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Lindsay Lohan's "Saturday Night Live" performance may not have been Emmy-worthy, but her efforts on the show could be the baby steps she needs to repair her long-tarnished brand.
"She showed that she wants to work again," Cooper Lawrence, author of "Cult of Celebrity" told The Huffington Post. "She was relaxed, confident and professional. She may not have been funny the whole time, but she did show up, seemed sober and did not come off like a drug addict pulling the wool over our eyes. I was left with the feeling that she may be tired of being the punch line."
Lohan received mixed reviews for her work on "SNL" this weekend, where she was quick to lampoon her past legal troubles and made light of the fact that she is often less than reliable, but she still wasn't able to pull off the kind of top-notch performance she proved she was capable of years ago when she hosted the show.
Still, following years of personal ups and downs and a handful of cancelled movie projects, simply not failing at the task put before her was enough for Lohan to start creeping her way back into the market as an actress, not a pin-up or a punchline.
"She was sober and knew that the critics would come down on her," said Hollywood publicist Michael Sands. "With her legal woes behind her ... perhaps she will take some acting classes and surprise us all."
"Do not count Lindsay out yet," he added.
However, not all critics were convinced that this weekend's show made the actress more viable as a real Hollywood player.
"Unless she's angling for a role as a not-terribly-adroit cue-card reader, or perhaps a sleepwalker, Lindsay Lohan didn't do her career any favors by hosting 'SNL,'" said April Bernard, the senior television editor for Us Weekly. "Referencing past successes such as ‘Mean Girls,' as she did in one sketch, only reminded viewers how appealing she used to be. If she'd shown half the spark and talent that Maya Rudolph or Melissa McCarthy did this season, people would be talking about her comeback."
Love it or hate it, "SNL" was at least a minor step toward redemption for Lohan's brand -- a high-rated one at that-- but industry authorities believe it will take more than a few funny skits at her own expense to convince producers to take a chance on her as an actress again.
"Lohan's current brand rehabilitation tour -- including stops along the 'SNL' and 'Today' show highway -- have been orchestrated effectively but they hardly wipe away the memory of years of news coverage focused on her addictions, court appearances and her arrogance," said Mark Stevens, author of "Your Marketing Sucks."
"There's always room for human redemption," he added, referencing former President Bill Clinton's rise from scandal. "But the directors and producers who hired her in the past still aren't going to be hiring Lindsay Lohan for the time being."
Lindsay Lohan attends the 2012 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner held at the Washington Hilton on April 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. This was the 98th annual dinner and was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)
Lindsay Lohan attends the 98th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on April 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Actress Lindsay Lohan attends day 3 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 15, 2012 in Indio, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)
Lindsay Lohan attends her probation hearing with attorney Shawn Chapman Holley (not pictured) at the Airport Courthouse on March 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Judge Stephanie Sautner ended Lohan's formal probation after concluding that she has completed the terms of her sentence for her 2007 DUI conviction and probation violations. Lohan is now on informal probation until May 2014 for her 2011 Venice, California jewelry theft conviction. (Photo by Joe Klamer-Pool/Getty Images)
Actress Lindsay Lohan attends a probation progress report hearing at Superior Court in Los Angeles, California, March 29, 2012. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner decided to take Lohan off probation from a 2007 drunken driving case. Sautner also decided that Lohan will no longer have to meet with a probation officer or appear in court on her 2011 shoplifting case, as long as she obeys all laws through May 2014. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Lindsay Lohan attends Domingo Zapata's Oscar Art Show Presented by Mr. C Beverly Hills on February 22, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Getty)
Lindsay Lohan leaves the Airport Courthouse after her probation update hearing on February 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Lohan is currently performing 480 hours of community service at the Los Angeles County Coroner's office and attending court ordered psychotherapy sessions stemming from a 2007 drunk-driving conviction and a jewelry theft conviction earlier this year. (Getty)