Television Review: The New Mythbusters

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The Discovery Channel’s wildly popular MythBusters series ended in 2016, but it turned out that the show just couldn’t stay away. The Science Channel picked it up again, airing a game show to choose the new hosts of the series. Last month, the new MythBusters, Jonathan Lung and Brian Louden, started their own run of the show with plenty of all-new myths to explore.

I have to say, I don’t think the new MythBusters lives up to the standard set by Adam and Jamie. The show feels unpolished, and while Jon and Brian are fun, they don’t have the chemistry Adam and Jamie did. Now, part of this is probably inexperience. Jon and Brian are new and don’t have the ten years of mythbusting under their belts that their predecessors did. If you went back to the early seasons of the show, you would probably see some lower-quality work there, too.

What worries me a bit more is what I feel like is a drop in the scientific rigor and thinking of the new show. Adam and Jamie sometimes had this problem, too (don’t get me started on some of the driving myths), and to be honest, I felt that their final season was also lacking in fact-checking and well-thought-out conclusions, and it’s not all the new hosts’ faults.

It’s hard to say precisely why I feel the show has lost something in the transition. It’s little things like not doing the (fairly easy) math to find the correct fuel-air mixture for the chimney cannon (it makes sense in context) and failing to properly account for the order effect in the road rage myth, not to mention using a much smaller sample size than they used to. I’m just seeing some red flags here.

Still, it’s early, and I’m hopeful that Jon and Brian will learn over time as Adam and Jamie did. They’re off to a shaky start, but the show it still entertaining and worth watching, and with its strong history, I’m optimistic for its future.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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About Alex R. Howe

I'm a full-time astrophysicist and a part-time science fiction writer.
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