Saturday Night Live review: Jeanine Pirro, The Duel, Us, & Sandra Oh highlights


Saturday Night Live
This weekend’s new Saturday Night Live episode is being hosted by none other than Sandra Oh, someone worthy of all of the hype and the world and then some. The Killing Eve star is a fantastic actress, and we’ve seen enough from her at various awards shows to know that she can also be incredibly funny. There’s just something about the specific energy and vibe of being in front of this audience and that stage that can be particularly nerve-wrecking, so we didn’t want to set our hopes too high for her entering this particular episode.

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So how was Sandra? That’s a question we’ll be answering throughout this episode be sure to keep checking back throughout for some more updates and refresh the page!

Cold Open – We discuss things a little bit further over at the link here, but let’s just say that this was a nice way to say goodbye to the SNL version of Robert Mueller. The best part of this was basically seeing three different versions of the same thing: Robert De Niro as Mueller, Aidy Bryant as William Barr, and then Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump. The joke was funny at first (that these interpretations were very different), but it gold old fast and we’re glad that the show moved on to other subjects. B+.

Monologue – Sandra opened her show with a discussion about her being Canadian, having Asian parents who don’t really watch the show, and also being super-polite and not knowing how to take compliments. It wasn’t drop-dead funny, but she was likable and we got in and out fairly quickly. B-.

Us parody – We’ll admit that as someone who doesn’t go to the movies altogether often, we haven’t seen Us and because of that, we didn’t know what to make of this at first where Edo Nwodim was speaking to another version of herself working at Discover. The performances were there, but it’s hard to comment without knowing the source. Grade: Incomplete.

Jussie Smollett meeting – We don’t know why SNL decided to hit back on this subject now, but here we saw Smollett (Chris Redd) enter a meeting with the Empire production claiming that he was attacked and having evidence of it. We get making fun of the situation and we do think that there are plenty of ways to do so. Having him bringing store-bought items as “evidence” of his latest attack, though, felt half-baked. C.

The Duel – This was the best sketch of the night at this point, mostly because it was a weird and wonderfully-paced spoof of old-school duels that you often see in classic movies. We learned the rules of the duel, that bullets can ricochet in all directions, and that Sandra Oh can apparently be shot four times and still be okay on the other side … or at least she was until she got shot clean into the water by mistake. B+.

Looking into the future – Out of Oh’s performances, her appearance here as Tishy brought the most laughs. Mikey Day played a young man speaking to an older, more muscular self (Alex Moffat), who revealed to him that he had a great life because he believed in himself … and also his eccentric girlfriend with a cast and a tendency to burn down stuff. This Tishy character was so energetic and insane that nothing really mattered, including how it ended. It just brought a lot of laughs throughout. A-.

Putin reacts to the news from America – In this sketch, we had a chance to learn plenty of things in regards to how Vladimir Putin was reacting to the results of the Mueller report, including realizing that Trump may not actually be a Russian agent after all. We laughed here and there through this, but not so much that we consider it be the best use of Putin we’ve seen. Also, wasn’t this a random Kim Jong-un cameo with Oh playing the interpreter? (If you want to learn more about the actor playing Kim Jong-un, be sure to visit the link here.) B-.

Weekend Update – Tonight, we got a lot of different stuff — at least if you like political humor. We got in here a mockery of a Trump rally, a return from Cecily Strong as Jeanine Pirro (it’s really an amazing impression), and also Michael Che talking about white people being too optimistic. We also had a wonderful performance from Aidy as the female astronaut in Anne McClain who didn’t get to take part in the recent spacewalk. She tried her best to put on a good face, but it absolutely wasn’t too easy for her. B+.

Louise’s birthday – The first sketch after Weekend Update was an odd one, largely since McKinnon played an old woman who, on her birthday, decided that she wanted to get something that she’s always wanted before she died. Apparently, that meant getting all of her colleagues to kiss. When she finally got someone to do it, she wasn’t happy with it then, either. Consider this a sketch that just got weirder and weirder, but there was only so much McKinnon could do in order to make it funny. C-.

Cheques – What’s the message for this? Keep writing checks? This is one of those sketches where we don’t quite know what the writers were really going for, beyond just making fun of how strange and archaic the practice of writing checks is. This was funny, but also quickly forgettable. B-.

Electric Shoes – What happens when Kenan Thompson can’t get everyone else back for What Up With That? Apparently this, since Kenan’s character basically hijacked a classic music show with a performance of the same song time and time again. Uh … okay. B.

Test preparation – Your final sketch of night, and one where Oh played a teacher trying to get the attention of some of her students. As it turns out, though, a lot of these people had big stories, in particular McKinnon and Bryant’s characters as they seemed to have some sort of odd relationship blossoming.

CarterMatt Verdict

This episode, as a whole, was good in terms of Oh’s performance. The unfortunate problem here is that the ideas didn’t always live up to her performance — though we saw some good ones via The Duel and the cold open.

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