I remember vividly watching MacGyver as a kid. He was smart. He was resourceful. He outsmarted his enemies and was irresistible to 80’s ladies. In short, he and his badass mullet exemplified manhood to me when I was most impressionable. I even let my hair grow long in the back, at my mom’s urging.
“This is how guys are wearing their hair in New York,” she said.
Who am I to argue with MacGyver, let alone New York City?
No matter where he was, he had the knowledge required to take whatever raw materials surrounded him and turn them into something useful. I tried to employ the same resourcefulness in my own life, admittedly with limited success.
Here’s one example from his list of achievements:
MacGyver plugs a sulfuric acid leak with chocolate. He states that chocolate contains lactose and sucrose (chemically C12H22O11), which are disaccharides. The acid reacts with the sugars to form elemental carbon and a thick gummy residue (proved to be correct on Mythbusters).
So, in that particular example, the modern show Mythbusters proved that one really can plug a sulfuric acid leak with chocolate, but MacGyver certainly had no compunctions about stretching the truth a bit to tie a show together. In fact, the Mythbusters are mentioned 4 times on that list of MacGyverisms: one “confirmed,” one “plausible,” and two “busted.”
What’s interesting to me is that a show like Mythbusters can exist and run even longer than MacGyver did (he ran for 7 seasons, Mythbusters are in their 9th). I think it raises some questions about our modern interest in authenticity.
Of course, there are still shows out there that are wildly popular, even though don’t make any sense.
Deliver that whole “GUI interface”/”IP Address” line to your company IT guy sometime if you want to see his goatee quiver with impotent rage. Fun times!
I think that our modern connectedness is improving our taste for authenticity. There aren’t any more stories, but the stories now have a lot more sides.
Oh, and the mullet is back as well. Praise be!