Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Season 4 Episode 8


Aired Monday 10:00 PM May 22, 2006 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
27 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

According to a recent poll, 8 out of 10 people in the US think Americans are ruder today than any time in history. Is that even possible? Are we really ruder and less well mannered? On this episode of BULLSHIT, we'll find out that our contemporary ideas about manners date back about 120 years to the Victorian period, a time when there wasn't indoor plumbing and people used to urinate in the street, we'll meet an etiquette expert who knows which fork to use when eating salad and visit with a stripper who puts the entire issue of manners into perspective. Saying "please" and "thank you" are good social lubricants and help you avoid getting beat up… the rest of manners, are pretty much BULLSHIT.moreless
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  • Making fun of people is so easy

    This one hit almost every one of the series' weak points.

    First, making fun of people instead of making a real argument is Title-of-Show. It doesn't prove anything and just makes you look desperate for material. The first guy's main sin was being too grumpy all the time, and writing a book about it, but I'll stab myself in the eye with a fork if Penn has never gotten pissed off by someone driving like a moron. We all get irritated by inconsiderate people from time to time; maybe a better angle would have been showing how pointless it is to get worked up over them.

    Second, the manners teacher did seem to be charging a lot for her classes, and she was kind of a harpy, but she's not holding a gun to anyone's head to take her classes, or yelling at people at random in public for eating hamburgers the wrong way. If there are segments of society or social events that would expect those manners, what's wrong with someone teaching how to handle those situations? Will we see a show about how ballroom dancing class instructors are all fascists trying to tell everyone how to dance?

    I tend to agree with P&T on shows where they go after people who are exploiting others, or harming people or society in some way. But this -- meh.

    (Ironically, this site did not allow me to use the title of the show in my review, even though it's clearly visible above -- talk about manners!)

  • After tackling some of the really big social issues, it feels like they're merely treading water with this episode.

    After exposing people who intentionally take money from innocent people by manipulating their grief or conscience, it seems fairly pointless to make an episode about manners. I mean, who cares? I've never in my life been told off for using the wrong fork and I'm sure that most people are the same. Maybe the high societe circles that P&T move in require some protocol now and then but why bother making an entire episode about it. Maybe after the extremely hot topic of reparations they felt the need to do a 'low key' episode. Maybe they're just running out of steam at the end of a fourth season (with at least one more to come). At any rate, they simply failed to capture my interest this time around.moreless

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