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Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      13.08.2009 00:39
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      Shocking insight to America's sinister drug problem.

      Louis Theroux travels to Fresno, California to uncover the impact of the highly addictive drug methamphetamine, more commonly known as Crystal Meth. Fresno is a city riddled with poverty, unemployment, crime and homelessness. If this is not enough the city is coined the "methamphetamine capital" of the USA. The consequences of the drug are detrimental to the entire community. Virtually unknown in the United Kingdom, Crystal Meth has taken to the states like wildfire. Over the past few years Crystal Meth has become the primary drug of choice in Fresno because it can be obtained at a low cost, made easily and is highly addictive. When talking to the police, Theroux discovers that 50% of crimes committed are Meth related and the figures show no signs of improving.

      Theroux delves deep into the community in the attempt to understand the addiction and its consequences. Along the way he meets addicts, ranging from teens to housewives. He joins the police on night duty encontering numerous addcits. He also visits the WestCare centre, coincidently California's the largest rehabilitation facility.

      Louis Theroux's clever interviewing technique is a combination of staged innocence and English awkwardness. This allows him to ask extremely personal questions to the subject that other journalists would simply not be able get away with. This is evident when he meets an ex dealer, Kevin and his Meth companions. Kevin has two young children both under five years old. Theroux probes Kevin in a non confrontational manner about his children being exposed to substance abuse, in return he receives an honest response. Theroux's style is integral to what makes this documentary extremely insightful and informative. His eagerness to understand the drug epidemic guides the audience towards the heart of the problem.

      Diane and Karl are the most intriguing addicts in the documentary. Both Diane and Karl have used Crystal Meth for over 30 years whilst maintaining a 25 year marriage. On the surface the couple's life appears to be strangely normal. Diane is a student, ironically studying to become drugs counsellor. They have a respectable home and a lively dog running around the garden. On the exterior they seem perfectly happy. However underneath there is a dark undertone. For many Crystal Meth addicts they continue to use in order to mask the pain of a traumatic event. Diane and Karl are no different. Diane was raped as a young girl. Additionally, to support their drug habit the couple turned to extremes. Karl encouraged Diana to prostitute herself in order to support their addiction and the couples five children were given over to the Child Protection Services for their safety.

      The documentary is true to Theroux's unique style, he reveals whole families involved in the addiction and the result is large scale breakdown of the community and family structure. This is defiantly a must see!!!

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        06.08.2009 19:11
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        Louis Theroux gives us a glimpse of lives most of us would never see otherwise.

        Louis Theroux is a documentary maker with a difference. His work focuses on people and activities that most of us would consider at best, strange, and at worst disturbing. He has made documentaries on subjects ranging from Jimmy Saville, to white supremacists, and assorted topics in between.

        The key to his success in getting great information and material on these subjects is his ability to try to understand the people he is documenting. He may have found the white supremacist's views abhorrent, but he managed to be challenging enough to get interesting material, without antagonising them so much that they would not cooperate with him.

        A good example of Louis Theroux immersing himself in his subject in order to better understand it, was his documentary on American professional wrestling. He made the mistake of calling wrestling "fake" whilst interviewing a wrestler who now trains aspiring wrestlers. This upset the gentleman in question who felt his profession was being denigrated, and he challenged Louis to try training with the wrestlers and see how fake it felt! Although physically Louis is hardly imposing, he gave it a good try and the wresters worked him until he vomited! It is this willingness to get to grips with his topics, as well as the unique subjects he covers, that gives Theroux's documentaries their distinctive feel, and make them compelling viewing.

        If you are new to Louis Theroux, his shows are often repeated on the Dave channel and are well worth a look.

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        28.07.2009 01:47
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        Not a smirk in sight

        Theroux always comes across as a likeable, affable kind of chap with a talent for getting into some of the wackiest corners of human existence, and presenting them with a straight face. It doesn't matter which side of the Atlantic or which continent he works on, the results are usually very similar.

