Game of Thrones: The Prince of Winterfell First Watch Season 2, Ep 8
The impending clashes take shape: Stannis vs. King's Landing. Dany vs. The House of the Undying. The Lannisters vs. Robb Stark. Northerners vs. Iron Islanders at Winterfell. Wildlings vs. The Night's Watch. Arya vs. Jaqen. [more inside]
Carnivàle: The Day That Was The Day Season 1, Ep 12
Ben turns to Lodz for advice; Stumpy and Rita Sue strike a deal to save their marriage; Sofie settles a score with Libby and Jones; Balthus and Brother Justin contemplate the former's greatest evil.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S.' Poor Work Provisions For New Mothers, Japanese Mascots Season 2, Ep 13
This week: United Kingdom holds elections and in an upset David Cameron remains Prime Minister. Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen refuses to pay up on a bet that Manny Pacquiao would defeat Floyd Mayweather in the World Heavyweight Boxing championship. Russia holds a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, but is snubbed by many world leaders protesting Russia's treatment of Ukraine. And Now: The Continuing Adventures Of The Most Patient Man On Television (Steve Scully of C-Span's Washington Journal), this time versus profanity. Main story: Mother's Day, and America's awful leave provisions for new mothers, among the worst in the world (YouTube 12m). LWT provides a helpful commercial illustrating US business' actual opinions towards mothers. And finally, Japan and its weird love affair with cartoon mascots for districts and government agencies. Supposing they may be on to something, LWT presents their own mascots for 11 U.S. government agencies. [more inside]
Game of Thrones: Kill the Boy Books Included Season 5, Ep 5
Daenerys tries to hold on to Meereen, Jon tries to hold on to the Wall, the Boltons try to hold on to the North and Jorah and Tyrion just try to hold on. [more inside]
Game of Thrones: Kill The Boy Show Only Season 5, Ep 5
Daenerys Targaryen ponders motherhood. Grey Worm ponders fear. Stannis makes a move. Jon makes a decision. Roose plans the future. Ramsay plans a wedding. Sansa finds a frenemy. Aemon finds his family. Brienne puts out feelers. Jorah puts out unwanted guests. And Tyrion takes a bath.
The authorized documentary on late Guitar/lead singer Kurt Cobain from his early days in Aberdeen Washington to his success and downfall with Grunge band Nirvana. Official site/HBO PAGE. [more inside]
Carnivàle: Day of the Dead First Watch Season 1, Ep 11
Lodz hatches a devious plan to reach Ben; Rita Sue upstages Catalina; Sofie does not like what she learns from reading Stumpy's cards; Iris proves she will do anything to advance her brother's career.
Game of Thrones: A Man Without Honor First Watch Season 2, Ep 7
Missing dragons. Horny Wildings. Escaped hostages. Reckless assassinations. [more inside]
Carnivàle: Hot and Bothered Season 1, Ep 10
Brother Justin returns to Mintern; Libby catches on to her mother's deception; Stumpy enlists a new dancer; Lodz and Lila wait for Ben to succumb to sleep.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Standardized Testing Season 2, Ep 12
This week: Baltimore protests over death of Freddie Gray. Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro targeted... with a mango actually, by a lady in a crowd, who wanted an apartment, so he gave her one, and so the floodgates opened. Bud Light unveiled a new slogan that is, unimaginably but actually, "The Perfect Beer For Removing 'No' From Your Vocabulary For The Night." LTW produces their own commercial for Bud Light, more prominently featuring the word NO, because "Bud Light tastes like the scared urine of a rabbit." The main story is on standardized testing. (YouTube 18m) Oh, and that is Wyatt Cenac in the Bud Light "commercial."
Carnivàle: Insomnia Season 1, Ep 9
Ben stays awake to keep from dreaming; Samson tries to drum up new business; Sofie worries that her mother is losing touch with reality; Iris reaches out to Brother Justin over the radio airwaves.
