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August 22, 2014 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Last night's season finale of Mythbusters marked the end of an era, with the departure of Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci after a 10-year run.

"We're going to take a brief moment to thank you guys for your incredible work over the last 10 years," host Adam Savage said before playing a montage of some of the trio's memorable work on the show. "You have given, literally, your blood, sweat and tears in the name of science, and it has been a total pleasure not only to work with you, but to call you our friends."

At this year's Comic-Con Savage revealed that next season will be something of a reboot for the series, with a new "cinematic" look and the elimination of the intro segments, among other planned changes.
posted by Ursula Hitler (71 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Kari, Grant, and Tory have all grown as performers over the past ten years. If they choose to stay in the TV industry they should not have a problem doing so.

And if they don't? I'm pretty sure they have plenty of other skills to fall back on.

Thank you KG&T!
posted by m@f at 2:39 PM on August 22 [7 favorites]


I like the look and vibe of that Bullwhip segment a lot so I'll keep watching, but man... this is so unceremonious!

And that "getting back to our roots" thing is weird since the Build Team has been a part of the show since the second season!

Anyway, bring back Scottie.
posted by SharkParty at 2:40 PM on August 22 [9 favorites]


Man, I loved Grant. He was my favorite, although Tory's enthusiasm was totally infectious.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:40 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Splunge at 2:45 PM on August 22


As long as they keep showing that clip of Tory almost dying trying to jump over a wagon on a bicycle, I'll be happy.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:45 PM on August 22 [7 favorites]


I suspect the deal was "hey nobody really watches Discovery for sciencey stuff any more, but we can keep your show if you can cut the cost by 30 or 40 percent." Having younger cast wasn't bringing the show into "Duck Dynasty" territory and I suspect Adam and Jamie never wanted extra cast in the first place...
posted by aydeejones at 2:46 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


As much as I liked the Build Team, I stopped watching the show years ago after it slipped into "let's attempt to disprove this CGI'd movie scene by acting like it's something that could really happen on this planet" territory. I'm interested to see where this goes, though I honestly don't expect the show to last for more than another season or two.
posted by item at 2:46 PM on August 22 [7 favorites]


You have given, literally, your blood, sweat and tears in the name of science

And vomit. Don't forget the vomit!

They were a delightful ensemble.
posted by rtha at 2:47 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


I said on twitter when I heard the announcement that this seems like another bad move by Discovery. After the talk of them making stuff up about sharks for shark week and now this announcement, probably due to a budget cut for the show, it feels like the network has jumped the shark so to speak.
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:48 PM on August 22 [5 favorites]


Yeah, that revelation last night was surprising to me. Basically the build team acted as a second unit on the set, with their own camera and sound crew so they could essentially film 2x as many myths in the same timeframe.

I'll ask Adam about this the next time I run into him, but I do wonder if the network was asking them to cut costs and try a few last seasons on the cheap with a smaller crew/cast.

Or who knows, maybe Grant, Tory, and Kari got their own show?
posted by mathowie at 2:49 PM on August 22 [4 favorites]


And just in the interest of total transparency, I memailed Adam 6 or 7 years ago (shortly after he was outed as a mefi celeb) to tell him I liked his new long hair and beard. He responded with the sweetest reply, telling me I was the only person other than his wife to compliment him on the new look.
posted by item at 2:50 PM on August 22 [4 favorites]


It has always felt like the M7 group was sort of a seperate parallel show instead of part of a single coherent episode. I always wanted the five to join together to form Voltron but it didn't happen. I liked season 1 where they had the anthropologist putting the urban legend in context.
posted by humanfont at 2:50 PM on August 22 [4 favorites]


It isn't necessarily a Discovery decision; they may very well have just said to the production company 'this is how much we are willing to pay for the next season', and Beyond decided this was the way they could make that budget work.
posted by tavella at 2:51 PM on August 22


Hope they do get their own show - whether that was the plan all along, or if another network picks them up!
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:52 PM on August 22


Shot in the belly button with a paintball. My god.
posted by boo_radley at 2:57 PM on August 22


"This one time...."
"That one episode when..."
"Oh man, his face...."
"That explosion and how are they not dead?!!"

So many memories.
posted by Fizz at 2:59 PM on August 22


Saw it last night also. Wow, not sure of why they would do this, but Kari "Fully Auto" Byron is my favorite woman on all of TV. Brains, beauty and a set of skills anyone would envy.
posted by Repack Rider at 3:00 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


I honestly don't expect the show to last for more than another season or two.

