The Final Experiment Is Nigh
October 21, 2015 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Adam and Jamie announce the end of their classic Mythbusters series in this week's Entertainment Tonight.

"The pioneering reality series, one of cable’s longest-running shows, will stage its final gonzo experiment during next year’s 14th season after 248 episodes and 2,950 experiments."

The article features "two must-read interviews with Savage and Hyneman. The perfectly opposed duo, famously never friends off-screen, offer very different perspectives when asked their feelings about the show’s conclusion, with Savage expressing remorse over the turn of events, and Hyneman confessing some longtime frustration with the Mythbusters format."
posted by fairmettle (97 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
curious. i know of the show - i've watched a couple of clips on youtube in the past - but not in detail. when i read the two interviews i went googling for James Hyneman, and was surprised to find he was the bald one. no idea why my expectations were reversed.
posted by andrewcooke at 3:52 PM on October 21, 2015


Even if Jamie and others have some fair frustrations and it-coulda-been wishes, still the show has had an amazing run and been an overwhelmingly positive force, plus it's been fantastically fun to watch all the stuff that's spun out of it over the years. So much affection for this show.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:01 PM on October 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yes, but will there be a 1980s animated Saturday morning spinoff where Jamie really is an alien and he and Adam travel in their spaceship from planet to planet aiding the locals in their fight against the sinister forces of Spacelord Archimedes and his Death Star planet-sized Death Ray? And will the show be bookended with Earth-based, live-action science demonstrations tangentially relevant to each episode?

Because I could watch that.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:04 PM on October 21, 2015 [16 favorites]


It's sad. It was probably reaching the end of its life over the past couple seasons, but the show was an amazing thing- it taught real science in fun ways and never descended into searches for paranormal phenomena or interpersonal drama. I show it to my kids. I don't think there is anything like it any more, and, even though it could sometimes stretch out 15 minutes of material for an hour, it was an awesome thing.

(Instead of a . an 💥)
posted by blahblahblah at 4:04 PM on October 21, 2015 [30 favorites]


.

Few greater words have been uttered than Adam Savage's "Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down."


I'm sad but not surprised by this. 14 seasons is A LOT. Especially for a show based in reality.

For the past few years I've requested the seasons of this show for Christmas(up to 2 so far!). They are, for some reason very expensive on Amazon. Netflix has collections of them, but they aren't full seasons in most cases, and I'm a picky kid

I love this show, not just because it is entertaining but because it showcases scientific method and creative problem sovling.

The world of (mostly insipid) TV will be much dimmer after next season.
posted by Twain Device at 4:10 PM on October 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


A few years ago, my fourth-grade son decided to see if leftover unpopped popcorn kernels would pop if you heated them longer. At our urging, he scooped the sad kernels out of the popcorn bag, put them on a plate, and began re-heating them in the microwave.

The first trial failed. The popcorn kernels didn't pop. Our first-grade daughter wandered off to the kitchen table. We assumed she was coloring, but as my son prepared his second trial, she came back, her tiny dry-erase board clutched in her hands.

She'd written "Try 1: nufing", followed by "Try 2: _____". At the bottom was a line for my son to sign his name when he was done.

"It's science," she said to us. "You have to write it down."

Thanks, Mythbusters, for reminding us that the difference between screwing around and science is writing it down.
posted by sgranade at 4:12 PM on October 21, 2015 [331 favorites]


NO i reject this reality and substitute my own
posted by poffin boffin at 4:17 PM on October 21, 2015 [51 favorites]


sgranade: "She'd written "Try 1: nufing", followed by "Try 2: _____". At the bottom was a line for my son to sign his name when he was done.

"It's science," she said to us. "You have to write it down."
"

Don't keep us hanging, did they pop on the second try? Remember kids, PUBLISH OR PERISH.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:22 PM on October 21, 2015 [87 favorites]


Hunh. I had no idea they weren't friends off screen. Sort of like a Siskel and Ebert pairing then?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:26 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I first heard of Mythbusters as a show about blowing stuff up to see what happens. Then I found out that Adam Savage is one of our own, here on Metafilter! And whaddaya know, the show really isn't a bad introduction to the scientific method. So thanks Adam and Jamie for making science accessible to a wider audience.
posted by Loudmax at 4:26 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can I reject this reality and substitute my own?
Unfortunately, kinda saw this coming when they axed Kari, Tory, and Grant. But hey, it was great to watch, and wishing best of luck to their future endeavors.