        He harbours a genuine talent for making the absurd and shocking almost theatrically ordinary; in so doing, his series of encounters with the Hamiltons, Nevada hookers, vertically-challenged serial womanisers in Bangkok, Jimmy Saville for crying out loud, and many others who skirt along the frayed edges of the lunatic fringe are genuine bona fide masterpieces of making the truly preposterous almost banal.

        This success, as much as anything else, relies on Theroux's ability to appear so disarmingly, naively, near dottily inoffensive that his subjects let their guard down and let him into their oftentimes dysfunctional and fractured worlds. One cannot imagine John Humphries, or God forbid Paxman, getting away with it. Not without a black eye, anyway.

        In any event, Theroux is always watchable; his programes can turn the most ordinary of events, and crashingly boring subject, interesting by virtue of a searching and insightful enquiry, a seemingly off-hand observation that takes on a whole new meaning with his skilled delivery. He is, in the final analysis, a master of feigned innocence, and the deadpan look so beloved of millions of viewers. Bravo.

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        16.05.2009 11:47
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        Go check them out!

        Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends contains the bulk of Louis Theroux's documentaries and in my opinion the best ones are all in this series. Firstly, for those who don't know who Louis Theroux is, he is a very well educated (Oxford university) interviewer who manages to get a lot out of interviewees by using a naive persona that lulls them into a seriously false sense of security.

        What makes Louis Theroux documentaries special is that he is very good at getting a lot out of those he questions, whilst remaining somebody who both the interviewee and viewers both still like as a person. This makes his documentaries very watchable.

        What makes Weird Weekends good I think is that by and large they are not too serious which sometimes causes a documentary to get bogged down. Here most of the documentaries float easily of their own accord and cover fantastic things such as UFO believers, wrestlers, swingers and porn stars.

        Watch out for these on Dave, or maybe go snooping on the internet....

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          26.04.2009 11:21
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          Whacky TV!

          There are around 300,000 Jewish people of working age in the UK, and very hard working and intelligent people too, but it feels like 278,000 of them are employed in the media, such is the prevalence and ease of guys like the likeable and disarming Louis Theroux to get on our TV screens, always room for one more Theroux in the entertainment industry it seems. Travel writer father Paul Theroux no doubt made some calls and hey presto, gangly Oxbridge son Louis is soon working on Michael Moore's excellent show, 'TV Nation', over in Manhattan. Louis older brother Marcel is a TV presenter and his cousin is Justin Theroux the American actor. I'm not saying Louis is a bad TV presenter or anything but his gimmick seems to be purely his imposing six foot frame and his 'you can't hit a bloke wearing glasses' angle, excellent for antagonistic TV journalism , his thing. It would be interesting to see him do a weird weekend in Gaza. Is he the new Alan Whicker now the gentile Michael Palin has been pensioned off!

          His first TV commissioned TV series was Weird Weekends, of which three runs were made, followed by 'When Louis Met....', where Louis embarrassed a list of long in the tooth British celebrities that had no choice but to be humiliated on shows like this in one last sad thrust for work, the likes of Jimmy Saville and Paul Daniels cruelly cut down by Louis calculated and disguised jibes, the eccentric Saville hardly able to avoid the crosshairs at his age. It was very entertaining though and Louis disarming charm reels them in like a skilled fly fisher.

          Theroux's delivery is straightforward, pick on ignorant people that cant or don't want to argue back, easy meat for an articulate guy to slice apart with his subtle scalpel. To be fair he shows some balls, especially when on one episode of Weird Weekends he tackled white supremacist, forgetting to tell them he was Jewish. His recent journey into some of the roughest ghettos on the planet, all black and the guys armed to the teeth, was as equally brave. I lived in South Africa and can tell you that 'Hillbrow', the area where he went, does not see a white face for weeks on end.

