Before I write about Discovery’s new series, The Detonators, I should disclose that I have a friend who writes for the show. But even if I didn’t, I believe I’d have to take some notice of it, simply because it is perhaps the perfect concept for Discovery in its adrenaline-driven, Old-Spice-manly, Deadliest Catch era.
The series focuses on explosives experts Paul Worsey and Braden Lusk. Every episode, they have the challenge of taking down big buildings: last night, a high-rise hotel in Birmingham, Ala., and a pair of public housing towers in Glasgow. They spend most of the hour strategizing how to implode the buildings with minimum risk to surrounding buildings. They practice blowing the buildings up. Then they blow the actual buildings up.
The decision to put a show like this on Discovery is not rocket science. It’s blowing-things-up science. It’s loud, suspenseful, entertaining and violent, yet comes with the justification that taking down a giant, heavy high-rise in a particular manner is, after all, physics. Just like dropping a watermelon off a rooftop is physics, but physics all the same.
Perhaps the most distinctive moment in The Detonators, however, comes at the beginning, as it opens with the most obvious disclaimer card in TV history: “Viewers should not engage in the activities depicted in this program.” Noted. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go out and buy a watermelon.