On preview: dammit, poffin boffin!
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 4:26 PM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've actually been frustrated in recent seasons by simply not knowing when the blasted episodes were even ON. Maybe that's a part of the ratings.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:27 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Alas, the kernels didn't pop, and my son's nascent popcorn scientist career perished. No grants from the Redenbacher foundation for him.
posted by sgranade at 4:27 PM on October 21, 2015 [12 favorites]


At least tell me y'all wrapped up the experiment by rubber-banding a big-ass firecracker to one of the popcorn kernels and blowing it to Kingdom Come?
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:30 PM on October 21, 2015 [14 favorites]


I think this article was actually in Entertainment Weekly (magazine) rather than Entertainment Tonight (TV show)?
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 4:34 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Mythbusters is standing in the way of Discovery's goal of getting out of the educational television business.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:35 PM on October 21, 2015 [38 favorites]


posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit I think this article was actually in Entertainment Weekly (magazine) rather than Entertainment Tonight (TV show)?
BUSTED

posted by blahblahblah [Mythbusters] was probably reaching the end of its life over the past couple seasons
PLAUSIBLE

posted by blahblahblah [Mythbusters] was an amazing thing- it taught real science in fun ways and never descended into searches for paranormal phenomena or interpersonal drama.
CONFIRMED
posted by mattdidthat at 4:35 PM on October 21, 2015 [27 favorites]


At least tell me y'all wrapped up the experiment by rubber-banding a big-ass firecracker to one of the popcorn kernels and blowing it to Kingdom Come?
You know, I live not too far from the Army's Redstone Arsenal....
posted by sgranade at 4:37 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow. For me this is extra sad because the show's run has roughly tracked my time in the Bay Area; I used to drive by M5 all the time on my way to Caltrain and I've always recognized a lot of the external locations like the huge parking lot in Alameda, the times they would drive a loaded truck across the Bay Bridge, etc. And it's nostalgic looking back at the season 1-3 episodes where you could just walk into a spare parts store in Silicon Valley or a junkyard in the city instead of the entire place being littered with upscale restaurants (to be fair I think that junkyard a mile east of M5 is still going strong).

One thing I did NOT like about this EW interview and I hope doesn't become conventional wisdom about the show is this implication that Jamie is no good on camera and he needs to get shoved backstage into the shop or whatever. I know for me and I think for a lot of other people I know, too, the tension between Adam's showy persona and Jamie's attention to experimental detail came across loud and clear - and it was largely the point of the show, not some kind of unfortunate compromise. I think anyone who's done experimental science, even on the level of "hey I have this idea let's see if it works" in the garage, has a "Jamie side" that really dearly cares about the physics and the numbers and about getting it right so that you can reproduce your results and do some good in the world. At the same time we recognize that's not super entertaining and we need to have an "Adam side" to persuade people that we found the right answer or help sell it or whatever.

Anyway, yeah. It's a great show because of both of them, not despite the weird hangups of either.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 4:38 PM on October 21, 2015 [62 favorites]


Good. Because not once but twice I've gotten really drunk and ordered life size cutouts of Mythbusters from the Mythbusters store. Now they'll remove that temptation.

*sob* I'm totally lying. I would storm any castle with these guys. Thanks for the memories and the explosions.
posted by barchan at 4:42 PM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]



She'd written "Try 1: nufing", followed by "Try 2: _____". At the bottom was a line for my son to sign his name when he was done.


your first grader understands control experiments better than many of my college students fml
posted by lalochezia at 4:57 PM on October 21, 2015 [43 favorites]


This show made me reevaluate my mindset about science and math. I'd had very basic and boringly executed classes throughout high school and college. When this show popped up I was encouraged to reassess my brain situation and look at science and math as things that could be FUN instead of just these things that had been forced into my brainball. So for that I thank the entire mythbusters team.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:00 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mythbusters ran its course for me a long time ago, and I'm glad to hear that Adam and Jamie are going on to things that excite them.
Okay, having addressed the topic, now I can say what I really want to which is that I am very, very pleased and impressed your first-grader not only understands writing it down but embraces repeatability as a central principle.
posted by gingerest at 5:02 PM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've had the feeling it was headed this way. First they fired Tory, Grant and Kari, and then the next season seemed like they were working with a lower budget. (They spent an entire episode trying to make cars drift, for instance.) Now Discovery seems to be really pushing What Could Possibly Go Wrong?, which is an OK show but all too often seems like a cheaper, more aggro Mythbusters. With a lot of stuff they do I find myself muttering, "Mythbusters did it..."

