We’ve reached that final lull of summer, wherein superhero movies and even HBO’s Last Week Tonight take a minor breather before the fall. Thankfully, John Oliver managed to fill both absences, offering up his take on superhero movies, and even creating one of his own.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Last Week Tonight host John Oliver rails often enough against the HBO series being mistaken for journalism; it was only a matter of time the series itself would put the Spotlight on actual press. And so, to cap off a piece highlighting the plight of print journalists, Oliver recruited Vinyl star Bobby Cannavale, Rose Byrne and more for their very own Spotlight parody, Stoplight.
John Oliver’s HBO Last Week Tonight has been on a brief hiatus since we said goodbye to Game of Thrones, and while the intervening weeks have surely wrought plenty to discuss upon his return, there’s time to take stock meanwhile. Cue a new web-only exclusive for Last Week Tonight, as the comedian delves into “fan mail” to read some of the nicer (and nastier) comments about the series.
There’s not shortage of controversy around this year’s Oscars. But there is a shortage of roles for people of color in Hollywood — or at least that’s the argument that tends to get made by those who think that it’s not fair to blame the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for selecting an all-white field of acting nominees (for the second year in a row). The fault, they claim, lies with the Hollywood filmmakers who don’t make opportunities for actors of color in the first place. The system of honoring actors is merely a reflection, supposedly, of the larger system of moviemaking, and all its flaws.
Now that we’ve finally arrived in 2016, TV talk can safely shift to from the shows closing up shop in December, to the onslaught of premieres and returns on deck. We’ll have to wait until February the latest Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, but thankfully, the prolific host has a short segment to tide us over, and remind us it’s okay to fail New Years’ resolutions miserably.
The late Friday occurrence of Paris’ tragic terror attacks left many late-night programs without a pulpit to address the events, though weekend shows managed to extend their support. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver went just a bit further with its Sunday run, however, as Oliver laid into the attackers as “unconscionable flaming a–holes.”
For all the change Last Week Tonight host John Oliver has used his Sunday HBO platform to call for, few occurred so quickly as FIFA head Sepp Blatter resigning from his heavily-corrupt post. Steward had mockingly pledged to endorse FIFA sponsors like McDonald’s and Bud Light, should the companies aid in Blatter’s ousting, and last night saw Stewart bitterly paying the piper.
If there’s one thing Last Week Tonight With John Oliver viewers learned from last night’s show, it’s that infrastructure is not sexy. It became a bit of a mantra for the show: infrastructure is not sexy. But! What if it could be? And what’s sexier than a big screen summer blockbuster?
Why doesn’t everyone ask John Oliver for advice on everything? The Last Week Tonight host consistently thinks of the best possible answer for every possible question, so why not just turn him into the world’s all-knowing sage or something? The guy isn’t that busy, right?
However brief the window may have been, we can officially say goodbye to dreams of John Oliver returning to host The Daily Show after Jon Stewart. HBO has officially locked down its breakout star for two more seasons of the acclaimed Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, bringing more belated-but-hard-hitting journalism through 2017.