"Mythbusters": Collection 7 is a jumble of slightly random but not completely shuffled episodes from the end of the 7th and beginning of the 8th season of the show, which aired at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010. I don't watch much TV as it airs, so what I've seen of the show is a totally random assortment of episodes whenever it's been on. What seems most impressive about this DVD set is that the show hasn't been reduced to silly, short, or uninteresting myths in the nearly ten years the show's been on the air.
The first disc houses two of the best episodes in the set: "Dumpster Diving" and "Unarmed and Unharmed." In the former, Jamie and Adam try to determine how safe it is to dive off a building into a dumpster like heroes in the movies, while the second team (Tory Belleci, Kari Byron, and Grant Imahara) investigate whether or not a diver in an old-fashioned dive suit will get crushed into their helmet when the pressure is cut. The second episode finds Adam and Jamie investigating the idea of shooting an attacker's gun to disarm them, with Team B testing the freeway jump from the film Speed.
In both episodes, the show finds a good balance: the dumpster and Speed myths are a bit underwhelming, but the other myth is more than enough to hold up the entire episode. Both the diving suit and gun-shooting integrate also manage to integrate the most amusing aspects of the show: a bit of violence, ridiculous props, and the joy of suspense. In the former, Kari carves a mini-Grant out of gelatin to drop into a pool for their scale run, and in the latter, Adam and Jamie construct various gun props to try and simulate the sensation of holding a gun while it's being shot. In several episodes on the set, Kari also takes a maternity leave, with the enthusiastic Jessi Combs temporarily replacing her. The chemistry of both groups (with Jessi or Kari) is infectious, and adds to the excitement of each episode.
Other highlights in the set include "Boomerang Bullet," in which Adam and Jamie try to get a single shot to ricochet three times and hit the "shooter," a visual physics test in "Spy Car Escape", and the stomach-churning "Hidden Nasties", which has Team B trying to skip a car across a lake Cannonball Run III-style. Less successful segments find Team B trying to fling a "body" with a tree (although seeing an articulated action-figure dummy hitting the ground in slow motion is unexpectedly glorious), and "Antacid Jail Break," which is great in conception but fails to provide much of a payoff. Fans of the show may also be interested to know that "Soda Cup Killer" contains the infamous incident where Tory smashes his knee on the inside of a windowsill -- not everyday that "Mythbusters" gets bloody.
Note: Okay, this might not be a big deal to people, but it did catch my attention, so I figure it's worth mentioning. In the second-to-last episode, "Spy Car Escape," Adam uses the phrase "fagging around on this course" to describe a sequence in which he's being "chased" by Jamie and a stunt driver in another car. There is some possibiltiy that he means "tired," which seems to be a British definition, but that seems like a stretch. If he doesn't mean "tired," it seems like a bizarrely un-PC and insulting phrase to use. Although I like the show, there's no denying that line left a bad taste in my mouth as I watched the rest of "Spy Car Escape" and the final episode in the set.
The Video and Audio