[Mild spoilers about A Star Is Born follow]
On Monday, culture writer Alison Willmore asked the kind of question that could shape your entire perception of a film. “Okay: Where do Ally and her dad live in A STAR IS BORN? Please cite evidence,” she tweeted, leading to over 100 replies ranging from a multi-part explanation straight out of “The Californians” to New Jersey (?) to Jackson, Maine, to naturally, The Shallow.
I saw this tweet before watching A Star Is Born, and the loose geography is all I could think about when Lady Gaga and Lady Gaga’s Gay Best Friend flew from California to… somewhere else in California? That’s not my biggest (and admittedly pedantic) gripe, though. It also has nothing to do with the film’s crusty distaste of pop music, or how Charlie’s dog got from inside the living room to outside the garage. No, my issue lies with Saturday Night Live.
Ally, played by Lady Gaga, becomes internet-famous and scores a record deal following a viral performance of “Shallow” with Jackson (Bradley Cooper), her frozen peas champion-turned-husband. Before winning Best New Artist at the Grammys, she’s asked to perform “Why Did You Do That?” (much to Jackson’s drunken disgust) during the season finale of SNL, where she’s introduced by host Alec Baldwin. About that: Ally is a rising pop star when she gets the SNL gig, which makes sense! In the movie’s fuzzy timeline, she hasn’t been a solo act for long. She at least appears to be moderately popular, probably more so than Maren Morris, Sturgill Simpson, and Alessia Cara, all of whom performed on the sketch show last season. But this isn’t a normal episode of SNL: it’s the season finale. And the pairing of Ally with Alec Baldwin makes no sense.
Here’s every host/musical guest pairing on SNL‘s season finale since 2008:
Will Ferrell/Green Day
Alec Baldwin/Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Justin Timberlake/Lady Gaga
Mick Jagger/Mick Jagger with Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, Jeff Beck
Ben Affleck/Kanye West
Andy Samberg/St. Vincent
Fred Armisen/Courtney Barnett
Dwayne Johnson/Katy Perry