Heads up! MYTHBUSTERS season premiere tonight at 9 Eastern!

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Christopher, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Mythbusters returns in just a few hours with "Duct Tape Island," whose premise is apparently that Adam and Jamie are "abandoned on a desert island" (which I think I've heard is actually Hawaii) with duct tape as their only tool and must test its usefulness for survival and/or rescue.

    This is followed at 10 Eastern by a new show hosted by Adam and Jamie, Unchained Reaction, which appears to be a Junkyard Wars-style show where two teams compete to build a gadget-of-the-week, with Adam and Jamie as the emcees and judges. Apparently it actually premiered at 11 this morning, and the 10 PM episode is the second one. The premiere repeats overnight at 2 AM.
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    DVR already set to catch them.

    I believe "Unchained Reaction" is a six episode series. But that could change down the road but that'd likely not be good news for "Mythbusters."
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, "Duct Tape Island Survival" (the full name of the "myth") was pretty silly. It wasn't even a proper myth per se, except as a further extension of the general "duct tape can do anything" myth, which I think has been thoroughly run into the ground by now. And it was so fake and stagey -- pretending that Adam and Jamie had to search for water (I'm sure the camera crew had plenty of water bottles available for them), that Adam "just happened" to stumble upon a fresh water source, etc. Of course they were constantly winking to the camera about how fake the situation was, but that didn't make it much better. This show is supposed to be about exposing the truth behind the pretense, not engaging in pretense of its own.

    And how come the Junior Mythbusters were nowhere to be seen? Usually when they do a single episode-long myth, it's with the full combined team.

    I think if they were going to do a desert-island show in the spirit of Mythbusters, they should've done something like testing the Professor's bamboo-and-coconut inventions from Gilligan's Island. Especially if it meant we got to see Kari cosplaying as Mary Ann, or Jamie whacking Gillig-Adam upside the head with his beret.


    Unchained Reaction is a little silly too. It's just about building Rube Goldberg machines? I guess that's kind of cute, but utterly frivolous. I know the Discovery Channel has drifted far away from its origins as an educational channel, but at least Mythbusters still manages to teach some science and critical thinking most of the time. Here, the aerospace team had some nice physics, chemistry, and engineering going on, but little of it was explained to the audience. It wasn't used as a teaching opportunity, it was just "hey, look at the cool gadgets and fireballs."
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I think Mythbusters has run it's course.
     
  5. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought it was a fun enough episode, although definitely not one of their more interesting or enlightening ones. Most of the survival tricks we've already seen countless times on Man vs Wild or Survivorman, and most of the duct tape creations seemed more showoffy than truly life-saving.

    As for Unchained Reaction, I only saw the first episode so far, but wasn't terribly impressed. The final contraptions are kinda fun to watch, but it turns out that actually watching them get built...? Not so much.
     
  6. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    So has the show permanently moved to Sundays? That would be awesome, because I have three other shows on at the same time as Mythbusters' normal time slot, so I always have to find a later showing to record.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It looks that way. And they missed an opportunity for a cross-promotion with Unchained Reaction, it seems, since next Sunday's Mythbusters episode is called "Fire vs. Ice," the exact same title as last night's Unchained episode. Since those are both the second episodes of their respective seasons, I wonder if they were meant to be shown back-to-back but Discovery screwed up the schedule when they decided to air the first two UR episodes on the same day.


    Anyway, I just watched the first Unchained Reaction episode which I DVRed overnight, and two out of two times, I've disagreed with the choice Adam and Jamie made for the winner of the competition. Both episodes have involved a scientist team (electronics experts, rocket scientists) with a more physics-oriented machine versus a Hollywood team (set constructors, special effects artists) with a more spectacle-driven machine, and in both cases I was rooting for the science guys but the FX guys won.
     
  8. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I realize the show wasn't necessarily trying to help people in survival situations but there's a couple of points that Jamie makes on the stagnate water part that struck me as wrong.

    First he says you can't drink it. While to it's core this is true yo can still collect it, boil it, and then drink it.

    He also suggests during his discussion of water than you can't drink seawater because it'd make you thirstier (presumably because the salt in seawater will dry out your body/make you thirstier.) Seawater is actually -for want of a better term- poisonous! Drinking it doesn't make you thirstier because of the salt it actually is salty it screws up your entire body chemistry with the salt and you die from your body no longer "working correctly" long before you'd die of dehydration.

    EDIT: (I'm watching it on DVR right now)

    Ah! Neat, I see Jamie made a solar still from the duck tape. Nifty!
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm thinking of how Jamie had the idea to use not just the duct tape, but the shrink wrap it was wrapped in (which was probably planned in advance by the show's writers/producers when they realized it'd be needed for the solar still -- this whole thing was so damn fakey). And I'm wondering if they could've found some way to make use of the expended cardboard cores of the duct tape rolls when they were done with them. You know, the "use the whole animal" principle. I wonder what they could've been used for.
     
