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]
Smoking bans, too much coffee, and a subway crisis are the evergreen subjects Metafilter's own griphus and superfluousm tackle as we discuss an all-timer and a you-can-skip-er episode on the only Newsradio podcast ever created. It's all right here, in episode 2.
The Break with Michelle Wolf: Pilot Season 1, Ep 1
Michelle Wolf's pilot episode: Michelle does a stand up style intro, Michelle shows us she's a feminist by sitting behind a desk, then talking sports, Michelle & Amber Ruffin talk about being women who don't want children, we see a preview for the new show: Strong Female Lead [more inside]
The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and high jinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war. [more inside]
A spoiled schoolgirl runs away from home, gets pregnant while hitch-hiking, and ends up as a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes. [more inside]
An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Rehab Season 5, Ep 12
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married. Next!
- North Korea may call off the summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un over demands that the country denuclearize. John Bolton says on air they were using "The Libyan model," which turns out to be the worst thing he could have said; autocrats the world over have obsessed over Gadaffi's horrible death since it happened in 2011.
- And Now: Local News Gets A Little Too British For The Royal Wedding ("Hello gov'ner." "Cheerio!" "Hallo hallo!" "Tally-ho." "A spot of tea?" etc.)
- Main Story: Rehab, a 35 billion dollar industry. Federal law requires health insurance to pay for some of it, but there are no federal standards for what "Rehab" means, leading to a situation ripe for abuse by unscrupulous people.
- And Now: Just Look At This Bunch of Royal Wedding Shit.
Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there's an adventure in everything. [more inside]
A hobo accidentally stumbles onto a water spring, and creates a profitable way station in the middle of the desert. [more inside]
Two stoners unknowingly smuggle a van - made entirely of marijuana - from Mexico to L.A., with incompetent Sgt. Stedenko on their trail. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Venezuela Season 5, Ep 11
- A Trump aide was heard to say something unkind about John McCain, regarding his dying of brain cancer, thus fulfilling everyone's dreaded expectations for the kind of people Donald Trump would employ in his office.
- Scandals swirl around the Trump administration yet yet again again, as Michael Cohen comes under allegations for selling access to Trump.
- And Now: Local News Gets Real About Mother's Day
- Main Story: Venezuela. A piece reminiscent of the pre-Trump era, about the serious problems faced by a country that isn't the United States, about the trials currently suffered by Venezuela, which are less about socialism and more about epic levels of mismanagement. Its next elections are on May 20. Its former President was Hugo Chávez, an extremely popular leader who nationalized the oil industry and allowed his citizens to reap the rewards, although his government was notoriously corrupt. His successor, Nicolás Maduro, has not fared nearly as well. It's a long and very interesting piece, ending with Lin-Manuel Miranda in a bird suit pleading with Maduro to get his act together.
Two years after giving birth to her daughter, a very pregnant Ali Wong returns in her second original stand-up comedy special, filmed at Toronto's Winter Garden Theatre. [more inside]
In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black Sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary. [more inside]
A group of U.S. soldiers sneaks across enemy lines to get their hands on a secret stash of Nazi treasure. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Show Me Going Season 5, Ep 20
Official Fox synopsis: "When Rosa responds to an active shooter alert, the rest of the squad is forced to stay back, desperately fearing for her safety. Feeling helpless, Jake frantically brainstorms ways to offer his assistance, Terry faces an existential crisis and Gina and Amy try to make themselves useful by fixing Rosa’s broken toilet."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Bachelor/ette Party Season 5, Ep 19
Official FOX synopsis: Charles plans an elaborate scavenger hunt for Jake’s bachelor party, but the day goes awry when the guys decide to take some short cuts instead. Meanwhile, Amy’s bachelorette party escalates when the ladies realize she previously slept with a member of her soon-to-be wedding band. [more inside]
Two con men try to settle their rivalry by betting on who can swindle a young American heiress out of $50,000 first. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Iran Deal Season 5, Ep 9
- The FBI raided Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen's offices. Everyone's asking, "Will he 'flip?'"
- Ryan Zinke, Trump's Secretary of the Interior, oversees the largest reduction in America's public lands in our nation's history, and calls himself a geologist under oath despite having never worked as one. He's also a deeply strange man.
