July 29, 2014

5 Reasons to Watch LAST WEEK TONIGHT on HBO

As many of you readers know, I like a little bit of pop culture mixed in with my politics and news analysis. So my most recent find - HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - has been on my must-watch list for some time now. Why, you may ask? Well, here are five reasons why this show is a must-watch and a can't-miss.
  1. It's like a Sunday morning news show, but with better jokes - Unlike The Daily Show and Real Time, Last Week Tonight focuses on one major and one or two "smaller" stories, giving them a real depth of exploration....as well as making some really great jokes. (Check out this NSFW piece on Warren G. Harding's love letters....and that's not me being clever. I did type "Warren G. Harding" out loud.)
  2. It brings a much more global perspective to American news - Perhaps it's because John Oliver is British, but there's a much broader scope than either Maher or Stewart, as stories have focused on everything from the World Cup in Brazil to how the US shaped LGBTQ policies in Uganda. For someone who has had enough of the "look how (the opposition) is acting" online, knowing that the world exists outside of Washington DC is a nice, pleasant relief.
  3. Oliver brings charm and class to the snark - Again, maybe it is because he's British, but with his Daily Show pedigree, there is a certain amount of trust Oliver engenders...and at the very least, it pays for those annoying BBC America DVD commercials
  4. It's not ashamed to have a strong opinion - Last Week Tonight manages to state its case in each piece without relying on The Daily Show's "We're comedians, not journalists - honest!" posturing nor Real Time's "How can you not agree with us - we're right!" smugness. There's an easy confidence and a sharp, critical mind behind the comedy, and finally...
  5. It's a basic cable show you don't need to illegally download - Although new episodes are show on Sunday nights, they're usually posted (in edited form) on their YouTube channel (they also have a healthy presence on Facebook and Twitter). So no matter what, you can easily enjoy this show and "binge watch", as the kids say)

In that spirit, I'm embedding a few of my favorite pieces from the show - that way, you don't even have to leave this web site. But if you want to catch first-run episodes, check your local listings for Last Week Tonight, Sunday nights on HBO

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