I guess I always figured this show would just keep going forever, until Adam and Jamie retired or something. As sad as it is to hear it's ending, it makes me sadder to hear that they don't expect to work together again. I don't get the impression that they hate each other, just that they kind of regard each other like co-workers instead of friends. They had such great, weird chemistry though. I hope they team up again for something. (I'm still waiting for Tory, Grant and Kari's spin-off show too. It seems like a no-brainer for Discovery to put them in some new science-y show where they blow stuff up.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:12 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Let's also acknowledge the amazing work Adam Savage has been doing on Tested.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:14 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


I still miss Scottie.
posted by sobarel at 5:17 PM on October 21, 2015 [14 favorites]


I know! I loved Scottie.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:20 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would have watched the recent season, except I had no earthly idea when it was on! Discovery just didn't seem to care too much about promoting it. And I think ditching Tory, Grant, and Kari hurt the show a lot.

That said, though, I'll miss it a lot. And I'm irrationally sad that Adam and Jamie aren't friends.
posted by sarcasticah at 5:37 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had moved on from Mythbusters some seasons ago, but I've really been enjoying Tested, and also the Untitled Adam Savage Podcast though it violates my podcast load limit for White Guys Talking podcasts and I wish they'd do something about that.

Still: end of an era. I hope the show remains something kids watch on streaming or their neural implants or whatever for a long time.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:39 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Jamie seems cool, but search for "Adam Savage's" on youtube and every single thing is amazing.






.
posted by Huck500 at 5:43 PM on October 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: A cheaper, more aggro Mythbusters
posted by Wolfdog at 6:00 PM on October 21, 2015 [7 favorites]


Alas, the kernels didn't pop, and my son's nascent popcorn scientist career perished. No grants from the Redenbacher foundation for him.

They will pop but due to the vaguries of how microwaves heat they have to be pushed together. Individual kernels can sit unpopped in the microwave forever. you need a bowl that has a sloped bottom to push them together,

I reheat unpopped kernels all the time - 2:10 (my regular poping time is 2:45 in one of these). It results in a very slight burnt popcorn smell but no actual burnt popcorn.
posted by srboisvert at 6:07 PM on October 21, 2015 [10 favorites]


I haven't watched the show in years and years and years. but my favorite moment as far as the tension between Jamie's style and Adam's was in the episode where they were testing myths about goldfish memory spans. They went about this by training goldfish to navigate complex mazes, which is (as you'd expect) a painstaking, grueling, and, um, tremendously boring process.

So they had these two goldfish tanks, one with fish for Jamie to train, the other for Adam. And they had a bunch of interviews with them while they were starting the training process where they explained the methodology they were both using, which (as you would expect) involved repetition after repetition of each stage of the maze, with rewards given to the fish in a perfectly consistent manner. Do things the exact same way enough times, and eventually even a goldfish will pick up on it.

So anyway, later in the episode they show a clip of the guys turning off the lights in the lab at the end of a night. But before they leave, Adam goes up to his fishtank, taps on the glass a little bit, and says "good night little fishies!"

They walk off. Then Jamie comes back, goes up to the cameraman, makes a tapping motion, and says (in a tone as I recall dripping with sarcasm) "'good night little fishies!' Crap like THAT is why Adam's never going to get his goldfish trained!"

As I recall it (it's been so long, my god, just thinking about it makes me feel old), Jamie's fish were doing mazes like lil champs by the end of the episode, but Adam's... not so much.

I'm basically an Adam type (well, I mean, if Adam were an Internet loon instead of a famous guy with a TV show). Like, I'm clever, and can follow/usefully elaborate on the stuff the Jamies of the world say, but I am unfortunately utterly undisciplined and more than occasionally knowingly ridiculous. So I took this little episode with the fish as a reminder that sometimes it's necessary to concentrate and be for reals serious, otherwise one runs the risk of being, well, useless.

note: I know that Adam-on-the-show and Jamie-on-the-show are both characters, and do not necessarily bear much relation to who they are in real life (or, for that matter, to asavage on metafilter).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:08 PM on October 21, 2015 [18 favorites]


Yeah, Jamie seems cool, but search for "Adam Savage's" on youtube and every single thing is amazing.