          -The Episodes of Weird Weekends-

          Series 1

          Born Again Christians
          UFO Hunters
          Porn Stars
          Survivalist
          Weird Christmas

          Series 2

          Infomercials
          Swingers
          Black Nationalism
          Demolition Derby
          Off Off Broadway
          Wrestling

          Series 3

          Hypnotists
          Indian Guru
          Boer Separatists
          Body Building
          Thai Brides
          Gangsta Rap

          Weird weekends worked on the principal that he would spend time with the sort of people who would advertise their oddball services in the classifieds, exploitative and weirdo types offering solutions and clubs for the likewise disaffected in life, mostly extreme right wing groups. If you don't have a girlfriend in America then you would almost certainly have experience of at least three of the above list of shows. The show did tale off by series three as you could see Louis was tiring from it and needed pastures new but held its own.

          Louis gets his best stuff from those right wingers, people filled with hate purely because they inherited it from their family tree somewhere. But people like that are like us but only in our conscious, which makes the shows intriguing watching. The thing with Louis is he gives them enough rope and not only do they hang themselves with it but build the gallows and tie the noose. They know they are doing it but for some reason feel they are getting one over on Louis who maybe coming around to their idea of thinking, which couldn't be further from the truth, hence why he picks groups that would hate people like him.

          There was variety there, not all the shows shot in America, Demolition Derby about that gypsy that won the lottery very entertaining as he pi**ed off the nouveu rich neighbours with his delinquent antics. The shows was always paced and edited to show these people as odd and extreme minorities, none more so than the guy who claimed to be able to channel aliens from the planet Zog, for a small fee you could share in his superior knowledge form other worlds.

          His latest show is the Louis Theroux specials, episode seven broadcast last week looking at a hospital for paedophiles. The idea was the child sex offenders went there of their own volition and got 'treatment' for their condition. Alas only 13 people in the hospitals history has been released into the community totally cured. We were not told how many of those reoffended. One savvy peado was on to them, haranguing Louis with the fact that the hospital gets 200 grand a year for every inmate housed. Times that by 567 and someone is making serious money. But it was an interesting show and produced one of TV creepiest moments of the year, a group of offenders having a sing song around the prison organ, their rendition of the theme tune of the Adams family movie very creepy. Louis likes that sort of thing.

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            20.04.2009 12:07
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            I enjoy watching them

            Louis Theroux is a documentary maker. He has made them for recently the BBC with his peadophile documentary which is a good documentary but a bit unsettling.

            The weird weekends series was very interesting. He spent some time in a brothel. That was my favourite episode, purely because the prostitutes kept trying to get him involved and to sleep with them.

            One eventually got him to agree to a massage, but the women were just hilarious, and it was so funny watching him feeling awkward but trying to keep it professional.

            Another interesting one was when he met gambling addicts, casino owners and people involved in casinos in las vegas. He befriended an old lady who was about to loose her house but couldnt leave the slot machines.

            I like the way he asks them questions that arent too obvious, and the fact he goes straight to the point.

            He doesnt seem to change his facial expression, he doesnt laugh really, and he always seems to be able to take the higher ground with these large casino owners who are millionaires.

            He is a really good interviewer, and the commentary along with his interviewing about his real feelings makes the documentary entertaining and interesting. He goes to places that you might not see and meets people that you never will.

            You can watch clips on youtube, and the peadophile documentary is on bbc iplayer until next week.

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              08.02.2009 00:11
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              really interesting documentarys by someone who is not afraid to ask!

              I had never watched a programme with Louis Theroux until this year and now I am hooked! He is one of the best documentary makers I have ever seen! I love the fact that he is so blunt and to the point in his questionning and he has no problems telling the person he is interviewing that their views and lifestyles are completely bizarre! I found the programme where he went to Thailand to look into Thai brides absolutely fascinating (if not slightly weird) but thats the point of his programmes! He questions society as a whole and also certain sections of society specifically such as those looking for a guru in India and drug culture. His programmes are always interesting and topical and he always pushes the boundaries between what you would expect to be an accepted topic of conversation and what isn't. He comes across as a quiet British documentary maker but dont be fooled! His documentarys are well worth the watch

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                29.07.2008 14:10
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                I could watch his programmes all day

                As television presenters go, what a breath of fresh air Louis Theroux is. There is nothing run-of-the-mill, boring or predictable about his programmes and his interviewing techniques are amazing. More often than not, I am sure the people he interviews forget they are being filmed and just end up chatting away to him as though no-one else were present.

