Let me preface this by saying that for years (seasons?) now, Kristen Wiig has been my favorite part of Saturday Night Live. With the exception of Gilly (blugh, Gilly), her recurring characters were consistently funny, original, and held their own against the more outlandish male counterparts. When Gawker did their roundup last winter of the best Kristen Wiig characters (Judy Grimes, Penelope), I was totally on board. Besides Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig is the best thing SNL had going for it.
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
One only has to look as far as this week’s sketch “Dream Home Extreme” with Emma Stone, where Kristen played the overeager host of a reality show, delivering some good news about a home makeover. It was actually painful to watch, which sucked, because it went on for about 5 minutes.
The weird facial muggings, tics, and repetitive lines got old within two seconds, not just because they were annoying, but because we’ve seen them before. What was so great about characters like Judy is that you were watching some amazing feats of wordplay that went beyond comedy into something more resembling a new theatrical art form.
Compare that with the overused gross sex-pot Shanna, who has become more and more frequent as the writers got lazier and lazier.
Again, I love Kristen, and think she’s an amazing comedian. But Lorne Michaels has taken her as far as she’s going to go on SNL. Much like the over-talented, under-utilized Hader, we want Kristen to go on to bigger and better things before she succumbs to the Saturday Night curse and ends up like Rachel Dratch or Cheri Oteri, with only Gilly to her name.