I still kinda want to be Adam Savage when I grow up. I'm 34. And can't build anything without explicit instructions.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:13 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


.
posted by FallowKing at 6:17 PM on October 21, 2015


And since this is at some point going to become a wake - thank you, asavage. Don't know if you ever read that note I sent you about how you cheered my mom up one Christmas, but I'm grateful.

(In short - dad was unexpectedly sick, so mom did a lot of the prep work, and by Christmas night was exhausted and had a mini-meltdown in the kitchen - but there was a Mythbusters marathon on, and she wandered into the room to watch with me and came in during the Diet Coke and Mentos episode, and within a half hour she not only felt better, she was on the verge of getting her coat and seeing if a convenience store was open so she could get the stuff and try it herself.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:19 PM on October 21, 2015 [17 favorites]


This show has been so awesome. I am looking forward to other projects and I hope other shows crop up that bring science to life in this way!
posted by xarnop at 6:30 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


asavage ... I SUMMON THEE!




That's worked once before.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:42 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Stephen King once wrote that if he couldn't scare you, he'd go for the gross-out.

With Mythbusters, if they couldn't confirm or deny anything, they'd go for the explosion. (Or sometimes even if they could, like when they vaporized that cement truck.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:53 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'll certainly miss it, but I can understand their desire to go out while the show is still strong. It felt like they'd been struggling for material for quite a while; hence all of the shows they did on testing aphorisms or movie stunts or just blowing stuff up for the hell of it. Plus, the need of the show to one-up previous seasons must have been leading to a ridiculously huge budget, and was starting to get a little dangerous. I mean, I'm sure they took all of the precautions they could, but some of the stuff they did was inherently dangerous and couldn't be made completely safe. If you do enough things like that enough times, eventually the law of large numbers will win.
posted by Mitrovarr at 7:07 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell: asavage ... I SUMMON THEE!




That's worked once before.


Careful with those incantations. You never know what you'll spawn from the depths of basic cable hell.
posted by dr_dank at 7:11 PM on October 21, 2015 [6 favorites]


Don't know if you ever read that note I sent you about how you cheered my mom up one Christmas, but I'm grateful.

There have been a few nights when the show kind of saved my sanity too. Years ago I started getting horrible pains in my hips and was told I had early-onset osteoarthritis. It's gotten mysteriously better since then, but around 2004 or so I was in agonizing pain for weeks at a time. Mythbusters is a good show for times like that. It's always interesting (well, with the arguable exception of the episode they spent making cars drift) and kind of upbeat and the personalities are fun. Even when you're sick and hurting and can hardly think straight, you can still sit down for an hour and get involved in this show. It makes you appreciate human intelligence and persistence, and you feel just a little better about people and about life on this Earth. You learn stuff... and then it all ends with a big, harmless bang. I don't know that explosions have ever been put to better purposes.

In some ways I almost wish it was just going to end with a normal episode and then go into reruns forever, shows from 2004 airing alongside shows from 2014, with Adam being the only one of the bunch who seems to change much with the passing of time. (You know it's an early one when he's pudgy and/or bald. You know it's a later one when he's thinner and his hair is longer.) The idea of Adam and Jamie actually saying goodbye and walking off into the sunset one last time just feels so wrong.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:14 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seconding Mythbusters marathons during the holidays = sanity saver and something everybody can get together on. I hope the network will keep that tradition up.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:18 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Oh, and there was Kari's mid-series baby bump, of course. That dates an episode to a certain era. But aside from Kari's mommification and Adam's weight loss and hair growth, it's kind of weird and cool how you can watch a random episode and have no idea if it's from 2005 or 2013.)

(Oh, and the tie-ins with The Green Hornet and stuff.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:24 PM on October 21, 2015


Adam and Jamie came to my college when I was a student there. It's an engineering school, and this was way before they started their live touring show - maybe 2007? I don't even remember why they were there, I don't think they were promoting anything.

I remember it being poorly advertised on campus, but the lecture hall was overflowing. They just sat on the stage for about 90 minutes and talked about the philosophy behind the show, answered some questions, and then Adam busted the pop rocks and soda myth by swallowing a pouch of them and chugging a coke.

