Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Smash Lab: Everybody Pile On!

I caught a little bit of the Smash Lab preview just now on Discovery. It has the distinct whiff of FAIL about it.

Poking around the Smash Lab message boards (you need to choose better seed topics, guys), there seems to be a lot of negative feedback from Mythbusters fanboys, who're calling it a Mythbusters knockoff. Which is true. But just because it's a Mythbusters knockoff doesn't mean it can't also be good. It's just that this show isn't very good.

I mean, the Mythbusters pilot was pretty rough and it's a lot different from the way the show is now. But it was still good.

Primary problems with the Smash Lab premiere:

1. It was an hour-long commercial for Rhino Linings.
2. The "car bomb" used 12 pounds of TNT. Even tamping the charge with sand to direct the blast into the building makes it a laughably small car bomb.
3. They showed the effects of the "car bomb" on the "protected building." However, they didn't show the effect of the "car bomb" on an unprotected building. That's kind of important. In fact, without it, it's useless.

As to the rest of it -- some folks are ragging on the hosts, others don't like this or that -- it might get better, it might not. But if they're going to be "solving" problems instead of disproving things that are myths anyway, they're going to have to do a better job.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

yea this show is blech. overly complicated solutions to problems. Annoying hosts. That chick is too much. I think she went to modeling school or something, really distracting affect. I actually changed the channel.

Anonymous said...

I saw Smash Lab for the first time last night and it is awful except that it helped me to fall asleep. It's definitely a cheap rip-off of Mythbusters with none of the charisma and humor of the MB team. I won't watch it again.

Anonymous said...

I just say the concrete-barrier episode and it sucked. Not only are the hosts annoying and no "science" involved, but their tests were horrible flawed.

JonTI said...

I think the show is a great concept, but does not belong on Discovery Channel. There's absolutely no regard given to scientific method. I just watched the episode about stopping a moving car, and I was almost screaming at my TV, so irritated with their inability to make a valid experiment.

1) If you are going to do a control, make it the same as the tests will both use. Ramming a car into a 4000 pound movable car is entirely different from ramming it into a 8000 pound concrete barrier that's linked to a group of other barriers. The deceleration will be entirely different.

2) Using different cars will give different forces, even in an identical accident. At least pick the same model. Each and every car built since the mid-70's has some sort of crumple zone, designed to reduce the transmission of force of deceleration to the driver. Using the small Camry in the baseline, then using the full-size Crown Victoria will give different results entirely.

3) Real scientific experiments usually have only one variable. This allows for some sense of accuracy in the results. Using a different car, using inconsistent data, etc, assuming things, will give invalid results.

Also, can the female host. Within about the first 3 minutes, I got irritated with the first words out of her mouth, explaining what velocity is, during the planning of the (flawed) control...wow, shut up.

Anonymous said...

While this show is an obvious spin off from Mythbusters, it lacks the 'heart.' The 'hosts'just don't have separate personalities, so are interchangable. There is no empathy, we don't care about them. They have no humor, there is nothing 'Universal' about this show. I would watch the Mythbusters make toast over this crew blowing up a planet.

Anonymous said...

This show has less legitamate science than my sixth-grade science fair project. These people call them selves engineers and scientist but they knot NOTHING about doing research and conducting experiments. There is obviously no valid scientific content. Come on Discovery.