She's the voice of her generation (or at least a voice, of a generation). For better or worse, Lena Dunham is everywhere - and this weekend, she stepped into one of comedy's most high-profile gigs as the host of Saturday Night Live.
In many ways, Dunham is a wise and easy choice, given the show's current growing pains - her episode was the second since the departure of long-time head writer Seth Meyers - and Dunham's all-time high profile. Her hit HBO show Girls is in its third season, and her character Hannah Horvath has come to represent the self-focused angst of many a millennial.
So did Dunham deliver? Overall, she was a confident host, who did as much as she could with fairly weak material. The best of it played to her strengths - a goofy send-up of Scandal, in which her character was Hannah in a wig, calling Sasheer Zamata's Olivia Pope on her impossible, rapid-fire instructions ("You just talked so fast, and I have literally a thousand follow-up questions"). There was also a great Adam and Eve short, with Dunham's Hannah character stepping in for Eve - and everyone's favourite Girls character, Shoshanna (played to perfection by Vanessa Bayer) showing up as the Snake.
The show's highs were high, though Dunham didn't step far outside of her comfort zone. But the lows were quite dismally low - the very bizarre Jewelry Party, in which a men's rights advocate is the only male guest; and the old and tired talk show in the basement concept that totally misused guest star Jon Hamm. The show's best moment didn't involve Dunham at all; Taran Killam's pitch-perfect Matthew McConaughey impression during the Weekend Update segment brought the house down, and proved that Killam is easily this season's strongest cast member.
All in all, it was a mostly watchable turn from a great talent, but it was further proof that SNL's own voice-of-a-generation days are long gone.
Here's a skit-by-skit recap:
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