Bill Nye Saves the World (Season 1) Review

Everyone’s favorite Science Guy is back, and this time he’s here to save the world.  Bill Nye makes a long-awaited return with a 13-episode Netflix run. The series, Nye’s first since his iconic 90’s children show Bill Nye The Science Guy, is an exploration of modern culture and how science shapes the contemporary world. Unlike, The Science Guy,  Nye’s new show targets a more adult audience; at least it tries to. The humor, at points, ends up too referential for children, yet too daft for adults. Nye also borders on preaching about a few issues, and it begs the question if the show’s intended audience is simply his choir.  But, if you’re a fan of  the sermon of science, it’s definitely worth checking out.

The show’s theme song was produced by Tyler, The Creator.

The new episodes each tackle a topic ranging from climate change to fad diets to overpopulation. It’s a series of concepts that feels particularly important in today’s political and cultural climate, and it’s evident they were definitely important to the show’s host. Each episode, running about 30 minutes, is broken into several segments.  Typically, they begin with a brief sketch or basic scientific demonstration that indicates the episodes topic. These are fairly reminiscent of  Nye’s previous show, and showcase his natural ability to educate in layman’s terms.  He isn’t alone in his pursuit to save the world however, and each episode features a piece ran by a field correspondent.

Nye’s joined by five correspondents: Model and programmer Karlie Kloss, physicist Derek Muller, Harvard grad and former NASA employee Emily Calandrelli, and comedians Nazeem Hussain and Joanna Hausmann. While Kloss is featured regularly, the highlights of these segments are typically the Muller and Calandrelli pieces, as those two clearly have a stronger grasp on the content compared to their peers.

In addition to the correspondents, the show packs in quite a few cameos ranging from athletes like LA Clippers rookie Diamond Stone to fashion guru Tim Gunn. Unfortunately, rarely do these appearances add any substance to the show. Rather, they usually prove to be more bombastic than engaging.

Nye with celebrity chef Alton Brown.

Other segments however, such as “Bill Needs a Minute” where Nye speaks directly to the audience in a rant format, and the underutilized panel segment, provide a bit more meat for the audience to chew on.  Honestly, the show could drastically improve with an extra ten to fifteen minutes per episode to expand on these areas. For the adults who grew up watching Bill Nye, these segments are what will probably provide the most enjoyment. Overall, the show feels like science for the short attention span. Instead of truly delving into topics, it briefly touches on them and never truly develops into what it could be. But, for those fans of Nye who don’t mind a little cheese with their science (even if it’s a bit too childish), this is a welcome return.

Bill Nye Saves The World is currently on Netflix.

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