There are two topics covered at roughly equal length this week. The first is the long-awaited release of the Mueller Report, the contents of which reveal things that are entirely insane. On YouTube (15m). The other, almost as insane, is the story of Chiitan (TWITTER), an unofficial mascot for the Japanese city of Susaki. The behavior of Chiitan, a cartoon otter with a turtle on its head, was random, bizarre and violent, and so was asked to stop, by the city Susaki, associating with its official mascot, Shinjo-Kun (INSTAGRAM). But where some ways part, others join, so LWT sent one of their own mascots, Chii-john, a cute otter version of John Oliver, to Susaki to be Shinjo-Kun's new friend.
Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women—more than a million in total—were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten. Alexievich traveled thousands of miles and visited more than a hundred towns to record these women’s stories. Together, this symphony of voices reveals a different aspect of the war—the everyday details of life in combat left out of the official histories. [more inside]
When Andrei Kaplan's older brother Dima insists that Andrei return to Moscow to care for their ailing grandmother, Andrei must take stock of his life in New York. His girlfriend has stopped returning his text messages. His dissertation adviser is dubious about his job prospects. It's the summer of 2008, and his bank account is running dangerously low. Perhaps a few months in Moscow are just what he needs. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Stupid Watergate II: Fox News' Cries Of "Witch Hunt" Season 5, Ep 14
- Trump prepares for the (then) upcoming North Korea summit, of course, by not preparing.
- Philippine President and strongman Rodrigo Duterte very uncomfortably kisses a young woman before a crowd.
- And Now: Julie Chen Has A Few Questions For The Audience of "The Talk."
- Main Story: More on Stupid Watergate, this time about Fox News' efforts to normalize the idea that the Mueller investigation is a "witch hunt" by calling that through every channel available to them, in an desperate (yet somewhat effective) effort to get ordinary Americans thinking it must be one, despite the fact that they've already charged 20 people and three companies, and gotten five guilty pleas. Watch it on YouTube (18m).
- And Now: The Entire Seventeen-Minute Piece You Just Saw, Boiled Down To Eight Seconds.
- Finally, a bit about the UK. Last week's episode had a segment about the putdowns of House of Commons speaker John Bercow that could not air in the UK, because of a stupid law saying footage of the chamber could not be used in "light entertainment" or "political satire." Because they used such footage this week and thus UK viewers again cannot be shown the whole program, LWT offers five minutes of replacement content: Gilbert Gottfried reading Yelp reviews.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Guardianship for the Elderly Season 5, Ep 13
- The summit with North Korea is called off. North Korea sends Trump a message in an oversized envelope. Trump calls the summit back on. Trump admits he hadn't read the contents of the envelope. Leader of the greatest nation in the world, folks.
- Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is declared to be dead on worldwide news, but then discovered to be alive, his faked death an element in a sting to catch a group of Russian assassins.
- In the UK, the chairman of the British Monarchists Society, one "Thomas J. Mace-Archer-Mills, Esq.," a fixture on TV during the royal wedding, is revealed to actually to have been born and lived to his teens in the US, and even got an unrelated elderly British couple to call themselves his grandparents.
- And Now: The Very British Put-Downs of Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.
- Main story: Legal guardianship, a state under which senior citizens can be put where they have limited rights, and can find it difficult to get out of.
Homeland: Paean to the People Season 7, Ep 12
Carrie and Saul's mission doesn't go as planned. Elizabeth Keane fights for her presidency. Season finale. [more inside]
Homeland: Clarity Season 7, Ep 10
Carrie needs to choose a side. Keane needs an ally. Saul has an idea. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mike Pence Season 5, Ep 5
- Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
- Putin wins reelection as President of Russia to no one's surprise, ensuring horrible threats, poisoned opponents and meddling in foreign elections for foreseeable future.
- And Now: Local News Cannot Be Trusted With St. Patrick's Day
- Main Story: Mike Pence, the hyper-fundamentalist, hyper-intolerant Vice President in the Trump Administration, and the one person in it Trump cannot fire. His opposition to gay rights is well known, but, as Oliver admits, he has a cute rabbit named "Marlon Bundo." Pence has a book out, A Day in the Life of the Vice President, about his rabbit. LWT is putting out another book, about a different rabbit named Marlon Bundo, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, where a boy rabbit falls in love with another boy rabbit. (See inside for more.)
