Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > TV Talk
Reload this Page >

Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

TV Talk Talk about Shows on TV

Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

Old 08-15-23, 04:21 PM
  #1  
Moderator
Thread Starter
 
dex14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 45,297
Likes: 0
Received 4,682 Likes on 3,170 Posts
Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

They’re flipping the script on a billion-dollar industry. This 3-part HBO Original Documentary from Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, and Danny McBride follows two unlikely heroes as they go from employees to whistleblowers on a twenty-year mission to take down the telemarketing industry.

Telemarketers premieres August 13 on Max.
Old 08-15-23, 09:40 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 44,111
Received 2,811 Likes on 1,932 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

I remember a few years back I was constantly getting calls begging for money.

It was almost always someone calling for the police, the fire department, or veterans. Always hung up because it seemed scammy and I don't give money to charities because I don't trust them.

Wonder if those calls were these assholes in the documentary.
Old 08-17-23, 07:32 AM
  #3  
Moderator
Thread Starter
 
dex14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 45,297
Likes: 0
Received 4,682 Likes on 3,170 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

A friend of mine texted me last night to ask if I had watch the first episode (I did). He wanted to point out that the street he grew up on in our hometown was in the footage when Patrick Pespas was getting picked up and does the heroin.

I worked in a call center in my early 20s. Though it wasn't outbound calls like this, it had that same vibe. They'd hire anyone... people didn't care... I saw heroin packets for the first time in life.
Old 08-17-23, 11:57 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 13,004
Received 961 Likes on 732 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

Originally Posted by dex14
I worked in a call center in my early 20s. Though it wasn't outbound calls like this, it had that same vibe. They'd hire anyone... people didn't care... I saw heroin packets for the first time in life.
Same here, but on the less sleazy side; I had to go to the businesses that had been duped and pick up the payment (this telemarketer was hired by the local sheriffs. People bought advertising space in some useless publication, drug addled telemarketers supported their habit, cops got one of those big-ass checks at the end that was just a tiny fraction of all the money that came in). I was in the office one day and had to use the phone. Something was rattling inside the phone, so I unscrewed the mouthpiece and vials of crack poured out. Good times.
Old 08-28-23, 10:26 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 76,536
Received 6,356 Likes on 4,349 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

Did anyone else watch the whole thing? I thought it was pretty good, and interesting to go back to the story after a long break. Found the ending pretty disappointing but unsurprising. It was worth the watch.
Old 08-28-23, 11:42 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Inhumans99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Fremont, CA
Posts: 4,903
Received 285 Likes on 237 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

I suppose I should eventually watch this seeing as how I worked at a call center in Sherman Oaks, CA from 1989-1999, and then I headed to UC Santa Cruz to obtain my Bachelor Degree.

I sheltered myself from a lot of stuff I heard about by not hanging out with anyone after work (I had to take a bus home which limited the time I had to hang out after work), but I was told a cool Supervisor I was under had a rep for doing Coke. The company Christmas parties I never attended, I was told some of the Supervisors would get so drunk that when the party ended someone would sling them over their shoulder and help them sober up, sleep it off, or get home, lol.

A really cool woman and her long time boyfriend, (who did not work at the center) they enjoyed reading pretty hardcore skinmags. She just told me this because we used to chat occasionally on the job.

Towards the end of my time I would hear about folks smelling like weed they had just smoked in the stairwell, and supposedly a condom or two had been found after folks got frisky in the upper level less frequented stairwell.

Still, my time at the call center was much less interesting than most others who put in their time looking like a Time Life operator.
Old 08-29-23, 04:08 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 4,607
Received 16 Likes on 14 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

I remember getting calls from the FOP to our house. I would even give them $$ (maybe like $15 or $20... I was still in College and didn't have that much extra money to spare). They would mail you the packet that had the letter, a decal for your car, and some other info .

I just got my license so, like others who got scammed, I thought that If I put this sticker on my car it can't hurt if I get pulled over.

