Essential viewing: Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Isn’t it great when you discover a new TV show that you really click with right away? Especially when it’s been going for years and you suddenly have many hours of content to enjoy. Penn and Teller are a pretty well known duo, but outside the US it seems hardly anyone’s heard of their flagship TV show: Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

The eighth and final season was released on DVD in May

As a site that prides itself on spreading the word of all things good, we see it as our duty to bring this superb little series to your attention. Each episode is under thirty minutes and tackles a different topic that is, as the title suggests, shown to be bullshit.

Name a thing that’s bullshit, these two take the piss out of it – in the first couple of seasons they sock it to alien abduction, alternative medicine, self help, psychics, end of the world theories and loads more. A lot of it is familiar subject matter that intelligent, secular types will have already made their minds up on, but there are also a great number of episodes that are bound to come as new information to many – to me, I learned a thing or two about how pretty much all recycling is apparently all bullshit, for example. Curious? It’s eye opening stuff…

Standout episodes include college, profanity, 9/11 conspiracy theories, teenage sex, family values and the crafty industries surrounding love and death, and a great episode on good old video game violence, featuring the games industry’s favourite lawyer Jack Thompson.

What we love about the show is trademark wit and showmanship that the guys bring to the show. Each episode is perfectly set up to take the absolute piss out of fascinatingly stupid and occasional evil people as a means of setting out to provide why the topic in question is a big load of bullshit, and Penn and Teller are really masters of their art.

They also unearth some of the world’s most unscrupulous kinds of people and call them out on their, well, bullshit – and Penn gets pretty worked up on some of the more genuinely offensive matters, like GM food and people who fight food advance – people whose ignorance, it is argued, means people needlessly starve to death.

You might not agree with every conclusion they present, but I don’t think they care really. As far as bite-size documentaries go the show is unpretentious, hilarious, informative and topical – and both intelligent and ridiculous at the same time.

There’s a series 1-7 box set available on Amazon.com, and the eighth and final season was released just last month. Snap them all up right away, or look up the show on your preferred media delivery service. You’ll thank us for it.

On a related note, Penn and Teller have announced that their next show, Penn & Teller: Tell a Lie, will start on Discovery Channel later this year. We’ll be first in line.

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