‘Bill Nye Saves the World’ Review: Teaching Scientific Literacy to Millennials Makes for a Fist-Bumpy Ride

IndieWire | 4/22/2017 | Hanh Nguyen
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Bill Nye has an admirable mission but an unenviable task: to combat scientific illiteracy in an era that doesn’t value expertise and reason. The title of his new Netflix TV series “Bill Nye Saves the World” isn’t hyperbole at all. It’s his hope to get viewers psyched up enough about science that they’re not just curious; they want to create a change for the better.

With that in mind, most of the topics driving each episode are ones that people find highly divisive, even politicized, such as vaccinations and another topic dear to his low-carbon-footprint heart. “Did you think I’d get a new TV show and not talk about climate change?” he asks rhetorically in one episode.

Nye - Television - Career - Science - Show

Although Nye built his television career hosting a science show for children, “Bill Nye Saves the World” is aimed at adults, and more specifically Millennials, although he never says this explicitly. It’s clear though that some of the choices — from his celeb guests and young correspondents to his use of slang and the fist bump (more on that later) — are meant to appeal to a younger, cooler viewership.

At times, this attempt to reach the Millennials plays out in horribly awkward ways, which is a shame since the topics are well worth discussing. Here’s a breakdown of what works and what doesn’t on “Bill Nye Saves the World”:

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“Bill Nye Saves the World”

While this is clearly the least important aspect of the show, it’s too excruciating to ignore. Nye doesn’t just content himself with a regular fist bump, but instead prefers to “blow it up” often with his correspondents and certain guests.

Points

What Works: Points for trying?

What Doesn’t Work: Let’s be clear: It’s not Nye’s age that makes it awkward but the fact that he doesn’t treat this as a casual gesture but one that’s imbued...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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