Louis Theroux the Odd, the Bad and the Godly
Theroux, our favourite BAFTA award winning journalist once again returns
to the small screen in this excellent six part documentary showcasing
some of the strangest ideologies and most bizarre people and
institutions from around the globe. Even though Theroux has been accused
by some to twist his interviews into making the subjects seem more
nefarious or down right stupid, this is definitely not the case.
Rather, Theroux is only just a catalyst and his thoughtful and sometimes
provocative questions often lead the interviewees to highlight their
extreme views which generally verge on the unbelievable and or the
ridiculous. With that said, the success of Theroux is definitely his
fish out of the water style of journalism that in the Odd, the Bad and
the Godly lead to some amazing situations, theories and topics that will
leave you craving for more.
2-disc documentary contains the following episodes;
Religion plays a key theme to two of the episodes in this collection.
These include the Ultra Zionists which revolve around a group of Jewish
Settlers in Israel who could be considered as extreme Judaists. Whereas
the other episode is a return to America's most hated family who are
part of the Westboro Baptist Church and rather than preaching love and
forgiveness, they are quite hateful towards anyone who is not part of
their extreme right-wing religion.
ultra Zionists in Israel believe that as they are the chosen people of
God, they have a right to push out the Palestinian settlers by either
creating makeshift homes on their lands or purchasing their homes in
some most disturbing ways. It’s hard to believe that in the 21st
century, people are still using religion as a means to crush their
opposition and to overt their faux “superiority” onto another race. It’s
also quite amusing when Theroux is questioned by one of the Jewish
pioneers about his Atheist views with Louis stating that he feels quite
comfortable knowing that there is no afterlife, while the antagonist
believes him to be stupid.
other episode about religion has Theroux revisiting America's most hated
family where he discovers that their numbers have dropped considerably
but their hate filled slogans have become even more sickening and
offensive. I remember watching the original episode in 2007 and
theorised that the younger female members of this cult would eventually
leave and 4 years later, two of these young women have left and are
living a normal life. Unfortunately they are heart broken that their
families have refused all contact with them. Even though the Westboro
Baptist Church may be heading to extinction, they are still brain
washing their children with their hateful slogans that targets
everything from sexual orientation to politics and anyone but them.
Crazy best sums up this episode.
the more insightful documentaries in this collection is America's
Medicated Kids that highlights America's obsession in the answer to all
their medical woes, pharmaceutical medication. In this documentary,
Theroux meets a variety of children who are suffering from psychiatric
issues such as Autism and ADHD which has lead to them being heavily
medicated for their conditions. According to the parents and the
specialists that he meets, this seems to be the only viable option for
these children; however other factors such as diet or positive parenting
skills remain vaguely absent.
and Disorder in Lagos has Theroux travelling to Nigeria as he visits one
of the world's fastest growing cities that is rife with corruption and a
self imposed militia called the Area Boys who extort money from the
local businesses. Unfortunately many of these local businesses also have
the government to deal as they have built their structures illegally and
this is where the KAI (Kick Against Indiscipline) come into the picture
who sometimes violently evicts them with bulldozers in tow. With rock
star type “union” warlords who have thousands of supporters, more so
from fear, Lagos is definitely a dangerous city and Theroux highlights
this quite well.
Law & Disorder tag could also be used for the last two episodes of this
collection in Miami's Mega Jail that highlights the lengthy wait that
prisoners must endure before their trial and the unofficial law that
binds the inmates together in a place that houses 6,000 prisoners. To
compound the situation, these jails are old and overcrowded, where many
of the people will be institutionalised for life. The only glimmer of
hope is a Boot Camp for younger offenders who are given the chance to
engage in a 6-month military style program or face a jail sentence
should they fail. It is quite disconcerting that American society has
let these individuals down and as these jails continue to be crammed to
its capacity, the politicians must address the societal issues in order
to stop the criminal epidemic that is spreading through the streets of
Miami and other parts of the United States.
all, Louis Theroux the Odd, the Bad and the Godly is a very insightful
yet disturbing documentary about some of the world's darkest corners and
secrets that truly makes you appreciate the country that we live in.
Although Australia is plagued by its own problems, it pales in
comparison to what Louis Theroux has carefully crafted together. This
collection is definitely some of Theroux’s best work and comes highly