In Russia, another Putin critic, Boris Nemtsov was gunned down. (CNN) FCC passes Net Neutrality rules. (BBC) Scientists suspect gerbils, not rats, were responsible for bubonic plague. (New Yorker) Last Week Tonight makes a video apologizing to rats and demonizing gerbils. Main story: The crumbling national infrastructure of the United States, and why it's hard to do something about it. (LWT YouTube, 21m) LWT provides a trailer for an action movie about performing basic maintenance on roads and bridges.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Judge elections in the US and the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat Season 2, Ep 3
This week: Greece gets a loan reprieve. Cease fire violated in Ukraine, Egypt butchers the Russian national anthem. The UK's Labour Party tries to appeal to women by means of a pink bus (YT 4m). Last Week Tonight imagines what would happen if Labour did damage control in a video segment, Pretty Princess Ponies. Main story: The many problems with electing state judges in the US (YT 13m). And Now: CNN Weatherman Chad Myers Hates His Job, His Life and Everyone Around Him. China celebrates the beginning of the Year of the Sheep. Or is it Goat?
This week: The US Government pulls diplomats out of Yemen as Houthis take control of the country. Theaters saw the worldwide release of the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Ecuador president Rafael Correa carps back at John Oliver on Twitter (Washington Post). How Is This Still A Thing: the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (YouTube, 3m). The main story (YouTube, 18m) is on the current boom times for the tobacco industry around the world, and the efforts they've gone through to ensure them, which include suing countries through international courts to repeal and prevent public health legislation. Oliver presents a new mascot for free use of the tobacco industry, Jeff the Diseased Lung in a Cowboy Hat. Twitter uses can show their support for Jeff with the hashtag #jeffwecan. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prescription drug marketing to doctors, the thin skin of Rafael Correa Season 2, Ep 1
This week: US Congressman Aaron Schock redecorates his office with a Downton Abbey theme. Argentina President Cristina Fernández catches flack for affecting a stereotypical Chinese accent on Twitter. Radio Shack files for bankruptcy and Last Week Tonight prepared a farewell message (YouTube, 3m), on their behalf. The main story: "Prescription drugs. The only ovals that can bring people in the Seattle area joy anymore." Marketing to doctors. (YouTube, 17m) And Equador president Rafael Correa calls out social media users who insult him on national television. John Oliver, in a helpful gesture to help Correa thicken his skin, provides his official Twitter handle, @MashiRafael, so internet users can directly insult him. That's right everybody: Last Week Tonight is back.
Podcast: NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast: Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Jane The Virgin' And Sexy Sex Thrillers
Both the sublime and the ridiculous get thorough airings this week as the team takes on the fine CW show Jane The Virgin and the bonkers sex thriller The Boy Next Door. [more inside]
Game of Thrones: Pilot: "Winter Is Coming" First Watch Season 1, Ep 1
Welcome to the continents of Westeros and Essos. It is the end of a decade-long Summer.
The Newsroom: What Kind of Day Has it Been Season 3, Ep 6
In the series finale, the newsroom staff attends Charlie Skinner's funeral. [more inside]
The Newsroom: Oh Shenandoah Season 3, Ep 5
Jim and Maggie fly to Russia to attempt to get seats on Edward Snowden's flight to Havana. Will spends 52 days in jail. Sloan butts heads with Neal's replacement. Don does a pre-interview with a college student who started a website allowing people to anonymously accuse others of rape. [more inside]
The Newsroom: Contempt Season 3, Ep 4
Will continues to refuse to reveal the source of the leaked documents. Jim and Hallie fight over journalistic ethics. Charlie and Sloan try to find a "white knight" buyer to purchase ACN in lieu of Pruit. [more inside]
The Newsroom: Main Justice Season 3, Ep 3
The Newsroom team faces off with the FBI and DOJ, while AWM seeks to spin off ACN to prevent the hostile takeover. The EPA story set up in last week's episode ends unexpectedly. [more inside]
The Newsroom: Run Season 3, Ep 2
Reese, Charlie, and Leona confront Reese's half siblings over the hostile takeover, while Neal, the producers, and the lawyer Rebecca Halliday argue about what to do with the the classified document trove and Neal's source. Don and Sloan argue about their relationship status after Don purchases stock on an inadvertent tip from Sloan before she reports it. Hallie tweets an in-poor-taste joke from the ACN twitter account and gets faces the fallout. Maggie overhears an EPA administrator on the train back from Boston. [more inside]