Jeez, I hope you're wrong. Weirdly enough, just recently I found myself wondering about the show's future. (Maybe it was after I saw that Comic-Con panel, and that got me wondering about this "reboot" business.) The show's been around so long that I could see it going another 10 years. But Discovery has been dangerously wobbling lately on the brink of bigfoot/megashark/redneck oblivion and I wouldn't be stunned if they canned Mythbusters for not being dumb enough.

It does seem like there may be something hinky going on here. Best case scenario the trio is leaving for their own show or something, but I do get the feeling it was more that they were let go for some reason.

At some point the decision was made to split them into two groups, but as much as I liked Byron, Imahara and Belleci as a unit, I missed the days when all five of them mixed it up. Byron, Imahara and Belleci were the crazy kids and Savage and Hyneman were like the slightly more mature older brothers, and it was such a fun gang to watch.

I have to figure the myths will get a bit less physical and stunt-y. Savage and Hyneman have endangered themselves plenty, but they are not spring chickens and I don't know if anybody wants to see them slam themselves around the way Belleci did. (Ha! I'd forgotten his inexplicable yet endearing "flying monkey" song before he smashes into the pavement. I am sure gonna miss those three.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:05 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


But how many more myths can there be?!
posted by Flashman at 3:10 PM on August 22


I wouldn't be surprised if the trio ends up on Science Channel displacing one of their last remaining science-motivated shows for some sort of "How It's Made: Special Effects and Explosions" show.

It would still be science-y but more on the downward trend to Welding and Fabricating Stuff with Drama a la Orange County Choppers (which enjoyed a long reign playing alongside Mythbusters on Mondays, if I recall and was always about the welding and the drama). Except with explosions and robots, which is good.

Kari's first episode totally objectified her in a "ha ha, good sport" way and it's good to see the show come so far from that. She really was initially foisted into the episode as "young and sexy, check it out" with her first appearance being first in a bikini, and in the same episode, a sheer skin-tight suit so that her butt could be rendered and manipulated into a mold to simulate a butt getting stuck in an airplane vacuum toilet. I still remember watching that episode and being like "WTF?" but ultimately she totally carved out a significant role on the show.
posted by aydeejones at 3:11 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:32 PM on August 22


no no no no

I refuse to believe this.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:51 PM on August 22


I just realised I haven't watched the discovery channel for a couple of years now. Is it still any good ?
posted by Pendragon at 3:59 PM on August 22


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
posted by m@f at 4:03 PM on August 22 [3 favorites]


Grant designed and built Geoff Peterson!
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:04 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


Its got to be a money thing. This sort of "New Direction" always sounds like a reaction to "right-sizing."
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:05 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


I am surprisingly bummed about this. I hope they find something new to do.
posted by shothotbot at 4:10 PM on August 22


Definitely a bummer, especially the way it was announced, apparently after the last episode of the season aired? A send off would have been proper after such a good run. (Then again, I haven't watched much in the last few years when they kind of ran out of myths and started doing "let's attempt to recreate this obviously fake youtube clip" type segments.)
Kari's first episode totally objectified her in a "ha ha, good sport" way and it's good to see the show come so far from that.
...and yet just last week they were doing a "Vote for which sexy dress Kari should wear to the Emmys" thing on Facebook, which was really kind of disappointing and gross.
posted by usonian at 4:18 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


I would love to see them get their own show. I don't have anything against Adam and Jamie, but I think it's kind of obligatory to mention that the show is now losing its only woman and its only person of color. Including a woman especially in this meant so much to me when it first started airing, and women are still half the population and Kari was still only 1/5 of the regular cast. There were all kinds of things that were problematic, but "and now the show is just two white guys" is a whole different level, even if I like the two white guys.
posted by Sequence at 4:45 PM on August 22 [8 favorites]


On the bright side this gives them the opportunity to host a reboot of Llewellyn-era Junkyard Wars.
posted by Poldo at 4:48 PM on August 22 [13 favorites]


"Vote for which sexy dress Kari should wear to the Emmys"

I don't know what she should wear, but she should totally accessorize with the wolverine claw from the "floating a lawn chair with balloons" episode.
posted by bfranklin at 5:00 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


I started to try to put together a post about this last night, but was too bummed out. I'm a little surprised by how sad this news makes me; hadn't really watched the show much since I dropped my cable service a few years ago, but it really meant a lot to me at various points in my past, and the Build Team ensemble vibe, the way that Kari and Grant and Tory seemed to really *enjoy* working together, was a big part of that.

