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©2017/Will Heath/NBC

©2017/Will Heath/NBC

By Ellen O’Brien, Glenbard West 

Am I the only one who didn’t know that this week’s host of “Saturday Night Live,” Chris Pine, has the voice of an angel? Why didn’t anybody tell me?! Well, now that we’ve established that he is the master of acting and singing and looking like a Greek god, we can move on to the actual episode, which, unlike Pine himself, was very eh. Pine brought great energy to everything he was in; the enemy here was…bad writing. Still, there were a few gems within this iffy episode.

THE BEST

“MONOLOGUE”

In his monologue, Pine addressed the thing much of the audience was thinking – wait, which Chris is this? There’s a plethora of (super attractive) Chrises in Hollywood, and in the form of song, Pine explained the difference between him, Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. Whew. His singing voice was a pleasant surprise to me, and despite some awkward pacing, he nailed it, with the help of Kate McKinnon butting in and out of the tune. Oh, and on another note, I’d like that poster of the four Chrises in my bedroom please.

“SWAT RECON”

Every episode of “SNL” seems to have a WTF sort of sketch, and this was certainly one. But I loved it! It was innocent and pure and just plain silly – as two members of the SWAT team staked out near a criminal’s apartment, their attention was drawn to the next-door neighbor’s place instead. In that apartment, two grown men, including Pine, were having a cotton candy dance party and a backpack fashion show, just to name a couple activities. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it was just nice seeing Chris Pine have so much fun, without any weird or gross twist in the sketch.

“OFFICE MEETING”

Unfortunately, the “SNL” website doesn’t have a clip of this sketch for some reason, but I’ll do my best to paint a word-picture for you. Two women, played by Vanessa Bayer and Aidy Bryant, summoned Pine’s character to an office meeting which soon turned into a musical number in which the girls competed for Pine. Understandably. They sang “The Boy is Mine,” which was both hilarious and uncomfortable in the best way possible, and finally, Pine broke out into song, too. Having a sketch about his good looks was a must, and “SNL” did it right.

“THE HOUSE”

This was hands-down the best of the night. I’m a sucker for guy drama – that’s why I love “The Bachelorette” – so this episode’s parody of “The House” was comedy gold to me. It had all of the elements of a terrible reality show, such as intense music, cringe-worthy “confessionals,” and churning out the least dramatic drama ever. Pine was the perfect guy for this spoof, and he played well alongside Kyle Mooney (total scene-stealer) and Beck Bennett. This was one of the few bits of “SNL” this week that made me laugh out loud, literally.

“WEEKEND UPDATE”

“Update” finally stepped it up again, and it only took a national crisis (cough cough, healthcare) to do it. As I hoped, the political jokes were much better, and I loved that the co-anchors said that Donald Trump speaks “fluent maniac.” Another great jab was when they displayed Trump’s accomplishments in his first one hundred days in office, and there were only about four of them, one of which was golf. But, oh boy, what had me crying laughing in this installment of “Update” was Bayer’s Dawn Lazarus, a meteorologist who was absolutely impossible to understand. It was dumb humor that worked super well. Lastly, Leslie Jones stopped by and shared a rather racy story, but my favorite part of that was just she and Colin cracking up the whole time. Ah, lovebirds.

“AUTO SHOP”

I take it back – “SNL” had two WTF sketches this week, so here’s the other one! In it, a bunch of workers at an auto shop – you know, real guys’ guys – gradually confessed to being obsessed with the show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Personally, I haven’t seen it, but if it’s anything like this sketch, then it must be entertaining. Eventually, Pine’s character had a lip sync contest – another staple of the show, I suppose – with Bobby Moynihan’s, and I was impressed, to say the least.

“COUPLES GAME NIGHT”

Yet again, Pine showed off his singing abilities in this sketch, alongside an equally talented Cecily Strong. Their characters joined two other couples for a game night, involving singing the theme songs for TV shows. Pine and Strong took it in a different direction, you could say. They burst out into incredibly intense duets, and even broke a window at one point, taking the drama to a whole new level. It was funny to see their behavior contrasted with their friends’, who were horrified, but even more so upset that they weren’t following the rules of the game.

THE WORST

“COLD OPEN”

I’ve never seen “Morning Joe,” but I’m not sure I’d like it. This week’s “Open” parodied the political talk show with two argumentative hosts (do they have that much weird sexual tension in real life?) portrayed by McKinnon and Alex Moffat. Alec Baldwin made an appearance – or, well, his voice did – when his Trump character called into the show, pretending to be a spokesman for the president. Did you follow that? I did, but it didn’t make it any funnier. News flash, “SNL,” not every “Cold Open” needs to star Trump.

“WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KELLYANNE CONWAY?”

The title to this sketch appeared promising, because where is Kellyanne these days? But I was quickly confused by a sassy TV show host, a group of singing men (including Pine, duh), and two children. Like, actual children. When do you see real kids on “SNL”? I figure that this sketch was a spoof of something that went way over my head, but I’m too lazy to look that up to confirm it. For now, it’s grouped with the worst sketches of the night.

“WORLD PEACE RAP”

In this music video, Bennett depicted Stav D, a foreign (?) rapper reflecting on the injustices taking place as of recently. A long-haired Pine sang the hook for the less than catchy song, which was made even worse with the awkward silence from the audience throughout it. I think another genre of music, something more upbeat or familiar, would have suited this better, because the lyrics were funny. The execution was just…strange.

“THE HANDMAID’S TALE”

I’ve seen a commercial for this show, so I’ve basically seen it, right? Well, I knew enough to kind of understand this parody of it, in which a group of women in the future had to explain to some ignorant men that they didn’t have rights anymore. This was probably supposed to be reflective of society today, with many men not being fully informed of the difficulties women face, but the message wasn’t all that powerful. I certainly appreciated the goal of this sketch, even if it got lost a little.

“STAR TREK LOST EPISODE”

And yet another thing I’ve never watched – Star Trek. Shocker, right? But I was able to recognize good Neil deGrasse Tyson (bravo, Kenan Thompson) and William Shatner (double bravo, Pine) impressions when I see them. Beyond that, I was bored, possibly because I was on the outside of a huge inside joke. But the concept of Spock having a strange and inappropriate brother named Spocko? Was that really interesting to anybody? If you deny that this was something of a snooze fest, then you’re lying.

“Saturday Night Live”

10:30 p.m., Saturday, NBC

2.5 out of 4 stars

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