'Porn', 'Behind Bars': Our Top 5 Louis Theroux Documentaries

'Porn', 'Behind Bars': Our Top 5 Louis Theroux Documentaries

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Louis Theroux is finally back on the television with his LA Stories, most recently exploring the unusual world of LA’s dogs and their baffling owners. Since his career kicked off in the mid-90s, Louis Theroux has become one of the most popular broadcast journalists, starting his career hosting segments on Michael Moore’s series, TV Nation, before scoring his own documentary series, Lousis Theroux’s Weird Weekends. His feigned naivety and candid approach give Theroux a unique approach to his journalism and he’s never shied away from dangerous people, situations or questions in his quest for a story.

louis theroux docsLouis Theroux has become one of the UK's most popular journalists

We're big Theroux fans, here’s a list of our top five Louis Theroux documentaries.

5. Porn, 1998

Theroux really set the tone for his future documentaries when he filmed his documentary Porn back in 1998. Entering into a world rarely seen or understood by outsiders, Louis explores the porn industry and the threats that come from working within it. He discovers that there are less male porn stars in the world than there are astronauts, as well as learning what the industry saying “gay for pay” really means.

4. Weird Weekends: Swingers, 1999

Louis teams up with a group of partner swappers in California, attending a swingers’ party as well as getting inside the psyche of the people who have no qualms with interchangeable partners.

3. Behind Bars, 2008

A braver man than us, Louis spent time in San Francisco’s San Quentin prison, well known as one of the toughest in the world and home to inmates convicted of brutal and violent crimes. Louis fearlessly discusses life ‘inside’ with the prisoners, all the while appearing utterly unfazed when surrounded by murderers and rapists.

2. When Louis Met...Jimmy Savile, 2001

You have to watch this one to believe it really happened. Theroux delves into the unusual world of the late Jimmy Savile, whose behaviour is at once confusing, evasive but strangely open. “There’s nothing I can’t get and there’s nothing I can’t do”, Savile says at one point.  Watching with hindsight, Louis' interview with Savile is thoroughly unsettling, a must watch.

1. Most Hated Family in America, 2007

Louis meets the Phelps family, better known as the family behind the Westboro Baptist Church. Headed by the recently deceased Fred Phelps, Louis tries to get to the root of the family’s bizarre interpretation of the bible and the ill-will and hatred that it breeds. Louis, as always, remains free of judgement throughout the documentary, although it’s hard for those watching to stay quite so impartial.

MORE: Critics react to Louis Theroux's latest doc: LA Stories: City of Dogs

MORE: Louis Theroux's Twilight of the Porn Stars reviewed


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