Also, nothing else will ever be as good as Kari and Jamie getting drunk together. For SCIENCE.
posted by Kat Allison at 5:07 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


I guess I've just had too many big things to be upset about this week, because this upset me in an absurd way. Sad little "welp, they're already gone" sendoff, too.

I look forward to seeing what they do next.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:29 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


I'm sad about it. So is my 11-yr-old son, who's the one who got me into the show in the first place.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:33 PM on August 22


I have to say I preferred the show when Jamie and Adam had to think a bit more sideways in order to test things, i.e. they couldn't afford sophisticated testing equipment and had to improvise. That was also before blowing things up was the de facto solution.

I really enjoyed watching the whole team build things to solve their problems and everyone's obvious skill and creativity has always been impressive. My favorite part really.
posted by idb at 5:40 PM on August 22 [6 favorites]


Yeah, this bummed me out considerably also. And I think the "sendoff" was nothing less than insulting. 10 years they've been with the show, and they got less than 3 minutes of "don't let the flame hit you on the way out". That totally sucks. At least they didn't disappear them like they did Scottie. Also it made my 11 year old sad. I think Kari may be his first crush, and he idolized Grant, and Tori was a constant example of things Not To Do. Heh.

I'm upset about this. I'm not sure I'll watch the reboot, just because I feel like the way they did it was so douchy. Like 3/5 of the team were just disposable gloves that they could discard at will. It was just such an entitled toss off; they couldn't even bother to be in the same goddamn room with them to say goodbye? WTF?

A salute? A fucking salute to a significant part of the show? They couldn't spend a single segment saying goodbye, or even bother being on the same soundstage?

To quote my 11 year old "Man, that's just messed up."
posted by dejah420 at 5:42 PM on August 22 [8 favorites]


I think they all want to start doing something different. I get the impression that the three will go and do something together, and Jamie and Adam will do more detailed myths or more challenges against each other.
posted by Catbunny at 6:32 PM on August 22


Sendoff? Can't fool me- they got BLOWN UP is what happened. They're probably picking pieces of those three up in Oakland...and Alameda, Newark, Emeryville...it's how they would have wanted it.
posted by happyroach at 6:32 PM on August 22 [3 favorites]


Yeah, seconding the bring back Scottie. She was fantastic. Also seconding the occasionally uncomfortable gender issues from some of the episodes, like the bigger breasts episode.
posted by Existential Dread at 6:43 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


. . .
posted by Ogre Lawless at 6:45 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


Recently started watching the show regularly again, and this certainly came as a surprise... The abrupt and unceremonious nature of it seems weird and makes me wonder if there's more to the story... A less than minute and a half montage and lack of any direct participation by the trio in the end of episode send-off leaves kind of a bad taste about the whole thing. I wonder if more of a story will come out eventually.

Really I've found it weird how over time their component of the show became completely compartmentalized... Like the NEVER appeared on camera with Adam or Jamie any more.

Even so I'll give the new format a shot. Definitely hope to see these three doing interesting things soon though!
posted by nanojath at 6:57 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


My family watches mythbusters before bedtime---it's basically the only TV we watch together.

As my 9 year old daughter says at the start of every episode, Kari is her favorite.

Not sure if she'll want to keep watching without Kari.
posted by leahwrenn at 7:07 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


It's a good thing they aren't afraid to fail, because I'm afraid that's what they did with that send-off. It felt like the kind of thing you hear at a mass layoff.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:33 PM on August 22 [2 favorites]


I don't know much about Jamie, but I'm kind of an Adam Savage fangirl and I've seen him be a lovely guy in enough contexts to be fairly certain that he is not a secret douche. Whatever's going on here and whatever you think of how they bid farewell to Grant, Kari and Tori, I don't doubt Adam's sincerity when he called them friends.

All that being said, the news is rather surprisingly upsetting, isn't it? It does feel so sudden, and it's one of those nice things that you just dopily imagined would somehow go on forever. Between this and the end of David Letterman's show, The Colbert Report, Craig Ferguson's show and probably a few others I'm forgetting, it feels like a real bloodbath for my TV darlings.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:34 PM on August 22


Huh. Grant Imahara's doing a panel at DragonCon next week and I cannot possibly imagine how he's going to be able to get through an hour without explaining more of this. Though I'd put money it's going to be some boilerplate that avoids just saying yeah, Discovery wanted to cut costs.