                Louis Theroux unearths the most fascinating people and subjects to investigate then share with us and for that I really appreciate him. He brings us the best of the weird and every programme has me glued to the set from the very start. He has this sort of boyish casual attitude which ensures that he doesn't irritate anyone and he has a way of becoming one of the group he is with. He will edge a question in without preamble and people really warm to him.

                Louis Theroux's programmes generally seem to be set in America, a country which seems to have more than its fair share of weird and wonderful people and he won't just stop at one type of person; he roots out all the people involved so that he can get a comprehensive feel of the subject in question. I think he is very brave because he sometimes gets himself into difficult and unusual scrapes and then just charms his way out of them. He'll have a go at anything yet he looks as if he'd run a mile from a tricky situation. His non-aggressive yet quietly insistent questioning brings out more in a person than all the 'in-your-face' celebrity 'presenters' put together.

                Louis Theroux is one of the UK's greatest assets and long may he continue to provide us with some of the greatest entertainment around.

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                  12.12.2001 23:58
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                  Its fitting that a high pressure passing over the UK caused a lot of weird interference on BBC2 as the equally mysterious world of Louis Theroux finally met the Hamiltons. The son of the famous travel writer walked out of Cambridge with the world at his feet. But the youthful freshfaced one choose his studious goodlucks and journalism to exploit those who weren’t expecting it, and those who need it, none more so than this two money sucking leaches of a couple. In his first shows, “Weird weekends”, Louis exercises his skill on tackling media shy organizations and controversial communities to expose themselves more. His charm and boyish line of questioning, and his lovable endearing gullible manner perceives him as a humble six form media student where as he’s really cleverly ridiculing his often ignorant subjects into telling confessional’s. Once his targets are slightly of the guard, he will expose all their real idiosyncrasies and faults to the viewing nation making them and their friends look even more stupid and bigoted. The first shows included Deep South Baptist religious disciples to far right survivalist groups up in the Appalachian Mountains. We also has swingers in California to psychic channeling weirdo’s in the Mid West. So why not transfer this guile to expose media frantic stars that miss the limelight or crave for it. Who better than The Hamiltons for a fame-craving oddball couple. His previous gullible famous faces who expose their lives to his cunning mind, and expert editing include Jimmy Saville and The Paul Daniels family. Both were very watchable programs as we saw the other side of their lives away from the big cigars and Magic tricks. Jimmy was particularly revealing and showed a darker side to the self styled Mr Charity on an off moment. When Jim was relaxed and the camera was rolling, the aging eccentric pop picker revealed to the cameraman that he and h
                  is bouncers would kick the crap out of anyone that messed with Jimmy Saville in his nightclub toilets. More disturbing habits including sleeping in a dingy caravan he takes everywhere, even if he’s been booked into a hotel. Im sure there are Jonathan King connotations here folks.I tempt in a factory way back when and one of the guys there was in a band at the height of his Jim il Fix it Fame. H e played the organ or something and had done a couple of gigs with Mr Saville in the seventies. Even then this guy told me that Jimmy used to own a big motorhome. Mums used to let their children get lovely Jim’s autograph and let them pop into the caravan for a chat and photo. Some of the older girls would be in there longer than they should with the parents none the wiser outside. The motorhome would be gently rocking away on the rusted axle with those mums purring innocently”ow he’s wonderful with the kids is Jimmy!. Anyhow Louis teased and cajoled Jimmy’s darker side and also gently took the rise out of him for the viewer’s pleasure. Paul Daniel’s was equally exposed as a likeable confident guy in a show biz arranged but cordial marriage. As Mrs Merton famously said to Debbie Mcghee,”What first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels”. The poor failing magician had to take the tired act on the road to support her penchant for gold lame hand bags and very expensive ballet productions. Paul had to sign the cheques and make the scenery as he stared financial disaster in the face. Apparently only one in eleven new stage productions turn a profit. What do you think of that then, Louis asked a strained, but resigned husband, Not a lot mused Paul. Last night episode was save for the Christmas schedules and no doubt the Hamiltons great publicity machine momentum. At the time of the recording the slimy Tory couple were trying to promote a TV show called Posh Nosh
