Louis Theroux: The Mega PostJanuary 7, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Documentaries, Mega Post, Television | 6 Comments
Tags: Documentary, Louis Theroux, Mega Post
I’ve recently watched Louis Theroux‘s documentary: The Most Hated Family In America. It reminded me that Louis Theroux is by far the best documentary maker since that guy who was in that thing. You know the one.
I’ve listed all of the episodes he’s ever made for the BBC after the break and have linked almost single one to Google video. I strongly suggest bookmarking this page because there are almost thirty hours of brilliant documentaries here. The titles and descriptions were taken from their Wikipedia entries but I spent a good few hours compiling and attaching the relevant videos. I’ve only watched a couple of these and they have made me LOL a lot. In case you don’t know, Lol comes from the Latin word Lolinfar which means “I laughed out loud so hard I nearly farted”.
Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends
This was Theroux’s big break into showbusiness, holding a regular prime time slot on BBC2. He mostly followed American sub cultures around, investigating and researching their backgrounds, friends and enemies in the process, often presenting moral questions to the viewer, encouraging them to make up their own mind regarding the subject in hand, rather than directly give his own opinion. The show ran from 1998 – 2000, with a total of 17 episodes. The shows below are listed in ordered of transmission date, the earliest first.
This episode follows several people who believe in UFOs. One of these is a man called Thor Templar, the self titled “Lord Commander of the Earth Protectorate”. He claims to have killed more than ten aliens by chopping their heads off.
Is being a porn star really the dream job for any man? This episode offers a look at very different sides of the porn industry, as Louis interviews both male and female porn stars. He reveals the problems a lot of porn actors face, be it not getting a job in straight porn and therefore having to do gay porn, or not getting an erection when it is needed.
Louis meets a couple from Southern California who have been hosting swinging parties for countless years. He visits one of these very popular parties to find out what drives couples to want to swap partners. This program also offers a brief look into other kinds of swinging through an organisation that has a database of members that are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Under this system, you can only visit the parties of people of your level and lower.
Louis takes a look at different types of wrestling from the high profile WCW to people organizing events in their spare time. He also visits the WCW Power Plant, a training facility where some of the WCW wrestlers started out. The training he receives there from Dwayne Bruce shows him that some wrestlers will not break kayfabe (the illusion of fiction being fact) and will take exception when their profession’s authenticity is questioned.
This episode shows Louis going to New Orleans to have a look at the gangsta rap scene known as the “Dirty South”. He starts his own Gangsta rap, having a CD cover designed for him as well as getting the rappers Reece and Bigelow to write a song for him to perform on a rap radio show. Other parts include him interviewing a pimp turned rapper, as well as rap superstar Master P.
Televangelists And Religious Cults
In Dallas, Louis meets TV evangelists Marcus and Joni Lamb, and joins a group of hardline Christians called The Family as they visit the Deep Ellum entertainment district.
Head For The Hills- Survivalists
In Idaho, Louis meets military enthusiasts and right-wing patriots who are preparing for a global catastrophe, including trips to survivalists’ store Safetrek and a mountain refuge for conspiracy theorists called Almost Heaven. Louis also visits the Aryan Nation Church and helps to build a straw-bale home. The episode focuses on the survivalism movement and communities formed around it. The fact that several self-proclaimed survivalists were also hippies and environmentalists is a recurring theme.
Louis attempts to become a presenter on Florida’s Home Shopping Network TV channel and meets the people who invent, sell and make a fortune from products such as the Win Gym.
American black nationalist groups have been branded anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynist and even racist by the mainstream press. Louis Theroux goes to Harlem in New York to meet its proponents, and meets the Reverend Al Sharpton, the main point of contact in the black nationalist movement. Theroux also meets Khalid Abdul Muhammad, dubbed by the media ‘the most dangerous man in America’ and visits the Israeli School of Universal Practical Knowledge, who believe that blacks are the true Israelites and that all English monarchs until early modern times were black. Theroux also joins Al Sharpton on a march on Wall Street to protest at the shooting by New York police of Amadou Diallo, who was shot 19 times.
Louis has to overcome his nerves to enter a demolition derby in car-mad Michigan.
Louis meets the hordes of out-of-work actors in New York as they try to land a part – and even goes on an audition himself, for a job on a Norwegian cruise ship.
Louis meets a Las Vegas hypnotist who claims he can make dreams come true and meets a California man who teaches chat-up techniques.