And it was the best thing ever! For an engineering student, learning about how someone in the real world goes about prototyping and building things - just great. And, in retrospect, so unattainable - that kind of work is basically the unicorn of engineering jobs. But it was inspiring, and it led me to working in the machine shop at school at eventually tinkering with things on my own once I had the space for it.

I think the show is directly responsible for the popularity of hacker spaces and community machine shops, and all the inventive people occupying them. It was able to teach people engineering and scientific methods in an accessible and entertaining way, and I think it's particularly worth highlighting the way they showed women and minorities doing real science and fabrication work.

Adam, if you're reading this I want you to know that I aw too shy in college to meet you after your talk at my school, but it meant a lot to me that you and Jamie were there and you impressed a lot of kids that day. I learned how to use a machine shop because of your show.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:47 PM on October 21, 2015 [14 favorites]


It's a shame, but it's not like I've been following the series that closely lately (I was getting bored on how at a point every odd episode seemed to be around "LET'S SEE WHAT IT TAKES TO BLOW THIS UP", and had a "well, it's been fun, but nope" moment when they had that cannonball incident).

It's still one of the best things on tv on the past 15 years.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:38 PM on October 21, 2015


All the family watched it many times. Best intro to science and thinking well that I've seen in years. Thank you for the show
posted by mdoar at 8:40 PM on October 21, 2015


Finally Jamie Hyneman will have enough time to enact my plan of Drink A Bottle Of Scotch With Jamie Hyneman.

Step 1: Meet Jamie Hyneman

(you're no slouch, Mefi's Own asavage! We'll have tequila and tacos!)

Also, cement truck.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:50 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Instead of a . an 💥)

How long has this been possible? Is there anything else besides it?
posted by scalefree at 9:14 PM on October 21, 2015


I remember stumbling onto the very first episode, thinking it'd be some Jan Harold von Brunwald thing. And it was, a little, in the beginning. And it's kind of a shame that as they got better at making the show, they did run out of actual myths to test, getting further and further afield.

I can also understand being continually annoyed by the requirements of basic cable storytelling — the voice overs and interstitials were particularly bad if you used a DVR to skip commercials.

Still, when they were good, they could be some of the best TV on — the mix of earnest science, gleeful curiosity and practical engineering kludging was totally unmatched.
posted by klangklangston at 9:16 PM on October 21, 2015


I've had the feeling it was headed this way. First they fired Tory, Grant and Kari, and then the next season seemed like they were working with a lower budget.

And there were some spinoffs too. A design & building contest show sort of like Junkyard Wars where they were the judges & that truly weird Adam-vs-Jamie robot war special. They both felt like they were forcing the on-camera chemistry of the show into shapes it didn't belong.
posted by scalefree at 9:23 PM on October 21, 2015


There was always some friction between the production company and Jamie as he was the face of the show and he had no control of it.

Scotty was a part of a robotic performance art group that a couple of friends and I started for awhile an one of the other people in that group along with other SRL crew workd for Jamie when he was doing FX for films and tv commercials.

i was interviewed by Jamie for the show about 12 yrs ago but I had a hard time looking "animated" for the taped part of the interview that was going to be shown to the production co.
It's hard to look excited when you are not actually doing anything.
posted by boilermonster at 9:55 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


I ended up sitting next to asavage at the very first MeFi meetup I went to, and it's all been downhill ever since.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:30 PM on October 21, 2015 [13 favorites]


Alton Brown's even more sciency cousins gone now, too.

At least I still have Big Bird.
posted by notyou at 10:48 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Alton Brown, he had podcast episodes with both Tory Belleci and Adam Savage. I'm gonna miss Mythbusters a ton. It was my favorite show next to Good Eats. At least they get a season to go out with, er, a bang.
posted by Ambient Echo at 11:48 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't keep us hanging, did they pop on the second try? Remember kids, PUBLISH OR PERISH.

He's salami slicing, don't encourage him.
posted by biffa at 11:58 PM on October 21, 2015


I gave up when it just seemed to explanations of what happened before the break and the recaps of those. It was 40 minutes of tv showing the same ten minutes over and over again.

