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Featured TV on DVD Review: Penn and Teller: Bullshit: Season Seven

May 2nd, 2010

Penn and Teller: Bullshit: Season Seven - Buy from Amazon

The DVD release for Penn and Teller: Bullshit: Season Seven is bullshit. On, it says, "The Complete Seventh Season". However, the screener I have, which is a final retail product, only has nine of the ten episodes. This is false advertising. So what episodes are found on this two-disc set and which one is missing?

  1. Orgasms
    No, they are not saying orgasms are bullshit, which would say more about their lack of ability in bed then anything else, but that the industry built up around orgasms is bullshit.
    One of the weaker episodes of the season, as the subject matter is too easy to exploit. On the other hand, at least the gratuitous nudity isn't as gratuitous as usual.
  2. Astrology
    About time they got to astrology.
    This is the type of subject matter that the show handles the best. You have people who claim to be able to make predictions based on some objective criteria, but as with all pseudo-science no two people seem to agree on what the outcome should be. This gives Penn and Teller ample opportunity to mock them. A good episode in that regard, and it was entertaining, though I didn't learn much. Hell, I've seen Professor Ron Mossler's experiment before.
  3. Video Games
    Can playing video games make you violent? Hell yes! Going into the Culling of Stratholme and having to listen to that moron blather on for five minutes is enough to make anyone want to go to Blizzard HQ and slap someone. Thank god they fixed that in the latest patch.
    A pretty good episode, with an excellent mix of entertainment and information. I do think bringing in politicians is a low blow. It's an appeal to emotion, which is what the anti-Video game movement uses.
  4. The 2012 Apocalypse
    Will the world end in 2012? No. Next episode.
    A whole episode on the Mayan calendar. It's the Y2K problem all over again. Back when computers were first popularized, they only used two digits to store the date, because it would save money. They figured that by the time 2000 rolled around and they would need more digits, the entire computer architecture would have been replaced. This turned out to not be true. Y2K was an issue because a lot of old computers could have had problems had they not been fixed. We spent millions fixing them. That's why we didn't have a problem, by the way, because we fixed it in advance. In the Mayan Calendar, when they ran out of digits, they just added another digit... and threw a big party.
    On the one hand, this is in many ways a perfect episode for the show, because there are a lot of crazy morons to mock. On the other hand, it's almost too easy. Perhaps that's why they did the pointless dick joke about 20 minutes in. That was a long setup for so little payoff.
  5. Lie Detectors
    Lie detectors work the same way Rorschach tests work. They measure stress. That's it. If you are a professional liar, you won't feel stress from lying. If you are amateur, on the other hand, the fact that you think someone might be able to tell you are lying might be enough to get you to confess.
    Like most of the episodes so far, this episode was solid, but I didn't learn much. I knew how they work, I know how they are used, I know how they are misused, etc.
  6. Organic Food
    Are organic foods better for you and the environment?
    Nope. Unfortunately, "Organic" is a marketing label more than anything else. It comes down to a misunderstanding of terms. People think food has to be "Organic" or "Processed". Or people thinking "Chemical" is the opposite of "Natural", even though everything in nature is made of chemicals. Bullshit is at its best when it deals with the science and there's a lot of science here. They also go after well-meaning, uninformed hippies, which is pointless and mean.
  7. Taxes
    Is the tax system in the United States unfair? You can probably guess their answer.
    I mentioned that Bullshit is at its best when it deals with the science. Well, it's at its worst when it deals with politics. This is worst episode of the DVD.
  8. Lawns
    Americans spend $40 billion on lawn care. Penn and Teller ask why.
    This is a rather boring subject, so fans of the show will not be surprised that there's nudity and cheap jokes. I would like to point out that the deed restrictions set forth by homeowners associations are about a large as the United States tax code. This is a really boring subject, but the people we look in on are clearly nuts, so it's entertaining in that way.
  9. Stress
    Is stress bad for you, or just motivation?
    Season Seven just sort of peters out with an episode that spends most of the time making fun of hippies. At it ends with some solid science, but it has too much filler.
That's it for the DVD, but there is one additional episode that was not included, which means The Vatican episode is not included. I'm not sure why. I have a theory, but no real facts. This is too bad, as this would be one of the timeliest episodes from the season had it hit the home market this week.

There are no real extras, but there are two episodes from season three of Californication.

The Verdict

Season Seven of Penn & Teller: Bullshit has more hits than misses among the nine episodes here, which hasn't always been the case. The fact that it is missing one of the better episodes and that there are no real extras limits the value, but if you bought the previous season and were happy, there's no reason to not grab this one as well.

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