Monday, April 25, 2005

"Real time" is a pretty good show

This probably is old news for experienced american tv viewers, but "Real time" with Bill Maher is a weekly HBO show comparable to, for example, the "Daily Show" with Jon Steward from Comedy Central. Included are, in approximately even parts, nightshow-typical comedy and conversations about politics and current issues. Each show I watched had five guests, 3 of them in a panel that allowed more of a debate, and two interviewed via satellite.

While I don't agree with quite some jokes and comments of the moderator in both cases, what's refreshing for an old european like myself, is that Bill Maher doesn't assume that he is indeed all knowing. Instead of inviting guests to make the own liberal camp look cooler, the questions are sharp but fair, and one has the feeling that indeed the parties both have had the chance to present their side of the story. Oftentimes - at least from my perspective - Maher stands corrected, and is not afraid not to have the last word. In the five episodes I saw (from the 9th, currently running series) the guests were interesting and smart with almost no exception. The discussions circle around the key disagreements, rather than an exchange of known smooth-washed non-communication. To make my point: my impression is that the show is unusally well suited for people who try to make up their own mind (especially for an american show :p).

The recent episodes are also on the bittorrent network: torrentspy.com

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