I don't know if you feel the same way, but Shark Week, now over, has "jumped the shark" really this year. Last year, Discovery network "fooled" us into thinking there existed a giant 40+ foot shark that liked to eat not only people but huge boats, gigantic floating bubble buoys, and anything else marine. And, this year, we were told that we were going, through special cameras and technology, really see sharks up and close and "how they live." Well, once again, that never happened. I just think Discovery is toying with us just so we keep watching until a cameraman or woman or diver gets eaten by a 60 foot shark. Now, that would increase ratings, wouldn't it.
What I found from watching Shark Week this year is, again, we know nothing about shark whatsoever. We don't know how old they are. We don't know their mating habits in the wild. We don't know really where they live. We don't know why they try to eat people and then spit them out. We don't know how many sharks there are in our oceans, seas, and inland ports. Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to show us that basically sharks don't want to be bothered and have the wherewithal to make sure we don't find out about them - their are fast, they are quick attackers, their teeth can kill you, and they are allusive? Now, how in the world are we to find out about this species?
However, this is what I do know. Sharks are getting "wise" to the tactics of marine biologists(?), shark chasers, shark hunters, and diver/photographers. Seems like they went to shark week school this past year.
Sharks now have learned the difference between rubber dolphins and real dolphins. Rubber seals and real seals. It's sort of like "hey, you tried this on me last year. I did my tricks. Found out it was rubber and then moved on. Can't you do the same thing? Maybe since you want me to eat rubber things, I might just eat one of your camera divers dressed in rubber wetsuits. How about that?"
I learned this week that Mako sharks breach. (What that means to me, I don't know). But it did make several shark hunters pee their pants on the show. After all the high fives watching a Mako shark breach, I really wondered what any of this really had to do with me or any other audience member watching? So, they breach. I do not plan on being anywhere near a place where a Mako shark is going to get up enough steam to launch itself 30 feet into the air and eat me. I swim in the one or two foot waves. I guess I would just be food for a little shark that comes up to the beach just to see what's happening.
I also learned that sharks tease shark hunters, a lot. The shark hunters, when spotting a dorsal fin, start to run into action, grabbing technology, cameras, speers, nets, nooses, anything to "catch" the shark in action. (I wonder: Shark Week has been on television for many years, now. Maybe sharks have started an "acting school" to prepare for this week?) Well, it seems logical to me. If the sharks are the stars, they might as well take acting lessons.
I learned that Mako sharks (the shark of record, this year) can swim as fast as 60 miles per hour. EXCEPT, that when the shark chasers finally were able to install a "shark eye 5000" to the fin of a Mako shark, after about three weeks, the data read that the shark ONLY swam 45 miles per hour. Now, granted, that's a fast creature. But how can they say 60 mph when, on television, in front of a huge audience, the 60 mile per hour shark only swam 45 miles per hour. Why didn't the producers and directors of shark week be content to tell us that Mako sharks swim 45 miles per hour? Heck, they could have said 200 mph, but until they proved that, it means nothing. And, if they do have actual data that proves the 60 mph shark, why didn't they expose it on television this week.
That's what bothers me. If Discovery can say a shark travels 60 mph, show it. I don't want to see it travel 45 mph if they can PROVE that it swims at 60 miles per hour. And why don't they tell us how they know this?
We know from Shark Week that sharks are bored with humans. Very bored. Actually, from the footage I saw, they are very IRRITATED with humans. I especially like when the camera crews decide it is "safe" to leave the confines of the cage, for a while. We know they like to have their pictures taken (for a while) until they "shoo" the cameraman back into the boat. Due to excellent EDITING skills of Shark Week directors and editors, the diver gets back to the boat "JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME" before become a chumsickle. Of course, I "really believe" that the diver is just milliseconds away from becoming a shark's meal. Really? No, I didn't think so. But the editors want us to believe this. If this is really the case, then I seriously doubt the diver's intellectual capacities.
