There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This time, America’s current political ugliness dominated, both in fiction and in reality.
Broad City‘s Sister Act 2 Reprise
But first, the good. Though having an Ilana in your personal life may seem desirable, if Ilana were ever to infiltrate your professional life, you’d likely be driven to the edge of sanity. Which is why, after three seasons of psychological torture for Ilana’s Deals Deals Deals coworker Nicole, the sudden termination of Ilana’s “employment” results in such an unstoppable euphoria for the Ilana-unburdened office cog that that she simply must burst into Sister Act 2-style Praise. Soon, the rest of the office joins her, as does Whoopi Goldberg.
Donald Trump’s Penis Size Becomes the Subject of a Presidential Debate
During last night’s Republican debate, beyond all of the usual horrifying things that were said, Donald Trump sent shivers down the spines of the public (or catalyzed a revolting surge of pride among the jingoists who have always seen America as a massive phallus) when he defended his penis size against a suggestion from Marco Rubio about the candidate’s small hands. Trump’s words, which turned the American election into a literal dick-measuring contest: “And, he referred to my hands — ‘if they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.'”
John Oliver Spends 20 Minutes Berating Trump
Meanwhile, John Oliver offered one of the best Trump (or Drumpf) takedowns of the primary season. Many have argued that viral comic “eviscerations” have only given Trump more visibility, but Oliver’s speech delved so deep into his public persona and broke it apart so well that this segment takes the prize for most vivid and legitimately potent late-night dismantling of the candidate. Donald Trump certainly isn’t a joke at this point, but there’s nothing wrong with using jokes as a vessel for in-depth research that demonstrates his manifold hypocrisies and the dangers he presents.
Claire and Frank Start Fantasy-Murdering Each Other on House of Cards
With Claire and Frank Underwood now adversaries rather than allies, there’s a whole world of potential being built with their previously demonstrated capacities for cruelty. This season, it looks like we’re going to get to see them destroy one another — either figuratively or physically. In the first episode, Frank dreams of punching Claire in the stomach, throwing her against a mirror, and choking her, but then his own dream turns against him, as Claire stabs him with a shard of mirror and then begins gouging out his eyeballs. Is the show trolling, or foreshadowing? Either way, it’s fun to see this campy fantasy manifestation of the show’s never-really-subtextual subtext.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Sam Smith at the Oscars
The Oscars this year were wildly uneven and thankfully uncomfortable. While Chris Rock’s hosting had its tone-deaf moments, the very fact that he ensured #OscarsSoWhite remained at the forefront the whole, shellacked spectacle: this wasn’t the boring, expensive celebration it usually is, so much as a dissonant series of self-congratulations continuously undermined by needed criticism. An expensive, four-hour cringe was what this needed to be, and it was.
Beyond the mere cringe factor, though, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs powerfully confronted the issue in her speech. “Our audiences are global and rich in diversity, and every facet of our industry should be as well,” she said. “Each of you is an ambassador who can influence others in the industry. It’s not enough to just listen and agree; we must take action.” As Flavorwire’s Alison Herman put it, “the symbolic value of the Academy’s public face validating and even encouraging serious criticism is real.”
Meanwhile, in contrast, Sam Smith’s incorrect acceptance of the first Oscar for an openly gay person revealed the awkward, self-congratulatory flip side of the Awards, a compensatory desire to make them relevant despite the general air of criticism.