A Handy Guide To Some Of The Best Louis Theroux Documentaries (So Far)
The Debrief: Need a little Louis love? Here are some of our favourite Louis documentaries of all time.
There’s good news and some relatively not so great news. The good news is that we are legitimately going to be #blessed with three more hours(ish) of Louis Theroux’s face on screen at some point this year. It’s happening. He promised. And by promised we mean said it in an interview which is basically a metaphorical pinkie swear. Horray.
The relatively not so great news is that we still don’t know which date it is that we need to set a reminder to switch over to BBC Two just yet. And I don't know about you but I'm getting really impatient. So, to satisfy our impending anticipation of a little Louis love, we thought we'd take some time to appreciate and recap some of his best ever documentaries so far (because the new Murder in Milwaukee episode could just blow everything out of the water. You know, when it eventually airs. But anyway...).
When Louis met the Hamiltons
Ah, an oldie but a Louis-goodie. This was an episode in the first series of ‘When Louis Met…’ and aired way, way back in 2001. As in the same year that Limp Bizkit ‘Rollin’’ was number one in the chart, btw.
Louis goes to spend some time with former Tory MP Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine. It’s all a bit of a mess, really. There’s an extremely uncomfortable bit where Christine gets drunk and, as she puts it, ‘flirts outrageously’ with Louis. Also, the Hamiltons happened to be right in the middle of a huge investigation after being accused of sexual abuse when Louis rocked up with his camera crew (but the charges were eventually dropped).
Louis and the Nazis
Well wasn’t this one a corker. Louis and The Nazi was another one of his earlier documentaries. It aired a good 14 years ago back in 2003 and we got to watch what happened when Louis travelled over to California to meet a man called Tom Metzger aka ‘the most dangerous racist in America’. Errr, no big deal.
I’ll be honest, it doesn’t make for the most comfortable of midweek telly watching, particularly we meet the 11-year-old twins who sing racist songs and play a computer game called Ethnic Cleansing in their spare time. It’s one of those Louis Theroux documentaries that really sticks with you, though.
The Most Hated Family in America
Do you remember hearing about Westboro Baptist Church? Quick recap: they’re a group based in Texas who are basically anti-homosexual and have been known for protesting at the funerals of American soldiers killed in action. Yeah… pretty awful.
So, in this show, Louis heads over to Kansas to meet the Phelps, the family who lead the organisation and let’s just put it this way, Louis says that these are the most extreme people he’s ever met. Let that settle in for a minute.
Under the knife
The culture of getting plastic surgery in Beverly Hills back in the mid-noughties is probably something you were vaguely aware of. But took it upon himself to get all sorts of familiar with the day to day actual going on at those glossy LA clinics.
He joins in on consultations, watches operations and (spoiler alert) goes under the knife himself. No, seriously. Louis got lipo. And it is for that very reason that this episode deserves a spot in the Louis Theroux wall of fame. Can’t fault the guy on his dedication to the cause.
My Scientology Movie
Shout out to Louis's first venture to the big screen. You're probably already pretty familiar with this one seeing as it only hit the cinemas last year. But if you missed it, find a way to see it. If you've ever been remotely curious about wtf the drama was about when people were talking about Tom Cruise being into Scientology, it's definitely worth a watch.
Also, Louis almost got into a lot of trouble while trying to make this one, guys. As in legal threats were made by the church against Louis in response to the film. Yeah. Things got deep.
Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends
Is it a cop out to name the whole of Weird Weekends? I’m going to say it’s not because the whole of Weird Weekends was absolutely brilliant and contained some of our favourite gems of Lou Theroux moments.
The series ran for two years between 1998 and 2000 (feel old much?) and documented Louis’ ‘weird’ (geddit?) encounters with American culture. There was the one about UFOs, that one where he took his kit off to play the part of a park ranger in a porn film, that one when he visited some swingers and that time he tried to do gangsta rap down in New Orleans. And that’s merely the tip of the ice burg, my less acquainted friends.
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