We learned that feeding sharks fish by hand "probably" has cost a person an arm, a leg, or a life because careless divers like to "tease" sharks and feed them fish by hand. You know, train sharks that humans have "good and easy food" for the taking. The problem with this is that when an unsuspecting swimmer comes across a hungry shark, the shark is automatically going to think the human has a fish in his or her hand. And yes, or no, the swimmer doesn't have a fish to feed the shark; hence, the swimmer usually loses the hand. I learned that on Shark Week. However, I don't think a week long series needed to tell me that. I would have figured that out on my own.
Now this is what I would love to see on Shark Week. I would love to see a diver with a camera in a cage, and then have that same diver radio to the ship's captain that the "cage is too confining" and he/she wants to get a closer look. Besides, the sharks look disinterested. The captain always screams "NO. Don't leave the cage!" But, the curious diver does. And then, WHAM, the diver is eaten - all caught on film. Not that I really want to see a diver get eaten by a shark, but it just seems that those cocky and arrogant (misguided) divers (and the series in general) get a rude awakening "if one of their own" became a shark meal. That alone just might change the tenor of Shark Week, don't you think? You know. Those brave souls who go right up to the shark, tap them with their cameras, tease them, and then the shark, like any unpredictable, wild animal, takes a huge bit out of the cameraman. Now that would be interesting.
Yes, I know that this is a week of shark education. The problem is, and Discovery network should acknowledge this, but we have seen these stories OVER AND OVER again and again, with shark chasers around the globe hunting in every watery nook and cranny for the cunning beast, spending millions of dollars on boats, equipment, cameras, GPS systems and nothing is new. The only "new" thing I learned this week is that there is nothing new to be found out about sharks. Until they literally STRAP a diver onto the back of the shark for three weeks, we are not going to know anything about them. This year, the crew of a shark chasing boat successfully fixed a camera/gps system to a shark, only to have the device fall off the shark because the shark was so small. They did it again, but the device, which is supposed to "automatically" pop off the sharks back, didn't automatically pop off. It stayed with the shark. For more than a year!
But, enough about Shark Week. It's over, thank goodness. Nothing new this year. Things might just change for next year (I doubt it) but the "promises" have to be real, or they are going to run out of an audience. Just watch about the first two hours of Shark Week, and you already know that nothing is going to happen. Please DO NOT be fooled by the exuberance of the shark chasers. That is only short lived, and honestly, I think it's just for the cameras watching them. They are not, after all, sharks.
Now, it's time for the real shark week: July 22 - the return of the flying shark in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! At least from watching the three Sharknado movies, I learned that sharks can fly - propelled through the air by wicked tornados. However, unlike the shark chasers on Shark Week, Fin Sheperd, the real shark killer, get's his fish! Always.
It's Sharknado time folks. Get your popcorn ready. Sit back and prepare for Fin Sheperd (Zig Ziering), "Circular Saw Hand" April Wheeler (Tara Reid), always lifesaving Lucas (Frankie Muniz) and Claudia Sheperd (Ryan Newmann) to save the country; this time, to save Washington, DC, President Mark Cuban and Vice-President Ann Coulter and a cast of thousands assisting them. (It appears as the Sharknado franchise grows, so do the actors, politicians, musicians, entrepreneurs, television and radio show stars, and every other celebrity is crawling all over each other to get at least a cameo in the production).
These four, along with Cuban and Coulter save the day.
Along with this cast of shark fighters comes Jerry Springer, Bo Derek, David Hasselfhoff, Holly Madison, Rick Fox, Kendra Wilkinson, Cindy Margolis, Cassie Scerbo, Michael Winslow, Penn Jillette, Teller, Rush Limbaugh and what seems like three hundred more celebrities join in the hunt for flying sharks. (Author's note: Is it just me, or do all of the women below seem to bear a striking resemblance to one another. I guess it's just central casting - they look the part for a Sharknado movie).
Yes, folks. The real sharks are out in full force, and it takes an army to stop them from taking over the country - First New York, then California, and now our nation's capital, Washington, DC. These sharks will be caught, for that we are sure. Discovery's Shark Week was simply a primer to get us all ready for Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! And, we can promise without any uncertainty, this year's production is going to be bigger, grander, and more exciting than ever! That I know.
NEXT WEEK: THE POLITICS OF SHARKS!