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Penn & Teller: Bullshit! 8 Seasons

Season 4
4.3 out of 5 stars (176) IMDb 8.2/10

The Emmy® Nominated program fearlessly exposes dubious practices across America, Penn &Teller uncover the truth behind all kinds of so-called miracles. From anti-aging to talking to the dead, they tackle it all with their trademark wit and humor - taking on the people who take Americans for a ride.

Penn Jillette, Teller

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Season 4
1. The Boy Scouts

The mischievous magicians return for a fourth season of exposing the hypocrisy of society with this episode that focuses on the Boy Scouts of America and its policy of intolerance toward homosexuals and atheists.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 29 minutes Release date: April 3, 2006
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2. Prostitution

In the only place in America where prostitution is legal (a few counties in Nevada), the practice is regulated, pimps don't exist, hookers pay taxes, and HIV is non-existent. Penn and Teller explore the absurdity of the world's oldest profession being illegal.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 29 minutes Release date: April 10, 2006
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3. The Death Penalty

Penn & Teller uncover the absurdity surrounding the government's support of the archaic and primitive practice of the Death Penalty.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 29 minutes Release date: April 17, 2006
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4. Cryptozoology

Penn & Teller blow the lid off the methods and beliefs of the outrageous fringe croup of marginalized scientists who call themselves cryptozoologists.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 30 minutes Release date: April 24, 2006
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5. Ground Zero

It has been four years since the worst terrorist attack on American soil and little has been built to commemorate the fallen heroes of that fateful day. There's been lots of media hype and politicians talking of what will be placed on this holy site but we haven't gotten very far.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 29 minutes Release date: May 1, 2006
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6. Pet Love

Penn & Teller expose the ridiculousness surrounding people and the lengths they go to spoil their pets.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 29 minutes Release date: May 8, 2006
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7. Reparations

Slavery, the slaughter of Native Americans (and the confiscation of their tribal land) and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II are three tragedies from this nation's past. Today many African Americans think the Federal Government (meaning Mr. And Mrs. Tax Payer) owe them reparations because their ancestors were once slaves.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 27 minutes Release date: May 15, 2006
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8. Manners

Is it really true? Are Americans ruder today than they were 120 years ago? Penn & Teller will find out that our contemporary ideas about manners date back to the Victorian period, a time when there wasn't indoor plumbing and people used to urinate in the street.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: May 22, 2006
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9. Numbers

The magicians take a look at numbers and statistics, and how both are frequently fudged by the media, politicians and corporations to manipulate the public into following their agendas.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 29 minutes Release date: May 29, 2006
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10. Abstinence

Penn and Teller debunk the abstinence movement with a look at the sexual shame that results from discouraging masturbation and healthy sexuality in kids, as well as government programs that feed our children false information.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 30 minutes Release date: June 5, 2006
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
After a slightly messy third season, I was a little wary of whether magicians Penn and Teller would be able to keep my interest going for much longer. The first two seasons of their show were amazing and dealt with great topics like Profanity, the truth of the Bible, PETA, talking to the dead, and creationism. However, the third season just couldn't compare. While there were a few very good episodes (family values, signs from Heaven), most dealt with topics that I see as harmless, and the jokes seemed to be falling flat. So I was pleasantly surprised when the fourth season began and the quality had been restored. The episodes once again dealt with controversial issues and the humor seemed to work again.

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.
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Penn and Teller are often abrasive but they are good at what they do. They are good entertainers. They are good magicians. For the purposes of this program, they are good at debunking BS.

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.
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Format: DVD
No one else has done what Penn and Teller have done in this ruthlessly original series. With this season it's even harder to "pin" any political label on them; they seem to attack the left as energetically as the right. I guess if a label is needed, it's "libertarian." That is, any incursion into individual liberty by government is highly suspicious. By their topics:

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?
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