After the Mythbuster’s Marathon on Discovery last night, they debuted just about the dumbest show I’ve seen in quite a while: Smash Lab. Obviously trying to capitalize on the success of Mythbusters, they have cloned the show ah la Friends after Seinfeld.
The premise is supposed to be that these four idiots are scientists but they can’t fool me. The four “scientists” blow things up with dynamite and then walk up to the wreckage and ooh and ahh. Seriously, that’s it. They say things like “oh wow” and “dude”. There are three, vaguely California surfer guys and one chick who is so obviously there to entertain the male viewers that is laughable. She is in almost every shot (they make sure of that), wears skin tight outfits and says little more than “oh wow”. They tell you up front in the intros that she has some kind of scientific credential, but a second after she opens her mouth, you think, “suuuurrrre”.
The premise of the show I tried to watch was that there was a nifty, paint-on pickup truck liner substance and why don’t they see if they can use that to bomb-proof a building with it? Because that is important work after all and they ARE supposed to be scientists. So they start by blowing up pickup trucks with dynamite. Really vaporizing the trucks. I was waiting for Bin Laden to stroll out. After each explosion, the gang would all laugh and clap like seals and say intelligent things like “wooowww”. And the announcer has that faux-toughguy, super over dramatic voice going and you’re just thinking, “STOP IT!”.
The explosions started early and never really stopped. They built little cinder block walls and blew them up; they even built a little building and blew that up. It was supposed to be scientific but the science was limited to things like: “…well, if we fill this with dynamite and it survives the blast, it could be used for bomb proofing”. Super genius.
At about the 20 minute mark I was laughing out loud at the whole thing. There really wasn’t even one redeeming feature. It made me appreciate Mythbusters all the more. I saw how Jamie and Adam manage to not sound like idiots after doing an “experiment”, even one that is just a gratuitous explosion. It isn’t easy, apparently. While I think Mythbusters goes too far and gives kids too many destructive ideas to try at home, I love the show and the cadence of it and I even learn something. I also love the idea of debunking hooey, which people are just so prone to believing in; particularly with regard to the dopey Hollywood movies.
With SmashLab, there’s no danger of kids getting ideas to use household products because everything they did involved dynamite. And there’s also no danger of kids learning any science on this show either because the science knowledge of the 4 dummies doing the demolition is limited to the shouting of “fire in the hole”.
This show is must-see TV because it is so bad that it is hilarious.