Saturday, December 24, 2011

Penn & Teller: Bullshit! Season 8

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Penn & Teller:  Bullshit! Season 8 - 5 out of 5

There are 3 things that Penn & Teller:  Bullshit can do to a person.  They can offend you, interest you or arouse you.  That's right, I said arouse.

Is Cheerleading Bullshit?  Apparently something about it or why else would they do a show about it?


Penn as Indiana Jones?  Things just got awesome!
The show is about two of the best magicians since Houdini (and that shows how many shitty magicians we've had since then--I'm looking at you, Criss Angel.  The way you spell your name alone magically makes you a douche and don't get me started on the magic trick-less magician David Blaine...) anyway, the show focuses on Penn Jillette (one of my heroes and a man I can do an uncanny impression of) and his partner Teller taking a break from their magic show in Las Vegas to tackle various issues in our world that people hold sacred and show how these things are, to quote the show, bullshit.

Is this the part that can arouse you?  Sure, why not.


Penn & Teller take on Area 51.
In the past, they've went after the Bible (both Penn & Teller are outspoken atheists--well, maybe not so much Teller since he doesn't speak much), recycling, gun control, ghosts, even handicap parking.  This season they took on such subjects as the crusade to keep cheerleading from being a sport, vaccinations, Area 51, fast food and self-esteem.  Each episode, they take a stance and set out through comedy and interviewing experts (and a lot of crazies) to prove why they believe such and such is complete bullshit.  For example, during an episode about teen sex, they go on to talk about how teenagers getting nasty is a part of growing up and trying to protect them from it is absolutely ridiculous.  They interview people who talk about how relationships, both physical, emotional and sexual are important for teenagers because never again will relationships be as easy (or as enjoyable) as they are when they're that age.  They talk to the crazies who claim that things like sexting and teen sex will send the kids into a moral sewer that will consume them into a life of debauchery, drugs and...crime (I couldn't think of another thing that starts with a "D" in order to keep my alliteration going).

Yeah, this happens on an episode.  Why?  I'm not going to tell you in order to drive you insane.


He has a lab coat...he must know his shit.
The show's format doesn't offer a place for open debate.  The reality is, the program is Penn & Teller's stance and they go out to prove it.  There's no editing tricks to make the crazies look crazier because, if you watch the show, Penn isn't in the room with the nutbags and they are just allowed to get on their soapbox, tell us why they're right and everyone else is wrong and then, an overdub of Penn, will chime in with a witty comment about how their f$@king nuts.  It's this type of format that has caused the show to be criticized heavily but it also inspired Penn to close the series with an episode that uncovered the bullshit of Bullshit!  Sadly, this will never come to be because this was the final season as Showtime cancelled it...but Penn & Teller will return on The Discovery Channel on their new show:  Penn & Teller Tell a Lie.

Maybe the show can do 4 things like scare the shit out of you.

Sometimes the nutjobs are so bad, I punched my TV
screen.  Like this asshole who says vaccinations are bad
for kids.

Now, I mentioned this show can do three things and you're probably wondering how...or you've grown bored with this and have moved on to looking at pictures of cats.  Well, like I said, this show can offend, interest you or arouse you.  If you already agree with Penn & Teller (and my batting record of agreeing with them is 100% believe it or not) you'll have a great time watching the nutjobs and Penn go on his swear-fueled rants.  If you don't agree, you'll get pretty damn offended as the show only picks the craziest of the crazy to make the opposition look bad.  And as far as getting aroused...well, there's a lot of topless ladies on the show.  Why?  Because they were on Showtime and could get away with it!

There's boobies on the show!  Now let the parents freak out because there's a kid on set and will end up seeing something he's going to be dying to see for the rest of his life.

Why I'm sad that this very funny series came to an end, it went out with the same quality it came roaring in on (except there seemed to be less boobs than other season).  Penn & Teller are showmen to the highest order and the show they brought to the premium network was unlike other debunking shows.  Yes, they had an agenda and each episode was painstakingly geared to their viewpoint but how is that different than any other documentary-like show?  At least they refrained from flat-out making things up like Fox.

Now for fun, here's a picture of Penn juggling.

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