Adam Savage from Mythbusters has a new show on Discovery Channel. It’s called Savage Builds, and you can probably at least sort of guess what it’s all about given the title. Adam Savage is building stuff, with the help of some engineers, scientists, and what have you. He made an Iron Man suit. He made a sword out of a meteorite. It’s pretty cool at its best.
Savage Builds is a decent enough show. However, there is a looming shadow cast over it. After all, I did introduce the host as “Adam Savage from Mythbusters,” and that’s with good reason. That show was like alchemy, an idea they would have busted on the show. It was the perfect version of one of these type of shows, which has casted a shadow on the careers of everybody involved going forward.
If you aren’t familiar, Mythbusters was a show that aired for 296 episodes on Discovery Channel. It was hosted by Savage and Jamie Hyneman at first, and they were later joined by “The Build Team” of Tory Belecci, Kari Byron, and Grant Imahara. They were tasked with busting myths and urban legends through building cool stuff, although by the end they were less myths and more stuff like “Could this crazy thing that happened in a movie actually happen?”
It was a great show. Nothing anybody from the show has tried outside of Mythbusters has been nearly as good. The Build Team had a Netflix show called White Rabbit Project that only lasted one season, and even I didn’t finish it. Savage and Hyneman had a one-off show around the end of Mythbusters run that I don’t remember what it was called. It didn’t get another episode And then there’s Savage Builds, which, like I said, is pretty good.
All these shows are like Mythbusters, but none of them capture the same magic. The chemistry doesn’t feel the same, even when The Build Team all worked together again. Hyneman is basically done with television, as he was never seemingly interested in it to begin with. And yet, he and Savage were a great pair. Nobody else gives Savage that sort of complementary energy.
The lack of the hook of a “myth” hinders Savage Builds a bit, and while it was there in White Rabbit Project, that show had other issues. I miss the narration. I miss the humor. I miss the editing and directing. Mythbusters is the best “non-scripted” show ever. Even the same people can’t come close to replicating it.
You can’t argue that Mythbusters didn’t get a fair shake. Almost 300 episodes is a crazy amount of TV. It also makes sense while the non-extremely introverted cast members of the show have tried to make other shows work. They haven’t been able to do it yet. Savage Builds doesn’t feel long for this world either. Nothing is Mythbusters. Nothing will be. The idea you can recreate that magic? That’s busted.