Do you have fond memories of hypnotically chanting "Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill!" at a big boxy TV screen during science class circa the mid-'90s and early-2000s? If so, you probably watched Disney's educational series Bill Nye the Science Guy (which is a total banger of a show, by the way). The series starred Bill Nye himself, the famous mechanical engineer who really needs no introduction.
Though he probably virtually taught you about volcanoes, bones, light, and color in elementary and middle school, he's now here to teach us grown adults (we're using that term loosely) about, well, the end of the world, in his and Seth MacFarlane's new Peacock series The End Is Nye.
"Bill Nye demystifies the globe's most epic disasters imaginable, offering a scientific blueprint for surviving anything that comes Earth's way," the official synopsis reads.
You may be thinking that the series' title is a play on words — perhaps replacing the word "near" with Bill's last name — but that's only partially the case. So, what does the title mean? We're here to explain it. Not only that, but Bill Nye spoke exclusively with Distractify about his overall goals for the series itself.
The title of 'The End Is Nye' seems to reference the phrase "the end is nigh."
The definition of the word nigh is simply "almost," or "near in place, time, or relationship."
According to the Free Dictionary, the end is nigh is an idiom that references the apocalypse: "The end of the world will occur at any moment; Armageddon is at hand."
Oftentimes, the term is used in relation to the bible, specifically the Book of Revelation. Ever heard of Judgement Day?
Bill Nye said that creating an optimistic view for the future was a goal for 'The End Is Nye.'
"So, this is the surprising thing ... When things are going well in the world and in your world, we go to see comedies and romantic comedies and so on, and so on. [But] when things are anxiety-inducing, we go for more anxiety. We watch disaster movies," Bill Nye shared with Distractify. Misery loves company, doesn't it?
"Right now in the world, there's a lot of things to be anxious about. And so, we made six disaster movies with a twist," he continued, referencing the series' episodes. "In the second half, we show you this optimistic view of the future: if we made changes, if we respected the science of these discoveries, we could avoid entirely or greatly reduce the effects of these big potential problems."
Call it shock therapy.
What's more, between the moments of catastrophic disaster discussed in The End Is Nye — you know, before the optimism — there are undertones of black comedy and comic relief. Emmy winner Seth MacFarlane is an executive producer on the series, after all.
"We worked very hard on mixing humor with seriousness, so check it out. Turn it up loud [during] the first half. Not to give you too much information, but the disaster is so overwhelming that I get killed at the end of the first half hour," Bill Nye explained.
"But then, in the second half, I come back with the optimistic view [of] the future systems in place. By respecting the science, we can save the world for us humans."
He's literally dying to save the world, y'all. And maybe, just maybe, we should trust him. It's time we get smart.
You can now stream The End Is Nye on Peacock.
Reporting by Chris Barilla