Philippine Daily Inquirer

Stupid as a sassy, savvy scientist on TV

- NESTOR U. TORRE

After “The Science of Stupid,” Ramon Bautista has been tapped to host another “science cum comedy” show on Discovery, “You Have Been Warned Asia”—and this time around, he has company.

His new show’s segment cohosts are also Pinoy—Lourd de Veyra, Jun Sabayton, Angel Rivero and RA Rivera. Separately or together, they narrate or comedicall­y comment on a wide range of viewer-submitted videos related to scientific wonders and weird oddities.

The “crazy” humor is intended to make viewers “forget” that they’re getting an (offbeat) science education while being goonily entertaine­d—and the puckish ploy works.

There are other “science-comedy” shows on the boob tube these days, but Bautista’s new compilatio­n show is made unique by its Pinoy component.

The cohosts speak in English, but it’s of the Pinoy-accented sort, and some of the speakers enunciate a bit selfconsci­ously, like they’re doing a report in class.

The tone, intonation and even choice of words might sound exotic for some people, but our homegrown viewers should find it cozy and copacetic, like slipping into an old pair of loafers.

On the debit side, the show indulges in too many private jokes and arch, and even slickly cynical remarks, not to mention attempts at Pinoy-English humor that sometimes fall flat and fatuous.

Most off-putting of all are the reports’ use of “running gag” motifs, like constant references to North Korea, which overstay their welcome very quickly.

Another recent linking device that turned testily tedious referred to loopy scientific experiment­s and inventions as the weird gambits of failed superhero wannabes. Uh, next series of arch putdowns, please?

Despite occasional turn-offs like these, “You Have Been Warned Asia” is still a viewing treat, if you mentally edit out its arch distractio­ns and some less than successful attempts at humor.

Some of its far-out scientific features are innately fascinatin­g, no need for goofing or tickling up for uproarious enjoyment.

And the show should be cited for making the scientific principles involved in its features scrupulous­ly clear and instructiv­e.

Yes, many of its features are far-out, but their factual basis is sound, and can be applied by viewers to other instances of “science at work” that they encounter in their own lives.

To date, we’ve been “goonily educated” by the show on fascinatin­g scientific principles and processes in antic action, by way of features including a bike with triangular wheels, rocket boots, silicon putty, a birthday cake that bursts into flames, and a man firmly duct-taped to the ceiling.

Also wicky-wackily instructiv­e have been tips on how to make a can of soup explode like a geyser, a swimmer propelled underwater by miniprops attached to her arms, a man who jumps out of a plane with a rocket on each arm, GPS used to create art, etc.

Don’t try all these scientific stunts at home!

 ??  ?? From left: Ramon Bautista, RA Rivera, Angel Rivero, Jun Sabayton, and Lourd de Veyra
From left: Ramon Bautista, RA Rivera, Angel Rivero, Jun Sabayton, and Lourd de Veyra
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