Last Week Tonight provokes thought and giddiness well on several fronts. This combination has led to the greatest moments of the show, which frequently involve host John Oliver going hard on a serious subject but taking a momentary diversion into out-of-context WTF-land. That was the case with his first pandemic deep dive taking time to sum up Bridgerton as with a jizz-blanket label, one that still makes me laugh to no end. This week, he returned to bad-cop behavior with a deep dive on police interrogations.
Things got ugly with the host detailing the Reid Technique, which involves many shady components, including being allowed to fabricate evidence to elicit confessions from innocent suspects. In addition, Oliver cites a disturbing fact, which is that a majority of states don’t even require police to fully record interrogations, so that juries may see it in open court. Rather, 20 states leave it “up to the police, who might only record the confession.” As Oliver pointed out, “[Y]ou just cannot get the full story from seeing one short clip. Imagine if the only clip you’d ever seen from One Tree Hill was this.”
From there, oh boy. Oliver (shortly after the 15:00 in the above clip) dove into the CW teen soap opera’s most infamous scene, in which a golden retriever gets stoned. He’s hanging out in a hospital, where some dude carries in a for-transplant heart and trips over the dog’s leash. Said heart spills onto the floor, and the munchies-inspired dog rushes forward and gobbles away. That heart was meant for bad-dad Dan, who looks on in a combination of shock and dismay. His son, Lukas, isn’t upset by this turn of events. Dog takes off with heart. End scene.
Oliver crowns this the GOAT of TV clips:
“Do you want to know what One Tree Hill is about? It’s about a high school basketball team. You’d have no way of knowing that from that clip. All you would know is that it would contain the most perfect 20 seconds of television that has ever existed.”
This truly is a remarkable snippet of TV, and for the curious, The Ringer previously published a fantastic oral history to that effect. Earlier in the episode, Oliver also roasted Dr. Oz for several reasons, including his right-wing way of blaming Biden for inflation but also “[going] to a grocery store dressed like Dexter before a serial murder.” You can watch the full episode on HBO Max.