The first time you saw Bill Nye probably involved a tired fifth-grade science teacher shoving a VHS tape of Bill Nye The Science Guy into a TV stationed on a cart at the front of the classroom. Now he's back with a new show, on a fancy streaming service that doesn't involve a tape or even necessarily a television. His platform may have changed, but his love of science remains steadfast.
The first season of Bill Nye Saves The World, a 13-episode talk show hosted by Bill himself, arrived on Netflix April 21. Each episode tackles a different topic, spanning from global warming to the gender spectrum to genetically modified organisms. Standing within his whimsical set, Bill teaches the audience about these issues and discusses them from a scientist's point of view.
Unlike Bill Nye The Science Guy, this newer iteration of Bill wisdom isn't geared toward a young audience. Instead, it's made for '90s kids, the millennial generation that grew up with Bill and currently occupies college campuses and cubicles, worried about many of the topics Bill is now addressing. It's the king of '90s nostalgia back to entertain his fiercely loyal audience in a more intelligent way; we grew up, and so did Bill.
Though Bill is the obvious star, the show relies heavily on correspondents and expert panels. It also features a wide variety of celebrity guests, including Rachel Bloom, Zach Braff, Joel McHale, Steve Aoki, Tim Gunn and Diamond Stone. In the very first episode, Karlie Kloss and Desiigner bop around a city — just two young, relevant stars discussing the negative impacts of climate change, as young, relevant stars are known to do.
The addition of all these younger guests is only one way the show tries to drag Bill back into relevancy. Bill replaces a hand shake with a fist bump, he does a subpar valley girl accent and isn't afraid to use the phrase "Netflix and chill." He is usually self-aware throughout it all, using these modern phrases with an implied wink. Even so, it often feels like the show is trying to make Bill cool again, when in reality, he never stopped being cool. If anything, he only got cooler with age, going from middle-school staple to a beloved retro celebrity.
At times, it can feel like watching your grandpa try to host a talk show, if your grandpa had millions of dollars and knew Karlie Kloss. You love him dearly and you know he's far wiser than you, but that doesn't stop the cringing when he dances behind a DJ booth or tries to do an evil laugh.
Bill Nye Saves The World provides an entertaining way to bring science-driven issues into the forefront, and is especially relevant now with scientists marching on Washington and looming threats of science funding cuts. Though it occasionally stumbles, Bill's talk show confirms that almost 20 years later, science still rules.