[MST3K: The Movie] "Every Year Hollywood Makes Hundreds of Movies. This Is One of Them!" A mad scientist performs an experiment on a man he has trapped in a low-budget space station: he makes him watch the movie This Island Earth, with the hopes of using it as a tool to conquer the world. The man and two robot friends defend their sanity by making fun of the movie, for their (and presumably our) amusement. [This Island Earth] "The Supreme Excitement of Our Time!" Handsome bold Guy Scientist and smart-and-sexy Lady Scientist are abducted into OUTER SPAAACE by Exeter, an alien with a BIG FOREHEAAAD, to help in their doomed war. MST3K the Movie came between Season Six and Season Seven of the show. It is unique for the show in many ways: it was shown in theaters, it is much shorter than an episode of the show (it's actually shorter than an unedited version of the movie they riff!), there's only two host segments, and there's only one Mad, Dr. Forrester, what with TV's Frank having left in 624. It's a pretty good entry point for the show in general, which might be useful considering what's happening in three days.... MST3K: The Movie is not available on YouTube. Premiered April 18th, 1996. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Gerrymandering Season 4, Ep 8
- Gorsuch appointed to Supreme Court via the "nuclear option," Devin Nunez recuses himself from investigating Trump as he himself is comes under an ethics investigation, and Thursday: Trump launches missiles at a Syrian airfield on very short notice and without apparent strategy while Brian Williams sings rhaposodies about their beauty. It's an act that, like so many of Trump's other acts, he tweeted against when Obama did it.
- Bill O'Reilly hit by revelations that he settled multiple sexual harrasment suits totalling 15 million dollars over the years, leading to around 60 advertisers pulling ads from his show, but somehow a defense from Donald Trump. Sensing an opportunity, LWT pushed to fill some of the vacated time with their Catheter Cowboy, who will hopefully soon be telling Trump: "You're blowing this. You're sacrificing the chance to make society a better place on the altar of your towering ignorance and your fragile ego. YOU ARE BLOWING THIS."
- Main story: The gigantic problem of gerrymandering, mostly from Republicans, but from some Democrats too, as well as the difficulties with redrawing districts fairly and intelligently. YouTube (20m)
Angie Tribeca: Third Season Season 3, Ep 0
Angie retires to become a stay at home mom for little... Angie? Who's... Two and a half? Then she returns to solve the case of a trophy hunter hunter.
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.
Trial & Error: An Unwelcome Distraction Season 1, Ep 4
A new suspect ends up in a coma.
Trial & Error: The Other Man Season 1, Ep 3
The defense team learns a shocking secret about Larry's wife.
Over the past 10,080 minutes....
- "President Trump, two words that continue to sound bad together, like 'Horse Pope,' or 'Dr. Oz.'" Trump meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time, whom he denigrated often on the campaign trail. He refused to shake her hand, which was almost as weird as that hand-pull thing he does when he shakes hands.
- Trump also doubled-down on claims that Obama tapped his phones, claiming as a source a "talented legal mind" on Fox who turned out to be noted conspiracy theorist Judge Andrew Napolitano. Even Fox News backed away from the claim. Fareed Zakaria described Trump's behavior on CNN by using the word "bullshit" and variants of it several times.
- And Now: Morning News Shows Celebrating St. Patrick's Day Literally The Only Way They Know How.
- Main story: The Federal Budget and Trump's plans for it, which are predictably terrible.
- And Now: A Special St. Patrick's Day Moment From Fox & Friends.
- Finally... Bolivian Traffic Zebras. Bolivian Traffic Zebras. People in Zebra costumes helping traffic in Bolivia. Oliver asks, what situations wouldn't be made better by a helpful person in a zebra costume, and answers: nothing. To this end, LWT has posted green screen footage of a dancing zebra to their YouTube channel, for the use and wonder of all.
Review: Third season Season 3, Ep 0
Forrest MacNeil returns for his life's work, having survived the fall from the bridge at the end of season 2.
During the past 168 hours....
- International Women's Day and reactions it it from around the globe, from Russian President Vladimir Putin, from Brazil President Michel Temer, and a particularly clueless San Antonio TV morning show host.
- Wikileaks leaked documents concerning the CIA, although this batch is rather less alarming than Snowden's. It is filled with ridiculous program names though. Program Weeping Angel investigated the possibility of hacking into Samsung TVs to use them as listening devices, which, after two notorious recalls, is everything that company needed. LWT presents a message on behalf of Samsung to try to salvage their reputation, but it doesn't go too well.
