I'm Sorry: Seasons 1 and 2 Season 0, Ep 0
Almost finished binging the first two seasons of this hilariously, filthy comedy and loving it. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Psychics Season 6, Ep 2
You might not think much about psychics these days, but they're still all over the place, on daytime talk and "reality" shows especially. LWT takes a look at how they continue to bilk people. The main story is on YouTube.
Don't stop the camera! Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie movie in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility, when they are attacked by real zombies. [more inside]
Miracle Workers: Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
When God (Steve Buscemi) plans to destroy the Earth, two low-level angels (Geraldine Viswanathan, Daniel Radcliffe) must convince their boss to save humanity. They bet him they can pull off their most impossible miracle yet: help two humans fall in love.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: He Said, She Said Season 6, Ep 8
Jake and Amy investigate a workplace harassment and sexual assault case at a big financial firm; Holt is suspicious when his old nemesis "The Disco Strangler" dies. [more inside]
Janet hosts a party to celebrate her new promotion, but once the guests arrive it becomes clear that not everything is going to go down as smoothly as the red wine. [more inside]
Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton work in a corporate office. Their boss is a pig. When they manage to trap him in his own house they assume control of his department and productivity leaps, but just how long can they keep him tied up?
Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: CATALINA CAPER Rewatch Season 2, Ep 4
Rewatch! What do you get when you cross a beach movie with a heist movie? Nothing good! It does contain a musical number by Little Richard. This movie marks the establishment of the rule that MST3K would avoid comedies, but it's still a fairly well-remembered episode from the show's classic era. With this film, we're back in Joel territory for a while! Previously
PEN15: Season 1 (Complete) Season 1, Ep 0
Comics Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle play versions of themselves as 13-year-old outcasts in middle school in the year 2000, surrounded by actual 13-year-olds. [more inside]
Based on the initially anonymous blockbuster 1996 account of Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign in 1992, the film version continues the novel's weak à clef distance, casting a thinly disguised John Travolta as Bill and Emma Thompson as Hillary as they navigate the ethically trying road to the White House. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: A Tale of Two Bandits Season 6, Ep 5
When a car thief seemingly copies the MO of the now-retired (and possibly deceased?) Pontiac Bandit Doug Judy, it's up to Jake and Terry to crack the case. Meanwhile, the rest of the Nine-Nine submit to a drinking contest to defend Shaw's Bar from an attempted FDNY takeover. Guest starring Nicole Byer and Rob Riggle!
The story of the titular girl known only as "The Girl with the Black Hair" and her insanely long night of partying and drinking-complete with a book fair, festival, and many adventures in between. It is also the story of "Senpai," her upper class man who has been attempting to get closer to her by "coincidentally" running into her again and again. However, on this night, meeting up with her may be the greatest challenge of his life. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Tattler Season 6, Ep 3
Jake and Gina attend their 20th high school reunion. Back at the Nine-Nine, Charles helps Rosa with her love life. Also: crinkling noises. [more inside]
Schitt's Creek: Season Five First Watch Season 5, Ep 0
As we begin the new season (after a lovely Christmas special), Moira is filming her comeback movie in Bosnia and David is working on taking his relationship with Patrick to the next level. [more inside]
Future Man: Replay One Season 2, Ep 0
Josh wakes up... or does he? after saving the world... or did he? in the future... or is it? You know what, who knows what the hell's going on anymore. But Future Man is back, and things are as grimy as ever.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Honeymoon Season 6, Ep 1
The Nine-Nine is back, now on Thursdays on NBC! (Spoiler inside!) [more inside]
Schitt's Creek: Season 2 Season 2, Ep 0
After a failed attempt to sell the town, the once rich and powerful Rose Family come to the depressing realization that their stay may be longer than they originally hoped. But the Roses will bloom again – even if it’s in Schitt’s Creek. [more inside]
Schitt's Creek: Schitt's Creek Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
A wealthy businessman (Eugene Levy), his soap-opera acting wife (Catherine O'Hara), and their 2 adult children have their assets stripped from them from the feds except ownership of a rural town named Schitt's Creek.
