Judge Dawn Hunt is joining Star Wars as a SithBuster.
Well it’s finally happened. In October 2015 Adam Savage took to Facebook to announce that sadly, MythBusters was coming to an end. Fans had already been in an uproar in 2014 when contract negotiations soured and long-time co-hosts Kari Byron, Tori Belleci and Grant Imahara left the show, meaning that the 2015 season was going to feature only the original MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. So while news of the jettisoning of half the hosts did not sit well news of the cancellation caused a shockwave of sadness throughout the fandom, as MythBusters is truly a one-of-a-kind show. What this news means for us at DVD Verdict is the remaining releases will carry a bit of that sadness with them as we begin a finite countdown of episodes left to review.
So being one to face this sort of thing head-on let’s get right to it. MythBusters: Collection 13 contains eight episodes from 2012. They stick to the formula of splitting the team of five up into two parts, each part being tasked with a certain myth or idiom to test during the episode. The outcome can be confirmed, plausible or busted and each episode is a testament to the veracity of the saying “it’s not the destination it’s the journey” as we take our time understanding the science behind the fun (or gross or dangerous or disturbing, etc.) myth we’re testing that episode. MythBusters: Collection 13 is one of the better choices for use as an introduction for a new viewer as the myths showcase some of the best things about the show. There’s the Hollywood tie-in, the regular idiom, and the thing you can’t imagine how they’re going to test, to name but a few.
“Titanic Survival” – The director of one of the highest-grossing movies of all times shows up to ask Adam and Jamie to put the debate to rest once and for all: could Rose and Jack have shared that piece of wood?
“Trench Torpedo” – Germans used to take care to make sure their trenches had precise 90-degree angles to help stop the devastation of an explosion. Were they on to something or was it a waste of time?
“Hail Hijinx” – Can hail sink a boat?
“Fright Night” – Is there actually a “smell of fear”?
“Mini Myth Medley” – Viewers once again provide some mini-myths such as: do we really know the backs of our own hands?
“Cannonball Chemistry” – Metal cannonballs created devastation without a doubt. But they could also be scooped up and shot back at the enemy. Is it possible ancient warriors made cannonballs out of stone which had the same devastation but which shattered upon impact?
“Food Fables” – Does everything we say tastes like chicken really live up to the expectation that sentiment carries with it?
“Explosions A-Z” – The MythBusters will use most any excuse to blow something up and this is no exception with each letter of the alphabet serving as the impetus for an explosive recap of explosions which have come before.
I’ve said before MythBusters is one of the best examples of an entertainment/educational hybrid out there and MythBusters: Collection 13 sustains that belief. Adam and Jamie’s knowledge base paired with their The Odd Couple-esque interactions still provide the bedrock for the show, while Kari, Grant, and Tory continue to provide an additional layer of the same with a different type of excitement and joy permeating their bits.
In terms of technical specs they’re not HD but they’re not analog either. The video is a standard 1.78:1 transfer and can be a bit washed out at times but the beauty of the many high speed shots will likely make you forgive them that transgression. The audio is still a Dolby Digital 2.0 track and while I understand the sheer magnitude of the explosions means any higher would blow out my speakers it would be nice to have a more balanced track with a fuller soundscape.
There are no special features which I can only hope will change as these final releases street. Go to the official site if you want some behind-the-scenes stuff.
Even if I didn’t know the show is about to air its final episodes I would still recommend at least watching MythBusters. It makes science relatable and though I’ll never try anything I see at home I can still appreciate why I won’t and be entertained by whatever journey the team takes me on.