• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 27, 2014
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Apr 29, 2014
    91
    Last Week Tonight probably needs to towel off a bit and present a more relaxed half-hour next Sunday. The premiere outing nonetheless showed considerable ingenuity and a willingness to take on topics that haven’t already been parodied to death.
  2. Reviewed by: Darren Franich
    Apr 28, 2014
    91
    Night One felt almost fully-formed, as if Oliver has spent his Daily Show tutelage making a list of everything that works-- and everything he wanted to do just a little bit differently.
  3. Reviewed by: Erik Adams
    Apr 28, 2014
    83
    If Last Week Tonight With John Oliver can keep shedding humorous light on international affairs and other stories that fall through the cable-news cracks, this show might make it to eight weeks and beyond.
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    May 9, 2014
    80
    Oliver is terrific at mining humor from the most popular topics of the day, that is, the idiocy of the media and politicians. He's funny when he's knocking our intelligence. But he's best when he sticks to a barrage of short bits, enhanced with clips or photographs, as in his first week's efforts.
  5. 80
    There were several very strong bits, but the best was Oliver's rant about the U.S. media's disinterest in the Indian elections.... At this point, my main complaint about the show is that it's not an hour.
  6. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Apr 28, 2014
    80
    It was with the Indian coverage that he both shone (commenting on one candidate's use of holographic appearances, he said, "That’s not just how you get elected. That’s how religions get started") and set himself apart. If Oliver can do for international news what Stewart and Colbert have done on the domestic scene, well, the already-crowded Sunday night DVR queue just took on an extra half-hour.
  7. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Apr 28, 2014
    80
    It was a very funny show, and while there are expected similarities with “The Daily Show,” Oliver’s personality sets the HBO show apart.
  8. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Apr 28, 2014
    80
    The first newscast did feel simultaneously long and breathless, maybe because there was little to vary it or break up the topic segments.... But it was a funny, confident start.
  9. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    May 16, 2014
    75
    His delivery, which falls between Monty Python and Austin Powers, explodes with enjoyable little pips of indignation. [26 May 2014, p.42]
  10. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Apr 28, 2014
    70
    Even at a commercial-free 30 minutes, Last Week Tonight felt rushed and jam-packed with information, heightened by Oliver's tendency to get excited and/or yell. Those are all good traits (and, historically, pretty funny traits of his), but the entire concept might work better at an hour so he could at least breathe.
  11. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Apr 28, 2014
    70
    The first episode of Last Week Tonight (and, to be clear, it is only the first episode, with plenty of potential and room for improvement) demonstrated little in the way of innovating or improving on “The Daily Show’s” prevailing concept.
  12. Reviewed by: Tim Molloy
    Apr 28, 2014
    60
    The fact that so much of the show relies on Oliver means he bears the burden of getting the tone exactly right. And right now, he's a little more angry than funny.
  13. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Apr 28, 2014
    60
    John Oliver, a graduate of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” didn’t exactly break the mold when he rolled out his new show, Last Week Tonight, late on Sunday on HBO; he just tugged at it a bit.
  14. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Apr 28, 2014
    60
    Everything about Last Week Tonight felt like another spin of the latenight-satire wheel, with nary a new groove in it.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Apr 30, 2014
    9
    I have watched "The Daily Show" occasionally, but for no clear reason I never became a regular watcher. Same goes for the "Colbert Report". But for some reason, John Oliver's take on the concept apparently fits my taste in satirical world news. Regular news shows as dispensed on TV are not satirical. They tend to be pathetic light news celebritycentric crap. I will be watching John's show regularly. Now HBO gives us a real news show in "Vice" plus a satirical/real news show in "Last Week Tonight". Are you watching, network news execs? Full Review »
  2. May 8, 2014
    10
    So if you like the time John Oliver was the host of "The Daily Show" you will love this "British" version of the show that take all what happened last week and give it a fresh spin. Love the show and looking forward to seeing it getting its own style Full Review »
  3. Jun 2, 2014
    10
    How dare "critics" review this show and stigmatize it based on 1 show from then end of April. They should redo their review and base it on a significant amount of episodes and metacritic should take their time finding updated reviews from the exact same sources weeks after launch that give reviewers the chance judge the show based on more than one episode. Full Review »