Penn & Teller: Bullshit!: Season 3, Episode 13

The Best (1 Aug. 2005)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Comedy, Documentary
7.3
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Penn and Teller take a look at our obsession with having the best of everything.

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Title: The Best (01 Aug 2005)

The Best (01 Aug 2005) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Michael Goudeau
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Penn and Teller take a look at our obsession with having the best of everything.

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best of | win | pda | nerd | gourmet | See All (7) »


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1 August 2005 (USA)  »

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Easily the most hilarious episode of the show (though you'd have to be a bit of a snob to enjoy it to the fullest)
4 May 2015 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

Right, Penn & Teller are usually about picking out the BS and the BSters out, but on this season finale they are virtually turning the tables around, handing out some BS of their own. "The Best", as the title already says. The episode focuses on the general obsession with getting "The Best". Sure, who doesn't like good things? You'd have to be a monk or suffer from some other cerebral delusion if that wouldn't be the case. Question is: how many people can appreciate the best? Or, in another context, tell "The Best" from BS? We get a whole range of people, who take the concept of having and owning "The Best" there is, but since I don't care much about IPhones or technical trinkets, I'll focus on the part that I know a little about: the food. For one, we get some millionaire (cloth, body-language and language speak "new-money ", but the wallet says "rich person") at his caviar-breakfast. Indeed, it should break any gourmets heart to see him slurp $100 Dollar per spoon caviar straight from the tin, just like he would from a 99 cent can of tuna. Lesson: expensive caviar can be bought, taste or style cannot; it can only be acquired.

Highlight of the show is the candid-camera-scene in a "fancy" restaurant. Like the old routine, where the "polite French waiter offers the American tourists dishwater instead of champagne, since they cannot taste the difference anyhow" (to which the tourists routinely reply "merci", since they don't speak the language). Only that the "tourists" aren't actors this time round. These self-proclaimed gourmets are served only the choicest foods and drink. Bruschetta, baked with fresh flour ground in Tuscany, 5-Star wine with an unctuous texture, a hint of liquorish and cassis, Belgian White Chocolate Mousse. The waiter (a damn fine actor, I might mention) lulls his prey in with words and foods that they've never heard of and places that they couldn't find without the help of Google Earth. Our connoisseurs gobble it up with a gusto, that almost has you believe that this meal is anything else but what it really is: the cheapest you'll find on the deepest rack of your local supermarkets (or, in some chases, petrol-stations). Stale, toasted bread, the alleged lobster is monk-fish, the mousse not mousse but Cool-Whip, plonk-wine at $1,99 a cork, and so on, and so forth.

A little mean-spirited, I agree. The show tries to downplay it with the psychological factor, that, if you expect "The Best", you'll probably taste "The Best", no matter what slob they may feed you. Of course, there is no argument that there are distinct differences between Japanese Kobe-beef and your store-bought steak, between fish-roe at the all-you-can-eat and Beluga caviar, Château Montelena Estate wine and a bottle of Wild Irish Rose, etc. But people also tend to forget that taste-buds are like muscles: they need to be trained, educated and refined to function at "their best". Still, I'm not ashamed to admit, that there was more than just a little Schadenfreude involved, when we try to imagine how in the future, some of the unwilling participants here will probably be served choicest Ravioli (no doubt prepared by Chef Boyardee himself) and 5-star wines, grown in the outskirts of Washington - much to the mocking delight of their friends.

9/10


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