I try not to judge a new TV show after just one episode, because its writers and producers have had months to prepare and put their best stuff out front first. It’s when they have to do it week in and week out that we really get to judge a show. Even the best shows have adjusted their tone and approach over time, keeping what works and ejecting what doesn’t, so that a show that’s been on the air a year often doesn’t resemble what it was when it began.
That said, I liked last night’s debut of John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” on HBO. It’s clearly a clone of the show he left (“The Daily Show”), but that’s fine. We need more clever critics of the world around us. Oliver is clearly a pro who is comfortable in front of a camera, quick-witted enough to handle news that broke earlier that day, and just snarky enough to make interviews more interesting.
Let’s see if he can do it again next week, and the week after that, and so on.