Last Sunday, John Oliver (“The Daily Show”) and his team of writers came back on the air in full force by tackling corrupt pharmaceutical companies, a South American leader’s unhealthy obsession with internet trolls, the greatest eulogy for an American company ever and an apology from Oliver for the minor confusion of a hamster’s penis. This latter segment, Oliver states, was the result of an error he made last season when a picture of a hamster’s tail was mistaken for the hamster’s genitals. This was the only error Oliver and gang made last season, and it’s a comment on the dystopian state of modern news that Oliver’s team was more accurate in their reporting than Brian Williams and NBC Nightly News.

“Last Week Tonight”

A+
Season 2 Premiere
HBO
Sundays at 11 p.m.


As with last season, this week featured an exposé on some facet of the ever-eroding morality of today’s political, economic and social landscapes. Using the usual wit, intelligence and devilishly well-researched and well-crafted script, Oliver delivered a better treatise on modern day pharmaceuticals than most journalists.

The eulogy for the recently bankrupt Radio Shack was hysterical in addition to being poignant and bitter. There was a melancholia to Oliver’s lamentation of Radio Shack’s demise that made the viewer think about the place these “big, unfeeling corporations” have in our national identity. No one should want big companies to go away just because they’re the ones in power. On the contrary, we need such companies to exist to define ourselves as a nation.

Finally, the trolling of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa showcased exactly how crazy and awesome a show can be when it’s uninhibited by the stringency of network television. Oliver called upon viewers to tweet disparaging comments at a foreign leader who is bullying his own people for doing the same thing — we should be thankful such a show is willing to take an impassioned stance against the corruption and tyranny in a world as toxic as the one we live in now.

“Last Week Tonight” continues to shine in its organization and the clear effort that goes into every single story. Whereas most late night shows scramble for content every night, “Last Week Tonight” has an entire week to organize its thoughts, arguments, segments and news stories to deliver a revolutionary combination of truth and satire. It’s such a treat to tune in every Sunday night and see what the “Last Week Tonight” crew has cooked up for us this week, and an indescribable pleasure to see such a fantastic experiment work and return for another season, with hopefully many more to come.

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