Game of Thrones: The Old Gods and The New First Watch Season 2, Ep 6
Theon's plan comes to fruition. Arya has a surprise visitor. Joffrey meets his subjects. Qhorin gives Jon a chance to prove himself. [more inside]
Carnivàle: Lonnigan, Texas First Watch Season 1, Ep 8
Samson sends Ben on a road trip to enlist a new attraction; Sofie debates defying her mother; Brother Justin receives treatments for religious excitation. [more inside]
This week: The 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, how it's reported in the US media, and Obama's attempts to tiptoe around the word genocide in official statements. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key is called out for repeatedly yanking a waitress' ponytail and pretending his wife did it YES THAT REALLY HAPPENED. An update on everyone's favorite media quack, Dr Oz fights allegations that his show is a biased, misleading, terrible source of medical information. And Now: Political Figures Interviewing Themselves. The main story: The fashion industry's long-standing and continued reliance on oversea sweatshop labor (YouTube 17m).
Carnivàle: The River First Watch Season 1, Ep 7
Iris gets unexpected support from a radio reporter; Rita Sue and Stumpy argue over their family's future; Ben and Ruthie hunt for snakes; Samson goes to work on the bally. [more inside]
Game of Thrones: The Ghost of Harrenhal First Watch Season 2, Ep 5
Confusion in the Stormlands. Catelyn joins with a new ally. Tyrion uncovers a hoarded secret weapon. Jaqen H'ghar offers Arya a gift. Theon attempts to prove himself. The Night's Watch arrives at the Fist of the First Men. Daenerys receives advice and a marriage proposal. [more inside]
Carnivàle: Pick A Number Season 1, Ep 6
The carnies get caught up in "Carnival Justice"; Ben's dark adventure ends; Brother Justin wanders in the wilderness, where he meets a group of hobos.
This week: Vladimir Putin holds his yearly four-hour marathon Q&A session with the Russian public. Oklahoma volunteer deputy Robert Bates shoots black suspect Eric Harris. In preparation for Earth Day (it's in a week), they took a quick look at the plight of the polar bear; not only is their habitat shrinking, but pollution is threatening the species by weakening male polar bears' pelvic and penile bones. In studio we meet Marshmallow, the Polar Bear With A Broken Penis. And Now: The Most Patient Man On Television Endures The American Public. (That would be Steve Scully of C-SPAN's Washington Journal call-in show.) Main story: Abuses of the US Patent system. (YouTube 11m) And Now: The Continuing Adventures Of The Most Patient Man On Television. And finally, we return to CNN's infamous "end of world" video, with Last Week Tonight's own proposed version (YouTube 7m), narrated by Martin Sheen and featuring footage of an old-time Western saloon peopled by cats.
Carnivàle: Babylon Season 1, Ep 5
The carnival arrives in Babylon; Samson treats the troupe to a night on the town; Ben falls down a mine shaft, where he encounters a familiar face.
Game of Thrones: Garden of Bones First Watch Season 2, Ep 4
Baelish arrives at Renly's camp just before he faces off against Stannis. Catelyn tries to convince the Baratheon brothers to abandon their quarrel and unite against the Lannisters. Sansa is abused by Joffrey in revenge for her brother's victories. Tyrion intervenes. Joffrey retaliates. Daenerys and her company arrive at the city of Qarth. Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie find themselves imprisoned at Harrenhal. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The IRS Season 2, Ep 9
This week: Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy for President of the United States. Brits prepare for upcoming electoral fights, including a heated race for Prime Minister between current PM David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Milliband. Obama meets Raúl Castro to work towards normalizing relations with Cuba. And Now: Excruciatingly Awkward Silences Caused By Technical Difficulties. Main story: The loathed IRS (YouTube 18m), the difficulty of their thankless job, and the issues an unpopular but essential agency faces when their budged gets slashed year after year. Michael Bolton sings a song in support; the word anus is used more than once.