True Detective: Form and Void Rewatch Season 1, Ep 8
Case files... We're gonna hafta be lookin' at these records with fresh eyes, alright? Like we're totally green. Marty and Rust use every last resource to chase down Marty's hunch about the green-eared spaghetti monster. Green eyes, green ears, green paint, and then the Yellow King in Carcosa. [more inside]
True Detective: After You've Gone Rewatch Season 1, Ep 7
Rust convinces Marty that he has a debt, and the two begin to work together on the investigation again after a decade. Aside from one brief jaunt back to recount Rust's interview of Johnny Joanie, the story mostly moves forward in the present time as they follow up on the missing persons reports (not) filed about Marie Fontenot. [more inside]
True Detective: Haunted Houses Rewatch Season 1, Ep 6
All the threads through 1995 and into 2002 begin to weave together as we watch the fate of both Marty's marriage and Rust's investigation. Cohle visits the families of missing children and follows up with old leads Joel Theriot and Reverend Tuttle, and realizes that his fears about the scope of the problem might have been an underestimation. Hart makes good on his down payment at the Bunny Ranch, and beats the crap outta pretty much ever'one. And in an oddly empty scene (that is, one with neither Rust or Marty in it) Papania and Gilbough bring in Maggie for some friendly questioning: In a former life I used to exhaust myself navigating crude men who thought they were clever. [more inside]
True Detective: The Secret Fate of All Life Rewatch Season 1, Ep 5
Time is a flat circle. The story and its telling deviate explicitly, as Rust and Marty wrap up their respective interviews with Gilbough and Papania by relating the culminating, heroic events of their 1995 investigation and summarizing the subsequent several years. [more inside]
True Detective: Who Goes There Rewatch Season 1, Ep 4
The Detectives jump on the Reggie Ledoux lead, retracing some steps but altogether making progress in a new direction, earning leeway with their commanding officer in the process. But Rust's history and Marty's present personal situation make timely and not-so-timely intrusions (respectively), and the seeming inexorability of their plan to find Ledoux weighs heavy on them both. [more inside]
True Detective: The Locked Room Rewatch Season 1, Ep 3
Rust and Marty put off handing the case over to the fly-in boys for as long as possible, following scant leads to remote locations and coming away with a description of the monster at the end of their story as well as a name. A tall man, with facial scars. "Reggie Ledoux." The world needs bad men. We keep the other bad men from the door. - Rust | You just look them in the eyes and the whole story's right there. - Cohle [more inside]
A biopic of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry. [more inside]
The feature adaptation of Roger Lewis' book about the actor best remembered for his comedy on The Goon Show (radio), as Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies, comedy records, and much more. [more inside]
True Detective: Seeing Things Rewatch Season 1, Ep 2
The interview continues, Rust and Marty illustrate just how boring and frustrating chasing gossamer leads can be, and we continue to examine their slow drive investigation of Dorie Lang's murder and interpersonal relationships. — Days of nothing. That's what it's like to work cases. Days of... lost dogs. — It goes on like that.... you know the job. Lookin' for narrative. Interrogate witnesses. Partial evidence. Establish a timeline. Build a story. Day after day. [more inside]
I'd like to do a FanFare post on HBO's Temple Grandin - would people be interested in discussing this? [more inside]
True Detective: The Long Bright Dark Rewatch Season 1, Ep 1
Meet LA State Police Criminal Investigation Division Detectives Martin Eric 'Marty' Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rustin Spencer 'Rust' Cohle (Matthew McConaughey), both retired from the force, as they each sit down with State CID detectives in 2012 to go over an old homicide case of theirs from 1995 that has mysteriously resurfaced. As Nic Pizzolatto's story seeps slowly out of director Cary Joji Fukunaga's vision of their recollections, dank and withered and burned out hollow, the tale of occult, ritual, (iconic, planned) murder emerges from the jungle of coastal Louisiana like so much aluminum-tinged smoke and ash. People out here, it's like they don’t even know the outside world exists. [more inside]
It's going from Sept. 14th into November. I would definitely participate in a thread. Anyone else? [more inside]
The Leftovers: The Garveys at Their Best Season 1, Ep 9
Tom connects with his past, even though he knows it's a mistake. Meanwhile, Nora has a job interview; Kevin's father receives an honor; troubling news comes as no surprise to Laurie; and Kevin tracks down a rampaging deer, but can't seem to shake his bad habits.
