I grew up watching Shark Week and I always thought that it was awesome. To this day I think that sharks are one of the coolest animals and as many tarpon or snook or redfish that I catch, I’ll always have a soft spot for sharks. Even if they sometimes attack my tarpon.
Unfortunately Shark Week has become more or less a joke. Perhaps I am mis-remembering from when I was a kid which is entirely possible seeing as I’m about as good at remembering things as cargo shorts are at being fashionable. None the less everyone get ready to get learned.
Shark Week Sucks
Firstly I had to do some research seeing as this special week only comes around once a year. Scrolling through the guide was painful and seeing the programming that will be aired literally made me furious. The following titles are all I could get through lest the TV end up out the window:
- “Great White Serial Killer” (Really?)
- “Return of the Great White Serial Killer” (So creative)
- “Sharkpocalypse” (Is this the next movie in the Sharknado trilogy?)
- “Air Jaws: Fins of Fury” (We haven’t seen this about 15 times already)
- “Day of the Shark 2 and 3” (How did it make it past the original?)
- “Zombie Sharks” (Please just stop)
I swear you can’t make this up. This isn’t fantasia. This is reality. Most of these are about great whites eating seals when they come up from below in a spectacular display. This is cool, but much less cool after you see five shows about it consecutively every day for a week.
Some of the others are about shark attacks. It is a fact that sharks have attacked people and some have died from it. Unfortunately these shows seem to be overly sensationalized and paint sharks in a negative light. Discovery did put out a show this year where experts demonstrated how hard it is to be bit by a shark. It’s a half hour program called “How to not be Shark Bait” (again great work on the title) and airs Wednesday July 8th at 9 a.m. So not only is this shorter than the other programs but it airs at perhaps the best possible time for people to not see it.
More About Why Shark Week Sucks
Some of the other programming actually has some interesting information regarding shark breeding habits among other things. Unfortunately most other programs were major let downs, such as “Sharks of Cuba”. One might think that this program would be talking about common inshore sharks of the Caribbean as well as offshore species. You may think that it discusses the importance of sharks to the world’s oceans, how they keep the ecosystem in balance and the Cuban people’s relation with sharks. No, no. This is about searching for a population of great whites off Cuban waters. Now Discovery is just scraping the bottom the barrel here (actually I should give them credit since it’s better then “Naked and Afraid” or any number of their fake documentaries with fake scientists).
There was one actual program that I saw that interested me and I actually would watch called “Monster Hammerhead”. Now this is intriguing not just because it hits close to home (“Old Hitler” the giant hammerhead that supposedly lives under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, but that it’s not another shark attack horror story or show about how awesome great whites are when they eat seals.
So I ask where is the programming about bulls, makos, threshers, tigers, hammers and others. If I had a say I’d have Guy Harvey and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation all over “Shark Week” talking about the importance of sharks of all kinds.
Now yes I understand you don’t have to watch any of this, and many people won’t. That’s fine except for the fact that many people will. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Discovery is doing people a disservice. As ridiculous as it is offensive to me, too many people in Florida wouldn’t know the difference between a blacktip shark and a snook. Less offensively to me I would venture to guess most New Englanders and New Yorkers couldn’t tell a blue shark from a striped bass. Finally, if you go to the rest of the country to parts land locked and the people there most likely have never seen a shark aside from an aquarium.
So all I am saying is that the product Discovery puts out doesn’t supply as much good, information to people as it should. It’s way too much over-sensationalized hogwash that’s as intellectually beneficial as “Bevis and Butthead.”
Until next time, Tight Lines.