Louis Theroux: The City Addicted to Crystal Meth

We all fell in love with Louis Theroux when he invited us to join him on his Weird Weekends. His skewed, slanted take on the fringe interests of society and the teasing out of oddball behaviour from strange celebrities like Jimmy Savile and The Hamiltons left us all rapt and amused.

Then, at some point, he decided to become a serious television journalist. He went to Philadelphia and Jo’berg to look at violent crime… he went to a maximum security prison and talked to the inmates… he hung with religious nuts. He also lost a few laughs.

Of course, it was far from the end of the world as Theroux is an engaging and endearingly gangly person to have on TV. He’s able to disarm people with his studious little face and has shown us things other media may not tackle. He’s a man who operates on the tip.

However, last night in Louis Theroux: The City Addicted to Crystal Meth (BBC Two), he lost me somewhere.

He spoke to people hooked on an incredibly destructive drug and discovered some appalling tales. One such story involved a brother and sister in a violent relationship, cooked off their baps on meth and… well… having it off with each other. The TV was set to ‘dumbfound’.

Sadly, away from that, I felt myself willing my own sense of humour to find fun in this show. Instead of going along for the ride, I began to plug the holes left by Theroux since he went serious.

As such, I found myself noticing that one meth addict looked like George W Bush. What everyone else may have missed is that he seemed to be married to Garth Elgar from Wayne’s
World.

Now, when you watch these depressing drug tales, you don’t normally hoot idiotic thoughts at the screen, but Theroux has gravitated toward making meaningful, issue based telly. Right now, we’re all in desperate need of a laugh and Louis isn’t stepping forward with them

Basically, he’s going to countries where there are problems, but people who won’t tell him to get lost. If he did a show about heroin in Glasgow, he’d probably have a lesser success rate. It feels unlikely we would have seen an arrested woman breaking down in tears on the hood of a cop wagon talking about her kids.

As such, I didn’t really learn anything. I mean, we all know drugs are bad and that it ruins lives for some peope. I like watching Louis talk to people but really, this topic seemed to be a little beyond him as he didn’t get truly inside the subject, rather, simply stared at it and thought it was all rather unpleasant. I guess my expectations were high and I wanted more.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1