Carnivàle: Black Blizzard Season 1, Ep 4
Lodz tests Ben's powers; Sofie socializes with a handsome cafe owner; Samson visits an old flame; Brother Justin struggles with an ultimatum. [more inside]
Game of Thrones: What Is Dead May Never Die First Watch Season 2, Ep 3
Catelyn journeys to the Stormlands to ask Renly Baratheon to ally with Robb to fight the Lannisters, Balon orders an attack on the North in Robb's absence while Theon must decide if his loyalties lie with his own family or with Robb. Tyrion enacts a cunning plan to root out Cersei's spy on the Small Council. Shae gets a new job. Bran continues to dream. Arya's situation gets worse. Jon is reprimanded. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Government Surveillance, Interview with Edward Snowden Season 2, Ep 8
This week: An extra-long episode of Last Week Tonight. Iranian nuclear talks, with John Kerry, the Beau Rivage Hotel and the Inglorius Fonkers. Real democracy makes inroads in Nigeria. President Obama goes to Utah, but hasn't been to South Dakota, so LTW produced a tourism video featuring "hobo George R.R. Martin." Main story: Government surveillance (YouTube 33m), plus interview with Edward Snowden. (Oliver: "HO-LEY SHIT. HE ACTUALLY CAME. EDWARD FUCKING SNOWDEN!") MeFi [more inside]
Carnivàle: Tipton Season 1, Ep 3
The sheriff of Tipton won't let Carnivale stop in his town. Brother Justin converts Chin's into a church. [more inside]
An in-depth look at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology by HBO based on Lawrence Wright's nonfiction book published in 2013. [more inside]
Carnivàle: After The Ball Is Over Season 1, Ep 2
Ben and Brother Justin meet in a dream. Ben is sent to clean out the baggage car and finds a mystery. Brother Justin tries to open a new church for the migrant workers. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Municipal Violations Season 2, Ep 7
This week: Elections in Israel go again to PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. --- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asks employees to discuss race matters with customers. --- 4th Graders in New Hampshire draft a bill to declare the Red-Tailed Hawk the official state raptor and travel to the state capital only to watch it get (metaphorically) shot down in flames. To make it up to the kids, LWT declares it the show's official bird, brings one into the studio, and airs a short promotional video. --- And Now: People On TV Honoring St. Patrick's Day In The Most Offensive Way Possible. --- Main story: Municipal violations in the US and how grievously they punish the poor. (YouTube 18m) LWT produced a short video piece against the practice, using hashtag #shutdownthefuckbarrel.
Carnivàle: Milfay First Watch Season 1, Ep 1
After the death of his mother, Ben Hawkins joins Carnivàle. Meanwhile, Brother Justin has a religious vision.
Girls: Daddy Issues Season 4, Ep 9
Hannah has boundaries, Shosh has a cake, Marnie has an announcement, Jessa has a date, and Ray has a speech to make. Meanwhile, Tad and Elijah go shopping.
Present day: Nearly a decade has passed since the filmmakers began investigating Robert Durst and his alleged crimes. They have spoken to more than 100 participants in Robert’s story, including family, friends, police, lawyers, jurors and journalists in an attempt to get at the truth.
Would anyone else be up for a "Carnivale" First Watch? [more inside]
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst: Family Values Season 1, Ep 5
Present Day: In the 33 years since Kathie Durst disappeared, no progress has been made in finding out what happened to her, or finding her body. Without answers, her family and friends continue to hunt for the truth.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The NCAA Season 2, Ep 6
ISIS gains an ally in Boko Haram. Ireland accidentally legalizes a number of psychoactive drugs for a day. Brazil prepares to investigate politicians taking bribes from oil companies. And Now: Newscasters Who Don't Know About You. Main story: NCAA is a billion dollar industry, but with many problems with how it treats its players (YouTube 21m). Last Week Tonight introduces the hashtag #soybeanwind and ends with an ad for their more realistic NCAA simulator video game.
2003. With Robert Durst on trial in Galveston, TX for the 2001 murder of Morris Black, many of those involved in earlier investigations – including Westchester DA Jeanine Pirro and Kathie Durst friends Gilberta Najamy and Eleanore Schwank – are convinced that a conviction is all but assured. [more inside]
2000: Susan Berman was the daughter of a famous Las Vegas mobster, Davey “The Jew” Berman, who was a partner with “Bugsy” Siegel in the Flamingo Hotel. Robert Durst’s closest friend since they attended UCLA together, she had a mobster’s mentality and matching code of ethics; people said she would do anything for a friend. [more inside]
2013: Durst’s interview with Jarecki begins with his childhood, when he witnessed his mother’s suicide. [more inside]
Girls: Tad & Loreen & Avi & Shanaz Season 4, Ep 8
Tad and Loreen (Hannah's parents) are in the forefront of this episode as Tad shares some news on the eve of his Loreen's tenure party (Avi and Shanaz are the party hosts). Hannah corrupts a minor (Maude Apatow). [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US Territories Season 2, Ep 5
This week: Federal civil rights committee finds evidence of systemic racism in Ferguson police department. Upcoming elections in Israel. Fanta ad pulled in Germany for referencing war-related origins. (Last Week Tonight makes a commercial for Fanta.) Main story: the rights of citizens and nationals in US territories. (YT 13m) How Is This Still A Thing: Daylight Savings Time. (YT 3m) And an update on the tobacco industry, and LWT's #jeffwecan tag and meme.