                  .But events turned and the salubrious couple were soon promoting something very different. A suspiciously coincidental rape and sexual abuse charge popped up just s the show was getting boring and both parties were considering dropping the documentary, (well BBC 2 were). But events unfolded to make an extremely watchable eighty minutes of delicious TV about a very sleazy couple indeed. Max Clifford was of course involved as the press pack gave chase and was tipped of exactly where the couple would be. It was beneficial for both parties to have some chunky storyline to the plot however embarrassing they may be. I certainly wouldn’t put it past both sides, especially The Hamiltons people of setting up the charge to gain maximum exposure to earn cash to pay for their lifestyle and post Fayed legal bills. The cringing moment was when their “conveniently “showbiz lawyer read out the full allegations of the young woman who made the accusations. Neil was accused of rape and penetration and masturbating over the woman, whilst the misses was accused of squatting on her face!.All this in front of the worlds media and a silly dicky bow. It quickly became apparent that this couple was not your average everyday folk, but you’re a-typical failed Conservative Party ones. Louis camera and editing crewcut the film together to exaggerate the couples sexual deviance bye pointing out dodgy wallpaper and murals. Plus some right wing videotape and Lady Chanterelle’s lover gilded ware. I suppose what really happened, because of the nature of the delay odd the police charge that they were doing a bit of swinging and the other parties recognized the publicity seekers in the Sun. They thought they could make a few quid by beefing up the naughty tale to the man who writes most of the stuff in the rag by the name of Max Clifford. The couple was best equipped to cope with it as they are addicted to any ki
                  nd of publicity and intrigue. Louis was clever at this point to keep the camera rolling as the Hamiltons could have made for more money somewhere else. But by then he was weaving his magic and they were getting to like him over their time together. Near the end of the tale she was ready to seduce him (yuck). There was genuine warmth there and you get the feeling that they longed for a son or someone they could make friends with that wouldn’t make a fool of them. You picked the wrong guy there guys!. They are a metaphor for Viagaru with her the Niagara when she heres the whir of the cameras and the flash of magnesium. Everyone but you and me had their phone number and she was out of her seat like a greyhound when she recognized the “press ring”. The Guardian seemed to have had a hot line for the latest gossip. Of course the vulgar couple exploited the situation as best they could and were quickly photographed in the Mail on Sunday draped over a bed insinuating that the allegations were true that they were vehemently denying it. That’s the sort of sad people baying for exposure they seem to be. Even on the shows playing this week they were snapped naked with the wobbly bits covered for one of those famous posed painting things you do at Blackpool. Not a pretty site, but they are the only ones that don’t realize it. And looked too much like the fleshy weirdoes types that would frequent those desperately awful swingers’ mags and parties. Nile is the pathetic tired right wing (he speaks German) hen pecked husband to her battleaxe-fussing dram Queen wife. Louis exposed this brilliant as the couple served themselves up like a Turkey voting for Christmas. Ism sure there are plenty more first class perverts to be exposed by Theroux and if you listen careful you can hear the skeletons rattling away like a machine gun in Khandahar at fortress Hamilton. For me they were summed up on the even
                  ing of the drastic delegations with the house surrounded by press. They moaned and complained about the photographers and hacks outside putting their London flat under siege. But couldn’t resists nipping out for a pizza, together!,to walk back through the mele.A very sad media tart couple indeed exposed brilliantly buy our man Louis Theroux.