Homeland: Active Measures Season 7, Ep 5
Keane plays tactics to calm the situation in Richmond; Carrie assembles a team to put pressure on Simone; Saul pursues the Fake News agenda alone. [more inside]
The X-Files: This Season 11, Ep 2
Per IMDB, "A chilling secret is revealed when an old friend reaches out to Mulder and Scully in a seemingly impossible way." Per me, "FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully fall asleep on a couch in front of the TV, only to be awoken by a mysterious phone call." [more inside]
A mysterious thief has been using the internet to steal a bizarre array of items - watches, scooter parts, clown costumes. This week, Alex heads straight towards his hideout.
Fargo: The Lord of No Mercy Season 3, Ep 6
Gloria and Winnie get closer to the truth; Emmit tries to make things right; Nikki and Ray prepare for payback; Varga cleans up a mess. [more inside]
Battle for Sevastopol is a Russian/Ukranian co-production based on the WWII experiences of Lyudmila Pavilchenko, a young Ukranian student who becomes one of the war's deadliest snipers. With 309 confirmed kills in just over a year, Pavilchenko is brought to the White House to meet President Franklin D Roosevelt, the first Soviet ever to receive such an invitation. Pavilchenko meets and is befriended by Eleanor Roosevelt, who invites her on a promotional tour of the United States to rally support for the Soviet "Second Front" war effort despite her PTSD. [more inside]
Un village français: Le débarquement Season 1, Ep 1
How one small village in France deals with fascist takeover in WWII. Tanks begin rolling into town. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Dalai Lama Season 4, Ep 4
Over the last seven day period....
- The good will President Trump earned addressing Congress in a manner unlike a madman is burnt away by continuing revelations that his pick for Attorney General perjured himself in his confirmation hearing by claiming never to have met with the Russians.
- Trump also claims Obama tapped his phone, an allegation apparently gotten from the Breitbart website, then asks Congress to investigate whether it is true, reversing the usual order of investigations.
- And Now: Does Anyone Know If CNN's Brooke Baldwin Would Consider Herself A Nerd?
- Main Story: The Dalai Lama (YouTube 19m), and China's attempts to surpress his influence over Tibet. The bit concludes with an interview between Oliver and the Dalai Lama himself.
Occupied: Okkupert - Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
A decision to shut off Norway's oil/gas production by the ruling environmental party sets off a slow-motion invasion and occupation of Norway by Russia, condoned by the EU and unopposed by the U.S. A show so . . . plausible the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement in protest. [more inside]
Arrow: So It Begins Season 5, Ep 6
Felicity and Curtis learn that Prometheus' victims have a mysterious link to Oliver's past that could upend his new team. [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)
EUROVISION DAY IS HERE! The 2016 Grand Final begins at 2100 CET / 3pm Eastern / 12pm Pacific. As before, the live stream will be available via the Eurovision website, the Swedish broadcaster, SVT, and for the first time, through the LOGO TV website. (Note to LOGO viewers: commentary will be provided by Carson Kressley and Michelle Collins.) Viewers located outside the US can also watch via YouTube. [more inside]
The opening round of this year's Eurovision Song Contest is almost upon us! Semifinal 1 begins Tuesday, May 10th, at 2100 CEST / 3:00pm EDT. The live stream will be available via the Eurovision.tv website or directly from YouTube (link TBD). Let's talk fabulous hits and glorious misses! [more inside]
This week.... Vladimir Putin snubs the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, and Donald Trump demonstrates that nuclear weapons is another thing he doesn't have much knowledge about. Baseball season prepares to begin, and the New York Yankees annoy and frustrate fans by making it difficult to resell premium tickets online, claiming that the tickets may end up in the hands of people who the Yankees owner figures may not know how to treat the privilege of sitting in the first five rows at a Yankees game. LWT is running a short impromptu context: tweet a picture of yourself wearing something that would would look ridiculous sitting in premium seats at a Yankees game with the hashtag #IHAVENEVERSATINAPREMIUMLOCATION, and you can win one of those seats to a game. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Encryption Season 3, Ep 5