- And Now: Somebody Please Tell Ryan Zinke He's Not a Geologist
- Main story: The Iran Deal, which Trump has been loud about disliking, asserting the people who wrote it were "babies." LWT takes a deep look at what it is and what it's for. The deal is important for limiting Iran's nuclear hopes, but Trump, his national security advisors and Sean Hannity are all against it. In a last ditch effort to get it through to him, LWT has paid for ad time during Hannity's show in the DC area featuring everyone's favorite, the Catheter Cowboy.
After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult. [more inside]
A free-spirited woman "kidnaps" a yuppie for a weekend of adventure. But the fun quickly takes a dangerous turn when her ex-convict husband shows up. [more inside]
A young group of monster fanatics attempt to save their hometown from Count Dracula and his monsters. [more inside]
An unemployed visionary becomes the manager of a local public station. The station becomes a success, with all sorts of hilarious sight gags and wacky humor. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Corporate Taxes Season 5, Ep 8
- The Comey interview, which happened after LWT taped.
- The FBI raids Michael Cohen's office, home and hotel room. And a bunch of other stuff happened as well.
- And Now: Ari Melber, Rap Genius
- Main story: Corporate Taxes, the lengths that companies go to in order to avoid them, and how they stand to profit under Trump's budget.
- And Now: Ari Melber, Rap Genius, Volume Two: Just Jay-Z Quotes
- There are two remaining Blockbuster Video locations remaining in the United States, last remnants of a vast empire, and one of them is in Alaska. Last Week Tonight bought Russell Crowe's leather jockstrap from the movie Cinderella Man at auction, among a lot of other stuff. How do these two facts concide? Well, let's just say the store should get in touch with LWT within the 48 hours after airing.
When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Puzzle Master Season 5, Ep 15
Official Fox synopsis: "Jake surprises Amy with an investigation into a string of arsons connected to her favorite crossword puzzle author, Vin Stermley (guest star David Fumero). Meanwhile, Gina helps Holt jazz up his Commissioner candidate speech, and Terry, Rosa, Hitchcock and Scully argue over who is most deserving of the new detective car." [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Crisis Pregnancy Centers Season 5, Ep 7
This week (see inside for expanded contents)....
- Trump Administration news: EPA head Scott Pruitt comes under fire for wasteful spending.
- Hungary right-wing PM Viktor Orban is expected to win his fourth term.
- And Now: Coming Up On "The Doctors."
- Main story: Crisis Pregnancy Centers, facilities that exist to talk women out of getting abortions, are cagey about admitting their purpose, and now greatly outnumber actual abortion providers in the U.S. LWT founds "Our Lady of Choosing Choice" to show how easy it is to start such a non-profit, which is eligable for federal funding.
A nerdy florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed. [more inside]
A minor league baseball player has to spend thirty million dollars in thirty days in order to inherit three hundred million dollars. There's a catch however: he's not allowed to tell anyone about the deal. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Immigration Courts Season 5, Ep 6
- President Trump appoints to the head of the VA his White House doctor.
- Egypt has a Presidential election, the winner of which will almost certainly be strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, since one of his opponents was arrested and three more intimidated into withdrawing. His only opponent, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, was a supporter of his!
- Sinclair Media Group's continued efforts to turn local news into Fox News 2, including must runs trying to push the idea of a "deep state" working against Trump, and trying to push an idea that national media outlets push fake stories. (Links below fold.)
- And Now: Baseball's Back, And Local News Knows Exactly What That Means. (It means weird concession food.)
- Main Story: Immigration Courts, which are a complete mess. One judge said of them, "In essence we're doing death penalty cases in a traffic court setting." Furthermore, they're not criminal courts but civil courts, meaning many guarantees, such as for legal council, are not available, and they're not part of the Judicial Branch, but instead, of the Executive Branch, and Jeff Sessions can in fact review cases himself. In some, children as young as three are actually asked to represent themselves before a judge. Just to drive home how stupid that is, LWT produced a bit of a court show in which everyone but the defendant (H. Jon Benjamin!) is three or four: Tot Bench.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Box Season 5, Ep 14
Official Fox synopsis: "Jake embarks on an all-night long interrogation in order to elicit a confession out of a suspect (guest star Sterling K. Brown). But when Captain Holt skips the opera in order to stay back and help, the two cops clash over how to get him to talk."