Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Housing Discrimination Season 8, Ep 18
This week: another show from the void, but maybe not for much longer! The Tokyo Olympics proceed despite a spike in COVID cases, and the UK prepares to lift nearly all restrictions despite an uptick in cases over there. And Now: People On TV Mean "Fucking" (Olympics Edition). Main story (32 minutes): Housing Discrimination, its legacy in the US, how its effects are felt today, and what can be done to rectify it. [more inside]
Another episode from the white void, will it be with us much longer? Senate Republicans rejecting a voting rights act, because awful. Republicans continue to push wildly incorrect voter fraud claims, including something stupidly called ItalyGate. And Now: On The Occasion Of His Departure From C-SPAN, One Last Salute To The Most Patient Man On Television. Main story (23 minutes): Health Care Sharing Ministries are a way that some use to get out of the penalties for not having health insurance in the US. But they are not insurance, are much less regulated, and in some places like Florida are crazy easy to set up. So easy that LWT did just that, in Florida, spinning off their old church Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption, called Our Lady Of Perpetual Health, and their new "plan," JohnnyCare, to demonstrate how little health care an HCSM can get away with. Features the return of "Wanda Jo Oliver," John's "Mega Wife," (aka Rachel Dranch). [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: PACE Loans Season 8, Ep 16
Another entry from the void. Biden holds a summit with that notorious jokester, Vladimir Putin. Japan is set to host the Olympics in 2021, making up for their not being held in 2020, but still against the advice of many considering their vaccination rate is just 6%. Shown is a Japanese condom commercial with an anime styling. And Now: Please Enjoy Some Better Names For The Dogs From This Year's Westminster Dog Show. Main Story (22m): PACE loans, intended as a way for people to cheaply renovate houses for energy savings, are sometimes handed out by predatory contractors to people unaware of their costs and consequences, resulting in them losing their homes. And Now: The Winner Of Best In Show At The Westminster Dog Show Breaks Newscasters' Brains. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison Heat Season 8, Ep 15
From the white void once more. Ohio State House hosts a distraught lady worried that the vaccine turned her magnetic. The NYC Mayoral primary season is underway, using ranked choice voting for the first time. Interviews have revealed that the candidates are, for the most part, grossly out-of-touch concerning housing costs in Brooklyn. And Now: Someone Please Stop Stuart Varnet From Saying This ("Flattery is the mother's milk of television.") Main story (13m): As temperatures rise around the world, prisoners have to suffer extremely high temperatures, often in facilities that do not offer air conditioning, resulting in heat stroke and sometimes death, most frequently in Texas, but across the US as well. And Now: Ernie Anastos Left Fox 5 One Year Ago This Week, And We Miss His Man On The Street Segments More Than Ever. Finally, LWT offers a free commercial concept to any used car place that asks, under the condition that: they produce and air the piece, and that they must agree to use it sight-unseen. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Sponsored Content Season 8, Ep 13
This week once again comes to us from the White Void of Sad Facts. The Supreme Court is on track to review Roe vs. Wade, to the chagrin of practically every non-conservative. In Philadelphia, Larry Krasner, running in favor of police reform, won a primary for D.A. and is set to go against Republican Charles Peruto. Along those lines there is a brief recap of cartoon character candidates in the news, such as Andrew Giuliani. And Now: San Francisco City Council Meetings' Public Comments Are A Joy To Behold. The main story: sponsored content (21 minutes), specifically in local news programs, revenue source for local stations that, due to vague FCC rules that suffer from lax enforcement, often is insufficiently identified as paid programming. Many examples are given, including three that Last Week Tonight produced themselves and got placed for a mere few thousand dollars, for the "Venus Veil," a fake product that is the "world's first sexual wellness blanket." [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Stand Your Ground Laws Season 8, Ep 12
