So, last week....
- "Unfortunately, we must begin, again, with President Trump, two words that continue to sound unnatural together, like 'Walrus Porn,' or 'Tilda Swinton.'" Trump promises a crackdown on illegal immigrants, despite problems hiring ICE agents, and withdraws Obama-era guidelines for transgender students in school bathrooms.
- And Now: Some Random Thoughts From WCBS2 Meteorologist John Elliott
- Main Story: The Affordable Care Act (YouTube 19m), and Republicans trying to repeal it despite unexpected (to them) popular opposition. LWT examines what it is, problems with it, and Republican plans to fix it.
- And Now: WCBS2 Meteorologist John Elliott Drops Some Famous Names
- Finally, the Supreme Court. Republicans refused to hold a hearing for Obama's Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland for 11 months, so that they'd have the opportunity to have their guy Neil Gorsuch confirmed, a historic abberation. To reflect this, LWT's Dog Supreme Court is filling the seat, not with a dog, but by a choice of three lobsters, that they're asking viewers to vote for on their Twitter feed.
A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend's mysterious family estate. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Vladimir Putin Season 4, Ep 2
So, what happened last week?
- President Trump continues to amplify unquestioningly whatever whimsical story was presented on Fox News, this time that Sweden is having problems with immigrants, which Sweden denies.
- The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong-nam (Wikipedia), was poisoned in an airport, by a woman who claims she was told to do it as part of a reality show.
- A Florida man plotted to have bombs placed in 10 Target stores in order to drive stock prices down.
- AND NOW: Fox & Friends is Painfully Aware of Who is Watching Them
- MAIN STORY: Russia, specifically Vladimir Putin (YouTube, 20m). Him, his regime, how he's profited, what happens to those who oppose him, and Trump's fascination for him. LWT produced a short dance number about him, refering to the Russian pop song praising Putin.
Adolf Hitler wakes up in the 21st century. He quickly gains media attention, but while Germany finds him hilarious and charming, Hitler makes some serious observations about society. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump vs. Truth Season 4, Ep 1
The first episode of season four! And so let's get right on to THIS WEEK....
- The inauguration of Donald Trump, and his whirlwind of activity, which Oliver describes as "the tip of the shitberg."
- AND NOW: Donald Trump Can't Shake Hands Right.
- MAIN STORY: Trump vs. Truth (24m, NSFW). While just over a quarter of Obama's statements rated Mostly False or worse by Politifact.com, nearly 70% of Trumps rate so. In the process of covering this rich topic, we visit a Fox News commercial with a "cowboy," Breitbart, Alex Jones (apparently a primary source of information for him). They cover the history of the "three million voted illegally" lie from Twitter rando to President-Elect Trump to clueless person parroting it, creating a hideously self-reinforcing echo chamber that is currently driving policy in the United States.
Crashing: Series 1 ( All Episodes) Season 1, Ep 0
Phoebe Waller-Bridge's other 2016 comedy revolves around the lives of six 20- and 30-somethings living together as property guardians of a large, disused hospital. Crashing is similarly filthy, funny, sad, and weird to PW-B's Fleabag, if a bit looser.
A simple-minded gardener named Chance (Peter Sellers) has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television. After a run in with a limousine, he ends up a guest of a Ben (Melvyn Douglas), an influential but sickly businessman, and his wife, Eve (Shirley MacLaine). Now called Chauncey Gardner, Chance becomes friend and confidante to Ben and an unlikely political insider.
Call My Agent!: Cécile Season 1, Ep 1
At a top Paris talent firm, Agence Samuel Kerr (ASK), agents scramble to keep their star clients happy and their business afloat. Andréa fires her assistant and hires a neophyte on a trial basis; Gabriel searches for a way to break bad news to aging Belgian star Cécile de France; and Mathias cleans up his partners' professional messes with aplomb, but can't seem to shake a past indiscretion.
