They were expecting her to rush the stage, rip up a photo of Sinead O’Connor, and stick her nipple into an old man’s mouth. What she gave us instead was some astute self-mockery about her tongue (“I’m having little strokes, yo”) and two very strong, almost surprising, performances. And it was smart. It was smart because after all the controversy of the preceding week, and the preceding WEEKS, Miley reminded people that she can sing…live. So she demonstrated that she doesn’t take herself seriously but that she should be taken seriously as an artist. Which, ultimately, is a more convincing argument against those who would assume that she’s not in control of her own career. Watch Miley’s reaction at the end of her acoustic – and impressive – We Can’t Stop. Look at her face. She’s delighted. It’s joy. That’s how you know how much it meant to her. Proving to you that she could do what she just did meant something to her.
As for the sketches – some were sh*t and some were good. We Did Stop (the government) balanced out the weak Girl Talk. Fifty Shades Of Grey auditions made up for Hillary Clinton. Cheerleaders was redeemed by Morning Miami. Weekend Update was solid. So if it was uneven, it was the writing. You can’t put that on Miley. Where she was expected to deliver, she did, especially – as we saw in both the cold open and the Sex Tape digital short – when she was asked to parody her favourite subject: Miley Cyrus.
Wrote Rolling Stone of her SNL appearance:
“Whenever she was asked to play herself, she was hilarious. Clearly, Miley Cyrus is her own best character.”
You know who else is her own best character?
Madonna. Madonna has always been in control her own career. Is Miley more Britney or will she actually end up being more Madonna? The easy answer is Britney, obviously. But admit it, nothing she did on Saturday night supports that. Now we just need more Saturday nights.
PS. I am falling in love with Noel Wells. She was awesome as Lena Dunham last week. And her Emma Stone killed me.