Penn & Teller Tell a Lie
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series features comedians Penn and Teller as they try to fool viewers about what scientific stories are fact vs. fiction. There is some sexual innuendo (some of which will go over younger kids heads), some strong language ("ass," stronger ones bleeped with mouths blurred). The show encourages the use of an app to vote while the show is on the air. It also features some dangerous stunts being performed by professionals; viewers of all ages should be reminded to never try them at home.
What's the story?
PENN & TELLER TELL A LIE features comedic illusionists Penn Jillette and Teller as they share seven unbelievable scientific stories. The problem? Six of them are absolutely true, and one is nothing but a lie. From lifting a Mustang convertible with a single strand of hair to trying to stop a lead bullet with a butter knife, the show offers scientific evidence that supports each of their claims with the help of experts and stunt professionals. Clues are given that support or reject the validity of these stories while they are being shown. After each story, viewers are invited to vote on whether the story is true or false using the \"Guess the Lie\" app available for download and on the show's website. At the end of the series the the hosts will reveal which story is a hoax. The home audience's final results are also revealed in real viewing time both on the East and West Coasts.
Is it any good?
The fast-paced series combines science with Penn and Teller's trademark (albeit toned down) dry humor. Adding to the fun is the use of interview bloopers, replays of crazy moments, interesting archival footage, and dangerous stunts performed by professionals to tell every tale.
The audience's ability to have their votes registered and processed while it is actually airing is unique, but most folks will probably tune in to watch the eccentric hosts rather than to think about the validity of the scientific data they are being presented. Nonetheless, it still offers viewers who want to learn a chance to do just that.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about science. How do researchers find the answers to many of the questions posed in this and other science-oriented shows? What kinds of scientific questions do YOU have? How could you go about finding the answers?
Do you think quirky TV shows like this one help educate viewers, or is it mainly for entertainment? What does this show teach you about critical thinking?