- Main story: The Republican response to the Affordable Healthcare Act, the American Health Care Act (YouTube 19m), and the many ways in which it's terrible. The piece concludes with another visit from LWT commercial proxy, the Catheter Cowboy.
Love: On Lockdown Season 2, Ep 1
Season 2 opens seconds after season 1 ends, with Gus and Mickey at the gas station where they first met.
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.
So, last week....
- "Unfortunately, we must begin, again, with President Trump, two words that continue to sound unnatural together, like 'Walrus Porn,' or 'Tilda Swinton.'" Trump promises a crackdown on illegal immigrants, despite problems hiring ICE agents, and withdraws Obama-era guidelines for transgender students in school bathrooms.
- And Now: Some Random Thoughts From WCBS2 Meteorologist John Elliott
- Main Story: The Affordable Care Act (YouTube 19m), and Republicans trying to repeal it despite unexpected (to them) popular opposition. LWT examines what it is, problems with it, and Republican plans to fix it.
- And Now: WCBS2 Meteorologist John Elliott Drops Some Famous Names
- Finally, the Supreme Court. Republicans refused to hold a hearing for Obama's Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland for 11 months, so that they'd have the opportunity to have their guy Neil Gorsuch confirmed, a historic abberation. To reflect this, LWT's Dog Supreme Court is filling the seat, not with a dog, but by a choice of three lobsters, that they're asking viewers to vote for on their Twitter feed.
A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend's mysterious family estate. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Vladimir Putin Season 4, Ep 2
So, what happened last week?
- President Trump continues to amplify unquestioningly whatever whimsical story was presented on Fox News, this time that Sweden is having problems with immigrants, which Sweden denies.
- The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong-nam (Wikipedia), was poisoned in an airport, by a woman who claims she was told to do it as part of a reality show.
- A Florida man plotted to have bombs placed in 10 Target stores in order to drive stock prices down.
- AND NOW: Fox & Friends is Painfully Aware of Who is Watching Them
- MAIN STORY: Russia, specifically Vladimir Putin (YouTube, 20m). Him, his regime, how he's profited, what happens to those who oppose him, and Trump's fascination for him. LWT produced a short dance number about him, refering to the Russian pop song praising Putin.
Adolf Hitler wakes up in the 21st century. He quickly gains media attention, but while Germany finds him hilarious and charming, Hitler makes some serious observations about society. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trump vs. Truth Season 4, Ep 1
The first episode of season four! And so let's get right on to THIS WEEK....
- The inauguration of Donald Trump, and his whirlwind of activity, which Oliver describes as "the tip of the shitberg."
- AND NOW: Donald Trump Can't Shake Hands Right.
- MAIN STORY: Trump vs. Truth (24m, NSFW). While just over a quarter of Obama's statements rated Mostly False or worse by Politifact.com, nearly 70% of Trumps rate so. In the process of covering this rich topic, we visit a Fox News commercial with a "cowboy," Breitbart, Alex Jones (apparently a primary source of information for him). They cover the history of the "three million voted illegally" lie from Twitter rando to President-Elect Trump to clueless person parroting it, creating a hideously self-reinforcing echo chamber that is currently driving policy in the United States.
Crashing: Series 1 ( All Episodes) Season 1, Ep 0
Phoebe Waller-Bridge's other 2016 comedy revolves around the lives of six 20- and 30-somethings living together as property guardians of a large, disused hospital. Crashing is similarly filthy, funny, sad, and weird to PW-B's Fleabag, if a bit looser.
A simple-minded gardener named Chance (Peter Sellers) has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television. After a run in with a limousine, he ends up a guest of a Ben (Melvyn Douglas), an influential but sickly businessman, and his wife, Eve (Shirley MacLaine). Now called Chauncey Gardner, Chance becomes friend and confidante to Ben and an unlikely political insider.
Call My Agent!: Cécile Season 1, Ep 1
At a top Paris talent firm, Agence Samuel Kerr (ASK), agents scramble to keep their star clients happy and their business afloat. Andréa fires her assistant and hires a neophyte on a trial basis; Gabriel searches for a way to break bad news to aging Belgian star Cécile de France; and Mathias cleans up his partners' professional messes with aplomb, but can't seem to shake a past indiscretion.