True Blood: Thank You Season 7, Ep 10
Series Finale. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Police Response In Ferguson, Wage Differences Between Men and Women Season 1, Ep 15
This week: Mo'ne Davis pitches first shut-out in Little League history. Iranian Parliament forbids vasectomies and birth control. A look at a Crimean annexation celebration events. Police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri sparks civil unrest, and a look at police militarization (15m). And a piece on the wage discrepancy between men and women, with commercial for "Ladybucks." Last Week Tonight is off for the next two weeks.
The Newsroom: The 112th Congress Rewatch Season 1, Ep 3
"What is this meeting?" "Is it News 101?" "To artificially hype the threat of a bomb? You're confusing it with Douchebaggery 101!" [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Payday Loan Industry, Russia Bans Food Imports Season 1, Ep 14
This week: Americans striking ISIS in Iraq with aerial bombardment. Russian gang steals 1.2 billion internet passwords. A three-day cease-fire in Gaza doesn't quite go the distance. A long piece on the payday loan industry. (16m) Russia bans Western food imports.
The Newsroom: News Night 2.0 Rewatch Season 1, Ep 2
The newsroom team capitalizes on the great new start from the pilot by promptly screwing up. [more inside]
The Newsroom: We Just Decided To Rewatch Season 1, Ep 1
Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world? It's not... but it can be. Season 3 starts "Fall 2014" which is... soonish. I suggest a rewatch, starting at S1E01. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Argentina vs. Elliott Management and Native Advertising Season 1, Ep 13
Uganda anti-gay law invalidated due to improper procedure. Obama comments on torture. The New York Port Authority sues local New York kitchenware maker Fishs Eddy. Argentina defaults on debts due to machinations of hedge fund Elliott Management. Newscasters telling you about the things that will kill you. And a look into "native advertising," or, ads made to look like news, presented in news contexts. Bonus: The resolution of last week's space sex gecko story.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Thailand Mad At John Oliver, Nuclear Weapons, #GoGetTheGeckos Season 1, Ep 12
This week: Flordia Representative Curt Clawson mistakes Americans for Indian government figures on camera, ISIS may have ordered genital mutilation for women in an Iraqi city (but may not have, at least they deny it), Thailand's government annoyed with Last Week Tonight's coverage of their silly prince (with a bit about nations with a lèse-majesté law), newscasters annoyed at what they're covering, a long piece on nuclear weapons in the US (YouTube, 15m), politicians using outdated pop culture references, and the temporary loss of that Russian gecko sex satellite (YouTube 3.5m).
The Wire: Cleaning Up First Watch Season 1, Ep 12
Tactics shift on both sides after the raid. Pay-boxes and pagers are out, different wires go in. Baltimore PD continues to provide excellent health care for its C.I.s. Barksdale's crew is short on soldiers, which puts pawns in more important positions and sends back-row players out into battle. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: America's Prisons Season 1, Ep 11
This week: Conflict in Gaza. Ukraine rebels shoot down airliner. The Commonwealth Games. John Oliver says the overall theme of the week was how depressing it was, so let's have a long piece on prisons in America... but with a puppet song at the end! John Oliver suffers so that we might laugh.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Obama's Tour, Income Inequality, CIA Image Problems Season 1, Ep 10
Japan ends its pacifist military stance. Warren G. Harding wrote naughty letters to his mistress. (YouTube) Obama goes on a tour of the nation. Main story: Income inequality and the estate tax. (YouTube) FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke is a hypocritical bastard. The CIA tries, and fails, to improve its public image.
The Leftovers: Two Boats and a Helicopter Season 1, Ep 3
In the face of dwindling church attendance and threats on his life, Reverend Matt Jamison continues to preach his gospel: that many who disappeared in the Departure were sinners and not saints. Matt’s campaign is detoured when he learns he may lose the church to foreclosure, forcing him to launch a desperate, last-minute plan to come up with the cash to keep it.
