MYTHBUSTERS: THE SEARCH coming in January

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Christopher, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Entertainment Weekly has released a trailer for The Science Channel's reality-show Mythbusters sequel/spinoff, Mythbusters: The Search. It's scheduled for Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 9 PM Eastern. I can't say I'm thrilled by it. It's using the standard elimination-competition format of a reality show, which I hate, because it's usually just an excuse to create nastiness and conflict, and because "reality" shows are usually staged and manipulated anyway. Even aside from that, I don't want to see people auditioning to be new Mythbusters, I want to see people who've already passed the audition and proven themselves worthy.

    Format-wise, it looks like the approach is to challenge the newcomers to revisit classic myths from the show (I saw needle in a haystack, ejector seat, and painting with explosives, to name a few) and try to improve on them. I guess that could be kind of interesting, but it feels more like an exercise in nostalgia and homage than something really creative and educational.

    In other Mythbusters news, there's an art show devoted to Adam, Jamie, and Buster. Some cool stuff there, but it's a shame the Build Team isn't included.
     
  2. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, agreed with everything you just said. It's a shame, and it does a disservice to the Mythbusters brand. So, a search. For what exactly? To what end does this serve? Are we to believe it's a search for new hosts? But then... Mythbusters as it was was cancelled, so there really isn't anything to host. Which makes the entire premise rather ridiculous. It does feel quite uninspired. At the very least, a Junkyard Wars type of deal might have been more entertaining.

    I think I'd much rather watch The White Rabbit project on Netflix.
     
  3. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well my understanding is Mythbusters ended largely because of contractually obligated cost increases. A new show on the Science Channel would start from scratch with regard to costs.
     
  4. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I'm not a fan of the concept.

    They even take a dig at the old favorite Mythbusters catch-phrase "Failure is always an option." I think that says a a lot about their concept. They're putting showmanship ahead of scientific pursuit. On the old show, they loved the explosions, but the point was never to prove that they're better than other people (though, they weren't completely immune from the occasional need to compete with one another). The point was to see if a myth was true or not.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    IIRC, Jamie hated it when the producers pushed him and Adam to compete with each other. He didn't have much patience for that, since it was more about spectacle than actual problem-solving. I don't think he'd have a very high opinion of this show. (He and Adam are not involved with it in any way.)
     
  6. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I thought I had seen/heard somewhere Kari, Tori and Grant possibly had a Netflix "Mythbusters-like" series in the works.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, White Rabbit Project. Apparently it's due to premiere in just two and a half weeks, on December 9.

    The first descriptions made it sound like it was going to be along the lines of the viral-video and Internet-weirdness myths from MB, but the description on the Netflix page is rather different: "Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara rank history's greatest inventions, heists, and more in this series from the producers of 'MythBusters.'"
     
  8. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even so, none of the new "hosts" would have the history and pedigree that helped make Mythbusters a success. I believe a large part of it was Jamie and Adam and their history with the industry and being tinkerers at heart. They'd only try and recreate that successful mix, and that would be a bit like the new Top Gear without Clarkson and the others; a pale immitation without any of the heart.
     
  9. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    It's interesting you mention Clarkson. I think a new Mythbusters-type series with Jamie and Adam would be a good fit for Amazon Prime. In fact, Amazon could just buy the Mythbusters brand outright.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think Jamie and Adam have made it clear that they're done with Mythbusting -- at least Jamie has had his fill of being a public figure.

    I like the idea of still having a show like Mythbusters, something that promotes scientific and critical thinking. That's something we need to instill in children (and adults) more than ever in this "post-truth" political climate. But twisting it to fit "reality-TV" tropes is the wrong way to do it, because "reality TV" is just one more set of lies and misrepresentations taking advantage of people's gullibility and failure to think critically.
     
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  11. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps Jamie and Adam would be interested in a behind-the-scenes role in creating a new MythBusters-type franchise. They obviously have good instincts for how to make science interesting without twisting too much into such reality tv tropes.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I wish. We could definitely use more science content on TV, and more stuff showing people how to think critically instead of encouraging them to be gullible and stupid.
     
