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.
Big Little Lies: Push Comes to Shove Season 1, Ep 4
Nathan invites Madeline and Ed for couples' dinner, to discuss Abigail; Ms Barnes suggests Ziggy be medically evaluated, in light of further evidence of bullying.
Girls: Gummies Season 6, Ep 5
Adam and Jessa begin shooting scenes for their film; Hannah's mother has a hard time accepting the next phase of her life; Marnie does a less-than-stellar job of being there for a grieving Ray.
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.
Big Little Lies: Living the Dream Season 1, Ep 3
In an effort to get under Renata's skin, Madeline organizes a trip to compete with Amabella's birthday party; Celeste falls for Perry's charms before their first session with the therapist; Principal Nippal announces the Fall Gala Fundraiser theme.
Girls: Painful Evacuation Season 6, Ep 4
Hannah interviews influential writer Ode Montgomery; Adam storms off the set of his latest acting job; Ray considers the course of his life after a regular at the coffee shop dies suddenly; Marnie is confronted with her narcissism.
Deadwood: Sold Under Sin Rewatch Season 1, Ep 12
General Crook rolls into Deadwood with his troops, known as "Custer's avengers," and the Yankton magistrate, Clagett, prompting a parade and business solicitations from E.B. Farnum and Cy Tolliver. Al Swearengen delivers a tortured soul from suffering, and Bullock reacts decisively to Russell's intentions regarding Alma. Stapleton's new commission as sheriff proves short-lived, and Bullock and Alma have a late-night meeting. [more inside]
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.
Girls: American Bitch Season 6, Ep 3
Hannah has a tense meeting with Chuck Palmer, an author she once greatly admired, about the disturbing allegations swirling around him.
Deadwood: Jewel's Boot Is Made for Walking Rewatch Season 1, Ep 11
Alma's father, Otis Russell, arrives from New York to "help" with her claim. Swearengen strikes a bargain with Adams to rid him of some legal baggage involving the arriving magistrate. Jewel journeys to Doc's cabin for help with her leg. Eddie resumes work at the Bella Union, while Bullock is angered by the choice of the corrupt Con Stapleton as the new sheriff.
Big Little Lies: Serious Mothering Season 1, Ep 2
Madeline feels slighted by Renata and gets bad news about her community-theater production; Ziggy asks Jane why they moved to Monterey; Celeste tells Perry they should seek counseling; Nathan and Ed have a tense meeting about their wives.
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.
Girls: Hostage Situation Season 6, Ep 2
Hannah provides cover for Marnie's secret weekend in Poughkeepsie; Shoshanna enlists Elijah to be her plus-one at a networking event; Jessa's antics lead Shoshanna to reevaluate her post-college friendships.
Deadwood: Mister Wu Rewatch Season 1, Ep 10
An opium theft leaves Swearengen trying to find common language with his supplier and the boss of the Deadwood Chinese population, Mr. Wu, as well as navigating tricky waters to deal with the mess. A letter from a Yankton magistrate infuriates Swearengen, but finds the solution may well lie with the letter's deliverer. Eddie Sawyer promises to back Joanie for her brothel.
Big Little Lies: Somebody's Dead Season 1, Ep 1
A suspicious death at a costal elementary school fundraiser draws attention; An incident with the children at school causes battles lines to be drawn. [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.
Girls: All I Ever Wanted Season 6, Ep 1
Hannah gets an assignment to write about a female surf camp in the Hamptons, where she meets an uncomplicated water-skiing instructor; Marnie tells Ray that he needs to spend more time at his own place.
Deadwood: No Other Sons or Daughters Rewatch Season 1, Ep 9
With annexation of Deadwood looming, Swearengen calls a meeting to set up an informal government. Bullock and Alma compare notes on Ellsworth and each other, and Farnum gets a special-delivery letter from Hickok and a special new post. Joanie finally prepares to make a go on her own, with Cy's avowed blessings, and after a long binge, Calamity Jane decides to ride out of town.
Deadwood: Suffer the Little Children Rewatch Season 1, Ep 8
Deadwood breathes easier when some riders arrive in town with the smallpox vaccine, and word of a possible treaty with the Sioux. The results of Bullock's analysis of her gold claim move Alma to reassess her plans and sets up a confrontation between Bullock and Swearengen. When Flora tries to quit, Cy teaches Joanie a deadly lesson at the expense of a couple of con artists.
Deadwood: Bullock Returns to the Camp Rewatch Season 1, Ep 7
After tracking down McCall, Bullock returns to Deadwood a changed man – and a marked one – while Utter pays final respects to a fallen friend. Trixie feels uneasy about her charge, which prompts a violent response from Swearengen. Cy Tolliver is shocked, and displeased, to see Andy Cramed return to his saloon alive. Miles and Flora, two young siblings arrive at Deadwood looking for their missing father and work.
The Young Pope: Third Episode Season 1, Ep 3
In the wake of the Pope's controversial homily, Sister Mary is thrust into the spotlight, and Voiello is determined to discover the Pope's weaknesses.
The Young Pope: Second Episode Season 1, Ep 2
Cardinal Voiello continues his investigations, while tensions arise between the Pope and Sister Mary.
