A governmental think-tank, whose remit is to curb the independence of the intelligence service, has lost one of its key members, and Claude Whelan—one-time head of MI5's Regent’s Park—is tasked with tracking her down. But the trail leads straight back to the Park itself, with Diana Taverner as chief suspect. Has Diana overplayed her hand at last? What’s her counterpart, Moscow’s First Desk, doing in London? And does Jackson Lamb know more than he’s telling? Over at Slough House, with Shirley Dander in rehab, Roddy Ho in dress rehearsal, and new recruit Ashley Khan turning up the heat, the slow horses are doing what they do best, and adding a little bit of chaos to an already unstable situation… [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: PFAs Season 8, Ep 25
This week... Covid + Brexit causes widespread gas shortages in the UK. Congress holds a hearing on the impact of social media on teenagers' mental health, causing confusion for Senator Richard Blumenthal on what a "finsta" is. Democrats try to pass the ambitious Build Back Better Act, and predictably Republicans are using every means to block it, aided by the villains of the hour, Senators Manchin and Sinema. And Now: Newscasters Take Issue With The Term "Leaf Peeping." Main story (YouTube, 20 minutes): PFAs, a class of chemicals that cause a variety of health issues and take thousands of years to break down, and has now bioaccumulated in nearly every human being on Earth, including 99.7% of US citizens. At the end, Danny DeVito appears in a bit "promoting" PFAs. Check the level of PFA contamination in the water in your area at ewg.org/pfasmap. [more inside]
At Slough House, Brexit has taken a toll. The slow horses have been pushed further into the cold, Slough House has been erased from official records, and its members are dying in unusual circumstances, at an unusual clip. No wonder Jackson Lamb’s crew is feeling paranoid. But are they actually targets? With a new populist movement taking hold of London’s streets and the old order ensuring that everything’s for sale to the highest bidder, the world’s a dangerous place for those deemed surplus. Jackson Lamb and the slow horses are in a fight for their lives as they navigate dizzying layers of lies, power, and death.
Hari's visit to Stonehenge on the solstice prompts an investigation into the gray zone between being a native and a migrant, and his memories of growing up in Essex during the Thatcher years. He also tracks down an old friend, whose work with Harvard geneticist David Reich overturns centuries of nationalist thinking. Official site: Into The Zone [more inside]
Everyone hates grammar and ethics cops. Until they need one.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Opioids Again Season 6, Ep 8
The main subject was a return to the opioid crisis, and the role of big pharmaceutical companies in causing it. Specifically one Richard Sackler, who pushed Purdue Pharma into heavily marketing Oxycontin. LWT created the website Sackler Gallery, which features a number of actors reading transcripts of court appearances by Sackler. On YouTube (21m). Other topics: Brexit gets pushed back to Halloween, and Julian Assange was thrown out of Ecuadorian embassy and brought into police custody for extradition.
Don't Forget The Driver: First Series Season 1, Ep 0
A coach driver and single father navigates the post-Brexit world surrounding his seaside enclave. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Public Shaming Season 6, Ep 5
Main subject: Public shaming culture and how it can be taken too far. On YouTube. (27m) Also covered: the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand, and the (awesome) boy who eggs (literally) Austrialia's (awful) right-wing senator Fraser Anning, and Brexit.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Brexit III Season 6, Ep 1
The episode of Last Week Tonight that aired three weeks ago was about the continuing situation of Brexit, a cliff the UK is bound and determined to drive off of because of leadership. The main story is on YouTube. [more inside]
Strategist Dominic Cummings (Benedict Cumberbatch) leads a campaign to convince British voters to leave the European Union. Directed by Toby Haynes (Sherlock, Doctor Who). [more inside]
- A new installment of Stupid Watergate. James Comey tells Congress under oath that he had no doubt he was fired because of the Russia investigation, which everyone knew anyway but still sent shockwaves, and that wasn't the end of it.
- And Now: There Is No Group Of People More Easily Amazed Than The Audience Of "America's Got Talent."
- Main story: The continuing negotiations of the UK over Brexit, and the harm done to them by Prime Minister Theresa May's ill-considered snap election which lost her a lot of seats. YouTube (19m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Marijuana Legalization Season 4, Ep 7
So what happened last week?
- The Trump/Putin scandal continues, which the show has dubbed Stupid Watergate, because "it has all the potential consequences of Watergate, but everyone involved is really stupid." This week time it was Devin Nunez, whose claims of wiretapping Trump officials unraveled. Nunez himself was one of those alleged to have been wiretapped, a conflict of interest for an investigator.
- British PM Theresa May invokes Article 50, beginning the process of leaving the European Union.
- And Now: Yet Another Look at the Awkward Sex Talk on CBS This Morning.
- Main Story: Marijuana legalization, or rather, how its differing legality at state and national levels causes grave problems for businesses and users alike. YouTube (17m)
- And Now: Twenty-Seven Seconds of the Breakfast Foreplay That Is CBS This Morning.
- Finally, more of the Bolivian Traffic Zebras, who responded graciously to John Oliver's gushing about them in the previous episode.
Brexit resignations, Trump tantrums and MASSIVE CHICKEN NEWS. [more inside]
Nish Kumar joins Andy this time to discuss Britain post-Brexit, the refugee crisis and the Chicago Cubs
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: You should get that on a hat Season 1, Ep 17
Samantha Bee looks at Brexit and finds a real Scotsman to read mean tweets directed at Trump, how it can happen in the US and at Muslims seeing something and saying something. [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)