What did the critics make of Lena Dunham's hosting stint on Saturday Night Live, which aired on International Women's Day?
So, reviews for Lena Dunham’s stint hosting Saturday Night Live have been a very mixed bag. While her sitcom Girls has been met with international acclaim, Lena also has her fair share of critics out there. Particularly those who slam the 27 year old for her regular nudity on Girls and, well, pretty much every other appearance she does. Her SNL hosting job last Saturday to mark International Women’s Day was no exception.
Funny woman Lena Dunham hosted last weekend's Saturday Night Live
The highlight for us, and many others who reviewed the sketch show, had to be the ‘Biblical Movie‘ sketch. Appearing as Eve, Lena characteristically wears no clothes, alongside SNL’s Taran Killam, who played Adam (Driver). Genius. The result was a smorgasbord of feminism, while Lena also customarily poked fun at herself (appearing surrounded by decimated apples).
Sadly, Lena’s opening monologue wasn’t received with universal praise. The Daily Beast commented “From her opening monologue, Dunham was charming. But not effortlessly charming, which is usually the modifier when someone uses “charming” as an adjective. Dunham does this peculiar thing where her charm comes with very intentional effort. There’s something about her line delivery that makes the sort of sophisticated precociousness she gives off seem carefully crafted”. Ouch. Although they did admit that the rest of the show was, on the whole, stronger than recent episodes of the sketch show.
Screen Crush concluded that the episode overall scored a B- and felt "‘like buying the generic brand ‘Saturday Night Live’". Any comedian undertaking the task of hosting Saturday Night Live has got an extremely daunting job on their hands. Hosts of the show are scrutinised by the world and their performance is cited for years to come when people discuss whether or not they truly are a great comedian or not, depending on how their SNL played out.
Unfortunately for Lena, despite all the promo work that went in to bigging up her big night, Saturday’s SNL averaged a 4.1 household rating and a 2.1 in adults aged 18-49 with Local People Meters. This means that household ratings were down 11% and 19% in the 18-49 market (the younger half of which is Lena’s target audience) in comparison to Jim Parsons’ SNL the week beforehand.
Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons hosted SNL the week before Lena
Lena's performance on Saturday had many pros and cons. Lena certainly proved herself able to pull off a successful sketch as well as adequaetly hosting, although doubts about her ability to play anyone other than a diluted or accentuated version of herself have been raised.
Did you watch Lena Dunham hosting Saturday Night Live? Do you agree with The Daily Beast that her charm isn’t effortless? What do you make of Lena's ability to play roles which are outside of her comfort zone, such as her Liza Minelli bit?