28 April 2014 2:20 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

There's no sense trying to explain the premise of John Oliver's weekly HBO series "Last Week Tonight," because he certainly didn't. The most refreshing thing about the "Daily Show" alum's debut on his half-hour weekly news recap was the instant rapport he built with viewers without having to sell us on a wild new format. In fact, Oliver established a lot of great impulses on his Sunday debut. Here were the nine biggest triumphs of the evening.  1. He wasted no time getting to work. Before you could quake in suspense wondering what comic tone "Last Week Tonight" would strike, Oliver eliminated all pretenses right from the get-go: "Welcome to whatever this is," he intoned from behind the anchor desk, right before springing right into the news. "It turned out to be a rough week for unrepentant racists and recording devices." We're already used to Oliver's droll reportage, so why »


- Louis Virtel

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