Please Like Me: Babaganoush Season 4, Ep 1
A threesome goes wrong, teddy bears' lives are threatened, a lovers' tiff makes a family barbecue awkward, and a revelation over a chocolate quinoa slice makes Josh realise he's had it up to here with things.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Fugitive, Part 2 Season 4, Ep 12
B99 fall finale continued! When the ninth and final fugitive -- a triple murderer (guest star Charles Baker) -- eludes the Nine-Nine, Jake has only one person he can go to... [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Fugitive, Part 1 Season 4, Ep 11
It's time for a two-part Brooklyn Nine-Nine fall finale event! Nine dangerous and desperate fugitives have escaped from a crashed prison van, and the Nine-Nine are on their trail. [more inside]
Jon Glaser Loves Gear: Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
Jon Glaser loves gear. He loves it so much that he pitched a reality show to TruTV about gear: shopping for it, buying it, using it. Through the first season Jon has gone camping, played hockey, and chilled out, and alienated his family , among other things. The first season of Jon's quest for gear concluded yesterday with "Sailing". [more inside]
A couple get into an argument that's ostensibly over dinner party preparations, the argument escalates into a break-up, and things only get worse from there. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Latvia Season 4, Ep 10
It's Christmastime at the Nine-Nine, and Boyle's adopted son Nikolaj ("NEE-ko-LAAAAHJ") wants a hard-to-get Captain Latvia action figure. Will he and Jake have to bust up the entire Latvian mafia to get that toy? POSSIBLY SO! Meanwhile, Holt tries in vain to get the rest of the squad into harmony for their singing competition against the honey-voiced MTA, and Gina -- ever the taste-maker -- discovers an amazing new musical called Hamilton.
People of Earth: Season 1 (full show) Season 1, Ep 0
Ozzie Graham (Wyatt Cenac) is a reporter who has worked for The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Glint Enterprises, but when he goes up to the small town of Beacon, New York to report on StarCrossed, a support group for people who believe they've been abducted by aliens and... meet in a Catholic church for some reason, he finds more than an interesting story. He decides to move to Beacon and spend more time with the “experiencers” (do NOT call them “abductees”). [Airs/ streams on TBS, the final two episodes will air Monday, Dec. 19, 2016] [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Overmining Season 4, Ep 9
After incompetent day-shift Captain C.J. (returning guest star Ken Marino) fumbles some key evidence in a drug-trafficking case, Jake and Holt decide to help him get the collar -- and a transfer out of the Nine-Nine. Meanwhile, a beleaguered Terry battles Gina over her energy-inefficient space heater; Elsewhere, Boyle introduces Rosa to his favorite night shift pick-me-up, but is something suspicious afoot?
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Skyfire Cycle Season 4, Ep 8
When Terry's all-time favorite fantasy author (guest star Fred Melamed) receives threats from a Sad Puppy-esque fan, Jake helps him overcome his jitters at meeting his hero to crack the case. Meanwhile: Gina launches an unstoppable charm offensive against Boyle's cousins; Amy and Rosa try to patch up a Monty Hall problem-related marital spat between Holt and Kevin. It's a nearly All-Previously-On-MeFi episode of B99!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Monster in the Closet Season 4, Ep 6
When hard-boiled weirdo cop Adrian Pimento (returning guest star Jason Mantzoukas) reappears after spending months in hiding, he and Rosa decide to tie the knot, and the whole gang pitches in to help. But perhaps the universe has other plans? Meanwhile, Holt experiences VIN-DI-CA-TION! [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: 2016 Election Result Season 3, Ep 30
This week (11/13):
- The only story is the outcome of the 2016 Election and the selecting of Donald Trump as the next US President. The full consequences of this are detailed, and his staff picks are discussed, and also offered is a look into how this happened: the prevailing use of social media to isolate people into echo chambers and feed them disinformation. A list of many organizations you can donate to and volunteer for is offered. It ends with a hearty FUCK YOU to the year 2016.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Multilevel Marketing Season 3, Ep 29
This week (11/7):
- The final pre-Election 2016 segment! Contains a couple of old Daily Show clips, of John Oliver 1. begging Donald Trump to run for the comedy potential, and 2. claiming the Cubs will never win.
- And Now: The Inevitable, Sad Consequences of Morning Shows Celebrating Halloween
- Main story: Multilevel marketing companies like Herbalife, Kyäni and "Nu Skin," and their suspecious similarity to pyramid schemes. With LWT's own pyramid scheme at the end -- money isn't involved, but passing a video around to five of your friends is. Because MLM companies are now targeting the Latino community, the segment is offered on YouTube with Spanish subtitles. English - Spanish subs (both about 32m))
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: School Segregation Season 3, Ep 28
Week of 10/30:
- Regrettably, more on the 2016 Election, putting aside a story on Pirate Party making progress in Iceland, among others, to make room for it. OH WELL:
- The FBI finds a few Clinton emails in an investigation into oh god I can't believe I'm typing this Anthony Weiner, yes HIM again, Carlos Danger himself. Worth watching just for the footage of Biden reacting to the words "Anthony Weiner."
