MythBusters: The Final Season (2016)
January 4, 2016 9:08 AM - Season 14 (Full Season) - Subscribe

MythBusters is coming to a close, and by all indications it will be going out with a bang. This final season will focus each episode on an iconic category of myth from seasons past, including physics, explosions, human behavior, vehicles, viral videos, viewer suggestions, and more.

In an EW interview about the final season, Adam Savage stated:
... whether it’s myths about human behavior or car stories or explosion stories, we tried to find the most awesome example of each category and build on our past history.
This full season thread is intended to be a place to talk about these episodes as they come out, as well as reminisce about seasons past.

The first episode of the season has confirmed that former co-hosts Tory Belleci, Kari Byron, and Grant Imahara will return for one episode that focuses on a retrospective look at seasons past.

Note that season numbering for MythBusters is more or less a crap shoot. To quote Wikipedia's article on the subject:
There is no consistent system for organizing MythBusters episodes into seasons. The show does not follow a typical calendar of on and off air periods. The official MythBusters website lists episodes by calendar year. On the other hand, Discovery sells DVD sets for "seasons", which sometimes follow the calendar year and sometimes do not. In addition Discovery also sells "collections" which divide up the episodes in a different way.
Sites such as TheTVDB arrange the series by year, but FanFare doesn't support seasons greater than 100. "14" was chosen since this will be the 14th yearly season of the show.
posted by tocts (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just to start things off:

The first episode of the season was a "Behind the Scenes" special, and focused mostly on what to expect in the remaining episodes. There's a decent list of what was revealed on Wikipedia's Season 2016 article.

On a personal level: MythBusters has been massively important to me for its entire run, and I'm sad to see it go. However, I'm pretty excited by the stories they've chosen as they exit the stage. This first episode was also a pretty nice look behind the scenes at how things have evolved over the years, and how the seasoned crew behind the scenes gets things done.

And hooray for excellent uses of camera drones!
posted by tocts at 9:11 AM on January 4, 2016

The first episode of the season felt like a reverse clip show, which I guess is what it was. I wish they had done more behind the scenes stuff. They talked about the drones but then never showed a drone being operated. I'd really like an in-depth behind the scenes show.

I'm looking forward to the season though I feel like the show was done a couple of years ago. Mostly I'm looking forward to whatever Mr. Savage does next.
posted by bondcliff at 10:24 AM on January 4, 2016

I'm sad to see it go too. I always enjoyed the improvisations and builds and thinking. The explosions never really engaged me. I began to get less interested when they started buying specific tools to measure results. I liked it when they had to think of interesting ways to work out the results.
posted by idb at 1:27 PM on January 4, 2016

The show has certainly changed over the seasons, yes. The production has become much higher quality, but then in some ways maybe a little too streamlined. That was somewhat reversed when Kari/Grant/Tory left, as it meant more time per episode was available for failed first attempts, build processes, etc.

I am a bit worried about tension levels this coming season, which they've teased a fair bit in the first episode. For most of the show's run, Adam and Jamie have been open about the fact that they don't get along personally, even though they respect each other professionally (reportedly they've never eaten dinner together in all the time they've collaborated, outside of group settings). I'm nervous that this being the last season will mean either the gloves coming off, or at the least the producers putting more of the tension into the final product.

That said, despite the fact that Jamie has made some comments about not working together again, and the fact that they just wrapped up the last ever Jamie + Adam live show tour (Adam has hinted at a solo tour in the future), they're collaborating now as executive producers on an unnamed scripted show.

Adam and Jamie are also both involved in Tested, though Jamie's involvement in that these days seems very small -- I don't think he's had a video or post for over 9 months, while Adam does a weekly podcast and frequent videos. Adam has hinted that he'll be doing even more work with Tested in the coming year. The podcast is really worthwhile (it's a video podcast, but also available in audio only). Adam has talked a bunch about the specifics of using drones on it, if that's a topic of interest for you. I would kinda love to see Adam behind the camera as a director, based on a lot of the things he's talked about over the years of it.

... and this is when I stop typing, because yeah maybe too much information leaking out of me :) .
posted by tocts at 2:36 PM on January 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh yeah, I love the Adam Savage podcast and all the stuff he does on Tested. He's the only thing that site has for me, since Will is leaving and I consistently disagree with everything that comes out of Norm's mouth.

Anyway, like I've said before Mythbusters was the last thing keeping Discovery in the educational programming business. They long since stopped deserving the Mythbusters, and I too am excited to see what Adam does next.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:18 PM on January 4, 2016

I consistently disagree with everything that comes out of Norm's mouth.


I'm pretty excited for this season. I have been a fan since the very beginning, and the most recent seasons haven't been as engaging to me (I don't really care for movie, TV, and video game myths), but I still watch every episode. Even if the topics haven't always been my favorite, I'm impressed with how good of a job they've done of keeping the quality up for so long.
posted by primethyme at 9:43 PM on January 4, 2016

I'm currently watching all of Mythbusters from the beginning.
I just watched Reverse Engineering from 2010
So I'll probably intersperse the rewatch with the new ones.