This week....Hillary Clinton apologizes for remarks made about Nancy Reagan on the occaision of her death. Trump rallies erupt in violence, but he claims (despite multiple recorded examples) not to have encouraged it. International Women's Day is observed, sometimes oddly, throughout the world. Swiss president Johann Schneider-Ammann commemorates the Day of the Sick with a weird speech. And Now: Everybody Listen, Bernie Sanders Has Something to Say. Main story: Software encryption (18m), especially relevant concerning Apple's current court case. LWT made a commercial on behalf of Apple about the nature of software security. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: North Dakota Season 2, Ep 30
Russia fires cruise missiles at targets in Syria and Iran, and the U.S. suspends their rebel training program. FIFA's ethics committee suspends Sepp Blatter for 90 days, and all his replacements are either being investigated themselves or might be soon. The U.S. asks Toyota how come so many of their trucks have gotten in the hands of ISIS. And Now: John McCain's Favorite Joke. Main story: North Dakota's oil rush, and the environmental and human cost to the state. LWT produced a video appeal to North Dakota to hold oil companies to greater account for their malfeasence, and paid for a billboard in the state saying "Be Angry. (Please.)" YouTube (20m) [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health, Peeple Season 2, Ep 29
Vladimir Putin launches air strikes against ISIS in Syria. Quick takes from the United Nations general debate: Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe defends their anti-homosexuality laws; Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaims the Iran nuclear deal by silently staring them down for 45 seconds; dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko brings his 11-year-old son to sit beside him in the General Assembly. The Secret Service hits scandal yet again by trying to embarass Congressman Jason Chaffetz by leaking his old job application to their agency. And Now: People On Television Talking Shit About Their Producers. Main story: the horrifying plight of the mentally ill in the United States. YouTube (12m) And Now: Newscasters Stretching The Definition Of The Word "Exclusive." And finally, the new "Yelp for people" app, Peeple... wait that sounds a bit familiar. Last Week Tonight launches a website to facilitate people saying awful things on the internet without actually hurting anyone: screamintothevoid.com. Or consider another suggestion by LWT: Peeble, an app which rates people according to the opinion of Mario Van Peebles. [more inside]
Alex's faith in Dr. Strand is tested as another piece of his past unravels, and her search into the Order of the Ceonophus uncovers a dark origin.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: LGBT Discrimination Season 2, Ep 26
This week.... Hostilities flare up between North Korea and South Korea. Vladimir Putin bans the import of many types of food from the West. Greece President Alexis Tsipras resigns (but will still run for reelection) after just seven months in office amidst controversy over his bank-mandated austerity measures. And Now: Another Check-In With The Most Patient Man On Television. (That would be Steve Scully of C-Span's Washington Journal.) The main story: discrimination against LGBT couples still legal in surprisingly much of the nation. YouTube (15m) And Now: The Most Patient Man On Television Faces His Greatest Challenge. Finally, a follow-up on the business of John Oliver's church, Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption. They got rather a lot of mail, including a giant bag of seeds, followed by gianter bag of seeds the next day. They also got beef jerky and a 100-Trillion-dollar bill from Zimbabwe (worth about 40 cents). Last Week Tonight is taking a break for two weeks. [more inside]
This week.... The Obama administration reaches a historic deal with Iran, but has difficulty selling it to Congress. FIFA president Sepp Blatter is in Russia to kick off preparations for the 2018 World Cup. Ashley Madison, a website that encourages and helps set up affairs between married people, was hacked and the responsible parties threaten to release records on their userbase. LWT produced a short message exhorting married citizens of Ottawa not to have affairs. Main story: The absurdity of mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the US. YouTube (15m) And Now: Unnecessary Full Disclosure. Ukraine threatens to blacklist Gérard Depardieu as a threat to their national security (Guardian) for a statement made last year at a film festival. Over the closing credits, LWT provides a brief slideshow of photos of Depardieu set to "cartoonishly French music." [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Online Harassment of Women Season 2, Ep 18