Please Like Me: Babaganoush Season 4, Ep 1
A threesome goes wrong, teddy bears' lives are threatened, a lovers' tiff makes a family barbecue awkward, and a revelation over a chocolate quinoa slice makes Josh realise he's had it up to here with things.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Fugitive, Part 2 Season 4, Ep 12
B99 fall finale continued! When the ninth and final fugitive -- a triple murderer (guest star Charles Baker) -- eludes the Nine-Nine, Jake has only one person he can go to... [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Fugitive, Part 1 Season 4, Ep 11
It's time for a two-part Brooklyn Nine-Nine fall finale event! Nine dangerous and desperate fugitives have escaped from a crashed prison van, and the Nine-Nine are on their trail. [more inside]
Jon Glaser Loves Gear: Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
Jon Glaser loves gear. He loves it so much that he pitched a reality show to TruTV about gear: shopping for it, buying it, using it. Through the first season Jon has gone camping, played hockey, and chilled out, and alienated his family , among other things. The first season of Jon's quest for gear concluded yesterday with "Sailing". [more inside]
A couple get into an argument that's ostensibly over dinner party preparations, the argument escalates into a break-up, and things only get worse from there. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Latvia Season 4, Ep 10
It's Christmastime at the Nine-Nine, and Boyle's adopted son Nikolaj ("NEE-ko-LAAAAHJ") wants a hard-to-get Captain Latvia action figure. Will he and Jake have to bust up the entire Latvian mafia to get that toy? POSSIBLY SO! Meanwhile, Holt tries in vain to get the rest of the squad into harmony for their singing competition against the honey-voiced MTA, and Gina -- ever the taste-maker -- discovers an amazing new musical called Hamilton.
People of Earth: Season 1 (full show) Season 1, Ep 0
Ozzie Graham (Wyatt Cenac) is a reporter who has worked for The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Glint Enterprises, but when he goes up to the small town of Beacon, New York to report on StarCrossed, a support group for people who believe they've been abducted by aliens and... meet in a Catholic church for some reason, he finds more than an interesting story. He decides to move to Beacon and spend more time with the “experiencers” (do NOT call them “abductees”). [Airs/ streams on TBS, the final two episodes will air Monday, Dec. 19, 2016] [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Overmining Season 4, Ep 9
After incompetent day-shift Captain C.J. (returning guest star Ken Marino) fumbles some key evidence in a drug-trafficking case, Jake and Holt decide to help him get the collar -- and a transfer out of the Nine-Nine. Meanwhile, a beleaguered Terry battles Gina over her energy-inefficient space heater; Elsewhere, Boyle introduces Rosa to his favorite night shift pick-me-up, but is something suspicious afoot?
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Skyfire Cycle Season 4, Ep 8
When Terry's all-time favorite fantasy author (guest star Fred Melamed) receives threats from a Sad Puppy-esque fan, Jake helps him overcome his jitters at meeting his hero to crack the case. Meanwhile: Gina launches an unstoppable charm offensive against Boyle's cousins; Amy and Rosa try to patch up a Monty Hall problem-related marital spat between Holt and Kevin. It's a nearly All-Previously-On-MeFi episode of B99!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Monster in the Closet Season 4, Ep 6
When hard-boiled weirdo cop Adrian Pimento (returning guest star Jason Mantzoukas) reappears after spending months in hiding, he and Rosa decide to tie the knot, and the whole gang pitches in to help. But perhaps the universe has other plans? Meanwhile, Holt experiences VIN-DI-CA-TION! [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: 2016 Election Result Season 3, Ep 30
This week (11/13):
- The only story is the outcome of the 2016 Election and the selecting of Donald Trump as the next US President. The full consequences of this are detailed, and his staff picks are discussed, and also offered is a look into how this happened: the prevailing use of social media to isolate people into echo chambers and feed them disinformation. A list of many organizations you can donate to and volunteer for is offered. It ends with a hearty FUCK YOU to the year 2016.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Multilevel Marketing Season 3, Ep 29
This week (11/7):
- The final pre-Election 2016 segment! Contains a couple of old Daily Show clips, of John Oliver 1. begging Donald Trump to run for the comedy potential, and 2. claiming the Cubs will never win.
- And Now: The Inevitable, Sad Consequences of Morning Shows Celebrating Halloween
- Main story: Multilevel marketing companies like Herbalife, Kyäni and "Nu Skin," and their suspecious similarity to pyramid schemes. With LWT's own pyramid scheme at the end -- money isn't involved, but passing a video around to five of your friends is. Because MLM companies are now targeting the Latino community, the segment is offered on YouTube with Spanish subtitles. English - Spanish subs (both about 32m))
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: School Segregation Season 3, Ep 28
Week of 10/30:
- Regrettably, more on the 2016 Election, putting aside a story on Pirate Party making progress in Iceland, among others, to make room for it. OH WELL:
- The FBI finds a few Clinton emails in an investigation into oh god I can't believe I'm typing this Anthony Weiner, yes HIM again, Carlos Danger himself. Worth watching just for the footage of Biden reacting to the words "Anthony Weiner."