I would give once a year - but stopped after a few years when I would get calls for the 'detective order,' 'sergeants FOP,' 'Fire Chief ... bla bla bla' Something didn't seem right.
Old 08-29-23, 04:25 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 44,111
Received 2,811 Likes on 1,932 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

Charities -- real ones and fake ones, but especially the fake ones -- are like stray cats. Feed it once, and it will keep coming back for more. And bring friends.
Old 08-29-23, 04:34 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 76,536
Received 6,356 Likes on 4,349 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

I don't know if you watched the show or not, but FOPs are far closer to fake ones than real ones.
And I donate to plenty of charities that don't hassle me any more than a once-or-twice a year email reminder.
My biggest mistake was giving money to my two Alma Maters over the phone. I stopped taking calls from Isla Vista, CA and Lawrence, KS many years ago.
The following users liked this post:
majorjoe23 (08-31-23)
Old 08-29-23, 10:36 PM
  #10  
Dan
DVD Talk Hero
 
Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In the straps of boots
Posts: 28,066
Received 1,203 Likes on 852 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

A very disjointed miniseries. Disappointed that Blumenthal kind of blew them off at the end there, but it wasn’t entirely surprising.

I wish they had spent more time on the processes that shady telemarketers follow today, or how a big chunk of that business has also pivoted to PAC email farms, targeting people with language that mirrors some of the things you hear the callers say. Fundraising is a completely broken system that has little chance of being fixed.

I enjoyed it for what it is, but it’s not rewatchable, and not exactly something I can recommend, particularly if the goal is to enlighten people.
Old 08-31-23, 06:49 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 130,343
Received 625 Likes on 503 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

I've made it through 2 1/2 episodes. I appreciate the effort and these scammers should be exposed, but the main dude in this is a complete douchebag. I just can't take it anymore.
Old 08-31-23, 06:51 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 76,536
Received 6,356 Likes on 4,349 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

Originally Posted by Red Dog
I've made it through 2 1/2 episodes. I appreciate the effort and these scammers should be exposed, but the main dude in this is a complete douchebag. I just can't take it anymore.
The Narrator or Pat? They kind of both are. At least they know and acknowledge it.

Last edited by Decker; 08-31-23 at 06:57 PM.
Old 08-31-23, 10:03 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Josh-da-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Bible Belt
Posts: 44,111
Received 2,811 Likes on 1,932 Posts
Re: Telemarketers (HBO docuseries) EP: Safdie Brothers, McBride

Originally Posted by Decker
I don't know if you watched the show or not, but FOPs are far closer to fake ones than real ones.
Yeah, I watched all three but I kind of half-assed my way through the third one doing other stuff. I need to rewatch it because I didn't catch all of the shady stuff about the FOPs.

About ten or fifteen years ago one my wife's great aunts kicked the bucket and her family had my wife go through her papers and stuff because she does accounting and finance.

She said that her aunt had been giving away tens of thousands of dollars to all of these groups over the years... bullet proof vests for state troopers, safety equipment for firefighters, wheelchair ramps for disabled veterans, funds for the families of fallen officers, chew toys for drug-sniffing dogs.

And most of these groups were sending her letters to the effect of Well, Mrs. [Insert Name], since you gave Chew Toys 4 Drug Sniffing Dogs five hundred dollars last month, we know you care about first responders, so the Firemen of North Nantucket need new ladders because their old ones aren't safe to use anymore, so could you send the Ladders Over North Nantucket a generous donation of five hundred dollars or more?

Or it's some kind of veteran's group that's giving her fake ranks each time she sends them more money. Congratulations, Mrs. [Insert Name Here]! Since your last payment to Soldiers with Scoliosis of $1,200, you have just been promoted from the rank of First Lieutenant to Captain! With a donation of another $800, you earn the rank of Major!

My wife said the whole thing just felt really gross and skeevy, and her aunt could have put her great-grandchildren through college with all of the money she gave away to these groups. She also gave money to legitimate groups like Wounded Warrior Project (though I seem to recall some controversy over them a while back) and right-wing political causes and politicians.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.