This week, once again from the void... . Local governments try different ways to incentivize getting vaccinated against COVID, from lottery money to free fast food. And Now: Ari Melber, Rap Genius, Will Just Not Fucking Stop. The conflict between Israel and Hamas terrorists escalates, a conflict that, despite the both-sides, tit-for-tat framing the news media uses for it, greatly harms innocent Palestinians more than Israelis. The main story concerns Stand Your Ground laws (19m), an unnecessary set of laws passed in 22 states that removes the "duty to retreat" from armed confrontations, sometimes with disastrous consequences. [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: Long-Term Care Season 8, Ep 8
Prince Philip died. Matt Gaetz continues to face accusations of pedophilia and sex trafficking. President Biden promised to reverse Trump's refugee cap, but hasn't yet, and no one seems to know why. And Now: A Farewell Tribute to the Greatest Questions Ever Asked on Yahoo! Answers. Main story (23m): Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in the US, and the serious problems that many of they have. And Now: A Few More of the Greatest Questions Ever Asked on Yahoo! Answers.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The US National Debt Season 8, Ep 7
Another week from the White Void of Sad Facts. Right wing media loses their shit at a suggestive music video featuring Lil Nas X. Matt Gaetz is suspected of violating sex trafficing laws. A historic vote of whether to unionize has taken place among workers at an Amazon fulfillment center, which Amazon has fought in ludicrous ways, including anti-union propaganda in bathrooms. And Now: Some Very Unwelcome News Regarding Peeps. (It's the Peeps & Pepsi promotion.) Main story (22m): the US National Debt, and the massive disingenuousness with which it has been portrayed by Republicans. A lot of interesting information in this one! [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Plastic Season 8, Ep 6
This week from the White Void of Sad Facts--The shootings in Atlanta of eight people, six of them Asian women, and the terrible response from police authorities. And Now: Even During A Pandemic, Local News Cannot Be Trusted With St. Patrick's Day. Main story (22m): plastic. Think we live in a golden age of recycling plastic? Think again: less than 9% of plastic made gets recycled, and over half of all plastic ever produced was made since 2005. How did we get to this point, when plastic recycling has been promoted for decades? [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Tucker Carlson Season 8, Ep 5
The passing of the Coronavirus stimulus bill was met with a weird celebratory tweet from the DNC, but Republican responses ranging from anger and dismay to people who voted no trying to take credit for it. And Now: Local News Bothers 100-Year-Old Women On Their Birthdays. Main story (25m): Tucker Carlson, his career, and how he gives white supremacist talking points a veneer of respectability. And Now: A Look Back At One Year Of TV News With Pandemic Precautions.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Unemployment Season 8, Ep 4
This week from the white void: The Democrats pass the COVID relief bill, although a few (like Manchin and Sinema) prevented it from containing a minimum wage increase. The FBI identifies Trump-supporting white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys as the ones who stormed the Capitol building. And Now: Neil Cavuto Really Loves Adele. Main story (21m): Unemployment in the US, and how terribly it serves people in need. And Now: Rachel Ray's Complicated History With Baking. [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]
This week, again from the White Void of Sad Facts: Winter storms caused problems nationwide, but especially in Texas, which suffered power outages due to Texas disconnecting itself from the national power grid to avoid regulation, or, according to Tucker Carlson and the rest of Fox News, wind turbines. Fallout was so severe that Ted Cruz, a man who has given Texas dozens of reasons to dump him, may actually, finally, face political repercussions for attempting to abandon the state during its hardship and go to Cancun. And Now: People Who Went to Harvard. The main story (19m) has to do with the terrible conditions meat packing workers face on the job, including production quotas so onerous that many workers feel like they have to pee beneath the line or wear diapers on the job to keep up. And Now, finally: Working Remotely Sucks For 'The People's Court," too. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Future Pandemics Season 8, Ep 1
