Anyone else see Smash Lab on Discovery Channel?

The first one was on last night, 10 pm, right after Mythbusters, which they’re clearly aping: a couple of guys and a cute girl wrecking cars and blowing things up.

I’m willing to give them a few episodes to find their legs, but I’m not instantly in love with the concept or execution. They claim that the girl’s a “scientist,” one guy is an “engineer,” one’s a “designer,” and one’s…something else. But they’re all so young it’s hard to accept them as serious experts. And the way they talked didn’t inspire much confidence in their ability. I sensed more bluster (and possibly scripting) than expertise.

The challenge of this show was to develop a method of preventing cars from jumping a median into oncoming traffic by using soft aerated concrete to slow them down. One team put a couple feet of the stuff against a Jersey barrier, the other paved a runoff area about 100 feet long.

True to the title, they smashed some cars up, and like Mythbusters, they used high-speed cameras and got some interesting footage. But I found some of their methodologies questionable and their reasoning ex post facto.

Then there was the rather obvious product placement. (Ryobi drills, anyone?)

The show has potential, but it needs some work.

Oh, and it’s biggest fault: the girl “scientist” is nowhere near as cute as Kari.

I agree, it really needs to find its niche and not just try to be Mythbusters. I’m always up for the “blowing shit up” style of show like this, but I had a tough time paying attention due to its roughness. Maybe they’ll hit their stride soon, and act like they’re comfortable on camera.

There was a pilot episode a few weeks ago that was basically an advertisement for Rhino bedliners. The concept was to build a “bombproof” building, and they coated a cinderblock building inside and out with this stuff, and then set off a “car bomb” ouside – with 12 pounds of explosives. Granted, the building didn’t blow to pieces, but cum on, 12 pounds?? What kid of pussy terrorist would make a 12 pound car bomb?

So, I am not impressed.

Thanks for launching this thread. Concerning the episode’s subject, I’m no scientist, but before they even tried the runoff pad I pretty much figured out that the low overall weight and load concentration on a normal car made it unlikely to dig into the aerated concrete enough to slow it down significantly.

In addition, useable technologies already exist in auto racing for both types of arrest method used: gravel-trap runoff areas on road courses and SAFER barriers on ovals. Perhaps these are more expensive and complicated than blocks of concrete, but it would have been nice to have at least acknowledged their existence on the show.

The four musketeers were maybe a bit too, like, totally rad for my taste, but they didn’t bug me too much. Maybe I’ll warm up to them later.

Did enjoy the super slow-mo impacts, especially the analysis of why the cars in the barrier tests went right over the panels faced with air-crete. I think the show could actually be quite entertaining if it’s willing to dissect the hosts’ conceptual screwups.

I do like the “theoretical” angle, thinking up new ways to use existing technologies, but I imagine for the practical things, there are real, skilled professionals thinking of such things.

They’re also not going through the engineering, geeky details that I think are as big a part of MB as the results.

The on-camera discussion was pretty bad. I imagine if a few random Mythbuster fans got together with a camcorder and tried their bestest to make “a like, totally as good” version of MB, they’d sounds a lot like this.

That said, I hated Mythbusters the first time I saw it.

2 things in the ep that bugged me,

they crashed the car at 60 mph. on the freeway the combined speed would be 120, granted this would involve some angles but wtf 60?

and aerated concrete…let me think, a substance thats a bitch to make, is destroyed in use and has the exact same effect as (posted up thread) deep gravel. deep gravel, its cheap and after it stops a car you use a fucking rake to fix it.
I will still give them a few more tries but ep#1 was pretty lame.

Paging Elenfair! Ferret, you just hit on the ultimate reality TV show! Blowing Sh!t Up! Picture this: Two hosts, no contrived experiments, or long set ups, just a quick description of what it is, how much and what kind of explosives it’s packed with, and then you blow up whatever it is! Maybe some slo-mo replays of the explosion taken from multiple camera angles, and then on to the next thing that you blow up! Throw in some stock footage of military weapons tests to break things up (or use military hardware to blow shit up [“Let’s see what happens when you shoot a Yugo with the main gun from an Abrams tank!”]) and we’re talkin’ ratings gold, Jerry! :smiley: It’s a surefire hit show and Fox is just the network to air it!

