Nobody likes a skeptic. Nobody likes to hear that obnoxious voice from the back of the room cry “Bullsh*t!” about something they hold near and dear. But that’s exactly the reason why we need the skeptic—when we believe passionately in something we become blinded to any and all of its faults, allowing the unscrupulous to use that faith to take advantage of us.
Entire industries are built around people’s beliefs, and many times they prey on our desire for comfort, security, and fulfillment to make an easy buck no matter what the financial, psychological, or spiritual damage they may cause. These are the people Penn & Teller go after with their show.
It should be noted that, first and foremost, Bullsh*t! is a comedy, and Penn & Teller’s goal is to entertain. It’s a fine goal, but sometimes it conflicts with their other goal to inform their viewers. They curse constantly, use every opportunity to show naked people, and they viciously attack those they feel are exploiting others. None of this bothers me, but those factors can and does alienate potential viewers, thus limiting the effectiveness of their argument. Many times I think this show just preaches to the choir, so to speak, and I wonder about how well they’re getting their message across.
Their message does reach me, though, and I greatly enjoyed this season. That’s not to say that I agree with everything they say—their episode on the tax code, I think, is a bit too simplistic and libertarian for my tastes—but even when I don’t agree with their conclusions, I respect their point of view and enjoy watching them make their case. Plus, there’s all that cursing and nudity I mentioned before; that never gets old!
If you read my review of season six, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Penn & Teller and their show. Even though I question the effectiveness of their methods, I think what they’re doing is important. Somebody needs to be out there asking the questions no one else wants to ask, and even if I don’t always agree with the stance they take, I appreciate the importance of the conversation.
My only complaint about this set is that it’s missing the final show, “The Vatican.” I haven’t found out the reason for this (although I can make some guesses), but you can watch it Here. Other than that, this is another strong season in a great show.
Each episode is presented in 16×9 aspect ratio with the audio in English 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo and in Spanish Mono. There were no problems with either the audio or the video.
There are no special features on this set.
Aside from my concerns on the effectiveness of their arguments, I’m a huge fan of this show. It’s entertaining, thought-provoking, and very funny. If you have an open mind you should definitely check this out.
Showtime Networks presents Penn & Teller’s Bullsh*t! The Seventh Season. Directed by Star Price. Starring Penn Jillette and Teller. Written by Penn Jillette, Teller, Star Price, Michael Goudeau, David Wechter, Rich Nathanson, Tom Kramer, and Steve Melcher. Running time: 4 hours 11 minutes. Not Rated. Released on DVD: May 4, 2010. Available at Amazon.