Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Republican Replacement For Obamacare
February 27, 2017 9:01 AM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

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.

Personal aside: Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana. Specifically his face. Look at his face. Sam the Eagle lives, ladies and gentlemen.

F.37: "Paxtonus Maximus," BILL PAXTON

The talking points the Republicans are using to talk up their Obamacare replacement plans: "Refundable tax credits," "Health savings accounts," "Block grants," "High-risk pools" and "Continuous coverage incentive."

The choices of lobster to represent Neil Gorsuch: "Cindy Clawford," "Pinchers Von Shellington III," or "Mike." Use hashtag #clawandorder. The closing credits mention that American Humane monitored the use of the lobsters (in stylish suits) and that none of them were harmed.

Other hashtag jokes: #mesotaccatsawba #ladygoatscanbedoctors #feminism
posted by JHarris (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A bit of a weak episode for Oliver's standards. Felt like he's a week late to the party and added little to the topics at hand (something that also has been plaguing Full Frontal lately).
posted by lmfsilva at 12:06 PM on February 27, 2017

I didn't like the lobster ending. Totally flat.

I did like the holding feet to the fire approach of the ACA replacement stuff. I think he did a great job informing viewers just what was at stake and the upcoming talking points the republicans are going to give in the coming weeks.
posted by Catblack at 6:49 PM on February 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

He should have focussed on the town halls.
posted by rhizome at 8:57 PM on February 27, 2017

One thing that really poked at me for a couple of days before I realized it last night -- this episode demonstrated that the show isn't really that agile. Like rhizome said, there should have been way more town hall stuff, but that clearly wasn't the thing they decided to cover, so they were still going with "Let's explain the ACA and why the GOP rhetoric sucks." Which is still a great and needful topic, don't get me wrong, but the show occasionally comes off like an American History teacher who talks about the Civil War on November 9th, 2016, because that's on the goddamn syllabus and we will get to the election when we get to it.

And that's fine. I like that Johnny O and the Johnny O Players work from more of the angle of writing an encyclopedia than writing a Newsweek article, and that they pick their topic and really drill down on it, but occasionally events outpace the encyclopedia.
posted by Etrigan at 6:05 AM on March 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh, also, this thing where they pick on the weatherman? It's was always very inside-jokey; now it's starting to get a little gross.
posted by Etrigan at 6:07 AM on March 1, 2017

I think the issue was that the ACA is a subject - as important and relevant as it still is - that has been done to death over the years. What made LWT something special over the past years was that he was willing to pick up a story that had little or shallow coverage and run with it.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:05 AM on March 1, 2017

Yeah, I feel a bit bad for the weather presenter; it's basically his job to deliver filler every day while waiting for the map to come up on screen or whatever. Ten years of that produces a lot of mockable material.

I'm always up for a most patient man on television segment, though. More of that, please!
posted by asperity at 8:45 PM on March 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

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