August 22nd, 2014

myth-b

Ack!

So I was watching the rerun of the end of the new Mythbusters episode, which turned out to be the end of the season. At the very end, Jamie announced that after ten years and over three hundred myths, they were retiring the Mythbusters' B-Team, which has mainly been artist Kari Byron, builder Tory Belleci and electrical and robotics expert Grant Imahara. Next year Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will "go back to their roots" and do whole episodes themselves. ***

Oh no!

I have very mixed feelings here. The use of an A- and a B-team has allowed them to do more myths. At the same time, it breaks up the episodes and makes them more schizophrenic. Look, lots of dramas do this, too. The CSI formula starts with a main story, then introduces a B-story with the rest of the cast, sometimes connecting the two. Jamie and Adam are the original Mythbusters, and the B-team, which they rarely get to work on camera with, cuts into their time.

But the B-team has really done a good job. My sister Wendy told me that they would show up at Dragoncon and totally fill an auditorium. Adam and Jamie have done a couple of other project shows with just them and they didn't get picked up. One hopes it's not ego or network bean counter interference.

Of course, there may be other dynamics going on. Maybe one or more wanted to move on. We know Kari was sidelined with a pregnancy part of one season. Maybe there are other offers.

Maybe they can spin the B-team off and give them their own show. Spread out the episodes so we get more Mythbusters. (grin) More love for explosions, er, science literacy!

They're not completely going away -- there's ten years of reruns and classic lessons. And it's not like our lead Mythbusters suck. This latest episode did a really cool setup of testing various methods of boarding airplanes -- looking at both time and satisfaction. The usual system most airlines use turns out to be slow AND hated. Who knew? Besides six million air travelers, of course. (double-grin)

So... thank you Kari, Grant and Tory! At least they went out with a bang...

Dr. Phil

*** UPDATE: Some comments on Facebook noted that the B-team didn't get a farewell spot and the A-team didn't look happy. Someone thought they had been fired, possibly over money, but the link given wouldn't load for me. Well, I missed the not having a farewell -- I plead shock -- but got a save by mentioning bean counters. Damned dirty bean counters!
myth-b

Ack! Part 2

Internet fail.

It's nearly fifteen hours since Jamie and Adam thanked Kari, Tory and Grant for some ten years of service on Mythbusters as their B-team -- and so far I haven't seen any real discussion of what happened, even whether they were fired. Ten minutes of Googling only turned up a few websites, including USA Today, Detroit Free Press and the L.A. Times, and they all just had the announcement during last night's show and some re-Tweets of some gracious and thankful posts from Kari, Tory, Grant, Adam and Jamie, I think. Wikipedia isn't saying more.

The silence is deafening.
On last night's MythBusters season finale, Adam and Jamie announced an end of an era. Next season they will be going back to their MythBusters beginnings and will be hosting the show without Kari, Tory, and Grant. In this M7 retrospective, we salute the trio for everything they've given in the name of science.
-- Mythbusters page on discovery.com
The lack of a farewell clip FROM the B-team, as opposed to a couple of the clips we see all the time, is disturbing. Last minute? Rancor? Fired by the network bean counters? Dunno. And in an industry marked by leaks and rumors, of a show beloved by tech savvy geeks, this is very odd.

Ferrett Steinmetz and a few others have posted bitter denunciations. One set of comments I saw talked about how far Discovery Channel has fallen in recent years, leaving Mythbusters a shining beacon. But we don't know.

I have certainly felt that Mythbusters has been neglected by Discovery the last two years. Once the week had numerous chances to catch reruns and lots of promotions for new episodes. Now it feels like I catch them by accident and vigilance on my part. As opposed to Shark Week, which has spilled over to many competing channels as well.

One can argue that perhaps this is a private matter. Yeah, right. The smell on this is not right. And sudden. And the void in news on the Internet doesn't look good. Sure, there are other things in the world more important to worry about, but remember -- Science Literacy is my job. It's 2014 and Discovery needs more science. We need more science.

And this is odd.

Dr. Phil