- The Parkland shooting.
- Scandals around the world: South Africa, Australia, Israel
- And Now: For Valentine's Day, Local News Presents Some Heart-Shaped Shit
- Main Story: Trump Vs. The World, on Trump's terrible foreign policy, which has eroded US soft power around the world.
2 Dope Queens: New York Season 1, Ep 1
The first of 4 HBO specials from comedy duo, and Cocoa Khaleesis, Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson. Directed by Tig Notaro. Airs on HBO, Fridays at 11:30pm. [more inside]
The Deuce: My Name Is Ruby Season 1, Ep 8
Vincent balks at getting in deeper with Rudy, as expansion fever hits Frankie and Bobby. Candy gets a taste of directing, and enjoys the red-carpet perks of a major premiere. Alston finds himself in limbo at his precinct. Abby changes up the Hi-Hat's clientele; Sandra faces editorial and legal hurdles; Barbara and Thunderthighs connect with the wrong sort of clients; Vincent settles a score. C.C. encourages Ace, a onetime pimp, to get back in the game.
The Deuce: Au Reservoir Season 1, Ep 7
The Deuce's pimps face obsolescence; Candy eyes a higher profile; Vincent confronts Abby's past. [more inside]
The Deuce: Why Me? Season 1, Ep 6
An end-of-the-year crackdown by police in and around The Deuce sparks Vincent and Bobby. Candy tries to persuade Harvey, her adult-film director, that she can do more than act. Rudy witnesses a pivotal lower-court ruling on obscenity, and enlists Frankie and Big Mike to protect his interests in the peeps. Alston tries to convince Sandra that he's not just a "source."
The Deuce: What Kind of Bad? Season 1, Ep 5
Both Candy and Paul push forward into their futures in spite of setbacks. Darlene takes a vacation and comes back with a friend. Sandra starts pursuing her connections, Vincent demurs on the cathouse, college life bores Abby, and Bobby is at a crossroads.
The Deuce: I See Money Season 1, Ep 4
Vincent and the mob continue getting complicated with each other, Candy has a variety of client experiences and considers other options, Paul gets a bit more involved, and so does Sandra. Larry's still a dick.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Forensic Science Season 4, Ep 25
- Puerto Rico, where three million American citizens continue to deal with the destruction from Hurricane Maria, while President Trump and his administration both aggrandizes their efforts to help while demeaning them for needing help. The debacle comes at the end of a weak of failures by Trump and team. Trump also claims the Republicans' most recent attempt to ruin health care failed because a senator "was in the hospital." (No one was in the hospital.)
- Trump's efforts to pass tax reform, or as he himself calls it a massive tax cut, which the Tax Policy Center has determined would actually raise middle class taxes and accrue most of the benefits to the top 1% of taxpayers. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dismisses those concerns, predictably.
- And Now: Guy Fieri Gives A Surprisingly Detailed Tour of His Favorite Place on Earth ("Flavortown.")
- Main story: the use of forensic evidence in the solving of crimes. While jurors are conditioned by shows like CSI to expect conclusive proof to come from forensic evidence, the National Research Council has stated that many "forensic sciences" don't meet the basic requirements to be called "science." Last Week Tonight produced a short promo for the show "CSI: Crime Scene Idiot." YouTube (19m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Corporate Consolidation Season 4, Ep 24
- Donald Trump criticizes NFL players for taking the knee during the National Anthem to protest the treatment of black people by police in the US, because there is no issue of which he won't take the wrong side.
- A couple of Trump administration officials came under fire for their use of costly private jet flights. Tom Price reportedly made 24 such flights at a combined cost to US taxpayers of $400,000. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, worth $300 million, made a request (later withdrawn) to use a government jet, along the way being snide to the entire state of Kentucky.
- And Now: A Preview of Megyn Kelly's New Morning Show. (Quote from Megyn Kelly saying she hopes her show can be a "unifying force.")
- And Now: A Look At The "Unifying Force" That Is Megyn Kelly. (A quick selection of clips of her time at Fox News being anything but.)
