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Louis Theroux - Best Of Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends : Porn / Survivalists / Gangsta Rap / UFO's / Jimmy Saville (2 Disc Box Set)  [DVD]
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Four episodes of the gentle, Englishman-abroad style documentary series in which Louis Theroux attempts to learn about foreign worlds or lifestyles by immersing himself in them. This collection includes Louis' semi-successful attempts to be taken seriously as a contender in the Los Angeles rap scene ('Rap'); as an up-coming extra in the world of pornographic film-making ('Porn'). In 'Survivalists' Louis joins a bunch of political extremists who live in the far north-west of the USA braced for the end of the world, and in 'UFOs' he attempts to contact space beings with the help of Thor Templar, the self-appointed head of the 'Earth Protectorate'. The DVD also contains the now infamous episode when Louis spent ten days with former Radio 1 deejay and charity fundraiser extraordinaire Sir Jimmy Savile OBE.
Never afraid to ask the silly question, in the Best Of Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends Louis gambles on a mix of warmth and charm to gain access and insight into the people he meets. From the bizarre to the ridiculous to the downright scary, the show has brought Louis and his viewers face to face with some fairly eccentric personalities and ideas over the years. This "Best of" collection is dominated by early episodes from the series--("Porn", "Survivalists", "Gangsta Rap", "UFOs") and contains some classic moments including Louis' "fiat" gangsta rap, his audition as a porn star and his chat with neo-nazis survivalist (and "Are You Being Served" fan) Reverend Gerry Gruidl. From the frighteningly deluded to the mildly eccentric, Louis always finds some way to connect with the people he meets and as a result the series continues to rise above any desire to become overly voyeuristic, to patronise or to judge. Surreal, sometimes disturbing, and often very, very funny indeed The Best of Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends is essential viewing for any fan of the series. --Caroline Butler
On the DVD: Disappointingly this DVD has few special features and a standard TV transfer. The one special feature it does hold however is a real gem, along with a typically Louis-style introduction on the DVD and how to work it (!) you also get the chance to view a commentary by Jimmy Saville and Louis Theroux, an option which pops up on the screen throughout the programmes. Although a little awkward to access the "gems of wisdom" which spring from Mr Saville's mouth are to be savoured--the jingle-jangle tendencies of old have clearly been lost by the DJ. Added to this you get the full interview/sleep over; "When Louis Met Jimmy" the first star-based documentary, offering you the chance to glance into the weird world and mindset of Jimmy. The DVD comes in a lavishly presented package which, however, for some bizarre reason comes in a two-disc set--half the features on one and half on the other disc--which verges on being almost as annoying as the old-school flipper discs. --Nikki Disney
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I liked this selection of shows as much as the first 'best of' collection. However, the latter collection was so much funnier and, it has to be said, weirder than the first. Especially the Wrestling docucom-which caused a few sides to split in my house. BUT, i love both collections equally and would suggest that you buy them both post haste!!!!!
The only draw back, ofcourse, is that you will be reminded how dull and mindless t.v. is without the Theroux! Bring him back noooooo!
When Louis Met... The Hamiltons is included as a special feature which should be kept as a time capsule of the time in between the Hamiltons having an modicum of dignity and self-respect and Christine appearing on "I'm a celebrity get me out of here".
What i will comment on, however, are the people who write Louis off as phony or faux-naive [especially past guests & other [jealous] journalists: what are they talking about? They [the guests] agree to be scrutinized by Louis; agree to let into their homes and rifle through their secret drinks stash and ingratiate himself with their families.
I actually preffered watching Louis interview 'ordinary' eccentrics as opposed to the celebrity brand-which is why I loved this video. They [the celebrity subjects] tend to blame Louis if they are shown up as neurotic or self-obsessed [which invariably, they are]. This bad press has meant that Louis hasn’t been able to find any guests for a new series of the 'when Louis met' program as celebrities have apparently gotten wise to his 'sneaky ways'.
Louis is a very clever man and knows what he is doing, but he isn't as Machiavellian as some would like to think.
Let’s hope we see more from the talented Mr. Theroux very soon!
I only give the DVD 4 stars because of the lack of extra features, which is what a DVD is all about. However the Jimmy Lniks (jimmy saville giving his views during parts of each program) are classic and the way the commentary is done means you can watch and stop the dvd to listen to the comments, rather than watching the DVD once and then watching it all over again for hours just to listen to the commentary.
Therioux handles each program with smoothness and produces the goods. Subjects like the Porn Documentary could have been tacky and cheap, however Therioux makes the documentary serious and shows you a life behind the lense. The same goes for the Gangsta Rap Documentary. He asks questions reporters wouldn't even dare to bring up and all his 'subjects' answer with honesty.
If you don't like any of the programs on this DVD, you have to purchase it just for the Jimmy Saville Documentary. Like the hamiltons and paul daniels programs, you start out for the first 20 minutes hating the people involved, this is the same for Sir Jimmy. But by the end of it, you find them interesting and change your mind about them. Jimmy and Loius have an on screen chemistry, not so much the straight man and the comedian, but more of the intellectual and the mad man, which proves very funny. At first, Sir Jimmy comes a cross as mad and arrogant, but at the end you feel like he is just telling it as it is.
To call these documentarys isn't excatly true, Loius seems to build a bond with all the people he meets, gaining their trust and allowing them to open up to the cameras, giving you more of a real life soap than a simple documentary.
If you have never seen Loius Therioux, not too worry, no need to catch an episode on TV or hire this DVD, just part with your cash and buy it, you will not be dissapointed!
It's seemingly taken them forever to arrive on VHS/DVD, but they're finally here, and all the better for it with the inclusion of the hilarious Jimmy Saville interview. Now, surely, it's just a matter of time until Part 2 is released with the Paul Daniels interview included as bonus material?
It's a shame you only get 4 eps, but each one is worth the asking price on its own, so throw in the Saville interview and you've got one of the best value-for-money DVD sets on the market.
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