- And Now: The Stream-Of-Consciousness Musings of WCBS-2 Meteorologist John Elliott
- Main story: School segregation, and its surprising continued prevalence, not in the South, but in New York state. YouTube (18m)
- How Is This Still A Thing: Voting On Tuesday (It turns out to have started because, in the 1800s, people were expected to be spending Monday travelling to the polling place to vote.) YouTube (4m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Opioids Season 3, Ep 27
Week of 10/23:
- The final debate of the election, and some highlights of awful Trump statements made during it, particularly his promise to keep us "in suspense" as to whether he'd accept a loss or not. Clinton and Trump were also both present at the Al Smith dinner in New York, where Trump spoke, and bombed. Henry Kissinger's reaction to Trump's speech: "Dis is not good." At the end, in order to allow Trump to save face should he lose the election, Oliver makes a bet with Trump on-air: he will bet Trump that he wins the elction, with the stakes being Oliver's Emmy award statuette.
- And Now: You'll Never Guess What Christ Matthews' Favorite Movie Is
- Main story: The rise of addictive opioid prescription pain killers (Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet), resulting in over 30,000 overdose deaths a year, and actively promoted, predictably, by the pharmaceutical industry. YouTube (19m)
- People Who Somehow Got Elected: US Representative from Wisconsin's 6th District Glenn Grothman.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Third Party Candidates Season 3, Ep 26
Week of 10/16:
- Donald Trump has had quite the week as multiple women come forward with news of unwanted contact. Trump continues to rotate wildly, lashing out at both Clinton's campaign and his own. But dangerously he also loudly proclaims at rallys, "The election is rigged!"
- And Now: The Most Patient Man on Television (Steve Scully): 2016 Election Edition
- The issues with third party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green), who despite Johnson's loud recorded protestations, have a high chance of being spoilers this election cycle. YouTube (19m)
- And Finally: A Glimpse Into the Innter Workings of the Most Patient Man on Television
Detectorists: Season 2 Discussion Season 2, Ep 0
Baby Stan has arrived, Andy has qualified as an archaeologist, and there’s a search for the mayor's missing chains of office.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Guantanamo Bay Season 3, Ep 25
For the week of 10/9:
- Trump's tape talking to Billy Bush bragging about being able to grope women. A portion of it on YouTube (5m)
- And Now: A Look Back At Billy Bush's Creepy Bromance With Donald Trump YouTube (1m10s)
- Main story: Guantanamo Bay, President Obama's continued difficulties in closing it, and the true meaning of "Freedom Isn't Free." YouTube (21m)
- And Now: A look Back At Billy Bush Being Creepy With Everyone. YouTube (1m20s)
- Another look at Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who's now running a reality show and staging martial arts battles among children. This is the guy who Oliver teased earlier this year, asking "Is this your cat?"
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Night Shift Season 4, Ep 4
After being assigned the dreaded night shift as punishment for last week's Florida adventure, the gang deal with it in different ways: Jake refuses to let the wee hours (or his injured leg) keep Charles and himself from solving cases, Amy suspects Rosa of slacking off on the job, and Holt attempts to raise precinct morale the only way he knows how. [more inside]
Superstore: Guns, Pills and Birds Season 2, Ep 4
Jonah doesn't want to work the gun counter. Glenn starts a side business. A crow gets stuck in the store.
- Trump tries to spin his terrible debate performance by citing terrible, exploitable online polls, and his thin skin somehow gets even thinner, as he casts aspersions on a former Miss USA winner by, well.... Oliver: "That is a candidate for President of the United States urging America to check out a sex tape. Just do me a favor. Look up into the sky right now. Higher. No, higher still. Do you see that? Way up there? Way up above the clouds? That's rock bottom. And we are currently way down here."
- And Now: Newscasters Quoting Movies
- Main Story: Police accountability, or rather its lack, as it turns out that police who use deadly force practically never get called on account for it, due to a variety of increasly infuriating reasons. YouTube (20m)
- And Now: Newscasters Quoting Movies, All Christ Matthews Edition
- More on Wells Fargo, how the company retaliated against whistleblowers who called an internal ethics hotline to warn of wrong-doing. It turns out that the case for ethics had been made by a training video that Wells Fargo themselves had commissioned. The host of that video, it turns out, now works as a writer for Last Week Tonight! He stars in an update for that video. YouTube (4m)
This (last) week:
- The protests in Charlotte over yet another police shooting, and the release of video from the incident.
