The points we liberals may miss: David Sims didn't like last weekend's Saturday Night Live.
He especially hated its opening sketch. The headlines on his piece at The Atlantic say this:
The Toothlessness of Saturday Night Live's Political HumorSims thought that opening sketch just totally stunk. Here's the way he described it:
A sketch involving Robert Mueller appearing on The Bachelor was the latest indication of the show’s wavering topical relevance.
SIMS (3/12/18): Last weekend, [Kate] McKinnon’s Mueller impression made a less than triumphant return to SNL in the opening sketch, which is always reserved for the hot political news of the week. This time, he was mixed into a re-creation of the shocking finale of ABC’s reality show The Bachelor, spoofing Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s widely condemned, on-camera jilting of his fiancée Becca Kufrin. Here, Mueller was sharing the news with a woman played by Cecily Strong that he couldn’t prove collusion between Trump and Russia; she reacted like a scorned lover as he said things like, “I’m just trying to be honest with you and tell you that I can’t commit to collusion right now.” It was an excruciating six minutes.To watch those six minutes, click here.
Sims hated the opening sketch; as he continued, he used it to say that SNL has badly lost its mojo. Here's a later remark about the sketch, a remark which brought us up short:
SIMS: Beyond being an easy way to cram in a Bachelor reference, the sketch wasn’t even funny, mercilessly driving its one joke (Mueller’s reticence to commit) into the ground.According to Sims, the skit's one joke was "Mueller's reticence to commit" to a finding of collusion. We think he missed the point of the sketch, in a way which may be instructive.
By happenstance, we'd already watched that opening sketch when we read Sims' critique. We almost never watch SNL—we think it lost its mojo a long way back—but something we read about the sketch had led us to give it a look.
We'll have to admit it! We were surprised by the relevance, and by the sting, of that opening sketch. But that's because we got its apparent point, which seems to have bypassed Sims.
Alas! In our view, the actual point of the sketch is the (liberal) woman's frantic devotion to the idea that Mueller is going to save us by getting Trump booted from office. As such, it seemed to us that the sketch was a parody of modern feckless liberalism, which doesn't know how to win elections, then hopes and prays that it can get its opponents thrown into jail and/or removed from office.
It seemed clear to us that this was the actual point of the sketch. The woman becomes increasingly distraught as Mueller tells her he can't commit to bringing Trump down, and that he may never be able to do so.
We thought the sketch packed a highly relevant point; to our amazement, we also thought it was actually funny. The humor in the (liberal) woman's increasing sense of hopelessness seems to have bypassed Sims.
Last week, we made an award-winning statement about the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. When we liberals fall in love with the practice of stereotyping the dimwitted Others out in the boondocks, we may be unable to see such stereotyping when it occurs.
Others will see the stereotyping—and they will dislike us for it. Only we liberals will be unable to see what lies at the heart of a stereotype-laden film, or perhaps at the heart of an unlikeable political movement.
Sims' reaction to the SNL sketch made us think of that. It didn't seem to enter his head that the frantic liberal woman was the actual target of the joke in SNL's opening sketch.
The liberal world is hoping and praying that Mueller can get Trump kicked out of office. This pitiful posture is forced upon us by our overwhelming political/journalistic incompetence.
Our corporate liberal cable channel sells us this dream all night every night, letting us feed on a nightly succession of silly nothingburgers of alleged BREAKING NEWS. It's a sad political culture, one we think SNL successfully spoofed in that sketch.
For the record:
Mueller may well end up getting, and presenting, the goods on Trump. The nightmare will really start then.
Past streetfights with The Power: SNL has long contained internal elements which aren't conventionally liberal.
To review our award-winning 2003 streetfight with the program's good-natured strongman, Jim Downey, you can just click here.
We don't know if Downey's with the show this year. If he wrote the Mueller sketch, we'd have to say he got it right, tedious though a Bachelor parody may inevitably seem.