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Last Week Tonight

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What it’s about:

In a half an hour, host John Oliver puts a humorous spin on the week’s news and takes a deep dive into complex issues of politics and policy.

Names you might know:

John Oliver is joined as executive producer by Tim Carvell, Liz Stanton, James Taylor, and Jon Thoday.

Why it’s worth your time:

Psychologists recommend limiting news intake during crises like our current pandemic — too much can magnify our anxieties and torment our sleep.  But we still need to find ways to stay informed.

Here’s where Last Week Tonight comes in, and just in time for the Sunday Scaries—Extra Scary Version. One of the best distillations of our current 24-hour pandemic news cycle, the show pulls together the highlight and lowlight reels of the week–national, local, international news–alternating between the important and the ridiculous.

Bringing the irreverence that only an HBO show can bring, free of ad pressures, host John Oliver calls out the biggest offenders–bringing much-needed context along with his distinct brand of British humor to bear on what can often feel unbearable.

The takeaway:

The show manages to call out hypocrisies and sound alarm bells, but does so with levity and punchlines, giving your head–and stomach–a way to process it all.

Watch it with:

Yourself, when you can’t sleep.

Worth noting:

The show is timely and premieres each Sunday evening. But many older episodes hold up and can still bring much-needed perspective. Check the episode titles for the topics covered.

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