Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Puerto Rico, forensic science, and tax reform featured

Puerto RicoThis week’s edition of Last Week tonight with John Oliver had plenty of material that they could touch on, and of course, it started with Puerto Rico.

Was there a thesis surrounding some of Oliver’s comments on the territory? Not really, given that it really only feels like there is one side to take here: Help Puerto Rico. Also, Donald Trump was a jerk for insinuating that the people of Puerto Rico don’t know how to help himself. It’s often that Oliver asks the question “how is this normal,” and we’re now going to do it here — how is this normal? How is it okay for the President to make insinuations about a massive group of people without him being there, especially given his history of attacking minority groups? Why hasn’t this been criticized more? If this was any other President and this was a first offense, the outcry would be enormous. Yet, we’re not in a place where it’s almost mind-numbingly sad and it’s just another day at the office.

Now, we remind you again: This is not normal.

Now, tax reform – There wasn’t all that much of a thesis here, either, other than that Trump may have lied again just as he did claiming that a Senator was in the hospital to vote on Graham – Cassidy when he wasn’t. The best runner of the episode was Oliver prematurely pressing a red button celebrating the end of Trump’s term in office, complete with cheerleaders and someone who looked like they were carrying a groundhog.

Alas, the celebration had to be called off both times. As for the tax reform discussion, we don’t really know anything since Trump hasn’t given enough specifics. Let’s just leave it at that for now.

And now … forensic science

This is the main segment tonight. It was an interesting choice, no? There was nothing altogether current about this segment, but it does fit in the vein of some of Oliver’s past. Remember that this is a man who has made a real effort to talk prison reform in the past, speaking out about mandatory minimums and discussing at length terrible treatment of non-violent drug offenders. The fact that forensic science doesn’t always work is important since there are many times in which it sends the wrong person to prison.

In this segment, Oliver of course mocked crime procedural shows for their treatment of such things as gospel, especially when much of what they are doing, from bite-mark analysis to fingerprints, is necessary exact. There are times in which science fails, and also times when juries fail to understand just how inaccurate it can be.

So was this a valuable segment? Absolutely, but Last Week Tonight was probably funnier at the start of the episode than at the ending save for the CSI spoof at the end of the episode with celebrity cameos aplenty. We do still appreciate pieces like this, though, even if it’s just to remind us that there is a world outside of President Trump.

What do you think about this week’s Last Week Tonight?

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