It only takes me one episode for me to know if I’m interested in a show or not, and from the very first episode of Adam Ruins Everything I was hooked. I pride myself on being pretty knowledgeable about a lot of things–when you read as much as I do you pick up a lot–but the first episode taught me quite a few things. Who would’ve thought, right?
The first episode of Adam Ruins Everything takes on the topic of giving. Clothing drives, canned food drives, blood drives, those TOMS shoes, and giving diamonds as engagement and wedding rings are all featured and the common myths and misconceptions about each are skewered comically. Comedy aside, Adam cites his sources for every factoid, prominently displaying them on the upper right-hand corner of the screen. That’s good, but what really impressed me was the experts who made cameos. When discussing canned food drives, Adam enlists the help of Dr. Sophal Ear, a political scientist and associate professor at Occidental College, to explain how to give efficiently, and how the way that we’re accustomed to giving is actually more harmful, wasteful even, than it is beneficial. Adam also speaks to the head honcho at a food pantry who explains why giving cash is the best way to help those in need.
With the holidays around the corner, this episode is really timely. And if you still love your diamonds or other problematic things, the show isn’t preachy nor does it make you feel bad about it. Adam is like that geeky friend with his nose forever in a book, who likes to stop you every time he finds out something interesting because he cares. He’s not trying to be mean, he just wants to help. What you do with that information is up to you. And by no means do I want you to skip doing your own research. What makes it one of TV’s smartest shows is the potential for it to challenge what you know or think you know about the world, especially what corporate marketing pushes down our throats.
It’s rare for a show that is part faux-reality and faux-sitcom to be this intelligent. And I never thought I’d find anything this smart on TruTV, but alas, I have. Not since the original British version of Horrible Histories have I been this impressed with something “educational” on TV. Any show that makes us pull out our Google-Fu to fact check (or argue with as the upcoming episode on GMO foods is going to make me do), is welcome in a television landscape replete with lame dating shows, and fronters faking the funk. So save that “two months” worth of paychecks, and get that special person in your life something better… And stop giving expired canned food away.
Adam Ruins Everything premieres September 29th at 10 p.m ET/PT on TruTV.