Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (Screenshot: TBS)

A weekly, half-hour late night political comedy show in the age of Trump has to find a strategy to plow through a week’s worth of alarmingly awful news, some of which inevitably drops right before air time. Samantha Bee multi-tasks as well as anyone in late night, and Wednesday’s Full Frontal saw the host—after a brief opening that addressed the fact that Donald Trump seems hellbent (literally) on Tweeting us into a nuclear apocalypse—break down three representative segments of the ongoing shitshow that we wake up to every day now. Luckily, the third and final piece—also the last of Bee’s on-location segments talking to the perpetually beleaguered people of Iraqi Kurdistan—was an inspiring and restorative one. Because, as Bee tossing down shots of (presumably fake) hooch suggested, there are a lot of assholes to deal with here at home.

Her first piece was a gorge-risingly comprehensive analysis of just how toad-like, opportunistic bigot Steve Bannon wound up forming national policy. Tracing the former Goldman-Sachs exec’s rise through the “cheating at online video games” arena (where he learned just how focused is the racist, sexist resentment of “butthurt penis-goblin” young white males), to his tenure turning propagandistic “news” site Breitbart into a targeted missile of white nationalism and woman-harassing, to his elevation to “Trump’s brain” status as resident White House hatemonger and shit-stirrer, Bee was driven to (presumably fake) drink.

Next up was Bee’s rundown of how Trump and the Republicans’ efforts to install the worst possible humans who’ve managed to pass the bar exam to the (lifetime-appointed) federal bench threaten to erode the one successful check so far to conservatives’ worst excesses. Examining how Mitch McConnell and the GOP worked to block Obama appointments in order to secure the far-right agenda of their collective dreams, Bee highlighted just a few of these winners, each of whom is loathsome enough to make a respected comedy host (again, one assumes, fake) drink herself into oblivion. There’s nominee Damien Schiff, who’s all in favor of re-criminalizing sodomy. There’s already-confirmed John Bush, who, among other things, wrote an anonymous blog that regularly quoted from white nationalist conspiracy websites. Drink!

(Screenshot: TBS)

Thankfully (for Bee, at least), that third segment was a bracing palate cleanser, as she spoke to a handful of Kurdish women who aren’t taking any semblance of male bullshit. There are the heavily armed women of the Peshmerga, the Kurdish military force battling ISIS on a daily basis. There are the scholars of a woman’s empowerment center, defying both tradition and the war around them to all qualify to enter college. There are the unimaginably brave refugee woman from Syria and Iraq, one of whom told Bee, determinedly, “After all we’ve been through, we must see everything as beautiful,” even as she resides in a hut with her small children in a refugee camp. Sure, no one there was terribly impressed that Bee had her own show or anything, but at least their example seemed to buck Bee up enough to take on whatever the deeply mediocre men back home have in store for her in the week to come.

(Check out all Full Frontal clips here. Try not to drink.)

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