That said, think about your favorite show. Think about how long that show lasted. Grant, Tory and Kari likely stayed on their show for twice that long. It's an amazing feat in and of itself. The number of shows that lasted ten years, let alone with the same cast, can probably be counted on one hand.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:55 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


I always figured Tori would just disappear after the season where he tricked Adam into grabbing onto something and shocked the hell out of him. I don't think I've seen him angry on the show except that one time.

At least we'll always have that time that Grant, Tori, and Kari decided to see how big of a fireball you could make with hundreds of pounds of non-dairy creamer...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:00 PM on August 22


For those who want to see some more Grant, check out Grant-as-Sulu in Star Trek Continues.
posted by fings at 8:08 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


So the last myth they had Kari, Grant and Tori test was shooting teeth into things?

What a crappy last myth.

My girls are very upset about this. I'm pretty bummed too.

On the other hand, revising the way the show goes to have less recaps would be nice.
posted by leahwrenn at 8:14 PM on August 22


I always figured Tori would just disappear after the season where he tricked Adam into grabbing onto something and shocked the hell out of him.

I saw a talk Adam gave and he basically said that was a setup by a producer who was trying to generate "drama" (the same guy did the motorcycle show that turned into the "family yelling at each other" show).
posted by dirigibleman at 8:22 PM on August 22


I don't doubt that this particular ending was the work of the producers, as well.

This show started a long time ago, and while Adam and Jamie are EPs because the production can't function without them, they are not and have never been the guys who actually decided how the show worked. Given the sort of stiltedness of that close, I'm pretty sure we were gettiing secret blinked messages that this was not how they would have chosen to do this. None of them can comment, I'm sure, but also I'm sure none of them wanted it to be like this.

I can still sleep easy knowing that Adam is a good person and Jamie...well, has integrity, I'm not sure about nice. And I can still be pretty disgruntled at this tomfoolery on the part of the show.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:28 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


Well, that sucks.
posted by spilon at 8:43 PM on August 22


Yeah, it was super stilted. It felt like they'd filmed the episode without even the inkling there'd be a change before the next season, and during post-production they got the news and had to tack on a little lump of video.

Cheers to M7. I enjoy them so much.

Adam and Jamie don't look happy about this at all. Seriously, look at Jamie's posture.
posted by mochapickle at 9:15 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, revising the way the show goes to have less recaps would be nice.

Yes, I hate that. It often felt like this.
posted by various at 11:19 PM on August 22 [3 favorites]


I was into Mybusters from episode 1 and that first series is still my favourite. It was very much like watching the way friends and I work - but doing cooler, bigger stuff. The fact they had no money (or fame to buy favours with) really helped that. I was never much of a fan of the other three, they only ever hit "just ok" for me - actually Kari never got beyond a little annoying. Scottie was my favourite additional team member and we never really heard why she disappeared, I would have liked to see her work with Adam and Jamie, that would have been an interesting team.

Later series degenerated into too much of "here's a cute girl with a huge gun - watch her and other people shoot stuff", which was a real turnoff.
posted by deadwax at 12:30 AM on August 23 [2 favorites]


nthing the missing Scottie thing. I like Kari, but Scottie had the technical skills to hang with Jamie and Adam in a way that Kari didn't, and that was nice to see.
posted by tavella at 1:38 AM on August 23 [2 favorites]


Well, I hope the next series has more explosions and busting myths with firearms.
posted by mattoxic at 1:49 AM on August 23


Not a regular watcher, but this displeases me.
It is like they had the perfect formula.
posted by Mezentian at 2:40 AM on August 23


It felt like they'd filmed the episode without even the inkling there'd be a change before the next season, and during post-production they got the news and had to tack on a little lump of video.

This is almost certainly true - the last episode was shown in other countries nearly 2 years ago now, and the second to last was well over a year old.
posted by netd at 5:15 AM on August 23


Ah, thanks netd. I watch MB on Netflix, so I'm a bit behind.
posted by mochapickle at 5:25 AM on August 23


I hope it works out. I'm also sure it's about money, and unsure that the format's got much left in the barrel. I hope so, because it's been a great run and anything that manages to get engineering, science and critical thinking into an entertaining popular format is worth cherishing.

But the portents aren't good. The UK's Time Team series, after decades of success making proper archaeology into really good telly, got ruined by a series of managerial decisions that tried to cut costs and make the show more 'viewer friendly' while relying on brand inertia to see it through. Instead, they broke up the core production team and put the remains in a position where they just couldn't do their job. (See also Tomorrow's World, a show with true iconic status, that got shafted just as the actual world was going through one of the biggest tech revolutions since the Industrial...)
posted by Devonian at 7:21 AM on August 23


I sort of thought the entire premise of Adam and Jamie's "Tested" site is that they're fully prepared for when Discovery axes the show. The site is basically "Mythbusters Minus Discovery Copyright" which, well, makes perfect sense.

