Mythbusters is an awesome show, as we’re already well aware. The problem though, is that it airs later than I should be staying up to watch it but it still manages to suck me in every time.
Of course I want to know if cockroaches will really survive a nuclear holocaust. Of course I need to stay up an extra hour to see two fully loaded transport trucks collide head-on. I really do need to know if vodka makes a decent mouthwash.
The problem is made that much worse by the fact that the show is very repetitive. After every commercial break we’re told what the myth is, how they’re going to bust it, what they’ve done so far, and what they’re going to do next. On top of that, they tell us again before every break. That’s great if I’m just flipping through channels and I’ve missed the first forty minutes, but when I’m there from the start and all I want to see is the answer, it gets kind of annoying.
They could probably do the show quite well in half an hour, without cutting out anything but the redundant narrations and the “coming up next” bits. Sure, I know these myths might be expensive and time consuming, but I need to work in the morning. I think lots of scientists are familiar with that mild disappointment when months of work are distilled into a single number or sentence in the conclusion of a short paper, with all those dead ends and hours of refining technique swept under the rug. You’ll get used to it.
I still love the Discovery Channel, though. Boom de ah da, boom de yada.