On this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live (hosted by Selena Gomez), the show did a solid takeoff on the Netflix reality show “Old Enough,” in which Japanese parents leave their toddlers alone in public to do errands for the very first time, while followed by a camera crew. Yes, this is an actual thing. (I confess that I had not heard of it and appreciate the heads-up; it’s always nice when SNL takes on topical inspiration that’s somewhat novel.) For their version of “Old Enough,” SNL imagines a version that swaps the tots for long-term boyfriends—a woman (Gomez) who is clearly exasperated with her bf (Mikey Day) and tasks him with picking up a few things for her, without her help, if he can just stop playing video games for a second.
This is funny, of course, because it’s true. Men in their 30s and beyond can be utterly inept at running basic errands when they have a partner to lean on. I vividly remember my mother’s and father’s interactions on this subject, and these tendencies have clearly not changed. (I, of course, am absolutely intuitive and proactive in every way, but I will play along here on a compassionate basis.) SNL’s imagined show parallels the real-life toddler version amusingly: Day’s 34-year-old character is outfitted like a tot with traffic flag and canteen, and when he gets to his destination four blocks away, he bursts into tears because he can’t remember the one item he was asked to pick up. Another good moment occurs when Day encounters fellow “toddler” Kenan Thompson and asks for advice on his second errand.
Of course, he brings home all the wrong things. Gomez is just glad he tried. She’s very funny throughout, especially when she accidentally confesses that she’s about to have a bottle—er, glass—of wine at 10am, and when she tackles the next task for her long-term partner: To get him to have sex (he’s back playing video games). It’s nice to see SNL tackle relationship rituals; after two years of living through a pandemic-induced intimacy grinder, we could all use the catharsis. Although the “man flu” meme is old as time, this is a fun topical look at how men can turn into babies at the drop of a hat, and how their partners can treat them in a way that reinforces that tendency. Crack open the wine for everyone.