I hope the five core castmembers are all on good terms. If people are speculating that this could be about the money, a thing too keep in mind is that the Build Team was effectively a second unit for the show, producing half the content independently- however only Adam and Jamie are co-executive producers, meaning only they get a share of royalties and syndication rights.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:44 AM on August 23 [2 favorites]


> Really I've found it weird how over time their component of the show became completely compartmentalized... Like the NEVER appeared on camera with Adam or Jamie any more.

I'd noticed that, too, although I haven't been watching much (I think it was the Green Hornet episode that made me stop watching regularly). I liked the episodes where they were all in the warehouse working on similar projects, and the banter -- sure, it was for the cameras, but it was amusing anyway.

Seconding that Adam Savage seems like a nice guy. Years ago my son made some fan art that he wanted to send to the Mifbostrs. I couldn't find a mailing address for them, but Savage replied to my MeMail with a friendly note and a street address to send it to. It meant a lot to my kid that he knew his artwork would end up in their warehouse.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:56 AM on August 23 [3 favorites]


Well, my slashfic dream of Grant being the one who swoops in and picks up the pieces of Chloe Dykstra's broken heart post-Hardwick has a chance of coming true now, right? No wait, he has a girlfriend, never mind. I really liked seeing him randomly show up on Heroes of Cosplay last season, though.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:47 AM on August 23


A few people have mentioned the bicycle/wagon wipeout, but my favourite Tory moment was with the death kite. The episode where they all got drunk to test hangover remedies was a gem too.
posted by cyberscythe at 11:24 AM on August 23 [1 favorite]


Any more details on what this new 'cinematic' version next season will entail?

Also, I watched this episode last night and realized I had seen it a couple of years ago (minus the tribute at the end) - why does Mythbusters air shows in different orders in different countries to the point of being years apart, and why save this one for a 'season finale'?

Questions, I have them.
posted by modernnomad at 8:21 PM on August 23 [1 favorite]


I always despised the filler of the vo narration and the "in case you completely lost your memory during the commercial" recaps. And the chopped up sequencing. Which diluted my love of the show, but hopefully they will take a more Tested like approach now.

I would be much more upset if Savage's podcast went away than Mythbusters, I am sorry to say.
posted by chip mcdonald at 8:36 PM on August 23 [1 favorite]


I always despised the filler of the vo narration and the "in case you completely lost your memory during the commercial" recaps. And the chopped up sequencing. Which diluted my love of the show, but hopefully they will take a more Tested like approach now.

Dissecting an episode of Mythbusters.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:20 PM on August 24


modernnomad: "Any more details on what this new 'cinematic' version next season will entail?

Also, I watched this episode last night and realized I had seen it a couple of years ago (minus the tribute at the end) - why does Mythbusters air shows in different orders in different countries to the point of being years apart, and why save this one for a 'season finale'?
"

Yeah, I had no idea that was a thing. I've seen a couple of folks talk about seeing the episode years ago and I was all "What? How? Are you sure? How could the m7 team being dismissed be kept a secret for 2 years?", and then someone told me that the last 2 minutes hadn't been in the show as aired back in 2012.

Still, I had no idea they were time shifting that much between markets. That's pretty weird.
posted by dejah420 at 6:37 AM on August 25


Any more details on what this new 'cinematic' version next season will entail?

In the "Savage revealed" clip I linked to the original post, Adam Savage talks about it a little and they show a clip. I'm not sure when it comes up in the clip. I looked for a clip of just that section, but couldn't find one. The example clip from next season (it's possible there were two) featured words kind of popping up in perspective while Savage was doing stuff. It seemed a little flashy to me, but I was willing to wait and see. But between that and losing 3/5ths of the team, I have a feeling it's about to become a REALLY different show.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:30 PM on August 25


I'm hoping† that they totally change the format, but not the name, and starting busting actual myths as the word is defined (if not understand in common usage as much these days) -- that is, that they start taking on religious beliefs one by one and proving scientifically that they are utter tosh.

†not really, but kind of, a bit
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:27 PM on August 25


Cinematic hmm maybe they will travel to Greece and build a full scale model of Archamedies mirror to set some ships on fire with the help of some specialists in optics to get it to finally work. Also Cowtipping.
posted by humanfont at 10:50 PM on August 25


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