Shit, the scene hasn't been capping it in years. You know it is over when people don't think you will bother stealing it.
posted by johnpowell at 1:47 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


As much as I love this show, this feels like the right time to make this decision. This past season has felt empty without the second team, and like they're really straining to find new content. Jamie seems to be disguising his distaste for the host segments even less than in the past.

That being said, it's a rare enough thing for a television show to be good, and rarer still for it to be enduring. But the rarest thing of all is for a TV show to be important, and Mythbusters is that. I think Nobel Prize speeches in 25 years will be thanking this show.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:39 AM on October 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


It had a great run. I was surprised it was only 14 seasons, it seemed like more than that. I think they were running out of myths to bust, though. They're pretty much done every actual urban myth, and were on to recreating movie stunts and possibly real/possibly faked Youtube videos.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:51 AM on October 22, 2015


I came late to this show but like many, I went back and discovered the early seasons in large part to marathons and YouTube content. It was entertaining, informative, & fun. Those are three things that are increasingly harder to find on television/streaming/media.

Thanks for the laughs and the knowledge. And remember: when in doubt C4.
posted by Fizz at 4:55 AM on October 22, 2015


The idea of Adam and Jamie actually saying goodbye and walking off into the sunset one last time just feels so wrong.
That's because it probably won't be a sunset, but the largest conventional explosion ever on the US mainland.
posted by Harald74 at 6:19 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Aww this show helped me when I was hopeless, lonely, and depressed. I think it was my sad Monday night survival show back in 2005. Truly the end of the "Discover" in "Discovery" IMSO
posted by aydeejones at 6:20 AM on October 22, 2015


My 10-year-old and 7-year-old were heartbroken last night when I told them the news. Mythbusters has been their favorite show for many years (and was Mr. altopower's and my favorite pre-children as well) and has taught them so goddamn much about the scientific method, shop safety, and just plain SCIENCE. I guess they also learned the relative merits of the different kinds of explosives, but I sort of hope they don't have an opportunity to put that to use. Their favorite moments: cement truck (of course), Tory falling on his face off his bike, and Adam going down the DIY waterslide.

The 7-year-old was (a slightly strange-looking) Adam for Halloween last year. No one knew who he was, but he still thought it was totally awesome.

Thanks Jamie, Adam, Kari, Scottie, Tory, Grant, and that weird woman who came in for Kari's maternity leave. My children are smarter and more interested in science because of you.
posted by altopower at 6:21 AM on October 22, 2015 [14 favorites]


It's like the Simon and Garfunkel of reality TV...

Only it isn't. I even hate thinking of Mythbusters as reality TV, because it's actually about reality and reality TV isn't. And the Simon/Garfunkel thing was toxic: Mythbusters was anything but. Eorking creative partnerships do not equate to BFF. Complementarity can be wonderful.

Nothing floats my boat like telling stories about science. Nothing. I don't have cable or satellite and live in the UK anyway, so my Mythbuster absorption has been patchy and mostly Internet-fed. And there have been plenty of "Really, guys?" moments when the strain of coming up with That Much Television has been a bit apparent. None of that counts for much compared to the sheer amount of good science and engineering narrative that's been on the screen, in a landscape so frustratingly devoid of same otherwise.

Did nobody notice in the EW interview that Jamie's off making fire-fighting robots fo' reals? He's not done yet - behold the majesty of a fully operational engineer with resources, contacts and intent. And I'm a big Tested fan. I'm not passionate about pop SF culture in general (I may own a Wega ray gun, OK?) so it's my way of staying mildly current on parts of it, but mostly it's the enthusiasm and truth that keeps me coming back to that well. It's real, smart people interacting joyously and with good intent with the culture and detail of technology and what's behind it.

I grew up with the BBC's Tomorrow's World. Mythbusters kept that flame alive (sometimes applying it to rather too much HE). That niche is now available, so let's see what happens next.

