They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

14 -- The End Is Nigh

It's official. The 14th season of The Mythbusters will be the last.

I am so glad we got to see Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman back in April (DW) (LJ) on the Jamie Hyneman Fairwell Tour.

Of course, the handwriting was on the wall, when in August 2014 Discovery Channel unceremoniously fired the B-team (DW) (LJ).

And you could feel the footsteps approaching, as they made the 13th season airings erratic. Fastest way to kill a show is not let it run in its timeslot unimpeded. Firefly, anyone?


Entertainment Weekly has an excellent web article and interview about The End of Mythbusters, Adam and Jamie.

One of the comments both of them make is regarding reality shows. I consider Mythbusters one of the highlights of reality shows, but it is NOT reality television. It's about Real Things, but not the scripted artifice of the so-called reality television shows and competitions. From Survivor to Top Chef to Project Runway to Naked and Afraid to The Real Housewives of Alpha Centauri -- there is nothing "real" about them. It's either competition or semi-scripted opportunities for fighting and backstabbing. That was not Mythbusters. They actually tried some spin off shows of competitions, either among teams (Unchained Reaction) or between Adam and Jamie (Dangerous Toys) -- and while they were fun, they died quick and certain deaths after a couple of episodes. Though Jamie's army of attack teddy bears (DW) (LJ) was definitely a highlight for me.

There are those in both science and science education who pooh-poohed Mythbusters. True, they were neither of them scientists. But they had a very broad practical education and openly pointed out that the scientific method, however crudely applied in some cases, is not restricted only to scientists. Sure, they had a preference to blowing things up. A great deal of my Physics "stories" I include in my lectures involve various extreme conditions, including blowing stuff up, crashing it, and general mayhem and death. I point out to my students that these stories are memorable for a reason. So is blowing up a cement truck with AMFO. (evil-grin) There are always some in the scientific community who oppose any attempt to do popular science. But trying to maintain a stranglehold over science in the name of absolute rigor, makes science unapproachable, incomprehensible and liable to create a priesthood of anointed scientists -- we have enough problems with people who don't understand, misuse or don't care about science. And in 2015, this is simply unacceptable.

Frankly it's telling that these two came out of the SF special effects arena. Because Hollywood is both a great booster of Dayom Sensawunder and the greatest sinner in creating ridiculous violations of science and science literacy.

I will miss the Mythbusters. I hope I get to see all the new episodes. I wish all of the A- and B-Team great and wise futures. I fear it will be a long time before we get such a thought provoking "Do NOT Try This At Home" show on television.

On the other hand, I have to agree with Adam and Jamie -- to know the end is coming and be able to prepare for. To "go out with a bang", so to speak. Well, a lot of TV shows never get that chance.


Take a bow, gentlemen. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Dr. Phil
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Crossposted on LiveJournal
Tags: mythbusters, science
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