This week, still from the void, but hopefully not for much longer.... The farce of an impeachment trial against Donald Trump, where Ted Cruz met with the defense lawyers during it and told them they'd already won because Republicans weren't going to convict regardless, and on Republican support of the Capitol riots and state Republican efforts to make voting much harder, efforts that some Democrats don't seem very excited about thwarting. And Now: Newscasters Offer Tips For How To Say "I Love You" In The Worst Imaginable Way. Main story (20m): Pandemics of the future! Not COVID, but the next ones, which believe it or not could be much worse. John discusses where they may come from, why they're on the rise, and what we can do to limit them. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: SPACE MUTINY Rewatch Season 8, Ep 20
Rewatch! Commander Santa and aerobics witches! Slab Bulkhead and Back-From-The-Dead Susie! Apple II computer effects and stolen Battlestar Galactica footage! Calgon, take them away! Widely consider one of the best episodes, this South African production is hilariously strange. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: TIME CHASERS Rewatch Season 8, Ep 21
Rewatch! Nick is a high-school teacher with a secret--and no, that secret doesn't involve cooking meth. He's the inventor of a time machine! And its workings are an 8-bit microcomputer, who's have thought! It's really a shame that he turned to EvilCo for his first round of funding. I'm kind of surprised this episode placed so highly on the poll, I mean it's pretty good, but better than Manos? Soultaker? SCCTM? Hobgoblins? Time of the Apes? Master Ninja? A couple dozen other episodes? I mean, it tied with Starcrash! I guess it's one of those episodes that's grown in the years since first airing. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK Rewatch Season 8, Ep 22
Rewatch! In a corporate-dominated dystopia, poor Aram Fingals gets caught "scrolling up cinemas" and so he's sent for "prophylactic rehab" to a wildlife refuge where his mind is "doppled" into a baboon (thankfully not an anteater!) because that's what is considered restorative recreation in THE FUTURE. The process is overseen by Apollonia Jones and... look, there's so much pointless jargon in this movie it's using up my supply of scare quotes so I'm going to stop the description there. Just scrounge up some creds for a bag of flavo-fibes and join us and the sadly late Raul Julia for OVERDRAWN AT THE MEMORY BANK. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: PARTS: THE CLONUS HORROR Rewatch Season 8, Ep 11
Rewatch! Considering the political reality of the USA right now, this movie's almost charming with how the villain is an evil Senator's brother, who runs a farm for stupid 70s people, clones of "important" folk, you know, like senators, to serve as living sources of spare body parts. Especially hilarious is the pseudo-Orwellian culture of the farm, which is like a sinister community college. Previously
Mystery Science Theater 3000: PRINCE OF SPACE Rewatch Season 8, Ep 16
Rewatch! We're starting to get into the weird ones. Prince of Space is a hilarious episode of our favorite cowtown puppet show, with an inexplicable hero (the invulnerable Prince of Space, who works as a Tokyo bootblack), annoying kids (PoS' child sidekicks) and easily one of the top five most ridiculous villains in MSTdom in the form of the chickenish Phantom of Krankor. HAAA... Haaa... haaa... ha. Just, for the love of decency, don't stare at the Krankorian crotches.... Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: RIDING WITH DEATH Rewatch Season 8, Ep 14
Rewatch! It's another packaging of two TV show episodes (of Gemini Man) into a single "movie," such as with Master Ninja and Fugitive Alien. This one's about a Ben Murphy who can become invisible and is a spy, kind of, and a race driver. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH Rewatch Season 8, Ep 17
Shocking terror! Hideous and ridiculous monsters crawl out of the sea! "It had ping-pong balls for eyes!" shrieked one overacting eyewitness! Another moaned unconvincingly, "Oh the carnage, the bad costumes, the poor cinematography!" Will no one put a stop to the atrocities committed by this director and his crew? In subplot news, Pearl and Brain Guy are in ancient Rome. Previously.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION Rewatch Season 8, Ep 10
Rewatch! A small car cosplaying as a big big spider terrorizes a town as we continue through the best classic episodes as selected by poll. Previously.