One night in November 1976, after his car breaks down on a road outside Dallas, Randall Dale Adams accepts a ride from teenager David Harris. Harris is driving a stolen vehicle and, later that night, when Dallas police officer Robert Wood pulls the car over to check its headlights, he is shot and killed. A jury believes Adams is the killer, but Errol Morris' classic documentary explores the role of Harris' perjured testimony, misleading witness accounts and police misconduct in the verdict. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Law & Order Season 9, Ep 22
The President of Chile was undermined during a speech by a toddler on a bicycle in a Superman outfit. Queen Elizabeth died, and Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister of the UK. And Now: Sean Hannity Does The Opposite Of An Ad For Walmart. Main story: Law & Order, not the concepts but the show, and how it's taken as a true depiction of how policing is done when it really shouldn't be. On Youtube (27 minutes).
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: School Resource Officers Season 9, Ep 13
This week.... The Queen of England's Platinum Jubilee. The school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. That leads us directly to the main story: school resource officers, pitched as a way to deter school shootings, but there is little evidence that they do, and there are many drawbacks to their presence in schools. Get ready for terrible stories of police involvement in schools, including a girl getting arrested for a science project that made the cap of a coke bottle pop off. On YouTube (27 minutes) And Now: People On TV Get A Little Too British For The Platinum Jubilee. Finally, vandals last November attacked a banana-and-skull sculpture in Melbourne. The show offers the city, if they will give their sculpture to them, to compensate with donations, plus as a return gift, their statue of a cartoon alligator flipping the bird that they've had pointed at the offices of Dr. Oz. [more inside]
(HBO site, trailer, review) This six-episode series, based on the book by Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton, developed and written by George Pelecanos and David Simon, details the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Taiwan Season 8, Ep 27
This week: police officers around the US threaten to quit rather than get vaccinated. And Now: The Weather Channel's Graphics Department Is Still Not Fucking Around. Main story: Taiwan, its history as an anti-communist tool by the West, its current-day democratic miracle, and its fraught relationship with Communist China. And Now: James Corden Loves Cinema. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Personal Bankruptcy Season 8, Ep 9
This week, again from the White Void of Sad Facts: the killings by police of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, kicking off yet another cycle of media condemnation, right-wing defense of police, and criticism of righteous anger from protestors. To attempt to change their part in this terrible cycle, LWT did short pieces on blissfully stupid topics (see inside). And Now: The Commercials On FOX News In The Middle Of The Night Know Exactly Who They're Talking To. Main story (21m): Personal bankruptcy, a resource employed by millions of people, and has been often unduly stigmatized. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Police Raids Season 8, Ep 3
This week: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faces a Federal investigation for intentionally under-reportng nursing home deaths due to COVID, reportedly having threatened to end a state senator's career over it. And Now: Did Fox Business's Liz Claman Mention That She Likes Peloton? Then the main story (26m): Police raids, a tool that law enforcement arguably relies on way, way too often, and disproportionately against minorities. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: RNC 2020 & Kenosha Season 7, Ep 23
This week, from the void: The RNC convention is filled with tonedeaf shouting people who think the world is great and only getting better! But also there's the recent horrors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with Jacob Blake being repeatedly shot in the back by police and a teenage vigilante killing two people. On YouTube (20m) And Now: The RNC Gets Off To A Great Start. Finally, the city of Danbury, Connecticut responds to John Oliver's playful dissing of their town, up to their mayor threatening to name their new sewage plant after him. But they didn't actually do it, leading John to make a promise: name their sewage plant after him, and he'll donate $55,000 to various charities in the Danbury area. And in case the major is reluctant to spend public money on the sign, LWT went ahead and made one for them. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: MITCHELL Rewatch Season 5, Ep 12
Rewatch! Joe Don Baker IS Mitchell, a cop that doesn't play by the rules. For example, the rules about drinking on the job. The rules about sleeping with prostitutes. The rules about interacting with other human beings, especially kids. Certainly the rules about nutrition and hygiene. There is a story here about a drug dealer and his henchman who Mitchell seems like is almost trying to annoy into turning themselves in. In the end the lasting impression caused by this movie can be summed up in two words: BABY OIL. You'll know why when it appears on screen. (shudder) In the show's history this episode is especially notable for being Joel Hodgson's last as host. Previously [more inside]
Once two overzealous cops get suspended from the force, they must delve into the criminal underworld to get their proper compensation.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Tattler Season 6, Ep 3
