Brow Beat

John Oliver’s Brexit Forecast: It’s Not Lookin’ Good!

John Oliver at his desk, in front of a graphic reading "BREXIT."
Bad, even! HBO

John Oliver kicked off the sixth season of Last Week Tonight on Sunday night by checking in on Brexit, which, you will perhaps not be surprised to hear, is still an enormous clusterfuck. To give his viewers some sense of the enormity of the clusterfuck in question, Oliver had to use extreme methods: a Churchillian address about how steadfastly the U.K. has committed to fucking itself, a mug reading “You’ve Pretty Much Fucked Yourself With a Rusty Piece of Rebar,” and most shockingly of all, a music video from a boy band called the Breunion Boys urging the U.K. to remain in the European Union. Check it out:

There’s just no way a civilization can recover from something like that. It’s  depressing to encounter such a clear example of humanity shooting itself in the foot, especially when there don’t seem to be any good options to undo the damage. The only way forward, at this point, is backwards, Sondheim-style. So let’s turn the clock back to 2017 and ask how we got to be here:

Now that is a much younger and more optimistic John Oliver! Although we now know that Oliver’s faith in Lord Buckethead’s negotiating skills was misplaced, a species that can produce a Lord Buckethead in the first place is probably not completely irredeemable. Let’s Pinter things back even further, before the Brexit referendum (and Donald Trump) even happened:

We were all so young! We had so much potential! How did we lose sight of our dreams, of our friends, of everything that mattered to us? Why does anything from before Donald Trump’s election seem tragically, stupidly optimistic when we watch it now? Why does John Oliver keep including brief segments from terrible European music videos that are a million times more terrible when you watch them in their entirety?

The sad truth is, despite the emotional catharsis provided by rearranging John Oliver segments about Brexit in reverse chronological order, that won’t actually do anything to fend off this impending disaster, and it’s unclear what will. But after watching that last music video all the way through, one thing is painfully obvious: OK Go must be brought to justice.

Subscribe to Slate’s Culture newsletter for the best of movies, TV, books, music, and more, delivered twice a week.