×

Adam Conover’s Top Five ‘Adam Ruins Everything’ Episodes

Adam Conover can probably answer any question you throw at him, but try asking him to list his favorite episodes of the first season of “Adam Ruins Everything” and he stumbles.

“It’s so hard for me to choose between my babies,” says Conover, who created and stars in the show.  “There are so many that I love. The ones I gravitate most towards, honestly, are the ones that have the strongest stories behind them, in addition to the information.”

It was tough, but he narrowed it down to five (of 27) episodes, but not in any particular order. They’re listed here in the order they aired.

“Adam Ruins Forensic Science,” (Season 1, Episode 4)

“I love that we do sort of a ‘CSI’ parody, which was really fun to do,” Conover says. “The three topics — polygraph tests, eye-witness testimony and fingerprinting — are things people believe are absolutely foolproof. Like there’s such a thing as a lie detector! They believe it because they see it TV.” The real-life implication comes when people have jury duty and believe that fallible evidence is infallible. “It was a really satisfying set of misconceptions to take down,” he adds.

“Adam Ruins Death,” (Season 1, Episode 12)

“I like it because it’s a real twist on our normal concept,” Conover says. “If you ask people, ‘Hey, are you going to die one day?’ they’re like, ‘Yeah, of course I will.’ But they haven’t really internalized it or thought about it. They’re in denial. This episode shows why that’s such a harmful point of view.” Conover, who loves that this is the first episode where his on-air alter-ego can’t learn his way out of an issue, says the episode was profoundly influenced by Atul Gawande’s book “Being Mortal.”

“Adam Ruins Hollywood,” (Season 1, Episode 13)

“Another one I really love is our Hollywood episode,” Conover says of an admittedly lighter episode that covers awards season, movie ratings and reality TV. “I think the audience really latched onto that one because of how enjoyable it is to peek behind the curtain. I believe very deeply that learning how something is done doesn’t ruin it; it makes it better because you have a whole new level to work on. You can watch an awards show and say, ‘They campaigned really hard for that Emmy this year.’”

“Adam Ruins Immigration,” (Season 1, Episode 18)

“This episode is one of the ones we’re all proudest of. It was our first time doing anything remotely topical,” he says. Instead of focusing on the cost or impracticality of building “The Wall,” Conover and crew viewed it from a fresh perspective. “We found in researching that, actually, the problem was it would INCREASE the number of undocumented people living in this country because that’s what border enforcement has always done. I’ve very proud of that episode, but I didn’t write the story. One of our writers, Gonzalo Cordova, did. I found it very moving.”

“Adam Ruins Prisons,” (Season 1, Episode 21)

“We feel really passionately, on the staff, that mass incarceration is one of the biggest problems facing America today. And it’s largely an invisible problem because it’s one that we, by design, keep far from the rest of society,” Conover says. In a twist, the goal wasn’t to offer the audience information about the penal system, but to make viewers feel its effect on people.  “Also, the expert we had on that episode, Daryl Atkinson — a formerly incarcerated fellow who’s a civil-rights attorney now — is one of my favorite people we’ve had on the show. He does really incredible work, and his story is also incredible.”

More TV

  • Angelina Jolie

    Angelina Jolie to Produce BBC Show to Help Kids Spot Fake News

    Angelina Jolie and the BBC want to give young viewers real tools to stop fake news, Jolie will executive produce “BBC My World,” a program that explains the stories behind news and offers facts and information that helps kids over the age of 13 make up their own minds on pressing international issues. The series [...]

  • Pictured: Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard

    'Star Trek: Picard': TV Review

    “Star Trek: Picard,” the latest entry in an ever-regenerating franchise, eventually gets going. That it does so more tentatively than boldly may, at first, be a test of individual viewers’ loyalty to the “Trek” universe and to its most famous captain. “Picard’s” great asset is its title character — as played by Sir Patrick Stewart, [...]

  • NBC Sky World News Plots Summer

    NBC Sky World News Plots Summer Launch

    The company known for American news staples like “Today” and “Meet The Press” wants to create similar journalism landmarks for audiences around the world. NBCUniversal and Sky, both owned by parent Comcast Corp., will this summer launch NBC Sky World News, a news service aimed at English-speaking audiences around the globe. The company intends to [...]

  • 'Vikings': Katheryn Winnick on Directing the

    'Vikings’s' Katheryn Winnick Breaks Down Directing the 'Start of Bjorn's Downfall'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Valhalla Can Wait,” the eighth episode of the sixth season of “Vikings.” When “Vikings” creator Michael Hirst came to terms with killing off the fan-favorite Lagertha character, he knew he wanted to bring portrayer Katheryn Winnick back into the creative fold at least once more [...]

  • Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 22/01/2020 -

    Tartikoff Honorees Call for Commitment to Diversity and Protection of Press Freedom

    MIAMI — Jeff Zucker didn’t mince words. “Nothing is as important than what I’m doing now,” the CNN Worldwide chief said of his long career in media as he was feted Wednesday night as one of five Brandon Tartikoff Award honorees. Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide and chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports, sounded the [...]

  • Greta Gerwig, Ava DuVernay Urge Changes

    Greta Gerwig, Ava DuVernay Among Directors Urging Changes in DGA Parental Policies

    Greta Gerwig, Ava DuVernay, Reese Witherspoon and more than 40 other women directors are urging the Directors Guild of America to change its policies for new and expectant parents. The directors have co-signed a letter by documentary filmmaker Jessica Dimmock seeking an extension of the qualifying period for DGA health insurance coverage to 18 months [...]

  • NBC Orders Drama Pilots 'Echo,' 'At

    NBC Orders Drama Pilots 'Echo,' 'At That Age'

    NBC has picked up two more drama pilots for the 2020-2021 season. Universal Television will produce both pilots. The first is titled “At That Age.” It is described as an exploration of an African-American family’s legacy. After the Cooper family’s golden child suffers a catastrophic event, seven family members face a foundational shift, make life-altering [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content