- Employees for Wells Fargo created a huge number of accounts for people without their knowing, in order to extract fees for those accounts, due to an "aggressive" sales campaign.
- And Now: Wait, Is WCBS2 News at 11 Just Fucking With Us At This Point?
- Main story: The scandals plaguing the Clinton and Trump campaigns, how the Clinton ones tend to be more annoying than truly serious, while the Trump ones tend to all be blockbusters that would doom any other candidate, resulting in scandal fatigue. YouTube (21m)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS Season 5, Ep 23
"Teen-agers zoom to supersize and terrorize a town!" Opie invents a magic growth formula, called "Goo," that turns surly teens into Olympian gods! It's the beach party of Ragnarok, and boy, is Andy ever gonna be pissed! It's another low-budget schlockfest from the most prolific of all MST directors, Bert I. Gordon; indeed, it is the last of his films the show would do. Although MST had a rule against doing comedies, Village of the Giants is partly one, although with suspiciously low-grade jokes. The script is based off of H.G. Wells' Food of the Gods. Musical guests The Beau Brummels and Freddy Cannon give this film rather more star power than you might expect from Mr. BIG's projects. It's a pretty good episode! The movie's certainly riffing fare, but is still watchable and fun all the same. And in the host segments, prepare yourself for a visit from an old fiend.... YouTube (OFFICIAL, with Annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered January 22, 1994. [more inside]
Transparent: Full season Season 3, Ep 0
The Pfefferman family splinters into disparate journeys on their continued path of self-discovery. Then everyone goes on a cruise!
Vice Principals: Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
Vice Principals just finished airing on HBO this past weekend. Another collaboration between Jody Hill and Danny McBride, the show treads familiar ground, featuring two terrible men (McBride and Walton Goggins) who plot and scheme against one another in an attempt to take the top spot of the pecking order at a South Carolina high school after the previous principal (Bill Murray) retires. However, an outsider named Dr. Brown (Kimberly Herbert Gregory) ends up taking the job that each man sees as rightfully his. Through 9 episodes, the two sink lower and lower in their efforts to unseat Brown. [more inside]
One Mississippi: Tig Notaro's new Amazon Prime series Season 1, Ep 0
Tig Notaro's new series One Mississippi is a fictional "traumedy" based on events in Notaro's life, and follows her as she returns to her hometown after a double mastectomy and the sudden death of her mother. Released September 9th, the first season tells a complete story in six 30-minute episodes, with a full narrative arc that includes both dramatic and comedic high points. This post is for discussion of the entire 3-hour story, so spoilers within. (Most important spoiler: it's great.) [more inside]
Woody Allen's latest: In the 1930s, a young Bronx native moves to Hollywood where he falls in love with the secretary of his powerful uncle, an agent to the stars.
Morris (Markees Christmas) is a 13-year-old African-American who moves to Heidelberg with his dad (Craig Robinson), who coaches professional soccer. The film explores Morris's romantic and coming-of-age misadventures. [Trailer #1 | full soundtrack listing] [more inside]
Based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz (Miles Teller) and Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill), who worked their way up the ladder of Pentagon contracts to land a $300 million contract to arm America's allies in Afghanistan. [Trailer #1, Trailer #2] [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Charter Schools Season 3, Ep 22
- US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte (4m) and others trashed a men's restroom, and Lochte flees to us while his collegues are detained.
- Main story: The downsides of many charter schools (18m): poor planning, profit seeking and corruption.
- And Now: One Final Second of Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte The Perfectly Encapsulates His Entire Personality, Career and Worldview.
- Finally, LWT tonight noticed surprising parallels between the campaign of Donald Trump and the book "The Kid Who Ran For President." Part 1 (5m) - Part 2 (5m)
- Hillary Clinton releases her tax returns. Donald Trump claims Obama founded ISIS. He also claims that, if Hillary beats him, it must have been because of vote cheating. He also loves charts. Part 1 (4m) - Part 2 (4m)
- The American Petroleum institute airs a new commercial, and totally rips off the style of Last Week Tonight's intro! Of course you know, this means war. (4m)
- Main story: Predatory auto lending (18m) and its effects on the disadvantaged.
A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence. [more inside]
Saturday Night Live: SNL Season 42 Preview Season 42, Ep 0
Two veterans – Taran and Jay – have been given their walking papers a year before their contracts would have expired. Jon Rudnitsky might be dropped as well! What next?