- Main Story: Corporate consolidation. As we're reminded by clips from 34 politicians, "small businesses are the backbone of our economy." Despite rhetoric, the rate at which small businesses have been created has been falling since the 1970s, perhaps because large businesses have been getting larger and larger. YouTube (15m)
- And Now: All of Jim Cramer's Sound Buttons, Replaced With Fart Noises
- Finally, part two of the tale of the unreasonably large train set Last Week Tonight made for Scranton, PA channel WNEP's backyard train set. The station refused LWT's gift because it was just too dang big. (They had suspected it might be, but figured it'd just be more fun to build the thing anyway.) The train didn't go to waste however; it now lives in the Lackawanna County Electric City Trolley Station & Museum.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Joe Arpiao Season 4, Ep 23
Whew, what with hurricanes and stuff it's been a while! This episode is now a month old! Let's take a step back in time, to an age when we were, due to the aging effects of the Trump presidency, all several years younger:
- Trump's busy week. First he met with Congressional leaders to hammer out a deal to raise the "debt ceiling." (Suprisingly, Trump sided with the Democrats, giving them additional leverage in December when the time comes to make the deal again, and infuriating Republicans.) Then Trump gave the floor to his daughter Ivanka, annoying the further hell out of the Republicans (fortunately, they have an ample supply of hell to spare). No one seems to know why Trump did either of those things.
- Trump announces that he's ending Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), putting the fate of 800,000 undocumented immigrants in immediate jeopardy, then immediately spins and says Congress should really get off their butts and do something about this tragic circumstance he created. Trump on why he did it: "Either we have a country, or we don't have a country."
- And Now: A Look At What the NFL Will, And Will Not, Tolerate (This relates to players taking the knee during the National Anthem. This was before Trump directly attacked players who did so, provoking a considerable backlash, with many more players joining the protest.)
- Main story: the (then) recently pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his many horrible acts, his downfall, and why Trumps pardoning of him was an awful thing to do. YouTube (14m) Warning: segment includes footage of Arpaio painfully droning "My Way.")
- And Now: Joe Arpaio Singing Another Song With No Sense of Irony Whatsoever (the theme from Fame, aka "I'm Gonna Live Forever")
- Finally, Scranton, PA station WNEP mentioned Last Week Tonight's mentioning of them on the air for the strangely controversial backyard train set they run on-camera during the weather report. Prompted by this, LWT went and build a ridiculously large train set for them, to have. More on that in the next episode....
The Deuce: Show and Prove Season 1, Ep 2
The ladies of the Deuce enjoy lobster sauce, Candy falls in love with the silver screen, C.C. proves that pimping ain't easy, and Vincent gets an offer that he can't refuse.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: North Korea Season 4, Ep 21
- Violence in Charlottesville, where a Neo-Nazi drove a car into a group of counter protesters, killing one and injuring several others, after which Donald Trump refuses to admit that Nazis are bad. Oliver: "David Duke and the Nazis really seem to like Donald Trump, which is weird because Nazis are a lot like cats. If they like you, it's probably because you're feeding them."
- AND NOW: HIGHLIGHTS FROM ROBOCUP 2017, first without, and then vastly improved by Univision Deportes Commentator Luis Omar Tapia.
- Main Story: North Korea, the most dangerous rogue nation in the world, and its leader Kim Jong Un, whom Donald Trump seems to be personally insulted by, resulting in a dangerous exchange a couple of weeks ago between the two thin-skinned madmen. Last Week Tonight put together a helpful package of information on the country, revealing such facts that the accordion is the country's national instrument, and that video of US television programming, most notably NCIS, is smuggled into North Korea on USB drives. At the end LWT presents a special number by "Weird Al" Yankovich asking North Korea not to nuke us. YouTube (27m) - Metafilter
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US Border Patrol Season 4, Ep 20
So, that week that just happened. What about it?
- Another Trump dump. Now he's complained about the White House, insulted the state of New Hampshire, and his new Communications Director is an incredible asshole.
