. Kristen Wiig's drunk Cinderella is the sketch's MVP.
Best Award Show Parody:
Helping to get us all over our Oscars hangover is this sketch about an award show honoring psychics — who, of course, figure out before a name is announced whether or not they've won. I'd like a GIF of Fred Armisen turning to his seatmate to tell him, "I didn't win"; it's a small moment, but given the silly premise (and costuming), Armisen's subtle take on his reaction stood out all the more.
Best Recurring Character:
Bobby Moynihan's Snooki returned to tell Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers about her rumored pregnancy. A cameo from the alleged baby's presumed father wraps up the sketch perfectly.
Worst Time Filler:
"Delinquent Girl Teen Gang" proves, yet again, that repetition doesn't automatically make something funny. Armisen does what he can by injecting some pathos into his increasingly disoriented gang member, but it's not enough to save the sketch.
Worst Sketch That Possibly Featured An FCC Violation:
As an illiterate intern, Lohan doesn't do much to sell this sketch about a morning zoo crew. But...am I crazy, or does she say "shit" at the end? I guess it was probably drowned out by the other characters' yelling if she did, but still.
"Rude Buddha" might have worked if Buddha had been really rude. As it is, he's just catty? Pointless and unfunny.
Right On The Line Between Best And Worst:
Kenan Thompson's cinephile ex-con character Lorenzo McIntosh usually works, but Thompson is only as good as his scene partner, and Lohan does little to assist. When she finally gets her long speech toward the end of the scene, the camera pulls in for a tight close-up that makes it especially obvious how ineptly she's reading the cue cards, which feels like a deliberate choice by the director to undermine her. But even so, all the actors' breaking almost puts the sketch over in the end. Too close to call!