A big problem (which is a TV problem not a Mythbuster problem per se) is there is so much Coming Up Next On the Gift Shop Sketching

I did hear that there is a cut down version of the episode which re aligns the myths in chronological ordering and cuts the excess. That would be good and would probably cut several hours from my rewatch.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:06 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

They are on this reddit, but whether the links will still work is questionable.
posted by smackfu at 9:27 AM on January 9, 2016

I liked the explosion episode, especially how the first cement explosion seemed like a clear confirmed and then they realized they screwed up and had to do it again.

I'm not sure the second try was completely valid, because the box they used to protect the dynamite definitely looked like it had the side effect of focusing the explosion up and down. But it still threw a lot of shrapnel to the sides so I guess it proved the cement didn't work.
posted by smackfu at 7:41 AM on January 11, 2016

I also liked the episode, though yeah, there might have been some experimental issues there. I can see how that was probably not fixable, though (due to time/money). I wonder if they had a backup truck, or just had to go find a new one on short notice?

The hovercraft stuff was pretty neat too. My only complaint would be that because the episode was juggling so much stuff, we saw very little about the research into the land mines. I'd be interested to know whether they had looked into the size of the triggers (since that would have an effect on the required weight to trigger). We only ever heard about the weight itself, but the reaction from the mine would change a lot with a smaller versus a larger trigger plate to be stepped on.

Also, a lot of props for the production crew. I really hope someone finds a good use for their skills now that the show is done, because the videography, the drone shots, and the editing are all above and beyond what you see on most shows these days.
posted by tocts at 8:26 AM on January 11, 2016

I guess they know what they're doing, but they seemed to be being awfully cavalier about a) an enclosed space with some dislodged TNT and then a pile of misfired TNT.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:16 PM on January 11, 2016

Yeah. But I guess that is why those explosives are popular in the first place. Pretty safe unless something triggers them, and that something can be easily controlled.
posted by smackfu at 8:16 AM on January 12, 2016

Back when they did a myth about burning C4 to use as a fuel to cook with, they talked a bit about that. Most of the explosives they use are such that they more or less cannot explode without a specific trigger (e.g. electrical impulse, or a blasting cap that produces a high-velocity impact). Also, in the past, even when a myth has called for "dynamite", they've frequently used a stand-in that has the same explosive characteristics but is more stable and safer to work with.

It would not shock me if the most dangerous stuff they worked with in the show's run was actually black powder (which is significantly easier to ignite than any modern explosive they've used).

I was actually a lot more worried for Adam's feet. Concrete is typically pretty alkaline, and exothermic as it dries/sets.
posted by tocts at 8:27 AM on January 12, 2016

I was actually a lot more worried for Adam's feet. Concrete is typically pretty alkaline, and exothermic as it dries/sets.

Yeah, they had a bucket of water for him to step in right away, and I assume an intern with towels etc that they didn't want to pay for screen time.

It's frequently not the "dangerous" thing that's the most dangerous. I remember TA-ing a "Physics for Poets" lab with radiation sources, and I would point out that the most dangerous thing was not the radiation, but the lead squares that they would use to attenuate the gamma radiation. (And not from ingestion, but because they could easily be dropped on a toe.)
posted by stevis23 at 7:44 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's frequently not the "dangerous" thing that's the most dangerous.

It's funny you say that, because yeah, Jamie has commented (and Adam has tweeted pictures reinforcing) that:
“We’ve done hundreds of experiments and thousands of explosions. The worst injuries are broken fingers from handling our safety equipment. Those heavy blast shields we put up weigh a couple hundred pounds each and you can break fingers just holding them.”

Adam broke his hand a season or two back precisely that way.
posted by tocts at 9:31 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was thinking that about the concrete, but noted that they spent the screen time showing Adam washing his feet off straightaway and sort of assumed that was to highlight that you really need to wash cement off skin quick.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:02 AM on January 14, 2016

So, Tanker Crush: pretty fun small scale testing, and I enjoyed that they had a chance to iterate a bit. The ending was quite satisfying (even if proving that to happen at all, the myth required a series of even more unlikely events than originally believed). But: also a tad drawn out, if I'm being honest. Too much dramatic music and pause, for no result.

This almost felt like it should have been the bigger myth of a two-myth (big/small) episode. Maybe time just got away with them.
posted by tocts at 12:12 PM on January 19, 2016

I got the impression that it was really expensive so they probably needed to justify it over a whole episode.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:07 PM on January 19, 2016

I would like to hear more behind the scenes stuff about how they acquired the tanker car. I got the feeling they (or whomever provided it) knew the first tanker would hold up and that the second, rusty tanker was the one they bought/were given that they were allowed to destroy. The first one looked like it was in good shape and still usable. I can't imagine the show would be able to afford something like that.

I really enjoyed the small scale so much that my son and I want to do the same with a paint can or something.
posted by bondcliff at 6:20 AM on January 21, 2016

Here's a page with a lot more background from the consulting firm that helped them out: AllTransTek. More behind the scenes than you usually get.

It seems like they bought two roughly equivalent tanker cars, and then prettied up the first one by repainting it. My guess is that they had two of them to cover the case where the first one did implode on the first attempt, and then they would need to do something else with the second car to fill the rest of the episode.
posted by smackfu at 9:36 AM on January 21, 2016

« Older Adventure Time: The Creeps...   |  Steven Universe: The Answer... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments