First published on 7 Nov 2011. Updated on 9 Oct 2012.
There is an argument that MythBusters is the victim of its own success. What seemed like such a simple, neat idea – take some too-good-to-be-true story and see if it’s possible – has turned into a showcase of explosions and movie tie-ins (like the goddawful Green Hornet Mythvatorial episode).
On the other hand, it’s still one of the best shows on television – and if it takes a few explosions to get people to notice how science works (theory, experiment, observation, measurement), then the ends more than justify the fiery means.
Speaking of getting people to notice science, this season bid a temporary farewell to the show’s eye candy, Kari Byron (though she appears in a couple of episodes, heavily pregnant with her daughter). She’s replaced by the perky Jessi Combs, who throws herself into the car-jumpin’-and-‘splosion making alongside longtime Build Team alumni Tory Bellici and Grant Imahara. And, of course, the show’s founders and hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman are the stars in a season that is full of amazing Bustery, such as whether dead bodies could have been catapulted over the walls of besieged cities in the Middle Ages, could a person dive into a dumpster from a rooftop and survive, would an airhose leak suck a deep sea diver up into their helmet, and could a car be skipped over a lake like a stone. And it’s compelling stuff: the team are all well versed with their roles by now, and if there’s little to distinguish this series from any since #2, that’s indicative of the show’s consistency more than any sort of creative stasis.
While there’s not loads of extras you can, if desired, watch each myth in one go rather than accept the show’s cutting between Adam and Jamie’s myth and the one being simultaneously tackled by the Build Team. Who needs reality TV when you’ve got TV based on the often-explosive awesomeness of reality?