Louis meets astrologer Deepak who studies meditation, an Indian guru, Mike, who is a follower of Swami G, and Amma who claims spiritual powers through hugging people. He joins her on a pilgrimage with 400 believers on their three-month tour of India. He also meets Swami G, but is not convinced that the Swami’s techniques differ from those of magician David Copperfield.
Louis meets white separatists who dream of building non-black communities in post-apartheid South Africa, including Nazi leader Eugene Terre ‘Blanche.
Louis travels to California, home of the body beautiful, to see if he can join the world of extreme body building. After working out with Guy Grundy, a leading amateur, he soon realises he is not cut out to be a muscle man and goes off in search of another role in the body-building world. Theroux travels to Charles Peeple’s farm in Connecticut, where Peeple’s has transformed his farm into a playboy mansion for female body builders. While here, Theroux gets a part in a female muscle film being made at the farm.
Looking For Love
Louis visits a Bangkok marriage agency where Western men meet Thai brides.
Louis is reunited with some of the people he met in earlier programmes.
When Louis Met…
Theroux’s second foray into television did not disappoint. This time he followed celebrities around, regularly pressing them with quite personal questions to make the show one long stressful interview for the subject, something almost every celebrity did not expect. Louis regularly questions life decisions they have made and difficult areas for them most journalists would avoid (e.g. Anne Widdecombe’s virginity).
When Louis Met…Jimmy
Louis visits his childhood hero – 73-year-old Jimmy Savile OBE, the miner who became a TV and radio star – and gets to ride in Jimmy’s Rolls-Royce which has golden hubcaps.
When Louis Met…Paul And Debbie
Louis joins Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee in their beautiful home beside the River Thames and on the road as the magician appears on Celebrity Ready, Steady, Cook and his wife launches a ballet company.
When Louis Met…The Hamiltons
Louis follows the disgraced Tory MP and his notorious wife as they try to make a living as “objects of curiosity”. The film features Louis canoodling on the sofa with a tipsy Christine, and following Mr and Mrs Hamilton when they are arrested over an alleged sexual scandal (both were cleared later).
When Louis Met…Ann Widdecombe
A prickly encounter with the Conservative politician in which Louis upsets her by asking about her possibly non-existent sex life and hears about her love of poetry and cats.
When Louis Met…Chris Eubank
Louis joins the ex-boxer at home, in the ring and on a trip to buy jodhpurs. Eubank attempts a tongue twister and pontificates on being a role model for children.
When Louis Met…Keith Harris and Orville
Louis meets the ventriloquist who no longer enjoys the TV light entertainment limelight (and can’t hide his bitterness about that) but is still earning a good living. He has a flash car, an ex-model missus, a large home and a role in Crewe’s pantomime.
When Louis Met…Max Clifford
Louis meets the PR guru/media manipulator as he handles Pop Idol judge Simon Cowell and child star Declan Galbraith and organises a charity do involving Westlife.
Between When Louis Met… and Series 3, Louis Theroux made three episodes inbetween, all released in 2003, these tend to be some of his least well known documentaries, however, all three of them are a very enjoyable watch
Louis Theroux And The Brothels
With the legality of Brothels in Nevada, Louis sets off to visit one and interview the workers there, questioning their moral decisions and having some fun himself along the way.
When Louis Met Michael Jackson
Louis Theroux travels to America for the chance to meet Michael Jackson, but getting hold of the man turns out to be a lot more difficult than he had anticipated.
Louis Theroux And The Nazis
Louis travels to America to find out more about some of the neo nazi movement.
In March 2006 Louis Theroux signed a deal with the BBC to produce ten films over the course of three years, much to the delight of his fans, who did not know whether he would be back on the television ever again after a lengthy absence.
Louis Theroux: Gambling In Las Vegas
How ruthless is the casino with its customers, do they take advantage of people with too much money and not enough brains?
Louis And The Most Hated Family In America
Picketting funerals of dead soldiers, this family in America have not tried their best to endear themselves to the public, Louis investigates the Christian indoctrination of their children and even tries to convert some members away from this extremist religious cult.
Louis Theroux: Under The Knife
About the people and doctors involved in plastic surgery operations. Filmed mostly in the USA, in the programme, Louis himself ends up getting liposuction.
Louis Theroux Behind Bars
Louis travels to California to spend two weeks in the notorious San Quentin State Prison. Built in 1852, San Quentin is dangerously overcrowded.
If any links aren’t working, please let me know. Enjoy.