Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"The obesity epidemic is Bullsh!t!"

That's how Penn and Teller opened up their 5th season.

If you remember I blogged about the dilemma of loving the show but being scared to be interviewed by it when I came across some of their freelance camera guys at the Obesity Society conference last October.

So I watched the episode last night and wanted to give it a review.

I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I was pleased that I was only peripherally referred to as an a-hole, it was actually the content that disappointed me.

I've watched Bullsh!t's other 4 season and more often than not Penn and Teller do a great job taking sides. They are usually merciless, with the strength of their convictions guiding their acerbic wit and making folks who think they're right look really, really stupid. This time, not so much.

If I could summarize their message it would run something like, "The medical community considers obesity to be an epidemic, isn't very good at treating it, and is closely tied to the weight loss industry, while two other guys wrote books saying it's not an epidemic, and oh by the way, folks with weight to lose can be fit too".

Not exactly hard hitting stuff.

I guess the problem for Penn and Teller is that the evidence that weight's not statistically a healthy thing to have is rather overwhelming so it's difficult for them to make fun of much.

Of course the fact that weight's not statistically a healthy thing doesn't mean that medicine's got all the answers, it doesn't mean that drug companies don't help pay for conferences, it doesn't mean that folks with weight to lose can't be fit and it doesn't justify any societal bias against obesity.

What it does mean is that this episode of Bullsh!t isn't quite as biting as most.

I give it a C+.

It airs tonight in Canada on the Movie Network at 10pm and is being rebroadcast on Showtime in the States tonight at 11:05pm.