Last updated May 25, 2017 at 5:32 pm
Bill Nye the Science Guy is back, and this time it’s bingeable. He’s on Netflix with his new show, and mission, “Bill Nye Saves the World”.
The more I think about Bill Nye Saves the World and the more episodes I watch, the more I like it. And that’s not too surprising – the show is objectively good. It is A Good Show. And I do recommend it.
Although it got me on the back foot early on.
Bill Nye starts the series with this premise: This is not a show for kids! It’s a show for grown-ups! Grown-ups who grew up with Bill Nye the Science Guy! Grown-ups who are ready to . . . dare he say it . . SAVE THE WORLD!
But in every episode, Bill almost immediately puts on a lab coat, stands behind a demo bench, and starts explaining basic science concepts. Which I wouldn’t have a problem with if this was a show for kids. Or a show for grown-ups who are excited to learn about science. However, if this is supposed to be a show for grown-ups who are already engaged with science, well, we’ve seen it all before.
Nevertheless (and the reason why I ultimately recommend it), the show redeemed itself incredibly quickly by building on those basic concepts. It really is funny and creative, so I can easily forgive one minor introduction issue.
Each episode has a theme and sticks to a basic formula – lots of Bill, a field report from an energetic correspondent, and an in-depth panel discussion. And that works really well, but still leaves stacks of room for extra bits, like songs, sketches, good old fashioned explosions, and celebrities … so many celebrities.
I’m nearly halfway through the season, and Bill has already covered Climate Change, Alternative Medicine, Aritificial Intelligence, GMOs, Mars, and Vaccination. So far my favourite skit has to be seeing a pro-wrestler dressed up as a Tardigrade, punching things in the face to show off how indestructible they are. Man, tardigrades make everything better.
I really enjoyed the deliberate effort to involve a culturally diverse cast. The guest from different backgrounds made it much more engaging – I get bored when everyone looks the same. I still haven’t quite made it to the episodes that feature Australian comic Nazeem Hussain, but it’s pretty cool to see a show that features him right next to supermodel Karlie Kloss, along with unsurprising picks like Derek Muller.
— Bill Nye on Netflix (@BillNyeSaves) April 20, 2017
All in all, I think this show is pushing educational science television in the right direction, and even though it’s not for kids – it’s going to be a huge hit in classrooms.
A couple more caveats I will give is that I wouldn’t recommend watching too many episodes in a row (which is kind of refreshing actually, it’s nice not to binge-watch sometimes). Your love for this show will probably correlate with your love for Bill Nye, because it’s very, very Bill.
All 13 episodes of Bill Nye Saves the World are available now on Netflix.
Let me know what you think!