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                    25.05.2001 19:39
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                    What can i say, the guy is without a doubt one of the most refreshing interviewers to have emerged on TV in the last few years. He sends himself up and unlike Alan Whicker or other presenters of that genre,he is not afraid to send himself up. I also enjoy the fact that his narration let's you know his true feelings but the guests generally do not realise that he dislikes therm or disapproves of what they are doing. Recently i saw an episode where Louis investigated WCW wrestling and he asked "Sarge" about the rehearsal element of the bout and was it staged.He was ignored but when he went to see Sarge at the gym he was bullied and put through his paces, so much so that he collapsed exhausted and generally was not very well. I admired him for letting himself be filmed in such an uncomprimising position and because he demonstrated his ability to show how vunerable he can be. We the viewer can't help but like Louis because he is "normal". he does not have that superstar quality that can make presenters aloof and stand alone. His greatest asset is his style of interviewing, almost like a new trainee although i beleive he does this to gain the confidence of his "victims". Even the way he goes bouncing up to them and says "Hi Louis pleased to meet you" and then shakes their hand for far longer than is normal is a sign of reverence which works so well when dealing with pompous arrogant noones who think that they are celebrities. Recently an episode featured a man called Marshall Silver who claimed he could create Millionaires through hypnosis. In fact what we discovered through Louis was that he created Robot Clones of himself that when questioned by Louis used words like awesome and excellent, the same words that we saw Marshall silver use in his seminars which cost $3,000 each( so guess who the millionaire created was?)

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                      21.03.2001 22:15

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                      What is it about Louis's interview technique that makes this program so watchable? I think it has something to do with the fact that he has a fairly passive technique. He just sits back and lets people say their piece. By choosing people with a particularly bigoted or just plain interesting view point he can then just fire off fairly simple questions and actually gain some insight from them. Louis also always approaches the interview from the postion of the underdog. He looks a bit nerdy and I think, often plays to this image, often pretending to be ignorant of his subject, but open minded to their views. He does this to try to make the interviewee feel dominant and in control of the situation, when in actual fact, he's guiding them, gently towards th real money line. The one piece of wisdom they will produce that leaves the audience agog. And that's the beauty of the show, at least once per show, Louis will guide the interviewee into saying something so earth shatteringly stupid or so contradictory to the case they are trying to argue, that we all look at each other and say "I can't believe he said that".

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                      16.11.2000 16:13
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                      I'm not sure where Louis Theroux sprang from, or what his background is in TV making, but he certainly must have some friends in high places to get his own series and on slightly "out of the ordinary" subjects. I first spotted Louis in an earlier show "when Louis met jimmy" where he interviewed Jimmy Saville. It was clear from this interview that Jimmy Saville could not quite get to grips with Louis' character and if I have an narks about his Weird Weekends series it would be a long similiar lines. I do often find it difficult to judge where Louis is coming from in his line of questioning. Is he genuinely interested in the subject - or is he asking ridiculous questions to provoke a response - or is he sometimes as niave as he comes across? The subjects in Weird Weekends make or break the show. The recent show from South Africa was uncomfortable viewing in many places, buyt Louis went fearlessly into the fascist's den, and seemed genuinely surprised when the fascist turned nasty. I'm certainly sure that a man with a surname like "terrablanche" (doesn't that mean white earth?) changed his name to help get his message across. I possibly enjoyed the extreme body building show most in this series. There was a definite shift away from the reality of the body image which was displayed among many of the body builders. Drug taking was hushed up and yet was clearly in evidence, especially among the women who looked like pre op trans-sexuals. Louis took part in a low budget film where men are beaten up by rough tough women. He hammed it up like a good un and was told that his was one of the better performances they had ever had. The mind boggles. This is certainly a show where the quality varies due to the subject, and the audience may also vary accordingly, but it is always watchable Tv.