Patriot: American Dimes Season 2, Ep 1
John must make a choice at the train platform - be free from his obligations and adversaries by letting Agathe take the money or pursue her in an effort to protect his brother, father, and country.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Family Separation Season 5, Ep 28
- 2018 Midterms, which has been exceptional in negativity. California Congressman Duncan Hunter accused opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar of being a terrorist trying to infiltrate Congress; Iowa Congressman Steve King, who has been notorious for associating with white nationalists and got pissy when confronted about it before cameras, and lost the support of a number of corporate PACs; and in Nebraska's 1st district a sign promoting Jeff Fortenberry was defaced with googly eyes and changed to read Jeff Fartenberry, causing his Chief-of-Staff to accuse a local professor, who was unlucky enough to have "liked" a Facebook photo of the sign within his random notice, of supporting vandalism.
- And Now: Out Annual Check-In With The Consequences Of Combining Local News Shows And Halloween
- Main story: Immigration, "The system that brought you me, but it's still good, and I promise that won't happen again." Specifically, the Trump administration's family separation policy. It's faded from the news, but its consequences have not ended yet. Content warning: horrifying consequences of the enforced separation of children from their parents. YouTube
- And Now: Halloween Part II: Just The Traffic And Weather
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: State Attorneys General Season 5, Ep 27
- Violence marred the prior week, and Fox News went out of their way to position the attacks as "false flag" operations, supposedly stages by Democrats to make Republicans look bad. Geraldo Riviera "outsmarts himself" in making such allegations.
- Saudi Arabia continues to try to explain the disappearance, likely murder, of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while President Trump and right-wing figures try to downplay the killing of an American resident.
- Main story: the role of state Attorneys General on our nation, their role in investigating wrongdoing, and the increasing degree to which the offices have become politicized. YouTube
- Special productions: A WWE commercial that properly notes the fact that it takes place in Saudi Arabia, and the problems that causes; a concert for bagpipes, accordion, theremin and recorder (multiple, played by young children) to annoy people to stepping away from their TV sets and actually researching their states' candidates for Attorney General. A good place to do that, they note, is at Vote411.org.
This week (after a gap of some episodes, sorry about that), after an introduction acknowledging Trump's embarrassing UN conference and the Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty, the whole show was devoted to the main story, Brett Kavanaugh's looming confirmation, and the terrible implications if he is confirmed. [more inside]
As the only relative to take over the Royal throne, a down on his luck American slob must learn the ways of the English. [more inside]
Dark satire in which the token black man on the executive board of an advertising firm is accidentally put in charge. Renaming the business "Truth and Soul, Inc.", he replaces the tight regime of monied white ad men with his militant brothers. Soon afterwards, however, the power that comes with its position takes its toll on Putney... [more inside]
When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival. [more inside]
When a group of teenage friends go on a spring break camping trip, an unfortunate accident sets off a race against time to save their friend's most prized possession. [more inside]
This episode aired on July 29:
- More Stupid Watergate, "Something with the potential gravity of Watergate, if the entire White House was on bath salts and Nixon was a raccoon with his head stuck in a jar of peanut butter." Revealed is that Cohen secretly taped interactions between him and Trump, and some of one of the tapes was leaked, relating them planning to keep a story about Trump's affair with Playboy Bunny Karen McDougal secret. Also, Cohen claims Trump knew in advance of the meeting with Russian representatives in Trump Tower. And, Mueller is looking into whether Trump's tweets constitute obstruction of justice.
- Facebook loses $119 billion dollars of value, 19% of its total valuation, overnight. That's more than the value of the entire global cheese market: Facebook's stock dropped by the concept of cheese. It's because of piracy issues, which they've apologized for via an ubiquitous ad. LWT provides one of their trademark more honest versions.
- Main story: Workplace sexual harassment. In the wake of a number of prominent male executives being brought down, it's looking like something may finally be done about it... except that the current situation shares a lot of things in common with the 90s, at which time everything was supposed to change, and then, didn't. The issue became national news with the testimony of Anita Hill before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The last act was a great interview with Anita Hill herself.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Gene Editing and CRISPR Season 5, Ep 17
Let's catch up a bit, shall we? This was the episode that aired July 8, 2018:
- Trump's "We got more money, we got better brains, we got more houses," etc. speech.
