Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Season 3 Episode 2

Family Values

0
Aired Monday 10:00 PM May 02, 2005 on Showtime
8.1
out of 10
User Rating
46 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Explores the family structure that is reported on by the Media and politicians that a traditional family must be a Father, Mother, Two kids and a Dog.

Featured experts include:

Brian Brown- Himself, Executive Director of the Family Institute of Connecticut
Michael Medved- Himself, Nationally Syndicated Radio Host
Tom Leykis- Himself, Radio Host
Stephanie Coontz- Herself, Author and Professor of History, Evergreen State College
Judith Stacey- Herself, Professor of Sociology, New York University and Founding Member of the Council on Contemporary Families.
John and Nan Wise, Julio and Amy- Themselves, New Jersey polyamorous family
Richard Cohen- Himself, Psychotherapist andDirector of International Healing Foundation
Audrey and Gayda- Themselves, San Francisco lesbian couple
Nanette Gartrell- Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Francisco

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A very disappointing episode in an otherwise fine series.

    3.0
    I have been a fan of this series since the first episode, having become hooked on Penn & Teller’s unique blend of insight and humor. Some episodes/topics are stronger than others, but when they’re on – like the “Environmental Hysteria,” “P.E.T.A.,” and “Recycling” episodes – it’s some of the best stuff on television today. “Family Values,” unfortunately, is one of the weakest episodes I’ve seen. Starting with the very premise of the show, they rely on faulty reasoning, specious logic, and fuzzy thinking to make their points. And the most annoying part of this episode is that it’s unclear what point they are trying to make. Is the traditional concept of the family a complete sham, as they try to prove? Rather than presenting clear examples and psychological and sociological evidence based on research, they resort to their old crutch of presenting flat-out whackos to present the contrary view, and then spend their time mocking their arguments, presenting little evidence in the process. One concrete example: at one point the guy representing a Connecticut family group (the guy sitting in front of a wall of very bad religious art) states that gays and lesbians have done no professional and longitudinal studies of the effect of same sex parents on their children. A psychologist then mockingly counters this point by asserting a study of this nature has, in fact, been conducted. But then she neither names the study nor presents a single piece of date from the study. I would have loved to learn more about the study. Does it prove the points they were trying to make? Does it show that non-traditional family structures are as viable as traditional ones? We never find out. All in all, this episode was to me one of the most disappointing in the series so far. Here’s hoping they get back to their normal insight and humor in episodes to come.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The full list of people and/or things that end up in bed with Penn at various times over the course of the episode: three women, two ducks, a woman in Victorian dress, a waiter, a woman dressed as Jeannie from "I Dream of Jeannie", Teller, a person in a gorilla costume, a George W. Bush lookalike, and a female scientist.

    • Of the things mentioned in the opening tease, Penn and Teller do discuss the Loch Ness Monster (and, by proxy though not explicitly, unicorns) in their Cryptozoology episode and technically discuss Satan in their Exorcisms episode.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Nan Wise: How your family looks is your business. We're husband, wife and children...and other people who love us and who we love. Can you explain to me WHY that's not okay?
      Penn: NO WE CAN'T! We envisioned a world where your life is YOURS. You make your own choices about what and WHO you like to do. Gay, straight, lesbian, bi...what the h*ll business is that of mine or the government's? We want you to all live happily ever after, do whatever the f*ck you want!

    • Richard Cohen: (describing an aspect of his technique) It's...the law of Physics!
      Penn: (in voiceover) PHYSICS?? Oh yeah, right, it's "Newton's First Law of D*ck Motion". A d*ck in motion stays in motion, a d*ck at rest...well you know.

    • Richard Cohen: Some people said "You're born this way, accept it, this is who you are.". And I knew that was a bunch of malarkey. I KNEW it wasn't how I was born. I knew I was destined to have a wife and children.
      Penn: (in voiceover) And Teller and I were destined to be cowboys...we're such f*ckups...

    • Penn: The answer to every question I ask is going to be "D*ck*. (Teller holds up a sign with "D*ck" on it) Are you following me?
      Crew: (in unison, offscreen) D*CK!
      Penn: Uh, what's the name of the PSYCHOtherapist, say it loud...
      Crew: (in unison, offscreen) D*CK!
      Penn: ...who was expelled from the American Counseling Association for violations of its Code of Ethics?
      Crew: (in unison, offscreen) D*CK!
      Penn: What scientific evidence is there that sexual preference can be changed through counseling?
      Crew: (in unison, offscreen) D*CK!
      Penn: Okay then. (Teller turns sign to reveal a drawing of a d*ck)

    • Penn: (in voiceover) Dr. Gartrell's study only uncovered ONE disturbing side effect for kids with gay parents...other than loving all the shows on Bravo.
      Nanette Gartrell: By the age of 10, about half of them have experienced what they describe as homophobia.
      Penn: (in voiceover) SO, the only negative to having same-sex parents...is the bigotry of OTHER PEOPLE.

    • Nanette Gartrell: I have an enormously well-founded, long-term study that has been going on for 18 years, and there are studies in Europe as well. Um...the papers have been published, and, uh, all I can say is that Brian Brown is not doing his research.

