Adam Ruins Everything by teaching one horrible truth at a time

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Photo Courtesy of TruTv

Did you know that the TSA is only there to make you feel safe, engagement rings are a commercial scam, food drives toss most contributions or that pure-bred dogs are an affront to nature? Some cultural beliefs are so commonplace that they are stubbornly considered facts no matter how fictional they may actually be – like gum takes seven years to digest or humans only use 10% of their brain. If you’ve heard it repeatedly, it must be true, right?

The newest show on Tru TV, Adam Ruins Everything challenges this brand of blind acceptance by pursuing the truth in all of its, sometimes ugly, glory. Thankfully, they also present it in the funniest way possible, easing the blow as some of the assumptions we hold sacred are demolished before our very eyes. Adam Conover, the host of the show is here to unapologetically teach you that many of other things you know and love in the world are just plain wrong. Conover plays an intrusive TV host who barges into people’s lives uninvited to educate them on their current choices. He uses his “magic TV powers”(his term not mine) to send them through time and space in order to better emphasize his points.

As a sketch comedy show, Adam Ruins Everything has more freedom to visually illustrate arguments by alternating between real-time clips, to stop-motion, cartoon animation, and poorly-performed reenactments. However, the show does take the material they are discussing seriously and provides source-based evidence as support. They do this by openly citing all their research on-screen so if you need more convincing its right there for if you want to continue the investigation yourself.

What’s awesome about this is that it encourages viewers to critically question everything and not accept anything, even the show itself, at face value. By the end of each episode, after rubbing your nose in how wrong you and society are, Adam shows you there are ways to fix these problems, leaving you with some hope that we might become more informed, rational individuals and in turn, create a better society.

Amazingly, this great stride in educational programming originated from a web sketch series on YouTube on the College Humor channel which gained more than 30 million views before shifting to a television format. Adam Conover pitched the sketch to College Humor in the hope of furthering his passion, teaching through comedy. He says, “In its highest aspirations, the show hopes to inspire people to think more critically about the world around them.”  He was initially inspired to create the show after realizing his tendency to correct people’s misconceptions essentially made them mad. That’s when he saw the comedic potential to aggressively turning people’s worldview around. “It’s the reaction I’ve gotten my whole life: that I learn something and try to tell people in conversation, but when I tell them, they are annoyed,” says Conover, “Awareness of my own personality is what led to the fundamental comedy of the show.” Thus from the ignorance and irritation of others, this insightful comedy show was born.

From this show, I’ve learned many small, yet shocking things I never knew or  I’d always thought were correct. That is an experience some will hate, but more will enjoy. However, the most substantial thing I got out of this show, besides the ability to be conversationally interesting, was that you should always question. Question your government, question your school, question your doctor, television, magazines, and anything else that offers you information that could influence the semblance of reality.

What I learned, what everyone should learn, is that not everything you watch, hear or read is true. Though that may seem obvious in an age of information, it is still very easy for facts, opinions and even blatant lies to be considered equally. So if you ever decide to watch the show, don’t trust what the title suggests any more than anything else in your life. Adam doesn’t actually ruin things. He simply enriches them.