- And Now: You Wish You Loved Anything As Much As Seattle Gardning Expert Ciscoe Morris Loves Everything.
- Main story: The Border Patrol. They aren't from Immigration, and they're not customs officers. In fact, their function isn't to keep everyone out; one of their roles is to welcome migrants seeking asylum from Central America. An executive order from Trump directs the hiring of 5,000 more border agents, but it turns out it's not the first such hiring surge we've done, and the last one didn't go well. YouTube (20m). It's a tough and incredibly boring job, while their commercials make it seem exciting; LWT produced a new commercial for them to give viewers a more accurate impression of the position.
Insecure: Real as F**K Season 1, Ep 7
Everything comes to a head at the fundraiser. Daniel shows up, Issa and Molly argue about therapy, Lawrence becomes more suspicious.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Alex Jones Season 4, Ep 19
Okay, so there were these seven days, and during them, this happened:
- President Trump announces--via Twitter--a blanket ban on transgender individuals serving in the US military. Oliver: "We may already be entering the Mad Libs portion of Trump's presidency, where he just persecutes groups at random."
- The Republicans' efforts to repeal the ACA, aka Obamacare, failed on every level, as Senator John McCain, the deciding vote, voted NO in dramatic fashion.
- Scaramucci's ascent to White House Press Secretary, an auspicious reign that will certainly last forever.
- And Now: More Newscasters Desperately Trying Not To Say The Words "Suck My Own Cock"
- Main story: Alex Jones, favorite talk host of Donald Trump and the "Walter Cronkite of shrieking batshit gorilla clowns," his show, and the vast array of merchandise, sold on his web storefront, that keeps it afloat, much of it medical supplements and other supplies ("nutri-ceuticals") of dubious benefit. Warning: contains images of the "perineal area." (shudder) YouTube (22m)
Veep: Chicklet Season 6, Ep 5
Having settled on a location for her presidential library, Selina and Mike get to work on her book. Meanwhile, Dan lands in a gossip column.
Veep: Justice Season 6, Ep 4
Selina and her team attend the funeral of a Supreme Court Justice. Amy works on securing a location for Selina's library. Dan tries to maintain his upswing with his co-host. Jonah finds an issue.
Room 104: Ralphie Season 1, Ep 1
A young woman comes to Room 104 to babysit Ralph, who has locked "Ralphie" in the bathroom. Content warning below the fold. [more inside]
Veep: Georgia Season 6, Ep 3
Selina and her team travel to Georgia (the country, not the state) to oversee the country's first free election.
Game of Thrones: The Queen's Justice Books Included Season 7, Ep 3
Euron teaches about crowd-work. Sam levels up in medical skill. Dany makes a deal. Tyrion broods.
Game of Thrones: The Queen's Justice Show Only Season 7, Ep 3
Daenerys holds court. Cersei returns a gift. Jaime learns from his mistakes. [more inside]
Game of Thrones: Stormborn Books Included Season 7, Ep 2
Daenerys convenes the Rebel Alliance. Jon gets Captain James T. Kirk Syndrome. Iron Island ships meet in the night. Arya meets old friends.
