Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Smash Lab Sucks

For those of you that sat through this pitiful excuse of a show, you have my condolences. There was a time when I thought the Discovery Channel could do no wrong. Dirty Jobs, How Stuff is Made, Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Survivorman, and the still brilliant Mythbusters have all made their permanent mark on television. These are the true reality TV shows; shows that make science fun and interesting for the masses yet maintain just enough of the scientific method to peak the interest of real life engineers and scientists. Adam and Jamie generally provide a sound scientific foundation for their experiments, when they do not, they hear about it from the legion of Mythbusters fanboys and then do there best to revisit it in a further episode.
The Mythbuster crew, Jamie, Adam, Tory, Grant, and Kari have fantastic personalities and the synergy amongst the team is remarkable. Mythbusters was like catching lightening in a bottle. The perfect show, perfect cast, at the perfect time.

It is almost insulting that the good people at Discovery would then force feed us "Smash Lab". SL is a blatant copy of mythbusters, without the style and solid scientific foundation. Instead of promoting thought and conversation SL comes with big explosions and ... well that is it. Just explosions. We live in an age of copycat shows, for every Bachelor we have a Joe Millionaire, for every Wife Swap we have Trading Spouses. Each Xerox lacks the luster of the original. Sadly Discovery chooses to duplicate rather than innovate. And speaking of product placement, I think the true star of SL has to be Rhino Liner? What a wonderous product? SL must have just discovered it right? Wrong, Rhino Liner is a polyurethane coating, it has already been looked at for blast protection, in many scientific studies and there are commercial products available that outperform Rhino liner (
for the particular need. Curious? Google polyurethane and blast protection and check out all the hits. Combining compression resistant materials and elastic materials is not new either, just look at fiberglass, composite materials are being used everywhere around us.

Smash Lab's cast is uninteresting and unexperienced as well. These four college dropouts should not share the same airwaves as Jamie and Adam. I found their titles hilarious. Scientist, Idea guy, engineer, and design person (was it?). How completely ridiculous! Lets let the butcher, the baker, and candlestick maker produce a show I have no doubt it will be better.

Viewers do not give the Discovery Channel reason to play another episode of Smash Lab. Turn off you TV, or watch a recorded episode of MythBusters, it will be a far better use of your time.

Discovery Channel, I expected better, you spent a lot of money for a couple explosions and no substance and call it science. This show will only be of interest to teenage pyromaniacs, who could simply watch Diehard reruns and get their fix. I believe you are alienating your core audience with a poorly executed copy of your flagship show.