Sophy Ziss
February 06, 2018 11:31 am

NBC’s Saturday Night Live knows that some kids know they want to be parents. Others, though, would prefer a slightly more distant relationship. Insert “My Little Stepchildren,” a Saturday Night Live commercial parody starring Natalie Portman (that was cut for time from the most recent episode). In the delightfully bizarre “ad,” Portman finds the ideal toy for her unique child: An angelic stepchild to torment in the most dramatic ways she can.

“My Little Stepchildren” is the perfect toy for the kid who roots for a *different* type of hero.

Why play “princess” when you can play torturous, plotting stepmother or stepfather? As the ad asks, where’s the drama in that? The parody walks the tightrope between understandable and total lunacy, employing tropes from just about every evil stepparent fairy tale there is without ever forgetting it’s an ad for a kid’s toy. The crackling fires and weirdly malicious children are hilarious, but it’s Portman and cast member Beck Bennett as concerned parents that really steal the show. After all, being a stepparent involves a marriage, right? How does that factor into playtime with the doll?

The ingenious commercial parody was written by Julio Torres.

He’s relatively new to Saturday Night Live, but we’re pretty sure he’ll soon take over the world. Some of his previous hits include last season’s “The Sink,” in which an ornate bathroom sink voiced by Emily Blunt contemplates its own existence, and “Wells For Boys.”

“The Sink” was unusual, but “Wells For Boys,” a commercial parody that did make it to air, truly stands out. It’s a precursor of sorts for the “My Little Stepchildren” bit, through a gentler one; in “Wells For Boys,” a defensive mother (Emma Stone) purchases Fisher-Price toys designed for boys who are just a little more “sensitive” than their peers. “My Little Stepchildren” is like the inverse of that. The beautiful, dark, twisted inverse.

Here’s hoping more of Torres’ commercial parodies make it to air on Saturday Night Live this season.

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