The Wire: The Cost First Watch Season 1, Ep 10
With Wallace in custody, McNulty and Daniels try to figure out what to do with him in the months before he testifies. Sydnor and Carver track down one of Barksdale's stash houses, and Prez shows off his 'gift for the paper trail.' [more inside]
The Leftovers: Pilot: The Old World Is Gone Season 1, Ep 1
Three years after the abrupt disappearance of 2% of the world's population, what happens next? [more inside]
This week: Luis Suarez bites another player in the World Cup for the third time. Snakes and bees drive the terrorist organization Boko Haram out of the Nigerian forest. Obama requests $500M in aid for moderate Syrian rebels. US Supreme Court decides Hobby Lobby case. Politicians misuse the word "literally." Ugandan persecution of homosexuals intensified due to influence by American evangelical groups. Interview with Ugandan transgender activist Pepe Julian Onziema. Part 2 (web exclusive).
True Blood: I Found You Season 7, Ep 2
The H-vamp apocalypse continues. A trio of hostages taken in the Bellefleur's attack looks to a familiar face as a possible liberator from the H-vamps. Sookie and Jason visit the neighboring town of Saint Alice, where a young woman's diary offers clues to the potential fate of Bon Temps. Spurned by Lafayette, a desperate Lettie Mae turns to Willa to channel her family past. Vince whips his fellow vigilantes into a dangerous frenzy. Pam's search for her maker leads her to a very familiar place.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Monarchy Around The World, Dr Oz & Dietary Supplement Regulation Season 1, Ep 8
This week: Iraq continues to fall to ISIS. Thailand undergoes a military coup d'etat. Antarctic ecosystem threatened by tourists. A long piece on monarchy around the world. And the top story, on Dr. Oz, dietary supplements, and their regulation. To show Dr. Oz that he can pander on his show without making questionable claims, Oliver finishes up with a pander-palooza, which has to be seen to be believed.
True Blood: Jesus Gonna Be Here Season 7, Ep 1
A band of rogue H-vamps crashes the vampire-human mixer at Bellefleur's, with shocking results. As Sookie seeks refuge from accusations that she's somehow to blame for the chaos in Bon Temps, the "one vampire for every human" plan moves forward. In the face of a vigilante insurrection led by redneck Vince, Bill receives aid from an unexpected source.
The Wire: The Wire First Watch Season 1, Ep 6
Brandon is found. Wallace is unsettled. The detail gets a wiretap running. Daniels clashes with Rawls.
The Wire: The Pager First Watch Season 1, Ep 5
Stringer warns D'Angelo that there may be a snitch in his camp. The detail gets its affidavit approved for a cloned pager but are puzzled at the results. Prez begins to redeem himself in the eyes of his colleagues by taking a fresh approach to the pager information. Wallace spots Brandon, one of Omar's crew, in an arcade and passes the information on to the Barksdale enforcers.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The State of Immigration Reform, Interview with Stephen Hawking Season 1, Ep 7
This week: Tom Wheeler responds to the show's Net Neutrality piece: "I would like to state for the record that I'm not a dingo," Al-Qaeda offshoot ISIS overruns Iraq, Dan Snyder refuses to rename the Washington Redskins (with parody commercial), the sorry state of immigration reform (with necessary revision to An American Tail) and interview with Stephen Hawking, with an extended version on YouTube.
The Wire: Old Cases First Watch Season 1, Ep 4
Bodie avoids Herc and Carver. Avon discusses the loss of the pit's stash and puts the word on the street about Omar. McNulty and Moreland investigate an old murder that may be related to D'Angelo. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Dirt on FIFA and Syria President Bashar al-Assad Season 1, Ep 6
This week: Racehorse California Chrome fails to win the Triple Crown, a German lawmaker calls Anglea Merkel on their version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, China censors web searches on the Tiananmen Square massacre, a long segment on FIFA, the organization that runs the World Cup (13m) (bonus: remix of FIFA President Sepp Blatter falling off a stage [19s]), and ending with the history of Syrian Dictator and professional monster Bashar al-Assad. And in connection with that, surprise musical guests Right Said Fred (3m)! Extra: the Tony Abbott piece from last week's show (4m).
The Wire: The Buys First Watch Season 1, Ep 3
The early-morning 'field interviews' by Herc, Carver and Prez have consequences. On the other side of the law, D'Angelo teaches Wallace and Bodie how to play the game. [more inside]
Band of Brothers: Day of Days First Watch Season 1, Ep 2
D-Day. [more inside]
Band of Brothers: Currahee First Watch Season 1, Ep 1
Easy Company prepares for D-Day. We flash back to their training in Georgia and England and meet the cast of characters.