  10. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I suspect the cardboard cores of the tap rolls could've been used to maybe make slightly more viable cups and dinnerware.

    I agree with your problems with the episode, Christopher, but I think the episode was pretty good and did showcase some of the ingenuity behind Jamie and Adam, I did find it interesting how they said the duct-tape catamaran they built was their most "successful" improvised boat they've done on the show. It's impressive to me it made it through the breakers and the only water it took on seemed to be due to poor canoing.

    The show didn't much address this but I suspect in a "realistic" situation some-kind-of navigation equipment could have been improvised in order to prevent them from rafting back to the very place they just left. (A "joke" I saw coming a mile away.)

    And, yeah, I suspect they weren't "really" strained for food, water or even shelter and that there was a "Man v Wild" thing going on where they were given provisions when the camera weren't rolling. I also suspect they used more than the number of rolls we saw them "given" at the beginning of the episode.

    The episode certainly reeks of a lot of contrivances but, again, it's interesting to see Jamie and Adam using some ingenuity and brains to come up with stuff and to how versatile something can be with the right applications.

    On the solar still I wonder if it would have worked with a duct tape drape over it the pit. I mean it doesn't have to be a clear material for it to work just something for evaporating water to collect on and by making a tarp with both sides being the "non-sticky" side of the tape I suspect a suitable collection drape could have been made.

    The sun would heat "Side A" of the duct-tarp which would cause the area under it to heat up and cause the evaporation process. Sure the plastic tarp maybe was more efficient, but I don't think it would have been 100% necessary.
     
  11. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nah, I thought the FX guys deserved to win that one. The other team might have come up with the more innovative ideas, but their machine just looked way too flimsy and thrown together in the end.

    The other machine was a bit more fun and exciting to watch in action, I thought.
     
  12. JWD75

    JWD75 Commander Red Shirt

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    As much as I enjoy spending time with Jamie and Adam, I don't think that I can sit through another duct tape episode after this. Enough is enough.
     
  13. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    Huh, I actually really liked this episode. /shrug. Adam trying to catch a chicken was some funny stuff. In fact a lot of the comedic beats were good. I enjoyed their tongue-in-cheek approach to doing an episode like this, and whether or not it was a real survival situation I think they did impart some useful information.
     
  14. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    First thing that comes to mind is a mast for the boat, and a duct tape sail. Were they planning on paddling a few thousand miles?
     
  15. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I just finished watching the first episode of Unchained Reaction and I agree with your thoughts on it that the show seems to be missing "something" to make it special. It's interesting but it lacks a "spark." I disagree that you think the other team should have won in the first episode though, I think the winning team's machine better showcased the "light v. heavy" concept. I do agree with the final decision they went with and not having themselves actually activate the next link in the chain. The guy at the end was the best incorporation of the idea in that he was "part of the machine" without actually having to activate part of it himself.

    It bugged me through the course of the show how they kept calling them "chain reaction machines" instead of the better known term of a "Rube Goldberg Machine."
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I was wondering about that myself, so I did some Googling and found this:

    http://www.rubegoldberg.com/
    So they can't call them "Rube Goldberg machines" by name because that's a trademarked term.
     
  17. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Huh. Odd that it's a trademarked term I've always heard it for such machines. I wonder if it was trademarked before or after the term became popular? I could almost see it being a generic-ized term like "styrofoam" or "thermos."

    Anyway, it just grated whenever they called it a chain-reaction machine.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, like the disclaimer says, the term can be used in non-profit contexts like articles, and there's nothing stopping people from using trademarks in casual conversation, or we'd be in trouble every time we typed the title of a TV show around here. But since Unchained Reaction is a profit-making commercial venture, they wouldn't be able to call their creations "Rube Goldberg machines" without obtaining a license from Rube Goldberg, Inc.
     
  19. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Odd about Rube Goldberg and I would've thought they'd have a ® or ™ displayed.

    Sundays is terrible for me even with the DVR, too many shows already.
     
  20. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Yeah, I know all of that it just seems odd that it's a trademarked term since I've never heard such "machines" called anything else.

    Part of me wonders how "it all worked in one go" really happened. In the MB episode where Jamie and Adam made a Rube Goldbe... err... "chain reaction machine" themed around the Diet Soda/Mentos reaction we see directly it took several tries to dial in the steps of the "machine." Not just as they worked on the different "steps" but as they worked on the machine as a whole.

    Work on the Honda commercial "Cog":

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ve4M4UsJQo[/yt]

    Which was a RGM using pieces of a car took months of work to get it to work properly. (Yes, I know there's an edit in there as the entire "machine" couldn't fit in one space so it's actually two "machines" spliced together to look like one.)

    Anyone who has tried to make such machines themselves or even a chain of standing dominoes knows it takes work to "dial in" everything.

    So it seems odd to me that everything with these machines worked perfectly (save the tent collapsing) in one go.
     

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