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                        06.11.2000 04:19
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                        If you think that this is yet another boring fly-on-the-wall documentary, think again. After hearing loads about a programme full of dodgy people and their weirdo lives I thought that I better give this programme a go. I can tell you, that after watching it once, you'll be hooked on it every week. The programme is based on the lives of "weird" people and Louis Theroux's job (the interviewer) is to discover why they do what they do. The programme deals with issues that are normally ignored by "serious" documentaries. On the most recent programmes, Louis Theroux has visited Thailand where Thai women are "married off" to Western men who can't get women of their own. It was a real eye-opener to see how these women are graded and placed into catalogues for men to choose from. Of course, you can imagine the type of person who was running the agency - some old, disgusting man with a big nose going out with loads of Thai girls in their 20's - urghh... Another time, rap artists in the U.S.A were investigated,aswell as female bodybuilders(but you could have thought some of them were male.) The thing is, what makes the programme so good is not just the strange people on it but Louis Theroux himself. Something which is original about him in comparison to other presenters on TV is that he is down-to-earth and doesn't try to steal the show and act all big-headed. Aswell as sounding interested, he does make fun of the people sometimes, but in a really clever and subtle way, ensuring that there is some humour in the programme. I highly reccommend this programme, and although the series has finished now (I think), hopefully we will get some more weird weekends brought to our televisions soon.

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                        31.10.2000 21:01

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                        Having only recently been introduced to Theroux's style of comedy, I must admit that the jury is still out on this one, as far as I'm concerned. The first show I saw it was hard to make out whether he was sending up the guests or himself; or maybe both. Either way he got away with it and it sort of worked. I did laugh so he must be doing something right. His tactic of appearing pretty naive, but at the same time drawing out information from his subjects, which otherwise they would not divulge is quite difficult to do. The following week he was in South Africa, and his targets had more nous about them. They sensed the trap. and did not fall into it. In fact, they were positively antagonistic towards him. I think he sensed that trying to make a fool out of boers was going to be impossible, and at one point thought he would be punched on the nose!

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                        27.10.2000 02:43
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                        This is a really enjoyable documentry series shown on BBC2.In each episode our eponimous hero investigates groups or activities that are rightly branded wierd. Louis Theroux is an excellent reporter who dos'nt hog the limelight and lets each week's subjects become the stars of that show.The show lasts about fifty minutes and this allows various practitioners of that week's black art to be profiled. The subjects vary widley and often real and disturbing trends or opinions are revealed.The Boers in South Africa were recently investigated and had a Luftwafe pilot giving their moderate views.The leader of the biggest band of racists was also seen at home failing to see the irony of a record collection made up mostly at black artistes. On a lighter theme another show dealt with Las Vegas hypnotists eagarly fleecing suckers by the dozen with a "Be a millionaire" seminar at $5000 that had yet to produce any millionaires,if you discount the hypnotist.On a smaller scale was the man selling success with the ladies and amazingly this worked.The naturally reserved Louis was soon getting phone numbers by telling women that they had "a great energy".Once again the practioner saw no wrong in this manipulation. On the most recent show Thai mail order brides were the subject and this show was the best of the lot.Firstly we saw this short,cap wearing Englishman with the biggest nose ever who ran an agency and had married three clients himself.Despite being 50+ he was getting through them at a frightening rate-lucky sod!.Star of the show was Lake, a blazer wearing stressed out madman who only wanted to be loved.After scaring off a single mum with an instant marriage proposal,Louis was surprised to find him married to someone else two days later.He was such a caricature I thought it was Steve Coogan dressed up."Do you know he takes tablets?" Louis whispered to the new bride. The show has now finished
                        it's current run although UK Horizons is still showing this and previous series.Epoisodes to look out for include the Californian swingers and the wrestlers who slash each other with blades to make it seem real.The one off special featuring Jimmy Saville is also compulsive viewing. A funny,interesting and innovative show that's well worth a look. UPDATE:A special episode 'When Louis met Paul and Debbie' is on BBC2 on Tuesday 20th February.In this Louis meets Paul Daniels (and his lovely assistant Debbie McGee) and sees him off screen and behind the scenes of 'Ready Steady Cook' where outragously,the guests are given the bags that they've supposedly brought in!.Should be worth a look.

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