A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Last Week with John Oliver is a news- and current event-driven talk show intended for older viewers. Discussions of topics ranging from politics and national security to social issues like racism are smart and humorous, but contain lots of cursing ("s--t," "f--k") and sarcastic insults. Occasionally stories touch on violent events, but nothing is really shown. Older teens who with an eye toward politics and current events will enjoy it, but it's not intended for tweens or young teens.
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What's the story?
LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER is weekly talk show that highlights the major themes appearing in American news over the past week. Hosted by British political satirist and actor John Oliver, known best in the United States for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the show explores issues ranging from American current events to international events that the United States media is all but ignoring. Accompanying his unique brand of commentaries is footage from various news outlets, interviews, musical interludes, and other humorous sketches.
Is it any good?
From discussing the top stories being highlighted in U.S. mainstream media, to talking about the problems with things like food labeling, intelligence gathering, and professional cheerleading, John Oliver offers a comic but smart perspective on North American political, economic, and social issues. He also highlights issues abroad that he believes the United States should be paying attention to, many of which he argues will have an impact on the country.
The show is funny, but what makes it interesting is Oliver's unique ability to use humor and parody to offer intelligent explanations, commentaries, and of course, criticisms of the way the United States articulates what is important and relevant in today's society. The variety of quick sketches, including quick musical interludes by singers like Lisa Loeb, and interviews with folks like former NSA director General Keith Alexander, also underscore important points while making you chuckle. If you like this kind political satire and social commentary, watching this won't leave you disappointed.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about satire. Why do people use humor or exaggerations to discuss important issues, like politics? Is it just to be funny, or is it something more?
Why do talk show hosts, comedians, and others TV personalities curse during their conversations and routines to be humorous? What is the purpose of it? Can people be funny without using strong language?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love comedy and current events
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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