Game of Thrones: Stormborn Show Only Season 7, Ep 2
Daenerys receives an unexpected visitor. Jon faces a revolt. Tyrion plans the conquest of Westeros. Euron makes gets Cersei a gift. Arya faces a decision, as does Theon. [more inside]
Game of Thrones: Dragonstone Show Only Season 7, Ep 1
SHOW ONLY THREAD. Jon Snow organizes the defense of the North. Cersei tries to even the odds. Samwell discovers crucial information. Daenerys comes home. [more inside]
A mockumentary that chronicles the prevalence of doping in the world of professional cycling. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sinclair Broadcast Group Season 4, Ep 18
- Trump's travel ban is partially-reinstated by the Supreme Court in anticipation of its upcoming full review to not affect refugees with a "credible claim of a bona-fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," which Trump's State Department took the opportunity to define narrowly to immediate and a select few extended family members, not including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or brothers or sisters-in-law. YouTube (5m partial)
- And Now: CBS 2 Meteorologist John Elliott Engages in a Bit Too Much Self-Deprecation
- Main Story: The dangers posed by Sinclair ownership of television stations filling local news reports with Fox News-style propaganda, including "must run" conservative pieces. LWT produced a short piece that Tribune stations that might be acquired by Sinclair could air to warn viewers about upcoming biased content that may appear there. YouTube (19m)
- News that Rachel Maddow bought a wax figure of President Eisenhower from the closed Hall of Presidents and First Ladies in Gettysburg, Steven Colbert bought Zachary Taylor, Jon Steward bought Martin Van Buren, and LWT bought five President statues: Nixon, Clinton, Carter, Harrison and Warren G. Harding, that last one of which became the main character of a movie trailer LWT made, with Campbell Scott, Anna Kendrick, Michael McKean, James Cromwell and Laura Linney. YouTube (9m)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Vaccines Season 4, Ep 17
- Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray, as promised, decided to sue Last Week Tonight for their coverage of them. DJWheezy managed to find a PDF of the actual complaint on The Daily Beast's website! (So you don't have to mess around with their annoying web interface.) Give that a read, if only for the mental image of Bob Murray claiming he's clinging to life and needs an oxygen tank to breathe.
- In explaining that he actually has no tapes of his conversation with James Comey, President Trump embarks on a nonsensical digression about Obama and surveillance, leaving Oliver to ask "What the fuck was that?" And it wasn't even the end of the clip....
- The Senate moves forward, but not yet to a vote, on their own version of ACA replacement, the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," which would drastically cut Medicaid.
- And Now: The Ongoing Controversy Over WNEP 16 Scranton's Backyard Train, and later, Seriously: The People of Scranton Are Very Invested in WNEP 16's Backyard Train.
- Main story: Vaccines, an amazing discovery that has reshaped the modern world for the better, and vaccine skeptcism, which seeks to destroy it. YouTube (27m)
Silicon Valley: Server Error Season 4, Ep 10
In the Season 4 finale, Richard's caught in a web of lies in a last-ditch attempt to save Pied Piper. Meanwhile, Jared plans his exit when he's worried about Richard's future; Jack tries to change the narrative; and Gavin plots his comeback.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US Coal Industry Season 4, Ep 16
So recently you may have heard these things happening....
- The mistrial in Bill Cosby's sexual assault case, the result of which prompted Cosby to exclaim Fat Albert's catchphrase "Hey hey hey!" while exiting the courtroom, further soiling all of our memories.
- The incredibly unpopular AHCA Take Two, accompanied by a fitting graphic of the GOP logo with a blue skull superimposed with stars for eyes. Of the version passed by the House, Trump (who held a presentation where he celebrated its passing) was quoted as saying it was "mean," the irony entirely lost on him. Its very existence is causing problems in insurance markets, as companies decide if they want to pull out of the current markets or not.
- And Now: Things People's Fathers Used To Say
- Main Story: Coal, coal mining jobs, coal executives, coal mining companies, executives of coal companies, and Donald Trump's fixation on the mineral, discussed divorced of its (tremendous) ecological toll. Eventually the story comes around to involving a giant squirrel.... YouTube (24m)
Silicon Valley: Hooli-con Season 4, Ep 9
Erlich goes on a trip to get his mojo back while the guys head to Hooli-Con, where Jared faces a moral dilemma; Gilfoyle and Dinesh are distracted by Keenan; and Richard becomes obsessed with an ex's new beau.
- A new installment of Stupid Watergate. James Comey tells Congress under oath that he had no doubt he was fired because of the Russia investigation, which everyone knew anyway but still sent shockwaves, and that wasn't the end of it.
- And Now: There Is No Group Of People More Easily Amazed Than The Audience Of "America's Got Talent."
