A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Uses humor and questionable science to attack ideas, institutions, and widely cherished beliefs.
Violence & Scariness
When the topic calls for it, the imagery pulls few punches.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Full frontal near-nudity and sexual topics -- in some episodes.
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Major league cursing in many scenes: "f--k," "ass," "s--t," and so on.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The dangers of secondhand smoke were downplayed in one episode.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show is a comedy -- it is as much about humor as it is about "reality." It's less about establishing fact than it is a platform for name-calling, showmanship, and the hosts' views. Its target audience will find it hilarious, while its targets may well find themselves ambushed. Also, while some episodes are rated TV-14, others have had ratings for more mature audiences -- you may want to check before you view.
Is It Any Good?
The series' choice and treatment of topics is likely colored by Penn and Teller's own political and personal beliefs. They don't set out to investigate a complete situation or consider arguments opposing their own. Instead, they present a premise (that topic X is bulls--t) and set out to prove it. The results are often amusing, and sometimes even hilarious, but the humor comes before the pursuit of objective reality. Possibly to avoid liability, Penn slings around phrases like "ignoramus," "a--hole," "spineless bastard," and "state-funded knucklehead" to describe those whose views are being targeted. (Teller is always silent; that's part of the team's act.) Apparently, these phrases are only seen as vulgar abuse, while phrases like "liar" and "fraud" open doors to legal action for defamation or slander.
Penn and Teller's humor is smart, pointed, and inventive. Those who enjoy it may well find this show a laugh riot -- and those who can approach the ideas tackled here with an open mind might find themselves thinking differently about something they hadn't considered before. That's Penn and Teller's schtick -- they are the illusionist masters of disillusion. Just remember that they also use illusion to make their disillusionist point. Perhaps we'd be paying them the highest compliment by applying healthy skepticism to the views they support.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
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