The joke built into the title of Adam Conover’s Adam Ruins Everything—which ran for three gleefully educational seasons in the shadow of TruTV’s monolithic Impractical Jokers reruns, from 2015 to 2019—is that most of the things Conover and his staff applied their show’s investigative energies to were already pretty goddamn ruined. The show’s whole purpose, most of the time, was to be a sort of cheerful and thoughtful buzzkill, revealing that whatever pleasant assumptions most of us use to keep ourselves out of The Screaming Place 24/7 are just that, with Conover pulling the curtain back on everything from Halloween to cars to his own show’s various biases (in its 2019 finale).
The G Word, Conover’s new Netflix show is, explicitly, not a new version of Adam Ruins Everything, as applied to the process of American governance—which is something you might not immediately grasp from the trailer, adopting as it does much of the tone, and many of the tricks, of Conover’s previous show. It does look to scratch the itch left behind by Everything, though, i.e., a blend of deep-diving research, energetically goofball sketches, and Conover’s own hosting style, with its laser-focus on the absurdities of whatever topic he’s applying it to, and especially this topic.
And, really, is there a more fertile field for Conover to till than government (and specifically the United States government), a topic that’s feeling more ruined by the day of late? In the trailer, Conover talks to people from all sorts of parts of America’s governmental infrastructure, including USDA inspectors, weather monitors, and more. (He also pulls out a couple of guest stars, including Penn and Teller, whose Showtime series Bullshit! can be seen as a predecessor to Conover’s own offerings.)
Conover released details about the show on social media today; all 6 episodes of The G Word will run on Netflix on May 19.