Here in UK, they love Louis Theroux. He's a national hero. Lots of English friends told me about this guy and his documentaries, gonzo style with a funny twist. This goofy dude asking straight question to dangerous people like they are best friends on a school trip to Disney world, except one his a gangster, the other a nerd, and the bus is stolen.
I watched two of his documentaries, the first one was “America’s most dangerous pets” and “Louis and the nazis”. I didn’t like the first one I saw months ago, I though it was too much scripted, like a Vice documentary, playing on the edge of reality and fiction. “Oh it’ dangerous but we are filming, the pressure is building but finally nothing happens”. The character was interesting and moving but the format was too trashy.
I listened to the WTF (with Marc Maron, my favorite podcast) episode with Louis Theroux and decided to give it another shot. I just finished the one about the Nazis, I believe it’s one of the most famous. I felt the same, a big sensationalism and emptiness, big talk and words for a dull experience, a love at first sight turning into a one night stand.
The mother of two is interesting, deep and human, the rest is really superficial and blunt. Tom Metzger bit is worthless, no taste, no investigation, it can be summarised as: Louis goes to his house, hear him curse on blacks and jews, argue softly on races, going to a rally and scream 3 sentences about white revolution to finally get drunk in Mexico. Like a very bad trip with two elderly racist dudes. There is nothing. Nada. Maybe that's the point though.
I see the success of this guy Theroux on his documentaries, he choose a subject, a bit edgy, dangerous or unconventional and goes interview the people, all the entertainment resulting from the clash between this tall goofy-nerdy guy and his interlocutors, dangerous, strange and often criminal people on the opposite spectrum of clean and polite Louis.
As fun and weird it is to watch, once you get the idea, I can’t understand how people could watch more of it. The subject is treated superficially, there is no depth, no information, nothing to get out of it except saying to your friends:
- Haha you saw when Louis asked the nazis “What if I'd tell you I’m Jew ?"
Well that’s not investigation journalism, it’s just clownery, and people like that.