December 27th, 2007 by Potato

Back at my parents’ house they have a lot more channels on cable than I get, so I’ve been watching a lot of crap. One show that I used to like was Mythbusters. It’s such a good concept, and the two main hosts are even fairly entertaining. However, the more recent episodes I’ve seen have really stunk. The three new kids are really, really super lame. Their dialogue is obviously scripted, but it’s really terribly done. It’s like they’re trying to make it sound like they’re having a normal conversation, but it’s very painfully not. A conversation may go “What are you doing, I’m completely clueless about the objects in front of you.” “I’m trying to answer this myth.” “Oh, this is one of my favourite myths, let me explain what those objects in front of you represent.”

The useless kids are also a big contributor to how vapid the show has become. I think they could condense the hour-long episode into 15-20 minutes or so. They first set up the myth, then say how they’re going to test it, then go to commercial. When they come back from commercial, they go over how they have it set up to test it, then go to Jamie & Adam and their myth being tested, then get back to the useless kids where, for the 3rd time, they describe their set up and how cool and unbelievable it is, and then they actually test it. Then after another commercial break and a cut to Jamie & Adam, the useless kids get to describe their setup yet again as they test it again with another variable.

Some of the myths and experiments are either really just dumb, or not well-controlled. For example, tonight they tested the “myth” that “tongues can stick to frozen steel poles”. Seriously? Ok, maybe they’re from California or some place that’s never seen winter, but haven’t they gotten their tongue stuck to a fudgescicle? Or called one of their friends from Canada or the northern states who did get their tongues stuck to something when they were kids?

I know they’re not scientists, but they don’t seem to have much of a concept of positive controls, either. They were testing the myth that yodeling could set off an avalanche. They “busted” it… but then couldn’t set off an avalanche with a couple of automatic rifles, either. Avalanches do happen, and rangers/mountain overseers try to set them off in controlled manners by firing off artillery shells — if they couldn’t set one off with their rifles, then it might just indicate that that particular mountain wasn’t primed for an avalanche, and not necessarily that yodeling couldn’t prompt an avalanche. (At the end of the show, one of them did say that there are documented cases of skiers setting off avalanches).

2 Responses to “Mythbusters”

  1. Ben Says:

    Yeah, I watched this the other day too, it was a 2 HOUR special, and it just dragged on and on and on and on, eventually I just got uninterested and stopped watching. I guess they’ve just run out of cool, interesting myths, but they want to keep the show going…

  2. Potato Says:

    I know, that episode was one of the worst for this sort of thing! They were testing the myth that a car driving behind a 747 could be blown off the road by the jet wash. It was the simplest possible test setup: they drove a car behind a 747. No models, no wind tunnels, just a car and a jet engine. And they had to explain it I think 3 times before they finally dragged the car behind it, then they explained their setup 3 more times after that: once more for each of the “let’s see what happens if we do this instead” things (a bus and a smaller plane), and then again at the end for the summary. It was nuts! Just drive the car behind the plane. Myth confirmed, let’s move on.

    I also ended up getting fed up with that episode and channel flipping, and I hardly ever do that (I much prefer to just pick a station and veg out).