Saturday Night Live S42, E19- Chris Pine, LCD Soundsystem: Star Trek And Kellyanne Conway Are Highlights In A Lackluster Episode

Cold Opening: This week's cold opening tackled this week's increasingly ominous health care news with a parody of Morning Joe. The sketch is an odd duck in the way that part of it parodies the stereotypical reactions from both sides of the political spectrum, but the other half just has the two anchors awkwardly flirting with each other, much to the disgust of their guests. Adding in a vocal cameo from Baldwin's Trump mistaking Cinco De Mayo for a holiday where mayonnaise is eaten out of sinks, and you get a very mixed bag of a sketch. It would have been better to just focus on one topic, in my opinion.

Monologue: Hollywood has a lot of actors named Chris, Marvel in particular. In the monologue, almost everyone mistakes Chris Pine for other Marvel actors, leading to a song. I can't blame them, both Pratt and Pine starred in science fiction films, although I prefer Guardians Of The Galaxy. Really, all this taught me that Chris Pine is in Wonder Woman. I don't think he's here to promote it, but a commercial for the film did play right after the monologue, so you never know.

Where In The World Is Kellyanne Conway?: Nostalgia, AHOY! Admittedly, I've never actually seen the show, but as short as the sketch was, it did seem to be a fairly accurate recreation of the set and opening theme song. It even extended to actually having children in the sketch and not the usual cast playing kids. It also seems like a smart move, given Netflix's recent announcement of a new show. I also liked seeing Sasheer Zamata in a more prominent role. Maybe it'll lead to her being cast in the new program.

World Peace Rap: I didn't think this music video was very funny. Firstly, the general premise didn't amuse me. It's supposed to be a song about peace and healing the world, but the main character can't stop talking about his addition to lewd online videos. Maybe if it was done in a different way, it might be funny, but it felt offputting and confusing. Secondly, the actual singing was hard to understand. Maybe it's just me, but I thought Chris Pine sounded like Tommy Wiseau.

SWAT Recon: "So, the police are on a secret mission to find and catch their target. The two special operatives look inside the building and see two grown men having a cotton candy party." Someone had to pitch that. Time was spent writing this up into a sketch and finding the necessary props to have it air. Background sets were built for this. Not that the sketch was necessarily bad, it's just an odd concept for a comedy piece, even for SNL. I did like the sense of childlike whimsy that it inspired in the police officers, especially Kenan Thompson's character. Maybe this is actually Mister Mxyzptlk's idea of a prank.

Workplace Meeting: ...What the heck was that? I guess I understand what the sketch was about, but it was put together in such an odd manner. Why was it funny? What was the point of it? Was it put together simply as another excuse for Chris Pine to sing? At the moment, this is not available online, potentially due to music restrictions. When a link becomes available, I will place it in the review.

The House W/ Chris Pine: What if real live had the backdrop of a reality show? From the mind of Kyle Mooney, we're gifted with another unique short film, satirizing the usual cliches of a show involving multiple people living together, but everything seems to work out for the best. Pieces like this continually make me happy that Kyle writes for the show. I like his sense of humor.

LCD Soundsystem Musical Performance #1- "Call The Police:" With a name like that, I expected their first song to be in the techno genre. I'm not actually sure if that strictly is a genre of music, but it sounds like one. In any case, it wasn't that bad.

Weekend Update: This edition felt fairly light on momentous political jokes, more focusing on the usual jokes from Colin and Michael than guest commenters. On that note, it did feature a brief tweak to the format, with Vanessa Bayer as Dana Lazarus, their new weather correspondent. I wonder if this is a test run of sorts for the upcoming Weekend Update summer run this August. Maybe, maybe not. Either way, I don't mind this particular format change. I was actually watching the local news before the show tonight and, based on the weather segment, this was a pretty accurate representation of nonsensical banter in the news.

Auto Shop: I was afraid that the sketch would be obnoxious when it started, but it quickly (and thankfully) subverted my expectations. It could have been a sketch about some workers making offensive comments about Ru Paul's Drag Race, but the very fast reveal that all of them do genuinely enjoy the program vastly improves the quality. It also partially deconstructed some ideals of toxic masculinity by showing that it's perfectly fine for men to watch shows about drag queens. You can like what you like, as long as you're not hurting anyone else.

The Handmaid's Tale: This short film should have aired earlier in the episode. Not only is it on an important topic and an already-acclaimed adaption, but it's also amusing. I suspect that it might have been written by the same writing team behind short films that have delved into similar topics, such as Cecily Strong's character getting hit on by fake feminists at a bar or their excellent International Women's Day offering.

Star Trek Lost Episode: Once again, this also should have aired closer to the beginning of the episode. SNL has a long history with sketches based on Star Trek, going all the way back to William Shatner appearing in a convention-themed sketch where he called fans of the show nerds. (Fun fact, even though that was a comedy sketch, it still drew anger from the fans.) I don't think this sketch will cause nearly as much frustration. Personally, I thought it was really funny, mostly due to Kenan Thompson's Neil DeGrasse Tyson impression and Bobby Moynihan's amazing Vulcan character.

LCD Soundsystem Musical Performance #2- "American Dream:" I really liked the lyrics in this song. They were well-composed and fun to listen to. I might try listening to the band on my own at some point.

Couples Game Night: Another musical sketch? This is getting silly, and not in the fun way. We could have gotten a Wonder Woman-themed sketch to promote the movie.

Final Thoughts: This episode definitely felt like a mixed bag. On one hand, the little political comedy that we got was jumbled in with some awkward bits. On the other hand, a couple of the sketches were really good, but fairly short. The majority of the episode seemed like a mish-mash of various concepts pulled out of a hat. I guess your opinion on the show might depend on your taste.

 If you want a lighter episode to escape from the horrors of the news, you might like it. If you want to see some vicious mockery of the current administration, maybe consider skipping this one. I personally thought this was one of the season's weaker episodes, but I have hope that next week's installment will be wonderful. If nothing else, Melissa McCarthy will host.

Saturday Night Live airs on NBC at 11:30 pm. It's now live in every time zone.

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.