My friends, there is something that we absolutely need to discuss:
Bill is back.
If you know me personally, you know that I love science (to the point where I follow several science-related social media pages and I do actually read their posts). If you don't know me personally, you probably still know that I love baking stuff, which, as every one of your middle and high school science teachers told you, is really just science (and it is, but you get to eat the delicious results of your work. I wouldn't recommend that in most chemistry labs. Seriously. Donotdoit.) I attribute my love of science primarily to this man, who made it fun and interesting for me when I was just a young child watching "Bill Nye the Science Guy" on TV. When I was home sick in fifth grade for about two weeks with pneumonia, I received a VHS with two episodes of "Bill Nye" on it, and I think I watched it at least once a day for the duration of my illness. I learned all about the planets and the bloodstream. I dreamt about visiting Bill Nye's lab, because it looked so darn cool.
In celebration of Bill's new show, coming to Netflix on April 21, I want to share some of my favorite moments from classic "Bill Nye the Science Guy," and discuss the new trailer and the show to come. So, please...
Big Sweaty Guy
I'm going to start with what is probably the most memorable part of any episode of "Bill Nye" I've ever watched, which is saying a lot. What probably made it so memorable was that I watched it with my eighth-grade science class, and we were just immature enough to laugh hysterically at it long after our teacher showed it to us on the big old TV that had to be wheeled in on the cart (you know the one). Furthermore, Big Sweaty Guy popped up again and again throughout the episode. And he had his own theme song, so how could we possibly forget him? I think the description of the video says it best...
"That makes me HOT!"
It makes me wonder what other jokes potentially went over my head when I watched this show at the age of nine...
The Music Videos
These were ridiculous. And amazing. I loved them all. Remember how I mentioned I watched the episode about the heart and circulation when I was sick for two weeks? Well, I had its music video memorized by the time I was feeling better. I knew it before I knew "Love Shack."
Don't judge me.
Looking back at some of these, it's actually kind of funny how many of the original songs I came to like: this song parodies Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (though the singer doesn't hold a candle to Kurt Cobain), this one parodies "Every Move You Make" by The Police (and it's actually not that bad), and although I can't figure out exactly what the song below is supposed to be, it does remind me just a little bit of Green Day (although I have been on a Green Day kick lately, so I'm probably just seeing it).
The Theme Song
My childhood in 30 seconds, everyone.
Since you're reading this, you're probably at least somewhat familiar with the whole "internet" thing and its various websites. No matter where you go, it's difficult to avoid seeing some incarnation of this:
I think I encountered it for the first time on Tumblr, and I probably reblogged it with the hashtags "it's true though" and, of course, "BILL, BILL, BILL, BILL!" Because who wasn't excited to hear that song in class? Or any time, really?
Well, it was the theme song that helped "Bill Nye" to begin transitioning into an adult incarnation of my favorite childhood TV show even before this new Netflix series was conceived. I was writing a paper on the popularity of Psy's "Gangnam Style" for my very first composition class in college when I stumbled upon this:
I'm pretty sure "dat mass" was a comment on this at some point. Additionally, this is now what plays whenever my mom calls me, so I hear it at least once a day.
Mixing this song from my childhood with a song that took up just about an entire semester of my young adult life--and continuing to hear this mash-up on a pretty regular basis--ended up being foreshadowing for this exciting turn of events: the return of Bill Nye the Science Guy to my screen (although to be fair, he wasn't gone after "Bill Nye the Science Guy" was over: he did a show for PBS in 2005 called "The Eyes of Nye," aimed at an older audience. If, like me, you're just finding out this exists and you need your science fix, you can see it here).
Bill Nye Saves the World
So let's dissect Netflix's official trailer a bit. At the beginning, it shows Bill shedding the old light blue lab coat for a sleek black suit coat. While slightly heartbreaking--that lab coat was iconic--it does reflect that this is a more grown-up Bill Nye, which is cool: hopefully, this show will appeal not only to the generation who grew up with Bill Nye and is ready to talk about some more mature and advanced topics with his unique spin on them, but it will appeal to a younger generation, as well. And Nye is dancing around a scene or so later (with the blue lab coat on again, hooray!) possibly meaning that it won't all be serious stuff, and it won't all be talk show stuff.
And he didn't wear the lab coat in every single scene in the original show, anyway.
Listed first of the subjects that Nye is going to "tackle" on this season (meaning that it could be brought back for more seasons? Hint hint, Netflix!) of "Bill Nye Saves The World" is "sex," which again proves that this is a more mature, modern Bill Nye. Whether this will be "sex" as in sexual reproduction, "sex" as in the biological term and its difference from the construct of "gender," some mix of the two, or something completely different remains to be seen, but one way or another, this is likely not something he would have been able to address when he was doing his Disney show.
Additionally, the hot topics of global warming and GMOs--topics that Nye is no stranger to commenting on--will be addressed, and I am interested to see where he takes them, and whether or not he decides to bring the politics of today into it. Personally, I hope he doesn't: I honestly tend to appreciate his political commentary and criticism, but for the sake of nostalgia as much as having my fill of the goings-on of politics from seemingly every other source nowadays, I hope he keeps this show just about the science.
In short, I'm excited for this show, I'm very glad I didn't cancel my Netflix subscription at the start of 2017 like I told myself I was going to, and even if he doesn't save the world, Bill Nye will definitely always be my hero.