As Saturday Night Live host Lindsay Lohan was delivering her opening monologue (watch it below), Jimmy Fallon joked, "You can do this, and if for any reason you can't, Jon Hamm [Mad Men] is on standby as back-up host." Given how poorly critics rated Lohan's efforts, SNL producers may have wished they'd actually had Hamm ready to step in. It was widely believed that Lohan's SNL hosting gig was supposed to launch a comeback for the seemingly ill-fated starlet, who has spent the better part of the past six years making train-wreck headlines for her personal and legal woes. Did she blow her chance to resuscitate her career with a subpar performance?
She crashed and burned: "Letting Lindsay Lohan host Saturday Night Live was a mistake," says Mike Ryan at The Huffington Post. The star "just wasn't ready" for the high-profile gig. Her reliance on cue cards was distractingly obvious, and a blatant reminder of how long it's been since Lohan's had to act. The writers and cast evidently didn't trust Lohan to perform, relegating her to "backup duty in pretty much every sketch." The result: An unusually boring episode of Saturday Night Live that's not likely to impress her industry peers.
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It wasn't that bad: The show offered a few strong moments, says Jen Chaney at The Washington Post. In a self-referential opening monologue, Lohan cracked plenty of clever jokes alluding to her volatile past, while a perfectly decent taped sketch called Real Housewives of Disney — a parody in which Belle, Snow White, and Cinderella are boozy, bickering socialites — "was a nice dig at Lohan's roots as Disney golden girl." While her overall performance might not help Lohan "fully reclaim her status" as an in-demand actress, "this was hardly a disaster on par with, say, Lana Del Rey."
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Don't count her out yet: Lohan wasn't exactly out to prove that she was an actress with comedic skills of "Richard Pryor quality," says Mack Rawden at Cinema Blend. She was hosting to "prove she could be relied on." Though the critical reaction to Saturday night's show was "largely meh," Lohan can consider the gig a mission accomplished. She seemed engaged, didn't embarrass herself, and was just self-deprecating enough. "I think [Saturday] night will only help Lindsay re-integrate herself into Hollywood."
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