Deadwood: Plague Rewatch Season 1, Ep 6
Bullock encounters native resistance in his quest to bring a murderer to justice. Swearengen presses a resentful Farnum to keep tabs on Alma and Trixie as the camp fathers pool their resources to dispatch riders after the precious vaccine and build a sick tent as smallpox arrives in Deadwood. Cochran turns to a distressed Jane for help caring for the diseased in the coming days.
The Young Pope: Episode 1 Season 1, Ep 1
After being elected Pope, Lenny Belardo must navigate the politics of Vatican City. He shocks the Vatican with his desire to reject both publicity and the philosophies of his predecessor.
I'm going to post episodes to discuss The Young Pope. You are invited to join.
Deadwood: The Trial of Jack McCall Rewatch Season 1, Ep 5
Swearengen transforms The Gem into a courtroom as Deadwood makes its own laws to try Jack McCall. With Jane off on a bender, Trixie is enlisted by Swearengen to help Alma with the Metz child and to keep her pliable to his purposes for getting back the Garret claim. Hickok's body is buried and Seth Bullock is determined to get revenge for his friend's murder.
Deadwood: Here Was a Man Rewatch Season 1, Ep 4
Swearengen directs Farnum to buy back the Garret claim. Garret's wife, Alma, prevails on Calamity Jane and Wild Bill for help with the claim issue. Hickok's respect for Bullock grows and, as a result, he commissions Bullock to do a review of the Garret claim. An ailing colleague, Andy Cramed, rejoins the Bella Union, and Wild Bill's run of luck at poker ends abruptly.
Deadwood: Reconnoitering the Rim Rewatch Season 1, Ep 3
Competition arrives for Swearengen in the form of the Bella Union, a new gambling outfit from Chicago operated by savvy Cy Tolliver, Madame Joanie Stubbs and gambling guru Eddie Sawyer. Hickok puts up precious collateral in a poker game with McCall, and a threat from Brom Garret regarding his gold claim invites harsh consequences. The relationship between Bullock and Swearengen continues to worsen over the latter's suspicions of Bullock's and Hickok's intentions.
Deadwood: Deep Water Rewatch Season 1, Ep 2
As suspicions arise that "road agents" may have been the true perpetrators of the massacre as opposed to Sioux scouts, Swearengen takes a special interest in the health of its sole survivor, a young girl ministered to by the unlikely team of Doc Cochran and Calamity Jane. Brom Garret suspects his newly acquired gold claim may not be all it was advertised.
Deadwood: Deadwood Rewatch Season 1, Ep 1
In year 1876, after executing a last act of justice as a Montana marshal, Seth Bullock relocates to a gold mining camp known as Deadwood, where he and partner Sol Star look to start a hardware business. Saloon owner Al Swearengen contends with a bungled robbery turned mass murder that threatens to incite mob violence throughout the camp. Wild Bill Hickok and his companions arrive in Deadwood.
Westworld: The Bicameral Mind Season 1, Ep 10
In the Season 1 finale, an ambitious new narrative is revealed by Ford; Dolores embraces her identity; and Maeve’s plan begins to take shape.
Would anyone be interested in a Deadwood rewatch? [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.
Westworld: Trompe L'Oeil Season 1, Ep 7
Maeve gives an ultimatum to Felix and Sylvester; Bernard looks for a way out of a precarious situation; Charlotte seeks to reveal critical mistakes in Ford’s creations; William, Dolores and Lawrence find themselves in dangerous territory.
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))
Westworld: The Adversary Season 1, Ep 6
Elsie discovers a possible source of sabotage, while Bernard searches for clues to anomalies in a sector thought to be abandoned. Theresa questions Ford's leadership while Lee encounters a new arrival at Westworld. The Man in Black and Teddy run afoul of a Union garrison in their attempt to cross a border.
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
Insecure: Thirsty as Fuck Season 1, Ep 4
Issa turns to Daniel for help during Career Day; Molly finds herself in a tough position at work; Lawrence bonds with a surprising confidante. AV Club recap
Westworld: Contrapasso Season 1, Ep 5
Dolores, Logan, and William reach Pariah and are recruited for a dangerous mission; the Man in Black meets an unlikely ally in his quest to unlock the maze.
Insecure: Racist as Fuck Season 1, Ep 3
Issa and Lawrence try to move past their issues at home, as Issa deals with her colleagues' doubts and Lawrence gets a reality check from a head hunter. Molly introduces Jared to her friends, and later, struggles to give a new summer associate at work some words of wisdom. AV Club recap
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?"
- 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)
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]
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.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Journalism Season 3, Ep 20
- A recap of the Olympic opening ceremonies. Part 1 - Part 2 (both 4m)
- And Now: Newscasters Perv Out Over a Shirtless Olympian in National Dress
- Main Story: Journalists (19m), and the increasing difficulty that news outlets have staying in business while not compromising their work. With a special guest appearance by Tronc (MeFi)! Finishes with a trailer for "Stoplight," a depressingly realistic take on the plight of a reporter in the 21st century.
- Restrictive voting laws struck down in Wisconsin, Texas and North Carolina. (4m)
- A military coup fails in Turkey, and the Turkish President Erdogan seeks revenge. (4m)
- How Is This Still A Thing: Tanning Beds
- The 2016 Democratic National Convention (18m)
- And Now: Some More Highlights from the Democratic National Convention