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Journalism Season 3, Ep 20
- A recap of the Olympic opening ceremonies. Part 1 - Part 2 (both 4m)
- And Now: Newscasters Perv Out Over a Shirtless Olympian in National Dress
- Main Story: Journalists (19m), and the increasing difficulty that news outlets have staying in business while not compromising their work. With a special guest appearance by Tronc (MeFi)! Finishes with a trailer for "Stoplight," a depressingly realistic take on the plight of a reporter in the 21st century.
- Restrictive voting laws struck down in Wisconsin, Texas and North Carolina. (4m)
- A military coup fails in Turkey, and the Turkish President Erdogan seeks revenge. (4m)
- How Is This Still A Thing: Tanning Beds
- The 2016 Democratic National Convention (18m)
- And Now: Some More Highlights from the Democratic National Convention
Michael Jai White is All-Star Baltimore Colts running back Ferrante Jones who is Black Dynamite, a former CIA agent who investigates the death of his brother at the hands of the mob. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Republican National Committee, and Campaign Songs Season 3, Ep 18
- The 2016 Democratic National Convention, and Hillary Clinton's choice of Tim Kaine as her VP pick.
- David Cameron's successor Teresa May's controversial pick of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary.
- And Now: A Summary of Roger Ailes' Contribution to Our Political Discourse
- Main story: A recap of the 2016 Republican National Convention. (12m)
- And Now: A Few More Highlights From the Republican National Convention
- Referencing both the RNC's unapproved use of Queen's "We Are The Champions" for their convention, and the long history of Americal political parties misappropriating music, often unlicensed and frequently ironically, LWT got Michael Bolton, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Cyndi Lauper, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Dan Reynolds, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson together to make a music video to speak against the practice. (7m)
A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle (Sam Neill) who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush. [more inside]
- The UK votes to leave the European Union, and in the wake David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister of the UK. YouTube (5m)
- And Now: The Things News Anchors Are Scared Of
- Main Story: Doping in the Olympics, and its creeping ubiquity. LWT provides an inspirational athlete bio that may be more realistic than the usual uplifting sports story. YouTube (21m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The NRA and Brexit Season 3, Ep 16
- The aftermath of Orlando shootings, from Trump's predictably awful remarks to the Democratic Party's filibuster, and the choke-hold the NRA holds over Congress and regulatory agencies, despite relatively low membership and campaign contributions. YouTube (11m)
- And Now: "60 Minutes" Anchors Are Still Prompting People to Deliver the Exact Soundbite They Need
- Main story: Brexit, that is to say, the motion to remove Great Britain from the European Union. Last Week Tonight debunks some of the reasons given for exiting. At the end, LWT provides their own (foul-mouthed, half-hearted) lyrics supporting staying in the EU, sung to the tune of Beethoven's "Ode To Joy." YouTube (16m)
- Trump and his businesses, it turns out, have been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits over three decades. LWT focuses on those concerning Trump University. YouTube: Part 1 (4m) and Part 2 (9m)
- And Now: Wolf Blitzer States the Obvious
- Main story: Debt, how Americans are in it (to the tune of $12 trillion dollars), how they get in it (often unavoidable medical reasons), how debt buying has become an industry to itself, and how it operates (predictably, badly) To demonstrate how easy it is to organize as debt buyers and buy debt, LWT organized as debt buyers in Mississippi, set up an EXTREMELY bare bones website, bought $15M of medical debt, the debt of 9,000 Texas people, and forgave it. The cost to them was a mere $60K, but it was technically the largest televised giveaway in history, beating out Oprah Winfrey's famous car giveaway. Oliver: "It is done! It is done! I am the new queen of daytime talk!" YouTube (21m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES Season 3, Ep 13
- Protests rock Venezuela as their economy continues to deteriorate due to low oil prices.
- Canada Prime Ministar Justin Trudeau hits a very minor scandal, "Elbowgate," due to his pushing his way through a crowd of people in the House of Commons.
- And Now: John McLaughlin Angrily Introduces Discussion Topics.
- Main story: Primaries and Caucuses, the means by which the Democratic and Republican candidates get chosen, which is far from proportional to public will.
- And Now: Increasingly Weird Bell Ringers at the New York Stock Exchange
- Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, widely considered to be a brutal strongman and who idolizes Putin, has completely lost his cat. LWT launches a campaign to find Kadyrov's cat before anyone suffers for it. Follow-up on Huffington Post.