2001: A dismembered corpse is found floating in trash bags near Galveston TX. Police trace the body back to a grisly crime scene in Galveston, and arrest one Robert Durst for the killing of his neighbor, Morris Black. Durst, detectives soon learn, is the scion of one of New York’s wealthiest families. Soon, he makes bail and goes on the run... [more inside]
Girls: Ask Me My Name Season 4, Ep 7
Hannah goes for drinks with a new coworker before attending an unusual art show. Later, she spends time with Mimi-Rose, while Adam spends some time with Mimi-Rose's ex, Ace.
Should I post it? I've really been enjoying this new half-hour show from HBO, but this first season is scheduled for eight episodes and Sunday's was the seventh.
In Russia, another Putin critic, Boris Nemtsov was gunned down. (CNN) FCC passes Net Neutrality rules. (BBC) Scientists suspect gerbils, not rats, were responsible for bubonic plague. (New Yorker) Last Week Tonight makes a video apologizing to rats and demonizing gerbils. Main story: The crumbling national infrastructure of the United States, and why it's hard to do something about it. (LWT YouTube, 21m) LWT provides a trailer for an action movie about performing basic maintenance on roads and bridges.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Judge elections in the US and the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat Season 2, Ep 3
This week: Greece gets a loan reprieve. Cease fire violated in Ukraine, Egypt butchers the Russian national anthem. The UK's Labour Party tries to appeal to women by means of a pink bus (YT 4m). Last Week Tonight imagines what would happen if Labour did damage control in a video segment, Pretty Princess Ponies. Main story: The many problems with electing state judges in the US (YT 13m). And Now: CNN Weatherman Chad Myers Hates His Job, His Life and Everyone Around Him. China celebrates the beginning of the Year of the Sheep. Or is it Goat?
This week: The US Government pulls diplomats out of Yemen as Houthis take control of the country. Theaters saw the worldwide release of the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Ecuador president Rafael Correa carps back at John Oliver on Twitter (Washington Post). How Is This Still A Thing: the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (YouTube, 3m). The main story (YouTube, 18m) is on the current boom times for the tobacco industry around the world, and the efforts they've gone through to ensure them, which include suing countries through international courts to repeal and prevent public health legislation. Oliver presents a new mascot for free use of the tobacco industry, Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat. Twitter uses can show their support for Jeff with the hashtag #jeffwecan. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prescription drug marketing to doctors, the thin skin of Rafael Correa Season 2, Ep 1
This week: US Congressman Aaron Schock redecorates his office with a Downton Abbey theme. Argentina President Cristina Fernández catches flack for affecting a stereotypical Chinese accent on Twitter. Radio Shack files for bankruptcy and Last Week Tonight prepared a farewell message (YouTube, 3m), on their behalf. The main story: "Prescription drugs. The only ovals that can bring people in the Seattle area joy anymore." Marketing to doctors. (YouTube, 17m) And Equador president Rafael Correa calls out social media users who insult him on national television. John Oliver, in a helpful gesture to help Correa thicken his skin, provides his official Twitter handle, @MashiRafael, so internet users can directly insult him. That's right everybody: Last Week Tonight is back.
Podcast: NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast: Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Jane The Virgin' And Sexy Sex Thrillers
Both the sublime and the ridiculous get thorough airings this week as the team takes on the fine CW show Jane The Virgin and the bonkers sex thriller The Boy Next Door. [more inside]
Game of Thrones: Pilot: "Winter Is Coming" First Watch Season 1, Ep 1
Welcome to the continents of Westeros and Essos. It is the end of a decade-long Summer.
The Newsroom: What Kind of Day Has it Been Season 3, Ep 6
In the series finale, the newsroom staff attends Charlie Skinner's funeral. [more inside]
The Newsroom: Oh Shenandoah Season 3, Ep 5
Jim and Maggie fly to Russia to attempt to get seats on Edward Snowden's flight to Havana. Will spends 52 days in jail. Sloan butts heads with Neal's replacement. Don does a pre-interview with a college student who started a website allowing people to anonymously accuse others of rape. [more inside]