- Main story: The continuing negotiations of the UK over Brexit, and the harm done to them by Prime Minister Theresa May's ill-considered snap election which lost her a lot of seats. YouTube (19m)
Silicon Valley: The Keenan Vortex Season 4, Ep 8
Richard ponders a deal with the tech world's latest "it" boy; Jack faces setbacks.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Paris Climate Agreement Season 4, Ep 14
- Terrorist attacks in London killed 7 and injured more. The American news media is full of stories of London "reeling" and "under siege." Londoners take issue with that description, continue drinking beer and carrying on.
- Vladimir Putin is in many places, from clips to an Oliver Stone series of interview on him to interviewing former Fox host Megyn Kelly, where he admited Russian citizens may have interfered with the US election, while Trump's administraion looks into returning Russian compounds on US soil known to have been used for spying.
- And Now: 60 Minutes Anchors Are Still Prompting People To Give Them The Exact Soundbites They Need.
- Main story: Trump announces that he is pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement, a decision with possibly disasterous consequences. YouTube (21m)
- And Now: Still More 60 Minutes Anchors Prompting People To Give Them The Exact Soundbites They Need.
Silicon Valley: The Patent Troll Season 4, Ep 7
Richard decides to stand up to a patent troll, but his defiance comes back to haunt him; Gilfoyle goes to extremes to battle Jian-Yang's new smart fridge; Jared embraces multiple identities in an effort to reduce costs; Erlich mixes with a group of alpha males.
The Leftovers: The Book of Nora Season 3, Ep 8
Nothing is answered. Everything is answered. And then it ends. Series finale.
Silicon Valley: Customer Service Season 4, Ep 6
Erlich searches for relevance, Richard strikes a deal with acquaintances from the past and present, and Guilfoyle and Dinesh find a bug in their software.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Stupid Watergate Season 4, Ep 13
It's a very special episode of Last Week Tonight that, for once, actually focuses on the previous week's events, as the Trump Administration continues to be mired in scandal. John Oliver takes a stab at answering these questions:
- What The Fuck Is Going On?
- How Big A Deal Is This?
- Where Do We Go From Here? and
- Is This Real Life?
The Leftovers: Certified Season 3, Ep 6
Laurie Garvey, a former therapist, must become one again as she heads to Australia to help Nora and Kevin along their paths.
Silicon Valley: The Blood Boy Season 4, Ep 5
Richard's latest partnership begins to crumble when he has to deal with an unexpected interloper. Meanwhile, Dinesh looks for a way out of his new relationship; and Monica faces a business dilemma after learning of surprising developments at Raviga.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Dialysis Clinics Season 4, Ep 12
New events worthy of mention:
- Trump again. The fallout from his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and the many problematic things about it.
- Congressfolk's continued denial over the situation mentioned above as every functioning adult in the nation gets steadily angrier about their refusal to do anything about it. "When you've got the Presidential equivalent of a five-year-old shitting on the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays, at some point you stop blaming the five-year-old and you start blaming the people who are not stopping him."
- Back to New Zealand's ruling National Party's appropriation of Eminem music. New Zealand PM Bill English heard about Last Week's Last Week Tonight mention of the court case and said, "some of the stuff I've seen he does isn't very funny." LWT, in retaliation, found an actual Facebook post Bill English made, with pictures: "Cooked dinner for the family last night - like if you agree with tinned spaghetti on pizza!"
- And Now: A Series of Terrible Pizzas That New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English Would Probably Enjoy
- Main Story: Kidney dialysis clinics, particularly those operated by DaVita, and the dangerous extents many go through to save costs, like rushing patients through dialysis, and the deeply terrible methods some employ to keep customers using their services and not seek out life-saving transplants. DaVita has had to settle nearly a billion dollars to settle lawsuits over the past five years, while their CEO compares his business (willingly!) to Taco Bell. LWT offers a commercial for Taco Bell stating how it's not a proper business model for dialysis clinics. YouTube (24m)
A filmed version of Chris Gethard's one man comedy show about suicide, depression, alcoholism, and all the other funniest parts of life. [more inside]
The Leftovers: It's a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World Season 3, Ep 5
Convinced it is Kevin's destiny to be in Miracle for the coming seventh anniversary of the Departure, Matt Jamison impulsively heads to Australia in an effort to bring Kevin home. [more inside]
Silicon Valley: Teambuilding Exercise Season 4, Ep 4
Jared worries about Richard when he reaches out to an unlikely ally; Gilfoyle gets serious about security after Dinesh's latest dalliance; Erlich grows concerned about Jian-Yang's commitment to his app.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Net Neutrality II Season 4, Ep 11
Recently in the news....
