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Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Season 1 (2014)
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Incisive, earnest, and, yes, also funny, Last Week Tonight is some supremely watchable wonkery: a curator of news, a filterer of junk, a purveyor of the silver lining, the perfect-and perfectly on trend-news show for now.
Oliver cleverly makes fun of the relative ignorance of the American TV audience when it comes to world affairs.
The fact that so much of the show relies on Oliver means he bears the burden of getting the tone exactly right. And right now, he's a little more angry than funny.
This is the magic of John Oliver...Last Week Tonight team has found a way to take a seemingly complicated issue, remove the talking points and cultural baggage surrounding it, break it into understandable parts-and then slowly rebuild it
That was a brilliant segment, and more than enough to elevate the first edition of a show that doesn't have to be in quite such a rush. Enjoy yourself a little more, John Oliver. Take your foot off the accelerator and stop speeding.
Last Week Tonight may not feel especially new, but it was mostly smart and repeatedly funny, and that is plenty.
While I do believe that what makes the show stand out is Oliver's exceptional delivery (and British accent), the writing is definitely what makes this show gain so much popularity.
I think [John Oliver] defined himself in that show so much in its first season that it deserves prominence.
John Oliver's excellent little foray away from The Daily Show is already a classic.
His delivery, which falls between Monty Python and Austin Powers, explodes with enjoyable little pips of indignation.
Audience Reviews for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Season 1
Jan 13, 2021This show is absolutely amazing, and one of the only liberal leaning shows I've found with a high audience rate which shows how funny it is. It never relies on typical political jokes, such as orange man bad, and don't get me wrong it's different then most daily comedy shows because it's a weekly show that gets to take lengthy breaks so it shouldn't be held to that standard. Overall, hilarious.
Mar 27, 2018Very entertaining, very addictive and very informative.
Mar 08, 2016entertaining format. Well worth the 20 minutes. You may not agree with all his views, but you have to admire his brutal honesty and willingness to show how entities with an interest shape the truth in their favour - usually with the intention of maximizing their power/finances, and at to the expense of the general public ie the environment & oil co's, predatory lending, tobacco co's, sugar & health ramifications, etc etc etc).
Dec 19, 2015Every week John Oliver details the main events of the week, makes a few jokes about them (often at politicians' expense) and then unveils a piece of damning investigative journalism so important and thorough you wonder why some more mainstream news show didn't do it. The revelations often leave you appalled at what is going on, and wonder why nothing is being done about it. Not only do Oliver and his team expose the injustices and scams of society, they often do something about it, creating characters or organisations to mock the villains. Now, if you're thinking, well Jon Stewart did this first, on The Daily Show - not really. Yes, John Oliver was a contributor to The Daily Show and, to an extent, honed his craft there, but this is far better than The Daily Show in terms of investigative journalism. In fact, calling The Daily Show investigative journalism does journalism a disservice. Stewart's idea of journalism was to take a story, generally involving a right wing organisation or person, and mock it/them, sometimes using disinformation or misinformation, in what was really a a very primitive, uninformed editorial. If somebody pointed out the inaccuracy of his editorial, his defence was always "Hey, we're a comedy show, what do you expect!?". Fine, but then don't behave like you're an authority on the matter... Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed The Daily Show immensely..for its comedy. Stewart should avoid trying to pretend he is an authoritative political pundit. This is why I preferred The Colbert Report - Colbert never took himself seriously. On the other hand, John Oliver is setting out to objectively, thoroughly and accurately expose evils in society. No half- measures, no playing to the gallery, no lazy journalism, no relying on political stereotypes. Most importantly - no safety net. No fallback of "it's just comedy" as that would totally devalue his show and any future articles. Well, that was until late-Season 3. The lure of easy, cheap Trump jokes could not be resisted and unfortunately that's all the show now seems to consist of. I'm no fan of Donald Trump, and the man and his antics beg to be parodied, but Oliver's obsession with him and his one-dimensional, cheap-laugh ridiculing of him got very tedious very quickly. It all just smacks of lazy writing and lack of originality. Gone are the fresh perspectives and thorough research, replaced by predictable jokes. After, at one stage, being a massive fan of the show, I gave up after two episodes of Season 4.
Oct 12, 2015Way way way better than Stewart, Colbert, Noah. The way he combines comedy with real life issues in America is just tremendous. His coverage of FIFA and embattled president Sepp Blatter was ahead of the curve.
Jan 09, 2015Loved it. It still has a bit of resemblance to the daily show - but he's moved into international and hard hitting stories. HBO freedom gives him everything he needs to make fun of things he wouldn't on Comedy Central, and his videos (even if they're 10min long) score millions on youtube in wonderful rants on decent topics. A must watch, dare I say, an upgrade from the daily show.
Nov 10, 2014John Oliver is so gifted he makes his previous employers seem irrelevant.
Jul 16, 2014This is a great show that addresses current affairs with a very funny tone. I watch it religiously.