- And Now: The Stream-Of-Consciousness Musings of WCBS-2 Meteorologist John Elliott
- Main story: School segregation, and its surprising continued prevalence, not in the South, but in New York state. YouTube (18m)
- How Is This Still A Thing: Voting On Tuesday (It turns out to have started because, in the 1800s, people were expected to be spending Monday travelling to the polling place to vote.) YouTube (4m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Opioids Season 3, Ep 27
Week of 10/23:
- The final debate of the election, and some highlights of awful Trump statements made during it, particularly his promise to keep us "in suspense" as to whether he'd accept a loss or not. Clinton and Trump were also both present at the Al Smith dinner in New York, where Trump spoke, and bombed. Henry Kissinger's reaction to Trump's speech: "Dis is not good." At the end, in order to allow Trump to save face should he lose the election, Oliver makes a bet with Trump on-air: he will bet Trump that he wins the elction, with the stakes being Oliver's Emmy award statuette.
- And Now: You'll Never Guess What Christ Matthews' Favorite Movie Is
- Main story: The rise of addictive opioid prescription pain killers (Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet), resulting in over 30,000 overdose deaths a year, and actively promoted, predictably, by the pharmaceutical industry. YouTube (19m)
- People Who Somehow Got Elected: US Representative from Wisconsin's 6th District Glenn Grothman.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Third Party Candidates Season 3, Ep 26
Week of 10/16:
- Donald Trump has had quite the week as multiple women come forward with news of unwanted contact. Trump continues to rotate wildly, lashing out at both Clinton's campaign and his own. But dangerously he also loudly proclaims at rallys, "The election is rigged!"
- And Now: The Most Patient Man on Television (Steve Scully): 2016 Election Edition
- The issues with third party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green), who despite Johnson's loud recorded protestations, have a high chance of being spoilers this election cycle. YouTube (19m)
- And Finally: A Glimpse Into the Innter Workings of the Most Patient Man on Television
Detectorists: Season 2 Discussion Season 2, Ep 0
Baby Stan has arrived, Andy has qualified as an archaeologist, and there’s a search for the mayor's missing chains of office.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Guantanamo Bay Season 3, Ep 25
For the week of 10/9:
- Trump's tape talking to Billy Bush bragging about being able to grope women. A portion of it on YouTube (5m)
- And Now: A Look Back At Billy Bush's Creepy Bromance With Donald Trump YouTube (1m10s)
- Main story: Guantanamo Bay, President Obama's continued difficulties in closing it, and the true meaning of "Freedom Isn't Free." YouTube (21m)
- And Now: A look Back At Billy Bush Being Creepy With Everyone. YouTube (1m20s)
- Another look at Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who's now running a reality show and staging martial arts battles among children. This is the guy who Oliver teased earlier this year, asking "Is this your cat?"
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Night Shift Season 4, Ep 4
After being assigned the dreaded night shift as punishment for last week's Florida adventure, the gang deal with it in different ways: Jake refuses to let the wee hours (or his injured leg) keep Charles and himself from solving cases, Amy suspects Rosa of slacking off on the job, and Holt attempts to raise precinct morale the only way he knows how. [more inside]
Superstore: Guns, Pills and Birds Season 2, Ep 4
Jonah doesn't want to work the gun counter. Glenn starts a side business. A crow gets stuck in the store.
- Trump tries to spin his terrible debate performance by citing terrible, exploitable online polls, and his thin skin somehow gets even thinner, as he casts aspersions on a former Miss USA winner by, well.... Oliver: "That is a candidate for President of the United States urging America to check out a sex tape. Just do me a favor. Look up into the sky right now. Higher. No, higher still. Do you see that? Way up there? Way up above the clouds? That's rock bottom. And we are currently way down here."
- And Now: Newscasters Quoting Movies
- Main Story: Police accountability, or rather its lack, as it turns out that police who use deadly force practically never get called on account for it, due to a variety of increasly infuriating reasons. YouTube (20m)
- And Now: Newscasters Quoting Movies, All Christ Matthews Edition
- More on Wells Fargo, how the company retaliated against whistleblowers who called an internal ethics hotline to warn of wrong-doing. It turns out that the case for ethics had been made by a training video that Wells Fargo themselves had commissioned. The host of that video, it turns out, now works as a writer for Last Week Tonight! He stars in an update for that video. YouTube (4m)
This (last) week:
- The protests in Charlotte over yet another police shooting, and the release of video from the incident.
