Magic duo Penn and Teller have been around for a while now, using a combination of illusion and comedy to gain audiences globally. As with any duo, the on-screen/stage personna's of the duo are a contrast to each other. Penn Jillette is the brash frontman who litters his delivery with profanity, whilst Teller is the silent straight man who uses mime.
Bullshit! is a series that looks a sceptical look at a number of issues, ideas or beliefs within modern society and then proceeds to rip the Michael out of them. Episodes contained within this sixth season are:
The War On Porn
The duo take on radical feminists who claim that porn leads to violence and right wingers who claim it leads to addiction, with plenty of explicit footage included.
New Age Medicine
P & T set out to uncover the truth about acupunture, the Chinese practice of cupping and a myriad of other New Age stuff…
A look at the American space agency, and querying whether the administration of NASA are doing enough to justify it's continuing existence.
Are dolphins really mystical and magical creatures? Where they put on the earth to communicate with man? Do we really have an inner dolphin?
An examination of the mattress industry and the concept of a decent night's sleep. How much do we really need?
According to the dynamic duo, most of the Green products touted do very little to help the Earth despite their high prices, simply making people feel better. P & T also pay a special tribute to Al Gore, the Smartest Man in the History of the World.
A look at how schools, corporations and Government organisations (in fact, just about everyone) are sending people on courses to ensure that no one is ever offended by someone else ever again.
The duo investigate why so many of us believe that the world is a deadly place for our children with perverts and murderers lurking on every street corner when evidence suggests otherwise.
Is World Peace ever achievable or simply a misguided Utopian ideal? And just what does the UN do?
The Good Ol' Days
Is nostalgia ever as good as it was? What does being stuck in a period say about the person you are today? Includes a look at a man who has watched Leave It To Beaver and it's idyllic look at 50's family life more than 50,000 times...
This is a perfect series for cynics and some of the subjects are just ripe for having the mickey taken out of them. Penn and Teller take a bit of a swipe at some of the ideas and companies that have embedded themselves into modern culture.
The format is a relatively simple one. Take a half hour slot and pick a subject, like Pornography for example. Show some gratuitous clips and give a brief explanation of how you see this subject and then prepare your viewers for the alternate viewpoint with the phrase 'and then there's this asshole…' Allow said asshole to just talk about their beliefs without any counterargument and then just throw in a punch line to negate everything they've just said.
Anyone of a nervous disposition should note at this point that Penn Jillette's delivery is peppered with profanity and not of the 'bloody' or dammit' variety. I found this a little refreshing but I can't say I'd like it much if everyone started doing it. It really is a Penn presentation in terms of delivery with Teller being very much the silent partner who chips in with a bit of mime now and again. The style is a mix of semi-serious discussion with a large dose of sarcastic comedy.
I enjoyed this and enjoyed seeing some of the fringe pseudo-quacks show themselves up on camera as well.