  13. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think there had been some discussion about the possibility early on, but that was before Adam and Jamie said they never wanted to work together again. It's a shame because when putting their differences aside, they could do some interesting things.
     
  14. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    Maybe they've mellowed some. Jamie and Adam have appeared together at a number of conventions, and just this year Adam did one alone and seemed to have nothing but nice thigns to say about Jamie (though it was little); he also had positive things to say about the Mythbusterettes. But that shouldn't stop them, I would hope. Surely they can put aisde differences? contrary to popular belief, for example, Penn and Teller arent' actualyl friends and almost never see each other or speak to each other outside of work, as Penn has described many time, yet they are a popular duo.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, this premiered last night, and I decided to check it out. I'm torn. On the one hand, it superficially feels like Mythbusters. It has the same theme music as the last two seasons, the same narrator, similar graphics, the trappings like Buster and the Alameda runway, etc. But I hate it that they've imposed the formulaic elimination-based "reality show" format on it. Those things are all staged and calculated and manipulated to fit certain standard tropes. I could guess almost from the beginning that the quiet, bespectacled, less sexy-looking woman would be the first one to go (too bad, since I kinda liked her), that the big, bearded, bereted guy who looks like Jamie 2.0 would be safe, that the weird-looking guy with the dreadlocks would be the obligatory source of tension, etc. I'm sure they decided that they'd cast one of the two competing teams as running smoothly and the other as torn by dissension, and edited the footage to fit that narrative. It's all so fundamentally dishonest and in opposition to what Mythbusters should be about. And I hate the negativity of building drama around who gets judged inadequate and kicked out every week.

    How is that even going to work, anyway? Ten contestants and eight episodes -- are they trying to narrow it down to just two new Mythbusters? It would seem to make more sense to have a team of four or five. And how does pitting the players against each other showcase who has good chemistry in a group?

    As for the actual myths, the sideways car ejector seat thing was a somewhat interesting variation on the original ejector seat myth. I'm actually impressed by how well it worked -- and this is another case where the competition format gets in the way of the Mythbusting, because I'm sure the "Blue Team" could've done a great job if they'd had more time for testing (and they were the one that was supposedly going smoothly). Their ejector seat actually worked remarkably well -- it just went off too soon. As for the "Deflategate" sidebar, it was too minor a myth to really amount to much, and it didn't really give the contestants much to do.

    So I can't decide whether the Mythbustery parts I like seeing again are enough to outweigh the "reality show" parts I hate.
     
  16. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    Based on what you've written, it's kind of what I feared. I'll just skip it altogther and check out what the trio (Grant, Kari, Tory) are doing on their show.
     
  17. drychlick

    drychlick Captain Captain

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    I saw it I ok show. I know who was going to be the 1st to go she just was NOT a good fit for the team! and just the red team use a BABY set for the ejet set I know that was not going to end well LOL! well watch net week!
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think that was the blue team. And it wasn't literally a child seat, just a small bucket seat that was similar to one, since they were designing for stability or something rather than its ability to fool a passenger.

    Darn, this is another problem of the stock "reality"-show competition format. It's edited to focus more on the personalities and the clashes and the manufactured drama, rather than actually showing us the planning and decision-making process and the design and engineering reasons behind the choices being made. I can see why Adam & Jamie wanted nothing to do with this show.
     
  19. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Certainly, the phrase from the "real" MythBusters, "failure is always an option" is the kind of thing that can get someone eliminated here! How many episodes of the real series (I can't say "original" as that would imply there's been a successor) did an experiment did not succeed? If it had adopted the elimination strategy depicted here, we would have had new hosts every few episodes if not every episode! the robotics expert who was dropped this week might have "nailed it" in another build. I mean, Grant's skills were not always the most applicable in some "myths". Should he have been "bumped"? Of course not.

    I really wanted to like this series, but I find myself siding with Christopher. Best case scenario, maybe the ratings will demonstrate this is not the way to go and the network opts to do what it should have done from the start, continue the original format with new hosts.
     
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I assume this will lead to a show about the new team tackling myths. That's fine, but I'll skip the competition. On a more positive note, it appears (judging from the end credits) that many members of the behind-the-scenes crew from the old show are involved here. It's good that they're still working.