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Watch: Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Love Island Sketch On SNL Needs To Be Discussed

Watch: Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Love Island Sketch On SNL Needs To Be Discussed

Who guards the guards? Who parodies the self-parodying? These are the two questions with which this article shall - having donned a suitably skin-fitting leotard, and covered itself entirely in grease - wrestle. We shall lock our horns with these twin queries and, over the course of a contractually mandated minimum of 300 words, through polemic and rhetoric attempt to ascertain satisfactory answers.

The first question is, thankfully, quite simple. In the case of the Irish guards - the Gardaí - they are guarded by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, an independent statutory body granted powers of oversight over the Garda Síochána. They ensure the enforcement of a system of checks and balances to curb and any gross excesses of power, and to reprimand any injustices perpetrated by the Gardaí. Most modern societies with a state-run police force will also have a similar body in operation.

Now that that's settled, onto the prickly issue of the second question: parodying that which already mocks itself.

Such is the task that Phoebe Waller-Bridge set herself while hosting Saturday Night Live over the weekend. The creator of Fleabag - one of the most compelling and innovative shows of the last few years - had evidently viewed her appearance as an opportunity to create a sketch about Love Island.

They say that comedy is all about timing. One would imagine that this would particularly be the case with topical comedy. However the fact that Love Island UK finished some two months ago proved no obstacle to Waller-Bridge's determination to lampoon the show for an American audience. Consequently, this sketch exists in a sort of hitherto unknown netherworld between topical comedy and a sort of Peter Kay-style, fawning observational nostalgia.

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The sketch proved to be both uncannily accurate and a vehicle for some attempted-Celtic accents that flirt the divide between 'Dick van Dyke-esque' and 'legitimate hate-crime'. The range of accents attempted by the cast were as broad in their hit rate as they were in their geographic selection. While some were carried off with the passable alacrity of an enthusiastic student dramatist, others were wielded with such awkward trepidation by each cast member that they seemed genuinely afraid of the strange sounds being summoned from their own mouths.

The scintillating range in accent-competency belied what was otherwise a rigorously researched sketch - at least by the costume and background department of SNL. The sketch combines establishing shots of the infamous villa and a replicated set that exhibits a level of detail that is profoundly impressive. From a bean-bag-to-person ratio that borders on the genuinely insane, all the way to a surrogate of the villa's swimming pool - which, I have it on good authority, is so chemically contaminated from spray-tan effluent by the end of every season that the water has to be drained from it and disposed of in special underground concrete tanks typically reserved for storing nuclear waste water.

That said, there are undoubtedly some good lines in this and the shot of a contestant struggling to extricate themselves from the flaccid cocoon of a beanbag is some - and I don't use this phrase lightly - serviceable physical comedy.

Despite its occasionally merit however, that does not undermine the validity of the question, why now!? Why has this - a topical sketch - come to the fore now - a time when the topicality of the subject matter is severally questionable.

Her opening monologue however as positively sublime and more than makes up for any failings of the Love Island sketch.

Also Read: The Ultimate Student Survival Guide To Galway

Rory McNab

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