Jake and Gina attend their 20th high school reunion. Back at the Nine-Nine, Charles helps Rosa with her love life. Also: crinkling noises. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Honeymoon Season 6, Ep 1
The Nine-Nine is back, now on Thursdays on NBC! (Spoiler inside!) [more inside]
This episode deals with two separate murders of young children in Cleveland. It’s not an easy listen. [more inside]
Bodyguard: Episode 4 Season 1, Ep 4
Struggling to come to terms with the traumatic events of the last 24 hours, the home secretary's bodyguard David Budd himself falls under suspicion. [more inside]
Bodyguard: Episode 3 Season 1, Ep 3
As the terrorist threat increases, PS David Budd strives to prevent the home secretary Julia Montague from falling victim to an assassination plot. [more inside]
Bodyguard: Episode 2 Season 1, Ep 2
Home secretary Julia Montague's controversial policies make her a terrorist target and test the loyalty of specialist protection officer David Budd. [more inside]
An F.B.I. agent must go undercover in the Miss United States beauty pageant to prevent a known terrorist from bombing the event. There's a lot of falling down in high heels. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Show Me Going Season 5, Ep 20
Official Fox synopsis: "When Rosa responds to an active shooter alert, the rest of the squad is forced to stay back, desperately fearing for her safety. Feeling helpless, Jake frantically brainstorms ways to offer his assistance, Terry faces an existential crisis and Gina and Amy try to make themselves useful by fixing Rosa’s broken toilet."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Bachelor/ette Party Season 5, Ep 19
Official FOX synopsis: Charles plans an elaborate scavenger hunt for Jake’s bachelor party, but the day goes awry when the guys decide to take some short cuts instead. Meanwhile, Amy’s bachelorette party escalates when the ladies realize she previously slept with a member of her soon-to-be wedding band. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Puzzle Master Season 5, Ep 15
Official Fox synopsis: "Jake surprises Amy with an investigation into a string of arsons connected to her favorite crossword puzzle author, Vin Stermley (guest star David Fumero). Meanwhile, Gina helps Holt jazz up his Commissioner candidate speech, and Terry, Rosa, Hitchcock and Scully argue over who is most deserving of the new detective car." [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Box Season 5, Ep 14
Official Fox synopsis: "Jake embarks on an all-night long interrogation in order to elicit a confession out of a suspect (guest star Sterling K. Brown). But when Captain Holt skips the opera in order to stay back and help, the two cops clash over how to get him to talk."
Flint Town: Welcome to Flint Town Season 1, Ep 0
'Flint Town' is an eight episode documentary series that follows the understaffed Flint police department during the city's water crisis and the 2016 presidential campaign. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Safe House Season 5, Ep 12
Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns to Sunday nights! Official FOX synopsis: "After Seamus (guest star Paul Adelstein) threatens Kevin (guest star Marc Evan Jackson), Holt devises an elaborate plan to hide him in a safe house, with Jake as his guard. Kevin is miserable as the 99 works overtime to find Seamus and take him down." [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Favor Season 5, Ep 11
The second half of the midseason-finale double header! Official FOX synopsis: "When Seamus Murphy (guest star Paul Adelstein) returns to redeem the favor Holt owes him, the precinct searches for a loophole that will allow Holt to uphold his end of the bargain without breaking the law."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Game Night Season 5, Ep 10
The first half of the midseason-finale double header! Official FOX synopsis: "Rosa begs Jake to help her break some big news to her parents, but her plan is thrown off when they wrongly assume the two are dating." (With special guest star Danny Trejo as Rosa's dad, as well as the long-awaited return of [SPOILER]!)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: 99 Season 5, Ep 9
Official Fox synopsis: "While the precinct is in Los Angeles to attend a funeral, Capt. Holt learns that he has been chosen to run for Chief Commissioner of the NYPD."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Return to Skyfire Season 5, Ep 8
Official FOX synopsis: "When Terry’s favorite author, DC Parlov (guest star Fred Melamed), returns to the precinct because his latest manuscript was stolen, Terry and Jake convince Rosa to go undercover with them at a fantasy fiction convention to find the culprit. As drama ensues between Parlov and another writer (guest star Rob Huebel), Terry admits that he’s been writing a book of his own. Back at the precinct, Holt, Amy and Charles take a forensics course, but Charles’ big mouth gets him in trouble."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Two Turkeys Season 5, Ep 7
Official FOX synopsis: "Jake and Amy attempt to get their parents to bond over Thanksgiving dinner, but their first holiday together as a family does not go well. Meanwhile, at the precinct, Holt and Kevin’s special Thanksgiving pie is stolen from his office and Holt searches through the ranks for the possible culprit."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Venue Season 5, Ep 6
Official FOX synopsis: "The always unwelcome Vulture (guest star Dean Winters) pops back into Jake and Amy’s lives, threatening to swoop in and take something important away from them. Meanwhile, Boyle and Rosa must track down 'Sergeant Peanut Butter,' the kidnapped NYPD horse that Charles envies, and Holt challenges Terry to be less image-conscious."
