Dakota Johnson, SNL Host: Review Roundup, Video Highlights

March 1, 2015

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ star Dakota Johnson made her debut as the host of Saturday Night Live and the movie was naturally fully exploited. Now critics have weighed in. Check out a roundup of reviews and see video highlights of the episode.

Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson has gone from obscurity to global fame, a point not lost, obviously, on SNL. While she was also on the sitcom ‘Ben & Kate,’ let’s face it, that’s not what she is known for these days. She was the obvious choice of host a week after the release of the screen adaptation of EL James’ bestselling erotic novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ as the world has had a chance to come to grips, so to speak, with a movie filled with dominance and what have you, as Dakota Johnson took on the role of the submissive Anastasia Steele, the prey of billionaire Christian Grey.

Predictably in her opening monologue, the film was the target of mockery. Dakota Johnson said, “I have a feeling at next year’s Oscars, it’s going to be… not anywhere.” And this was typical of some of the coy references. And yes, as is often the case, she found her monologue crashed and by none other than her real-life parents, Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. The latter said, “We were just afraid you were going to be naked.”

So with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ up for grabs, so to speak, what did SNL do with it? Well, for starters, if the movie in of itself were not controversial enough, the show’s writers decided to toss in the terrorist organization ISIS into the mix. Yes, indeed, we had a skit with Dakota Johnson and the terrorists. Ostensibly, a parody of a US Army commercial, it saw her Anastasia Steele character join the terrorists. Offensive? Inappropriate? Brilliant satire? Or just bad writing? Well, it will be debated, that’s for sure.

On a more universal note, Dakota Johnson paid tribute to the late great Leonard Nimoy and the iconic Mr. Spock of ‘Star Trek.’ It was just two days earlier that the legendary actor, director, photographer and writer died.

So what did the critics have to say of Dakoka Johnson as host and the episode as a whole? Here’s a roundup.

“…. In her monologue and in the inevitable Fifty Shades sketch, Johnson knowingly betrayed a distance from the movie’s hype that lifted her above the predictability. And, in the non-Fifty Shades sketches, she showed enough personality to suggest she’d have made even more of an impression had she been given stronger material. …” — AV Club

“….Weekend Update was full of great bits, particularly Kate McKinnon’s feisty Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Supreme Court Justice mentioned liking Bruno Mars despite his height: “I like my men like I like my decisions — 5-4. That’s a third-degree Ginsburn!” Later, Kanye West (Jay Pharoah) sang a tune, in which he apologized for his llamas breaking loose and for voting for himself for best actor. Plus, don’t pretend that the “stay out of Chicken Town” joke wasn’t genius! C’mon, don’t leave us hanging here. ….” — The Hollywood Reporter

“… Overall, this episode was a little bit of a letdown. There were a few laughs, but this was about the show we thought we would get after the anniversary special. It’s just hard to keep that joy going. Grade: C. …..” — Carter Matt

“….I love “SNL”. That goes without saying. But man, the show really, really, really doesn’t like bloggers, commenters, or anyone online. It paints a singular, angry brush across everyone without any room for nuance or positivity. There’s a pervasive streak of vitriol directed at those people that it used to reserve for politicians and foreign officials. “SNL” could actually deliver an interesting case for net neutrality, as it derives a lot of its current popularity through online video distribution. Instead, it wants to paint bloggers as people obsessed with emojis….” — HitFix

See the video highlights from last night’s SNL with Dakota Johnson below!

Pictures: PR Photos

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