- Employees for Wells Fargo created a huge number of accounts for people without their knowing, in order to extract fees for those accounts, due to an "aggressive" sales campaign.
- And Now: Wait, Is WCBS2 News at 11 Just Fucking With Us At This Point?
- Main story: The scandals plaguing the Clinton and Trump campaigns, how the Clinton ones tend to be more annoying than truly serious, while the Trump ones tend to all be blockbusters that would doom any other candidate, resulting in scandal fatigue. YouTube (21m)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS Season 5, Ep 23
"Teen-agers zoom to supersize and terrorize a town!" Opie invents a magic growth formula, called "Goo," that turns surly teens into Olympian gods! It's the beach party of Ragnarok, and boy, is Andy ever gonna be pissed! It's another low-budget schlockfest from the most prolific of all MST directors, Bert I. Gordon; indeed, it is the last of his films the show would do. Although MST had a rule against doing comedies, Village of the Giants is partly one, although with suspiciously low-grade jokes. The script is based off of H.G. Wells' Food of the Gods. Musical guests The Beau Brummels and Freddy Cannon give this film rather more star power than you might expect from Mr. BIG's projects. It's a pretty good episode! The movie's certainly riffing fare, but is still watchable and fun all the same. And in the host segments, prepare yourself for a visit from an old fiend.... YouTube (OFFICIAL, with Annotations!) (1h32m) Premiered January 22, 1994. [more inside]
Transparent: Full season Season 3, Ep 0
The Pfefferman family splinters into disparate journeys on their continued path of self-discovery. Then everyone goes on a cruise!
Vice Principals: Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
Vice Principals just finished airing on HBO this past weekend. Another collaboration between Jody Hill and Danny McBride, the show treads familiar ground, featuring two terrible men (McBride and Walton Goggins) who plot and scheme against one another in an attempt to take the top spot of the pecking order at a South Carolina high school after the previous principal (Bill Murray) retires. However, an outsider named Dr. Brown (Kimberly Herbert Gregory) ends up taking the job that each man sees as rightfully his. Through 9 episodes, the two sink lower and lower in their efforts to unseat Brown. [more inside]
One Mississippi: Tig Notaro's new Amazon Prime series Season 1, Ep 0
Tig Notaro's new series One Mississippi is a fictional "traumedy" based on events in Notaro's life, and follows her as she returns to her hometown after a double mastectomy and the sudden death of her mother. Released September 9th, the first season tells a complete story in six 30-minute episodes, with a full narrative arc that includes both dramatic and comedic high points. This post is for discussion of the entire 3-hour story, so spoilers within. (Most important spoiler: it's great.) [more inside]
Woody Allen's latest: In the 1930s, a young Bronx native moves to Hollywood where he falls in love with the secretary of his powerful uncle, an agent to the stars.
Morris (Markees Christmas) is a 13-year-old African-American who moves to Heidelberg with his dad (Craig Robinson), who coaches professional soccer. The film explores Morris's romantic and coming-of-age misadventures. [Trailer #1 | full soundtrack listing] [more inside]
Based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz (Miles Teller) and Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill), who worked their way up the ladder of Pentagon contracts to land a $300 million contract to arm America's allies in Afghanistan. [Trailer #1, Trailer #2] [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Charter Schools Season 3, Ep 22
- US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte (4m) and others trashed a men's restroom, and Lochte flees to us while his collegues are detained.
- Main story: The downsides of many charter schools (18m): poor planning, profit seeking and corruption.
- And Now: One Final Second of Olympic Swimmer Ryan Lochte The Perfectly Encapsulates His Entire Personality, Career and Worldview.
- Finally, LWT tonight noticed surprising parallels between the campaign of Donald Trump and the book "The Kid Who Ran For President." Part 1 (5m) - Part 2 (5m)
- Hillary Clinton releases her tax returns. Donald Trump claims Obama founded ISIS. He also claims that, if Hillary beats him, it must have been because of vote cheating. He also loves charts. Part 1 (4m) - Part 2 (4m)
- The American Petroleum institute airs a new commercial, and totally rips off the style of Last Week Tonight's intro! Of course you know, this means war. (4m)
- Main story: Predatory auto lending (18m) and its effects on the disadvantaged.