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Penn & Teller - Bullsh*t - The Complete Fourth Season
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The series takes time out for silliness with "Cryptozoology," the arguably bogus "science" of studying (using no actual evidence) the likes of the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and every other mythical creature described through dubious eyewitness reports or blurry video. An especially funny episode, "Cryptozoology" follows the feckless wanderings of so-called experts who seem more adept at buying equipment than actually using it. An interesting change-of-pace is "Manners," in which the popular perception that Americans are more rude today than they were a century ago is attacked as ridiculous, given that people routinely urinated in the street at the end of the 19th century. An etiquette expert shows us which fork to use when eating a salad, but the overall idea here is that only a handful of manners are necessary for getting through life. Three other, very serious subjects are drenched in sarcasm. One is New York Citys inability to get it together on rebuilding the Ground Zero site. The episode tracks the many instances of overreaching and mishandling the delicate task, and finds that even a national tragedy doesnt mean the best intentions of government are free from screw-ups. In another episode about reparations, the question of whether America owes money to the descendants of African slaves and Indians is dissected with a wink. Penn and Teller also take on abstinence in a program that looks at whether sex education works, and wonder why it is that something that reduces stress and feels good the way sex does is so demonized. --Tom Keogh
- All 10 episodes from the 2006 Season on 3 discs
Top Customer Reviews
Nearly every episode this season dealt with its topic in an interesting way; if the topic was controversial, Penn and Teller didn't back down from remaining edgy, and if it wasn't, the duo exposed a new side of the topic. The best example is the Manners episode; in it, they criticize people who take good manners way too seriously. One of their guests is a guy from Chicago who gets annoyed to the extent of anger by even the tiniest of impolite gestures. Their look at the Boy Scouts was intriguing to me due to my feelings for the organization; a lot of the Scouts' policies are pretty discriminatory, and though they have received some heat in the past few years, there are some things that they do that haven't been brought to light.
Some of the episodes were really fun and allowed us to have a slight laugh as well as think about certain issues.Read more ›
They go about their work methodically and give both sides' arguments to an issue. They then systematically destroy the arguments of the side they disagree with. This is usually done with a lot of sarcasm and contempt but there are exceptions. They do not try to gratuitously hurt people who are not trying to take advantage of others. If people are trying to take advantage, they take no prisoners.
Episode synopses appear below:
Boy Scouts - I really wanted to take exception with this one because I am a big fan of the BSA. Unfortunately, some things hit home. The BSA discriminates against gays and against atheists. Even P&T agree that, as a private organization, they have the right to set their own membership guidelines. The problem comes from the unique federal charter. The BSA does get tax payer support in some areas. They have a habit of claiming to be a private organization when that suits them and claiming to be entitled to public funds when that suits them. They need to decide who and what they are.
Prostitution - This is another episode where I have to agree with them on principle even though I don't want to. They argue that the criminalization of prostitution cause many more problems than it solves. As usual, they interview people on both sides of the issue. Unusually, they are fairly respectful of most. Their arguments are several. Prostitution will exists, whether legal or illegal; legalization will get rid of many of the abuses.Read more ›
Boy Scouts - in essence, Penn and Teller think that if the BSA wants to exclude gays and atheists, they should refuse direct and in-kind federal and state support. I agree - too much of what the Scouts do is uncomfortably close to "state action" and the establishment of religion.
Prostitution - according to the boys, it will be with us always, and making it illegal only makes things worse. It was a good segment, but I felt it soft-pedaled the viability of prostitution in Nevada. I saw a very pastel-colored picture of things out there from the boys, and I cannot say that it is as rosy as they depicted to serve their political ends...
Death Penalty - if we kill somebody, we run a big risk of regretting it later because we were wrong. Well, with our better technology of proof that we have today, does that mean that we should use the death penalty more? Not according to P&T.
Cryptozoology - irrelevant, although funny.
Ground Zero - I wish they would have "weighed in" on what their own preferred solution would be. Here, a lot of rocks are thrown but no viable solutions advanced.
Pet Love - I could not finish this one. It made me sick. However, if this is what makes people happy, I guess it's better than injecting heroin.
Reparations - hey, justice is as justice does, right?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very entertaining and thought provoking. I don't agree with all they say but enjoy the nature of the program.Published 6 days ago by cliffb
Smart, very entertaining a cool and funl learning experience...Published 14 days ago by sammahel soto