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The Writers Hang Octavia Spencer Out to Dry on This Week's 'Saturday Night Live'

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | March 5, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | March 5, 2017 |

Cold Open — Kate McKinnon plays Jeff Sessions as Forrest Gump recounting his terrible week in Gumpian fashion. It goes on a little too long, the payoff isn’t worth the wait, and there’s no a lot of bite to it, but McKinnon is, as always, a delight. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Octavia Spencer Monologue — God bless her, she gave it a shot, but the jokes just weren’t there for her. She seems lovely, though. Watch here. (Score: 3 out of 10)

The Chocolate Man — A fired employee — who was fired for pulling a gun and sexually harassing employees — tries to win back his co-workers with free chocolates. This is an objectively terrible sketch. Watch here. (Score: 2 out of 10)

Spencer’s Gifts — Employees at Spencer’s Gifts pitch new employees to save the company. The joke is mostly that Octavia Spencer is the owner of Spencer’s and it’s meant to be funny that she wears Spencer’s merchandise (spoiler: It’s not.) Watch here. (Score: 2 out of 10)

Girl at a Bar — Cecily Strong has to fend off a series of “nice guy feminists” who react angrily when they are rejected. Probably the best sketch of the night, even if the joke is obvious and repeated too many times. (Score: 7 out of 10)

Wine Bar — Cecily Strong brings Octavia Spencer to a wine bar to try and make up for the fact that she forgot about Black History Month. This one was just embarrassing, and I feel terrible for Cecily Strong. Watch here. (Score: 2 out of 10)

Youngblood — An old man (Kenan Thompson) attempts to school a young man (Pete Davidson) in chess while his friend (Octavia Spencer) looks on, only the old man has no idea what he’s doing. I liked this one! (Score: 6 out of 10)

Drug Company Hearing — A woman (Octavia Spencer) sues her former employer for intellectual property theft because they keep naming their drugs after her friends and family members (Crestor, Allegra, Nicorette). It’s a very obvious joke, but it has some legs. (Score: 4 out of 10)

Sticky Bun — There are a lot of workplace sketches tonight. Here, three employees-in-training struggle to understand how to interact with customers. There’s a couple of funny lines, but this one goes nowhere. Watch here. (Score: 3 out of 10)

Zoo-opalis — Voice actors stand in for Jennifer Lopez, Hugh Grant, Oprah Winfrey, and Tracy Morgan in a Redbox rip-off of Zootopia. It’s mostly an excuse to do celebrity impressions. They’re fairly unremarkable but I do love Melissa Villaseñor’s take on a Kate McKinnon impression near the end. (Score: 5 out of 10)

TBD — A trailer for a movie about the Republican hero who will stand up to Donald Trump and save our country … we’re just waiting for someone to fill that role. (Score: 7 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Colin and Che sort of stumble through the week’s headlines, per usual, hitting on a couple of decent jokes, miffing a few, and making a few jokes that make your face cringe inside out. (Score: 5 out of 10)

Alex Moffat and Mikey Day have done little to set themselves apart this season, except for their depictions of Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. They’re great. Beware, however, of a string of terrible jokes in between Eric and Donald and Vanessa Bayer’s Laura Parson’s character, who continues to be reliably kind of funny.

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.