Ryan Gosling’s performance during SNL’s monologue this past weekend is an interesting look at what one expert calls the ‘pop cult.’ Keep reading to find out more!

Ryan Gosling SNL Opening All Too Well Emily Blunt

Canadian actor and former Barbieland resident, Ryan Gosling, hosted SNL this past weekend. There to promote his new movie with co-star Emily Blunt, Gosling, 43, began his monologue by saying he wouldn’t talk about his role as Ken in last year’s hit movie, Barbie. The actor joked that moving on from a character one played “that hard, that long” feels like a “breakup.”

Ryan Gosling SNL opening All Too Well

Processing a breakup, the actor said, has only one remedy: “the music of the great Taylor Swift,”

For the remainder of the monologue, Gosling sang a parody of Swift’s popular song “All Too Well” with The Fallout Guy co-star Emily Blunt interrupting by pretending to scold him over Ken.

“Ryan, you have to move on,” Blunt quipped, “It’s time,” Blunt then joined the parody.

Taylor Swift Reaction SNL

News outlets were quick to develop stories about the monologue. Particularly after the singer herself posted on X her approval of the parody.

“This monologue is EVERYTHING” Swift posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Whether it comes to her music or personal life, Swift is no stranger to media attention. The singer has previously discussed said attention and the differences she sees in how male celebrities are covered versus female celebrities.

The hyper-fixation on popular culture, celebrities in particular, has been the subject of debate for several years. Several news stories and high-profile court cases involving celebrities in the past few years have generated debate over whether popular culture coverage has gone too far.

What is Popular Culture Pop Cult

One reason for this, put forth by Alain Sylvain, may be due to the human need to belong to something.

“Our relationships with others and whether or not we are accepted by a group drive our behavior,” Sylvain wrote in 2020, and those relationships are “essential to our wellbeing,”

Claiming the current pop culture climate has turned into a pop “cult,” Sylvain claims the need to “talk to each other” has turned into the need to “entertain each other,”

“[W] we’ve found ourselves in a state where we struggle to address society’s most pressing and potentially destructive issues because we’re so caught up in the distorted realities of our own entertainment,” Sylvain argues.

Movies and TV shows entertainment GOOP

This need to be entertained, Sylvain argues, prevents humans from addressing “society’s needs” and “potentially destructive issues,” because we are not informed properly on them.

Movies and TV shows entertainment Taylor Swift Beyoncé

In their article, Sylvain categorizes this pop cult into different categories, one of them being for the benefit of financial exploitation. Public figures such as the Kardashians or Gwyneth Paltrow, Sylvain says, create products designed to generate revenue for the public figures based on the idea of belonging to a community. In the lead-up to the release of Barbie, millions of dollars were spent on promotional deals and products including luggage, Burger King burgers, and shoes.

While Gosling’s monologue was meant in jest, it does seem to reflect Sylvain’s argument that hyper-fixing on a particular piece of pop culture prevents consumers from being informed on more pressing matters.

“[Y]ou have to move on. It’s time,” as Blunt told Gosling.

What do you think about the overemphasis on pop culture?

Published by HOLR Magazine.

Image Credit: @nbcsnl Instagram @nbcsnl Twitter

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