'MythBusters' spinoff brings it all back

WE LOVE SCIENCE: Adam Savage, co-host of the original series, with cast of “MythBusters Jr.” From left, Allie Weber, Elijah Horland, Rachel Pizzolato, Jesse Lawless, Valerie Castillo and Cannan Huey-You. Courtesy of Science Channel

When the originalTV series "MythBusters" ended in 2016, fans mourned a Discovery Channel show that used explosive means to debunk common rumors and misconceptions.

Now, welcome to an accessible, fresh incarnation. Called "MythBusters Jr.," the show is on the Science Channel and its host, Adam Savage, has help from a group of whiz kids.

The 10-episode series co-stars six young MythBusters whose expertise might give Savage a run for his money. Versed in everything from coding to physics and robotics, they're specialists in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). They also have an unstoppable and curious streak.

With Savage, they test the science behind claims such as "duct tape can save your life" and "spider webs are as strong as steel." And they do it with plenty of the old show's signature explosions, near-accidents and wacky solutions.

The show's creators could easily have cast children as token sidekicks to Savage. Instead, they chose youths - between the ages of 12 and 16 - with enough confidence and knowledge to work easily alongside an adult known for spending more than a decade debunking outrageous claims and closely held falsehoods.

Former co-host Jamie Hyneman is nowhere to be seen. But though his absence is conspicuous, it won't matter to anyone who isn't a superfan. The show's junior co-stars more than manage to hold their own. The myths they chew on aren't bite-sized, either: Throughout the season, the kids' STEAMY chops are put to the test.

The result is family friendly fun that breathes nerdy new life into a beloved series.

"MythBusters Jr." runs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the Science Channel. This week, the kids tackle an urban legend about air fresheners and dogs' supposed ability to shake large amounts of water off their coats.

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