This week: Shootings in South Carolina. Russians plan "Patroit Park," a theme park for national military fans. The US $10 bill is being redesigned to include a woman's face. And Now: C-Span Callers Suggest Women For The $10 Bill. Main story: On the harassment of women on the internet. YouTube (17m) Last Week Tonight remakes an old AOL ad.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: US torturing of detainees, upping the stakes against Jack Warner Season 2, Ep 17
This week: Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko warns Vladimir Putin likely to invade soon. Azerbaijan prepares to host the European Games, a new Olympics-style sporting festival, drawing closer scrutiny for their terrible human rights record. Canadian senators discovered to have spent over a million dollars of the government's money for things like golf and fishing trips, hockey tickets and holidays -- but spent $24 million to discover it. And Now: Newscasters Trying Not To Swear. The main story is on torture, American's attitudes and misconceptions regarding it, and how little has changed since we learned the CIA engaged in it, how it doesn't work, and why we seem to think that it does. LWT got Dame Helen Mirram to read key excerpts from it. YouTube (15m) And Now: Newscasters Not Trying Not TO Swear. And finally, an update on former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who responded (3m) to Oliver's Trinidad TV response (4m) to his video (7m). The "epic and dramatic music" in Warner's is Ash (3m), by The Secession.
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]
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.
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]
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?
Agent Carter: The Iron Ceiling Season 1, Ep 5
Peggy finally goes on a tactical mission in the field and calls on some old friends from the war to help. [more inside]
Regular Show: The Real Thomas Season 6, Ep 8
Thomas the Intern reveals his true allegiance.
The Blacklist: The Decembrist (No. 12) Season 2, Ep 8
Berlin goes on the warpath against the forces who made him believe his daughter was dead and sent him to the gulag, including officials in high positions in both Russia and the United States. Liz has trouble keeping Tom's imprisonment a secret. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sugar in US food, interview with Dr. Jane Goodall Season 1, Ep 22
Sweden freaks out over possible Russian sub offshore near their capital. New York freaks out over Ebola patient. Some of the results from last week's Real Animals/Fake Paws court footage. Main story: FDA plans rules on disclosing on nutrition labels how much sugar is added to food, but are opposed by food manufactuers. Interview with Dr. Jane Goodall. Some of the gaffes of Toronto mayoral candidate Doug Ford, Rob Ford's brother.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Translators in Afghanistan, Livening Up Supreme Court Reporting Season 1, Ep 21
Ebola Freakout. Vladimir Putin has a full day. McDonalds hires a former Mythbuster to promote their food. Main story: the plight of military translators (16m), with guest "Fnu" Mohammad. And Now: People in Congress Reminding you Exactly How Long They've Been In Congress. How to liven up Supreme Court proceedings (6m): take a cue from Keyboard Cat and replace courtroom drawings with dogs. Presented with raw footage of dogs (and a duck and a chicken) (11m) that news agencies (and you, the viewer at home) can use to make your own backing footage of Supreme Court audio.
When a Russian musician defects in Bloomingdale's department store in New York, he finds adjusting to American life more difficult than he imagined. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Payday Loan Industry, Russia Bans Food Imports Season 1, Ep 14
This week: Americans striking ISIS in Iraq with aerial bombardment. Russian gang steals 1.2 billion internet passwords. A three-day cease-fire in Gaza doesn't quite go the distance. A long piece on the payday loan industry. (16m) Russia bans Western food imports.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Thailand Mad At John Oliver, Nuclear Weapons, #GoGetTheGeckos Season 1, Ep 12
This week: Flordia Representative Curt Clawson mistakes Americans for Indian government figures on camera, ISIS may have ordered genital mutilation for women in an Iraqi city (but may not have, at least they deny it), Thailand's government annoyed with Last Week Tonight's coverage of their silly prince (with a bit about nations with a lèse-majesté law), newscasters annoyed at what they're covering, a long piece on nuclear weapons in the US (YouTube, 15m), politicians using outdated pop culture references, and the temporary loss of that Russian gecko sex satellite (YouTube 3.5m).