    • Brian Brown: Because homosexual parenting is such a new phenomenon, we do not have longitudinal studies with large groups to look at! They just don't exist.
      Nanette Gartrell: Brian Brown is COMPLETELY inaccurate in making a statement that longitudinal studies of lesbian families don't exist.
      Penn: (in voiceover) Ouch...cut his d*ck off, why don't you?

    • Penn: (in voiceover about a lesbian couple) These two moms aren't ruining their kids lives! They're watching them draw pictures, helping them with their homework, reading to them. NOW they're rinsing lettuce! Not all straight parents rinse lettuce!
      Brian Brown: Marriage isn't a salad bar!
      Penn: (in voiceover) Oh shut up.

    • Penn: (on a lesbian couple, in voiceover) They clearly need a man in their househould a LITTLE more...than a fish needs a bicycle.

    • Richard Cohen: "Coming out Straight" is published in four languages now.
      Penn: (voiceover) Oh right, uh...English, Bullsh*tish, Cr*panese, and French.

    • Penn: (voiceover) In short, Cohen fixes f*gs and legitimizes lesbians.
      Richard Cohen: Um, uh, you can call me Richard.
      Penn: (voiceover) We prefer "Dick".

    • Penn: The most frequent question we get asked about this show is "Why would *SSH*LES like Brian Brown or Michael Medved come on a show called Bullsh*t! to get called *ssh*les?". We do not lie to them. We make sure they know all about the show. We give them copies of past shows. And it's always pretty clear which side of the issue we're gonna be on. The long answer is that people who come on this show generally consider themselves to be...bulletproof. Most have never talked to ANYONE with a dissenting view and CERTAINLY no one with a real research team like ours. If you say something on our show, we check it. If you lie or make something up, we know. But we're fair, and we never take people out of context. WE'RE BIASED AS ALL F*CK, but we TRY to be honest. Now THAT'S the long answer. The short answer is...(he and Teller shrug)

    • Penn: We don't really know jack sh*t about people, but other primates sure aren't built for monogamy. Watch some chimps next time you're on safari or hang out at the zoo for a few days straight. Before they throw you out for some weird, obsessive monkey fascination, you'll notice a simple fact: they ALL f*ck each other. It's Mother Nature. They won't tell you that on the zoo tour, but it's true! And here's the thing...nobody seems to care.

    • Nan Wise: Why do we assume that we only have a certain kind of love for one person and that if you love somebody else or you're sexual with them that there's something dangerous or wrong about that?
      Penn: (sarcastically, in voiceover) John and Nan Wise. What a rap sheet. Married for 24 years. Raised two cool kids. Have good jobs, nice home, minivan. Pay taxes. And THEY'RE evil polyamorous b*st*rds. CLEARLY, a THREAT to society.

    • Penn: (on Tom Leykis, in voiceover) Leykis tells guys not to get married. He must not be listening to his own show! He's been married four times... and been through four divorces.

    • Penn: (surrounded by three naked women) I got your "deferred gratification" hanging, Medved.

    • Michael Medved: When you get married, you trade adventure, and excitement, and...uh...the lure of the new...for stability, and predictability, and love, and, one hopes a little bit of sweetness and sharing.
      Penn: (voiceover) He's a H*LL of a salesman, isn't he? I sure didn't trade any excitement and adventure in MY marriage! And I didn't have to hope in vain for sweetness and sharing.

    • Judith Stacey: There has been no society ever in history that was able to have a stable marriage system based on the notion of romantic love.

    • Stephanie Coontz: Well, the thing that we used to think of the traditional family, the "Ozzie and Harriet" family, was actually a TV Sitcom. It was not a documentary.
      Penn: (in bed) "Ozzie and Harriet" was post-war, idealized propaganda...and, a sh*tty TV show. "Ozzie and Harriet" were no more real than "Mr. Ed", the f*cking talking horse or "I Dream of F*cking Jeannie"...although I did have...many dreams about f*cking Barbara Eden. I did a lot of lamp rubbing...

    • Penn: (voiceover) Maybe someone should make a confession.
      Michael Medved: I'm gonna make a confession here...
      Penn: (voiceover) Okay...Soundbite time!

    • Stephanie Coontz: The most common marriage form in history was one man and many women.

    • Penn: Want ANOTHER radio guy? Okay, here's Tom Leykis. And he thinks well... a bit differently.
      Tom Leykis: You are paying for use of a vagina.
      Penn: SH*T! I just lost ten bucks to Teller. I said the Pope was gonna be the first to say "vagina".

    • Penn: (in bed with three women)Like many things in America, marriage and family are changing. (a duck flies onto the bed from off screen) Ooh, hello! It ain't what it used to be, sister! (to woman near duck) Hand the duck over...

    • Penn: I know, we're such A*SSH*LES using science and fact to prove our point. Especially when it isn't a SCIENCE issue! It'sNONE of ourBUSINESS who and why you f*ck or marry, or both! Nobody wants Penn and Teller telling them what to do with their relationships. Is it SO HARD to understand that we don't want to hear what you have to say about ours? Don't touch my d*ck unless I invite you. I promise not to touch yours.

    • Brian Brown: Marriage isn't a salad bar!


      Penn: SALAD BAR? I wouldn't marry ANY salad bar...unless it had pudding.

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  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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