The bumper photos were released first, with her bloat Photoshopped away. Then came the individual clips and skits. And finally the full episode. The reviews came soon after and to say critics were underwhelmed is an understatement.
Reviews were mixed but generally unflattering: Lohan had little comedic-timing, relied on cue cards, and had a supporting role in her own skits (for which any other celebrity would be front and center).
However… it was a ratings success. Probably for the same reason her issue of Playboy did well in digital sales, people wanted to see the train wreck for themselves.
According to reports, SNL March 3, 2012 was the number one show for the time slot Saturday on any network and the second most-watched episode of SNL this season.