But - good show, chaps. Jolly good show.
posted by Devonian at 6:24 AM on October 22, 2015


If I recall "Dirty Jobs" came after which wasn't as great though I was watching MB from the very first year before DJ existed. I split up with my future wife for a spell and worked like a dog to keep my mind right. This show was much healthier than the Taco Bell and McDonald's I ate every time I watched it. Sigh
posted by aydeejones at 6:24 AM on October 22, 2015


Missed the edit window: eta - If this isn't on the last show, I'm handing in my soldering iron licence.
posted by Devonian at 6:30 AM on October 22, 2015


Aw, this is a shame; I've used Mythbusters as a teaching tool because they are really clear about what they're testing, control vs. experimental groups and why you need them, and they have explosions, so it does a great job breaking down the scientific method and being engaged. I actually had a group of third graders once ask me if they could watch a Mythbusters clip again even though it would make them late for recess.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:31 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, I'm sad to hear this. My dad loves Mythbusters. He's a retired biologist and did his military stint outside of Twentynine Palms blowing stuff up with 155 Howitzers. My best memory of the show will be of him giggling like a kid at every explosion.

Best of luck to Adam and Jamie. Thanks for the good science, and thank you for making my dad laugh.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:54 AM on October 22, 2015


I really like to see skilled engineers with time and resources hacking together a solution to a problem.
It's so satisfying to watch.
So my favourite mythbusters episodes were always hands on build types.

There's not much to compare.
The occasional scrapheap challenge can sometimes scratch that itch, but not consistently. Rough science also sometimes provided it.

I'm currently watching my way through every episode (about half way through series 5 now) because as someone in the UK I'd not seen much directly.
It's going to be a bit weird that my complete rewatch is actually going to end with the final show ever.
I will be sad to see it go, but it's better to know it's ending and go out with a (metaphorical and non-metaphorical bang) rather than turn into something that is still on but that I don't want to watch anymore.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:56 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw this coming. When they fired Grant, Tory, and Kari and changed the format of the show it felt like they were one step away from replacing Adam with Ted McGinley. It was pretty obviously the beginning of the end.

It's too bad. It's one of the few shows my son and I would watch together. I held out for a while, I didn't like the emphasis on guns and ballistics gel simulating human flesh, but eventually when he was old enough we'd watch together. He loved the explosions and I loved the builds. We both loved the show and had many "holy shit!" moments while watching it.

I drove him and a friend up and back to Lowell, MA, about an hour's drive in good weather, during a blizzard, to see their live show. Didn't get home until about 2:00 AM, literally driving 20 miles an hour the whole way home, but it was totally worth it.

I've mentioned before but Adam is one of my heroes and an inspiration. His skills at just about everything is something I hope to achieve one day myself. I find his style of working and running a shop is similar to my own (I am also a fan of First Order Retrieveability and F-drawers, two things I seem to have come up with Independently ) and I've enjoyed his podcast and One Day Builds over on Tested. I don't get into the movie prop thing but I often watch those builds just for the techniques he uses.

I know Adam is a lurker and occasional poster, so I hope he reads this thread and knows just what he and Jayme managed to accomplish. Mythbusters did for everything else what Good Eats did for the kitchen. There are no shows like that left on TV, which is a shame.

I look forward to whatever those guys do next.
posted by bondcliff at 6:57 AM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


> The 7-year-old was (a slightly strange-looking) Adam for Halloween last year

A young, slightly strange-looking Jamie a few years ago (also age seven).
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:37 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


> There are no shows like that left on TV, which is a shame

It's not on regular TV, but Going Deep with David Rees scratches the same itch for me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:39 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's because it probably won't be a sunset, but the largest conventional explosion ever on the US mainland.

I would applaud this if it happened, but it would take around 5,000 tons of anfo to beat *looks* Minor Scale and Misty Picture from the 80s.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:54 AM on October 22, 2015


I've really been enjoying Tested, and also the Untitled Adam Savage Podcast though it violates my podcast load limit for White Guys Talking podcasts and I wish they'd do something about that.

If it helps, one of them isn't a white guy. Norm is Asian.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 7:57 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just realized I lived on a different continent when I started being into this show, which is kind of weird to think about.
posted by Artw at 8:11 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Our family removed itself from cable tv years ago. What's the best way to see old episodes?
posted by King Sky Prawn at 8:54 AM on October 22, 2015


Get DVDs from the library.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:28 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I both understand, and am surprisingly affected, as if something from my life has been lost. Here's to hoping for new and better things from the whole crew in the future.
posted by tocts at 9:56 AM on October 22, 2015


I took my kids to see them live a few months back, and Jamie was *definitely* ready for the whole thing to be over.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:16 AM on October 22, 2015


He is apparently exactly the guy you see on screen, which is nice to know on a way.
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on October 22, 2015


