Crime Solving Ponies Make Everything Better

HBO would like to remind you of several things. 1) Last Week Tonight was a huge success, both critically and creatively, and that it is coming back for more. B) The more it is coming back for begins on Feb 8th, which is only a month away. With the Colbert shaped hole in the world's load bearing satirical wall, Oliver's return is both sorely needed and will be doubly welcome. And iii) nothing is going to change. With creative control of the programme entirely in John Oliver's hands, he has wisely (and I'm sure to the network's delight) opted for an "if it ain't broke, for the love of gods don't touch it, because that is how things get broken: needless prodding" approach.

Which I'm entirely fine with. Oliver brought a mostly calm voice of reason, and used that old nugget "sense and logic" to monologue in fine fashion on the great societal ills of our time. What Jon Swewart does isn't fake newsmanship so much as it is satirical editorialism; most of his material is reactionary. What Oliver does is satirical newsmanship, in the old sense of newsmanship. The Cronkite meaning of the word. Oliver's programme investigated, at length, issues which the public woefully needed to be educated about, in a relevant and timely fashion. The fact that inbetween these pieces of fact and reality, he cracked jokes only makes it more entertaining, not less true or educational. It's disturbing that news has to be dressed up in clown makeup for it to be willingly and welcomingly consumed, but then again, I suppose it's really no different than the court jester saying what everyone is thinking.

It probably also helps that he's British. The accent seethes trustworthiness. That's why Brits are the bad guys in American films: Americans can buy the idea that people would just do stuff if someone with an accent told them to.

Via Last Week Tonight.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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