- The week's prerequisite bombshell was the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. As of this writing his position has still not been filled. Oliver reminds us that this has the potential to be really really bad for reproductive and LGBT rights. Democrat hopes to block mean once again playing America's most depressing game show, HOPE SUSAN COLLINS FLIPS AND BE DISAPPOINTED WHEN SHE DOESN'T!!! Jeffery Toobin made a tour of talk shows to make sure everyone's hopes were appropriately dead.
- And Now: For Canada Day, The Most Canadian Thing Imaginable: Polite Interactions Between Professional Curlers At The 2018 Tim Hortons National Championship
- Main story: Gene editing, and how a revolution in technology, "CRISPR," puts it into the hands of people literally working in their garage. Contents: jacked, sexy beagles; work on reviving wooly mammoths; irresponsible biohackers; the hope to wipe out malaria; an Australian man who hates invasive cane toads; a Lyme disease experiment on Nantucket Island; the question of whether deafness and dwarfism are diseases that should be eliminated; and China's pushing the boundaries of gene editing. It's on YouTube (20m).
- And Now: Hey Guys--What The Fuck's Going On With Animals In Florida?
Irene must endure 2 weeks of community service at a retirement home. Following her passion for cheerleading, she secretly signs up the senior residents to audition for a dance-themed reality show.
Who Is America?: Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
Is it funny, rude, productive, deceitful, illuminating, mean, subversive, constructive, or a great example of how we got where we are today pretending to be a solution to where we are today? Sacha Baron Cohen's latest "entertainment" involves four characters (disguises) who question political figures, celebrities, and ordinary citizens about the current state of American politics. [more inside]
A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome. [more inside]
A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. [more inside]
In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe. [more inside]
Hannah Gadsby's Netflix special seems like it's going to be a stand-up comedy routine but ends up being a meditation on, among other things, the limitations of comedy. Currently being discussed on the blue here. This one needs a content warning for discussions of misogyny and homophobic violence, both emotional and physical.
A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mexican Elections Season 5, Ep 16
Last week (at one remove)....
- Trump reacts to outrage over his policy to separate the children of illegal migrants to the US from their parents, first by insisting he couldn't change it, then when the outcry became too great, changing it. Because he LIES.
- 7-11 courts controversy in Norway by advertising condoms on television and in train stations there a defense against chlamydia, which has especially high incidence rates there. The spots called Norway the "Land of Chlamydia."
- And Now: Local News Is Concerned About Teens
- Main story: Mexico, and their upcoming (well, yesteray's) elections, the largest in that nation's history. The approval ratings of their current President, Enrique Peña Nieto, went down to 12% from public anger over corruption. The show looks at a number of competitors for the top job, and their issues, sometimes considerable ones. The main story can be watched on YouTube (20m).
- And Now: Kathie Lee and Hoda Are Slowly Becoming One.
Romantic comedy about a woman who must steal a statue from a Paris museum to help conceal her father's art forgeries, and the man who helps her. [more inside]
A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: China President Xi Jinping Season 5, Ep 15
- Trump's summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un happened. The result was what Oliver reminds us is a Trump speciality, something akin to an "Ice Cream Blow Job." Something that sounds great, but when you think about it, doesn't actually mean anything.
- Thousands of children were forcibly taken from parents due to the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy over illegal imigration, an act that has infuriated millions.
- And Now: Senator Chuck Schumer Is Caught In An Endless Graduation-Speech Time Loop
- Main story: China President Xi Jinping has overcome term limits, had his ideas enshrined in China's constitution, and cultivated a cult of personality around himself. Under him, China's released catchy viral videos to advance their economic interests. LWT made their own to remind everyone of their human rights issues. The main story (20m) is available on YouTube.
The dying words of a thief spark a madcap cross-country rush to find some treasure. [more inside]
A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town. [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.
Fairhaven is a literal bubble in a world gone wrong, where monster hunters deal with goblins, the gig economy, and dudes named Chad. [more inside]
Ghosted: The Wire + The Demotion Season 1, Ep 11
After months without a fresh new case, everyone starts getting very bored and a little crazy. [more inside]
Inspector Jacques Clouseau investigates the murder of Mr. Benjamin Ballon's driver at a country estate. [more inside]
A conman gets mixed up with a group of thieves who plan to rob an Istanbul museum to retrieve a jeweled dagger. [more inside]
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.
Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam. [more inside]
A con artist couple (Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins) may have met their match in their latest target (Kay Francis). [more inside]