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Chris Pine Sings and Dances, But Chris Pine Can't Save a Dreadful Episode of 'SNL'

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | May 7, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | May 7, 2017 |

Cold Open — I can’t help but think that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are going to adore this week’s cold open, because SNL is paying attention to them. Basically Mika and Joe argue over the issues of the day while looking at each other lovingly and making out while the rest of the panel looks on awkwardly. Then Trump’s publicist “Jon Miller,” aka Donald Trump, calls in and has to have it explained to him that the House bill still needs to clear the Senate. Not a funny sketch, but hey! It’s novel. And I won’t lie: McKinnon as Mika is kinda hot, so the whole cold open gets an extra point. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Chris Pine — Chris Pine does a whole bit about how he’s often confused with the other Chrises, and he even has a song about it set to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl.” And you know what? Chris Pine was my favorite Chris before this, but now? Still my favorite Chris. But now he’s really really my favorite (Sorry Evans, but not sorry Pratt or Hemsworth, because you guys weren’t really even in the competition). Watch Here. (Score: 8 out of 10)

Where in the World is Kellyanne Conway? — Carmen Sandiego was after my time, but I’ll take the word of thousands on Twitter who said that this sketch was a spot-on parody, and I’ll further take pleasure in the fact that the sketch made its joke, landed its punchline, and ended on a high note. (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

So Much Pain in the USA — A Slavic power ballad performed by Stav D about World Peace and Internet porn in the United States. It’s neither funny nor entertaining nor clever, but Chris Pine does a remarkable job with the chorus, and for that alone, a 2-sketch gets a (5 out of 10) (Watch Here)

Update: Having seen the rest of the episode now, I take away the extra three points because I didn’t realize that Pine was going to sing in every sketch. (Score: 2 out of 5)

SWAT Team — Two police officers stake out two guys in their apartment who are having a cotton candy dance party, and then a backpack fashion party. It’s a ridiculously goofy sketch, slightly funny but mostly pointless. I mean, I like to see Chris Pine acting a fool as much as the next guy, but that does not a sketch make. (Watch Here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

HR Meeting — Aidy and Vanessa — playing two supervisors — call an employee (Chris Pine) into their office to serenade him, fight over him, and make him choose whose “boy” he is: A diabetic mother of two, or a childless MILF with an eye for design. Then Pine sings back. I dunno, y’all: SNL is feeling a lot tonight like the cast just got together and said screw it: Let’s just fuck around for 90 minutes, sing a lot, and if we have a good enough time, maybe the audience will, too. It’s kind of working. I mean, all the scores I have given so far have been generous for what the sketches have been, but Chris Pine’s infectiousness still only gets you so far. (There is no embed of this one, but I assure you that you’re not missing anything) (Score: 4.5 out 10)

The House — I don’t really get it with these Kyle Mooney sketches. Do the hosts think they’re funny? Or do the hosts think they’re supposed to think they’re funny and they play along to be cool? Or do they not think they’re funny and they play along because Mooney is a nice guy and they don’t want him to be unemployed? Because Jesus. And you people on the West Coast are probably watching this sober. I’m sorry. (Watch Here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Jost opens with a joke about the healthcare bill that I saw on Twitter about 1,000 times on Thursday. Anyway, it’s a very flat Update tonight that’s broken up periodically by a new Update meteorologist who nervously speaks in gibberish. Not even Leslie Jones can salvage it. It’s all very low energy. This might have been the worst Update of the year, which is saying something. (Score: 2 out of 10)

Watch here and here and here.

RuPaul’s Drag Race — A bunch of car mechanics sit around a table and discuss RuPaul’s Drag Race while pretending they don’t really watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, which turns into a fairly amusing lip-sync battle between Pine and Moynihan. Look: This would have been a great sketch if it had been right after the monologue, and it would’ve been way more amusing if Pine hadn’t sang and danced in every other sketch already. (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Handmaid’s Tale — Hulu has to feel pretty good about having a show satirized on SNL. Too bad it’s not a very good parody. Basically, the women are living in the Handmaid’s Tale apocalypse and the men are like, “Dude. That’s harsh. That’s too bad, but we gotta rager to go to. You wanna come?” It’s funny because it’s true? There was a good idea somewhere in this sketch, but it never quite materializes. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Star Trek — Kenan as deGrasse Tyson looks back on a few lost episodes of classic Star Trek, which involves the introduction of Spock’s half brother, Spock-O, who is supposed to be some kind of comedic relief from Queens, NY. He has catch phrases. He’s not very funny. (Watch Here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

That Star Trek sketch, at least, gets an interesting historical sidenote:

Game Night — Chris Pine really wanted to sing tonight. Pine and Cecily Strong play a frivolous game where everyone sings theme songs from TV shows and they take it super seriously. Yes, Pine and Strong are strong singers, but that’s not what anyone tuned into SNL tonight. Maybe next time, just have Pine on as the musical guest. For the record, this is when Twitter completely turned on Chris Pine. GOD NO, NO MORE SINGING.(Watch here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

What do you think, Mat? Didn’t go very well tonight, did it? Byrd thinks it was the worst in half a decade, but I think he blocked out the Charlize Theron and Jim Parsons episodes. It might be the worst of the year, though. Great monologue, a fine cold open, and a funny Carmen Sandeigo sketch, but everything else is just goofy turned to 11, which should have been more fun than it was.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.