I found it interesting that there was a group that would re-edit old episodes to remove all of the "coming up", "we're experts", voice-overs, et cetera and share the results. They called it a 'streamline edit'.
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:33 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


God, the show would be a third the length but much much better.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh man, I'd love to see some streamline edits. I was just thinking about how much work it would be to edit the show down...
posted by Jpfed at 11:26 AM on October 22, 2015


You guys, altopower's photo of the kid dressed up as Adam Savage is adorable.
posted by amtho at 11:43 AM on October 22, 2015


Was a HUGE fan of the show for a number of years, but like others I feel that this is a good time to end it - it's just not what it was anymore. I don't know if it's because the hosts are just tired of it all, or because Discovery is trying to force it to be something that they don't want, or if my interest is just tailing off due to the longevity of the series, but for me it no longer has anything like the same charm, wit, or even cleverness that it used to... I mean was it this season or last where they did an analysis of the "physics" of the Simpsons Movie? That was pretty far from some of the really cool stuff they were doing in the past.
posted by modernnomad at 1:11 PM on October 22, 2015


On my current rewatch I noticed in a few episodes that the bits to camera have a white tape "MeFi" on the back wall.
A shoutout presumably?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:54 PM on October 22, 2015


Yep, it sure is! It was a thanks to AskMe for helping to suggest some western myths.
posted by gilrain at 2:24 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a place to find Streamlined Myths on Reddit; they go by "smyths". I found Mythbusters borderline unwatchable in the regular format; they are vastly improved when edited.

A friend of mine told Adam about the streamlined versions; he apparently loves the idea and hadn't heard of it before.

It's a shame that they're going away; I'll need to find something similar to watch.
posted by caphector at 2:35 PM on October 22, 2015


I feel the show must end with only one man standing; likely Jaime for logistical reasons. Some cataclysmic myth where only one shall live. (Bullet catch: myth or fo' real! One gets the short stick). Also, cannonball-through-the-house needs to come out if only Snowden-wise. Ah, it was a nice run from gentler times.

Mini-Adam and Jaime are awesome. Adam in particular has a particular Adam-ish cast. A+++ WOULD REWARD WITH FISTFULLS OF CANDY AFTER RECOVERING FROM GUT-BUSTING. You are good for being enabling parents.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:34 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe for the last episode, they could finally tackle Archimedes' Death Ray.

(Thanks, guys.)
posted by chimpsonfilm at 7:41 PM on October 22, 2015


dr_dank: "Cool Papa Bell: asavage ... I SUMMON THEE!




That's worked once before.


Careful with those incantations. You never know what you'll spawn from the depths of basic cable hell.
"

Ha hah hahahaha, jerks! I don't even HAVE cable!

runs off as his triumphant face melts into tears
posted by Samizdata at 9:50 PM on October 22, 2015


OH NO! I just thought...

WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO BUSTER?!?!?!

(In case Adam swings by, you guys were made of 100% awesomium, and there's drinks for you in the Midwest, should they be needed.)
posted by Samizdata at 10:09 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


posted by Devonian [Mythbusters is] like the Simon and Garfunkel of reality TV...

♬♪ Hello Savage my old friend
I've come to bust some myths again
We'll blow shit up and demolish some cars
Shoot cannonballs into someone's yard
Build a giant conveyor belt for an airplane
Drop stuff from cranes
Without the sound of sirens
posted by mattdidthat at 10:14 PM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Buster will be blown up, of course! One last time....
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:44 PM on October 22, 2015


On the topic of massive conventional explosions, Wikipedia says on the subject of Minor Scale:

4.8 kilotons of ANFO explosive (ammonium nitrate and fuel oil),[2][3] equivalent to 4 kilotons of TNT,[4] were used to roughly simulate the effect of an eight kiloton air-burst nuclear device

So how exactly does the equivalent of 4 kilotons of TNT simulate the equivalent of 8 kilotons of TNT? Other than they are both a lot of explosion? Why 8 kilotons, just because this is about the smallest size tactical nuke you might encounter?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:38 AM on October 23, 2015


Maybe for the last episode, they could finally tackle Archimedes' Death Ray.

Is that the mirrors reflecting sunlight onto a boat and setting it on fire? I think they've done that one twice (it doesn't work).
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:51 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


For those Mythbusters fans that don't know about it, Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project is an amazing podcast.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:57 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


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