A prosecutor without empathy and a bold female police are taking a murder case involving unrestrained political corruption. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Bad Beat Season 5, Ep 5
Official FOX synopsis: To track down the infamous arms dealer Dan “Daniel” Valdano (guest star David Figlioli), Jake and Terry go undercover at an illegal gambling club, but when Holt gets involved to coach the two in the art of poker, his addiction resurfaces. Meanwhile, Boyle buys a food truck that was formerly used in a brutal string of murders without telling his investor, Amy, and Hitchcock and Scully challenge Rosa to a “Butt-lympics”.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Kicks Season 5, Ep 3
Official FOX synopsis: "Now that he’s officially back at the precinct and desperate to solve a real case, Jake finds a loophole to get out of his temporarily designated desk duty. Unfortunately, that loophole rests on his ability to pass an official evaluation performed by Holt. While Charles provides Jake with moral support, Terry and Amy help Rosa, who believes Pimento may be cheating on her."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Big House, Pt. 2 Season 5, Ep 2
Official FOX synopsis: "When the warden (guest star Toby Huss) asks Jake to investigate Romero’s (guest star Lou Diamond Phillips) drug smuggling operation, Jake and Caleb (guest star Tim Meadows) find themselves caught between the loyalty Jake has sworn to both of them. Meanwhile, Amy is offered a deal by a local mobster who claims he can prove that Hawkins (guest star Gina Gershon) is guilty, but Holt and the rest of the gang think they have a safer plan."
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Big House, Pt. 1 Season 5, Ep 1
Official FOX synopsis: "Jake and Rosa assimilate to their new lives behind bars, but both are coping in very different ways. Jake bonds with his cellmate, Caleb (guest star Tim Meadows), and is forced to join a prison gang led by notorious inmate Romero (guest star Lou Diamond Phillips), in order to gain his protection. Meanwhile, in the women’s prison, Rosa puts Holt and Terry to the test by having them complete outrageous favors for her. Back in the precinct, Amy and Charles are doing all they can to exonerate their colleagues." [more inside]
Comrade Detective: The Whole World Is Watching First Watch Season 1, Ep 5
Comrade Detective purports to be a rediscovered buddy cop show from mid-eighties Romania, made as Eastern Bloc propaganda/entertainment. It isn't; it was filmed in Romania in the modern day, with Romanian actors, and then dubbed into English by actors like Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nick Offerman, and occasionally guest stars like Debra Winger and Daniel Craig. In this episode: Baciu's family notices something unsettling; we hear Dragos's suspicions and learn something new about Stan; the American embassy is hospitable. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Serve & Protect Season 4, Ep 14
The audit continues at the Nine-Nine, this time under the supervision of Terry's grudge-holding ex-girlfriend. Can Amy and Gina crack the case of the botched breakup? Meanwhile, Jake and Rosa track down a stolen laptop on the set of a detective procedural, with the help(?) of special guest star Nathan Fillion. Elsewhere, Holt and Charles weigh using blackmail to save the precinct from closure.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Audit Season 4, Ep 13
B99 is still alive, and so is Gina! (For certain values of the word "alive".) Facing budget cuts due to falling crime rates, the Nine-Nine is undergoing an audit, courtesy of Amy's ex, Teddy. (You know, the pilsner guy.) Can Jake and Amy survive a jazz brunch? Meanwhile, Terry matches wits with an ornery Japanese copy machine, and Charles uses unconventional tactics to combat the precinct's rodent problem. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Fugitive, Part 2 Season 4, Ep 12
B99 fall finale continued! When the ninth and final fugitive -- a triple murderer (guest star Charles Baker) -- eludes the Nine-Nine, Jake has only one person he can go to... [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Fugitive, Part 1 Season 4, Ep 11
It's time for a two-part Brooklyn Nine-Nine fall finale event! Nine dangerous and desperate fugitives have escaped from a crashed prison van, and the Nine-Nine are on their trail. [more inside]
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Latvia Season 4, Ep 10
It's Christmastime at the Nine-Nine, and Boyle's adopted son Nikolaj ("NEE-ko-LAAAAHJ") wants a hard-to-get Captain Latvia action figure. Will he and Jake have to bust up the entire Latvian mafia to get that toy? POSSIBLY SO! Meanwhile, Holt tries in vain to get the rest of the squad into harmony for their singing competition against the honey-voiced MTA, and Gina -- ever the taste-maker -- discovers an amazing new musical called Hamilton.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Mr. Santiago Season 4, Ep 7
It's Thanksgiving time at the Nine-Nine! Jake is meeting Amy's dad (special guest star Jimmy Smits) -- a retired NYPD detective nicknamed "The Lion" -- for the first time, and he wants to make a good first impression. Meanwhile, Boyle's attempt to procure a live turkey goes pear-shaped, and Holt and Pimento (returning guest/possible new regular[?] Jason Mantzoukas) navigate the seedy underbelly of dog show gambling. [more inside]
- 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)
Longmire: Pilot Season 1, Ep 1
Sheriff Walt Longmire investigates a shooting in a sheep pasture with the help of his staff at the Absaroka County, Wyoming Sheriff's Department and an assist from long time friend Henry Standing Bear. [more inside]
A round table discussion about the evidence available to the second Morgan inquiry. While the investigation is on hold, Alastair makes an important connection. <
O.J.: Made in America: Part 2: Lack of Community Involvement Season 1, Ep 2
There was never one Los Angeles, California. There were always two. [more inside]
In one of the most explosive inquests in British history, the Morgan family are told the details of Daniel's murder and the conspiracy behind it.
Another violent death of a police officer associated with Daniel, while the suspects use TV and press contacts to derail the first Morgan Murder inquiry.
In the immediate aftermath of Daniel's death, Alastair becomes the one true detective into his brother's brutal axe killing. But who else can he trust?
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