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STUDIO: Showtime Entertainment
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 270 minutes
Penn Jillette, Teller.
The bad boys of magic, the ones who aren’t afraid to call bullshit on themselves by revealing not only their own, but other magicians’ secrets, also call bullshit on the institutions and entities upon which society is built.
I’ve always liked Penn & Teller, because they never took themselves a fraction as serious as David Copperfield; and they weren’t as full of it as other magicians who stick to a lot of the tired cliches of magic such as doves, tuxedos, the grandstanding, etc. Their magic, while being just as good as anybody else’s always seemed more accessible and “street,” long before David Blaine came along. Plus it’s usually gory as shit. Furthermore, they weren’t afraid to say f— it and show you how they did the trick they just pulled off, as well as the old standards, in an attempt to force magicians to evolve from the tricks we’ve all seen a thousand times.
For the last six seasons, they’ve brought that maverick approach they have to a show that skewers taboos and debunks myths and cliches. And considering that they frequently have nudity and obscenity, all the better. Bullshit consists of Penn (Teller is there to look pretty and hold up props) riffing on subjects such as the war on porn, new age medicine, dolphins being as smart or smarter than humans, sensitivity training, world peace and even NASA. There’s a distinct bias to the show, as Penn & Teller are self-confessed skeptics on many topics and they make no attempt to hide their one-sidedness. Plus they take (unfortunately metaphoric) blowtorches to people with whom they disagree. Every episode is an obscenity-laced tirade against the conventions that are supposed to make us more civilized, which makes it all the more fun.
“You know what’s really Bullshit? The production design budget for this show…”
There are ten episodes and the show is mostly done in a studio, so the presentation is TV standard, which always sucks. Audio is suitable in either English 5.1 Surround or 2.0 Stereo, and there’s also Spanish Mono and Closed Captioned. No specials whatsoever, which is bullshit.