I disagree. Deanne Bell is far hotter than Kari Byron. Kari is certainly a cute girl, but the Smash Lab chick is clearly cast to sex things up a bit.

In fact, the whole cast seems like they are trying to be a “hipper” and “cooler” version of the Mythbusters team, what with there spikey haircuts, trendy T-shirts and laid back style with just enough technical jargon thrown in (“dude, shear forces will like totally cause thise cracks to propogate through the structure”).

I saw the pilot, and found it so dull (except for the exploding bits) that it couldn’t keep my attention. A total knockoff of Mythbusters, IMO, and a poor one at that.

Who knows, maybe if it lasts a few months it’ll be worth watching. But it hasn’t done anything for me yet.

Exactly, and it’s terrible. The hosts look like a combination of art students and college douchebags I see in bars across town and I’m supposed to believe they are “scientists”. I turned the show off. If they want to be the next big MB type show, they need to at least have some common sense (concrete foam isn’t going to work for MOST applications) . And for Og’s sake, don’t be affraid to get MORE technical. It’s like the show is aimed at 6th graders.
FTR, Kari Byron is WAY hotter!

I wonder if anyone here has met her in person and could kinda, you know, confirm her hotness.

Yeah, if only there were some Dopers who had met Kari Byron, and perhaps took a picture with her…


Speaking of which, here are my obligatory M5 pictures. :smiley:

Let’s take this in reverse order:

>the Smash Lab chick is clearly cast to sex things up a bit.

We agree, she’s a female among three dweebs. (I say this as a proud Charter Member of Dweebs of the World, aka the Straight Dope.) Deanne’s cute, but a female hippopotamus would “sex up” those guys.

>Kari is certainly a cute girl.

Yeah, and the Grand Canyon is a big ditch! Understate much?

>*Deanne Bell is far hotter than Kari Byron. *

Please report to a qualified psychiatric practitioner ASAP. You are clearly brain damaged, but it may be possible to reverse the harm with prompt treatment.

Of course, I’m willing to consider altering my opinion on Ms. Bell if she’ll have drinks with me in Las Vegas as Kari did two years ago. (Photo by Adam Savage.) Especially since Kari went off an got married to someone else just a couple of months after this magical evening. Grrrrrr…

And females aside, I can guarantee you from personal experience that there’s no one more fun to hang around with than Adam Savage. (Photo by Kari Byron.)

Thank Og that another opportunity arose to show off that picture of Kari. It’s been what, at leasta coupleof weeks?

Sorry it took so long, guys.

Reminds me of a show idea some friends and I thought up back in high school. Just shots of random things exploding in slow motion in time to Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir.

There are 2 Mythbusters ripoffs now. SciFi channel has one called the Guinea Pig in which the star gets hit by linebackers, gets bit by snakes and stung by scorpions and wasps and bit by dogs. His thing is he takes the manikin out and absorbs the punishment himself. Myth has a tendency to make things too safe.
Smash Lab is doing the explosion parts of Myth. They do seem to be Myths favorite episodes. I am surprised it took so long for copies to come out.

The chick on Smash Lab apparently has a mechanical engineering degree and worked for Raytheon. I can’t find a good picture of her though. And guys, you’re really showing your nerd pedigrees because even though Kari is good looking, she’s not that hot. I’ve already seen at least a dozen girls today that are better looking. It helps that I’m at a pretty large university, but still.

But how many of them blow stuff up and have their own TV show? :stuck_out_tongue: Sure there are better looking girls than Kari, but celebrity increases hotness 10 fold!

I DVRed it, and tried to watch it. I wound up speeding through most of it to see the car crashes. I wasn’t overly impressed.

I dunno but all the ones in the gym were wearing short shorts and tight shirts. The celebrity doesn’t do anything for me, the blowing stuff up does though.