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.
Meanwhile, back on Earth....
- Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer digs an incredible hole for himself, first appearing to claim that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was worse than Hitler because Hitler never used chemical weapons (he did), then that Hitler never used them against innocent people (he did), then making up the term "Holocaust centers" as the place where Jews were gassed.
- Trump meets with China president Xi Jinping, who apparently in 10 minutes convinced him to do what over half the United States desperately wanted him to do for months: learn a damn thing about North Korea. Alas they did so at Trump's Mar-a-Lago, having recently been cited for 13 health code violations. Trump continues to flip-flop on practically everything related to foreign policy, underscoring how desperately stupid his campaign was.
- Trump drops a "MOAB" (Mother Of All Bombs) on Afghanistan, causing euphoric celebration at Fox News from Geraldo Rivera. When directly asked if he had authorized the strike, Trump danced around the question.
- And Now: You Put Easter And Local News Together, And What Do You Fucking Expect?
- Main Story: The upcoming French Presidental elections, between 11 different candidates, at least three of which have been assaulted in public by citizens throwing baking ingredients. YouTube (18m)
Girls: Latching Season 6, Ep 10
The series finale of Girls.
The Leftovers: The Book of Kevin Season 3, Ep 1
In the first episode of The Leftovers' third and final season, there's an intriguing prologue, a time jump, we catch up with most of the regular characters and we're left with a fascinating epilogue. Only 14 Days To Go until the end of the world.
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)
Girls: Goodbye Tour Season 6, Ep 9
After an important meeting, Hannah reaches out to friends for advice, but has trouble reaching Marnie.
Girls: What Will We Do This Time About Adam? Season 6, Ep 8
Adam has surprising news for Hannah. Jessa spends a day off on her own. Shoshanna has a run-in with Abigail.
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.
Big Little Lies: Full Miniseries Season 1, Ep 0
All is not what it seems in this dark comedy set in an idyllic seaside California town, where success, affluence and privilege are slowly but surely undone by secrets, rivalries, deception and murder. Based on Australian Liane Moriarty's novel. [more inside]
Girls: The Bounce Season 6, Ep 7
As Hannah waits to hear from Paul-Louis, Elijah is hyping himself up for a open audition for an adaptation of White Men Can't Jump when both have a surprise visitor. Marnie finds herself in a tough situation and gets more than her jewels appraised. [more inside]
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.
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.