Although I'm probably biased because I've always had a preference for educational programs and documentary series over most other types of TV shows, this is definitely one of the best (and most entertaining) educational programs produced in recent years.
Since the success of Mythbusters, there have been numerous other TV programs that have tried, unsuccessfully, to similarly capture the magic and excitement of scientific experimentation and exploration. Some of the worst programs in this category include Smash Lab and the Re-Inventors, where, despite the ostensible label of "educational programming" and being aired on the Discovery Channel, the actual educational content is so thin that it just comes off as affected and pretentious. And it certainly doesn't help that the hosts seem to have been selected more for their looks than any scientific or engineering qualifications.
In contrast, Bang Goes the Theory really emphasizes the science behind the show and ends up being very informative even for adults. Not only that, but the scientific content is always presented in novel ways that are sure to catch the interest of kids and grownups alike.
And while Dallas Campbell and especially Liz Bonnin (who actually holds a Ba in biochemistry and master's in wild animal biology) can both be considered "beautiful people", they for the most part just present themselves as simply ordinary lay persons exploring scientific concepts and learning along with the audience from the interviewed experts. This avoids stilted lines, as on shows like Smash Labs, where program hosts awkwardly try to convince the audience of their scientific credentials by clumsily injecting random high school physics terms into the conversation (especially when its connection to the conversation is tenuous at best).
Indeed, all of the dialog and interactions on this show seem very natural and unscripted. And I think this is largely due to the great chemistry between Liz, Dallas, Jem, and Yan. Unlike Jem's previous show, Planet Mechanics, Bang Goes the Theory has a much more balanced and better matched cast. I think the hosts all play off each other's personalities quite well. From Yan's simple experiments that starkly demonstrate scientific principles to Jem's extravagant uses of various physical forces & phenomena to Dallas and Liz's segments exploring real-life applications of science and engineering, each cast member compliments the others and comprises a vital element of the show.
No, Bang Goes the Theory isn't going to dethrone James Burke's "Connections" series any time soon, but along with "Is It Real?", Mythbusters and Air Crash Investigations, it's definitely one of the best documentary/educational programs that's been aired in the last 10 years. Very original and always informative, the series is sure to pique the viewer's interest in engineering and science.
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