MythBusters (2003 – 2016)
MythBusters was a very long-running science experiment show that bagged almost 300 episodes before it finally threw in the towel. It was one of my favourite things on TV over the last decade, and if you exclude ongoing dramas it’s right up there near the top of the pile.
Every week, hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman (who were soon supported by regular team members Kari, Tory, and Grant) would try to ‘bust’ some commonly held ideas such as… could you penetrate the ground or kill a person with a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building?; and, was it possible for a stream of urine to freeze in the winter? That kinda thing. Other more unique curiosities included… can a person falling off a building glide to safety using a sheet of plywood?; and, can being underwater protect you from bullets? The results were often very surprising.
If it all sounds not particularly earth shattering, that’s probably because it wasn’t. But it was always fun. There was much silliness, many explosions, and a whole lot of ballistics gel throughout its run, but the well presented and thought out experiments were backed up by what sometimes seemed like pages of theory, and it wasn’t uncommon to learn something along the way either, which can’t be a bad thing.