- More on the court case where Eminem is suing New Zealand's National Party for using, in an ad, a song that sounds just a little too close to "Lose Yourself."
- The U.S. House of Representatives rapidly moves to pass an updated (but still no better) version of the AHCA, before most people really knew what exactly was in it and before the Congressional Budget Office could score it, sending it to the Senate.
- And Now: To Celebrate Their Engagement This Week, A Look Back At The Romance Between Joe Scarborough And Mika Brzezinski. "Congratulations?"
- Main story: Net Neutrality is up in the air again due to Trump's newly-appointed head of the FCC Ajit Pai, a pseudo-hip former Verizon lawyer planning on changing the rules. LWT notes that his complaints about the restrictiveness of the current rules are a bit disinginuous, since it was a court case brought by Verizon that resulted in them. The FCC is once again soliciting public opinion, and like they did in the show's fifth episode, LWT encourages you to write in with your opinion, this time purchasing a domain name, www.gofccyourself.com, to take people to a search that makes the comment request easy to find, important since the FCC's comment form is less friendly to navigate than it was the first time. YouTube (20m)
The Leftovers: G'Day Melbourne Season 3, Ep 4
Kevin and Nora travel to Australia, where she continues to track down the masterminds of an elaborate con, while he catches a glimpse of an unexpected face from the past, forcing him to confront the traumatic events of three years earlier.
Silicon Valley: Intellectual Property Season 4, Ep 3
Richard pushes himself to the brink of sanity while trying to move ahead with his next big idea; Erlich finds Jian-Yang unwilling to help with his comeback; Monica sets a trap at Raviga to improve her standing with Laurie; Dinesh goes on a date; Big Head enters the world of academia; Gavin's future is suddenly uncertain.
The Leftovers: Crazy Whitefella Thinking Season 3, Ep 3
With the clock ticking towards the anniversary of the Departure and emboldened by a vision that is either divine prophecy or utter insanity, Kevin Garvey, Sr. wanders the Australian Outback in an effort to save the world from apocalypse.
Silicon Valley: Terms of Service Season 4, Ep 2
Richard clashes with Dinesh when the latter's new position goes to his head. Meanwhile, Richard uncovers interesting data about PiperChat's users; Erlich tries to get involved in Jian-Yang's new app; and Jared sets ground rules in his friendship with Richard. At Hooli, Jack's enthusiasm causes a paranoid Gavin to make a rash decision.
So, what's up in the world?
- "We begin with A Narcissistic, Unstable Man Who Just Might Kill Us All." In this case, that means Trump and Kim Jong-un, between whom tensions have been racheting up lately. Trump "sends" and "armada" to deter North Korea, although it turns out the weren't heading right there, but instead going to Austrailia.
- Turkey President Recep Erdoğan consolidates power with a referrendum that takes him closer to being a dictator.
- And Now: Cable News. (It's a lot of arguing and people talking over each over, sometimes up to 10 at once.)
- Main story: Trump's advisors and relatives Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, popularly regarded as moderating influences. LWT takes a closer look and notes that we we really know little about them, and what we do know suggests Ivanka is more about preserving the Trump brand, and Jared is an underachiever, extremely inexperienced, and is ludicrously in over his head. YouTube (22m)
- And Finally: Bill O'Reilly: A Life In Television.
Silicon Valley: Success Failure Season 4, Ep 1
In the Season 4 premiere, the guys struggle to find funding for Pied Piper's video-chat app to keep up with their rapidly growing user base. Meanwhile, Erlich encounters resistance from Big Head's dad; Gavin clashes with Jack Barker at Hooli; and Richard hatches a revolutionary idea that could change his future.