Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Yea. MythBusters isn't dead after all. The series returns at 8 p.m. Wednesday, but fans will notice two important changes in the resurrection -- it's on a different channel and has two new hosts.
MythBusters is a fascinating science entertainment series that premiered on the Discovery Channel in 2003. The hosts were special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, who used scientific methods to test the validity of urban myths, pop legends and movie scenes.
Examples: Duct tape can be used to build a cannon (confirmed); black coffee will help you sober up (busted); you can use ear wax to make a candle (busted); the smell of a dead shark will repel a live one (confirmed).
My favorite episode was in Season 3 when they blew up a cement truck. The thing vaporized. It was way cool.
Why did Discovery cancel the series? There were rumors that although Savage and Hyneman were pros on camera, they didn't really get along all the well behind the scenes. But mostly, they were probably weary of the series and it was time to go out on top.
Before their final season, Savage said, "Every show has its bell curve. It's not like [the ratings] were terrible but we could see them changing. Three or four years ago we started wondering more if we were going to be renewed.
"Most cable shows like ours just end. They get past their freshness date, you finish a season and then you hear you'll never see another one. We get to pay homage to this thing that's changed our lives."
After the series was canceled, Science Channel (Discovery's sister channel) decided the concept was too nifty to abandon and held a competition for new hosts with MythBusters: The Search. The winners were certified rescue diver, pilot and drone enthusiast Brian Louden of Spring, Texas, and Jonathan Lung, a product designer from Staten Island, N.Y.
Season 20 of MythBusters will have 14 episodes. We'll see if Louden and Lung can fill the big shoes and whether they can blow stuff up as well as Savage and Hyneman.
• Street Science, 9 p.m. Wednesday on Science Channel. The Season 2 debut is followed by a second episode at 9:30.
This is the perfect series to follow MythBusters, although it may be on too late for the smaller fry. Be sure to record it for earlier playback.
I'm a firm believer that you can never introduce kids too early to cool science. Watch Mr. Wizard with Don Herbert was one of my favorites when I was small and that took us to Bill Nye the Science Guy for a later generation.
Little Rock's Museum of Discovery has a special program called Wiggle Worms for kids 6 and younger. It looks like a lot of fun and is similar to the Science Sprouts program our granddaughter attends at the WonderLab Museum in Bloomington, Ind. That program is for kids under 3.
Street Science is hosted by Kevin Delaney, former director of visitor experience at the Museum of Discovery, and occasional guest on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where he and Jimmy don lab coats and safety glasses and dazzle the audience with wacky science experiments.
It's a wonder Delaney never sets his epic, Hagrid-esque beard on fire.
In Street Science, Delaney and his hirsute sidekick Darren Dyk "hit the streets to perform experiments that are so unusual, off-beat, and so unexpected they will blow your mind."
Look for fire, explosions, colorful chemical reactions and slow-motion replays. The super slo-mo is the most fascinating part of the show.
This season, engineer, builder, and backyard scientist Kevin Kohler joins the team to explore the human cannonball stunt; scaling walls like superheroes; exploring the science of magnetic levitation; and supersizing a classic mousetrap-powered car for humans.
"Science is all around us," Delaney says, "and I want the world to see it." Note, however, that each episode begins with the caveat that the experiments "can be dangerous and are advised by science experts. Please do not try them at home."
That goes double for the kiddos.
• Final notices. The eight episodes of Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, wrap up at 9 p.m. today on NBC. In the final episode, a second murder trial of Lyle and Erik Menendez gets underway with Barry Levin joining the defense team.
Also, American Horror Story: Cult finishes Season 7 at 9 p.m. today on FX with the 11th episode "Great Again." For the record, this has been the least-watched season. Episode nine only had 1.48 million viewers.
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Style on 11/14/2017
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