Shark Week

I’m short on time this week so I’m doing – gasp! – a tacky crosspost.  Hey, sometimes I go for months without doing anything new with the aquariums beyond feeding the critters.

The Discovery Channel Building in Silver Spring, Maryland, all decked out for Shark Week.  My friend Dante says that the shark is mooning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration building.

The Discovery Channel Building in Silver Spring, Maryland, all decked out for Shark Week. My friend Dante -- who sent me these photos -- says that the shark is mooning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration building.

So Brown doesn’t understand why I love fish, am fascinated by sharks, and my favorite movie used to be Deep Blue Sea, but I don’t like the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.  It’s because it’s boring as hell and almost every single program goes exactly like this:

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— SCENE: Murky footage of the sky, shot just beneath the water level of the ocean.
— NARRATOR: Blah blah blah, unchanged for millions of years, blah blah, perfect predator.
— TITLE: Silhouette of a shark glides past the camera; music crescendos; opening title fades into view.  Note: Title must always be slightly contradictory such as “Misunderstood Monsters,” “Blood in the Water:  If It’s Your Blood You Asked For It,” or “Tiger Sharks: Deadly Seakittens.”
— NARRATOR: Blah blah blah, sharks live their own lives, fulfill a valuable role in the ecosystem, blah blah blah.
— SCENE: Footage of sharks doing shark stuff.  This includes, coincidentally, sharks devouring everything they can in gory closeups.
— NARRATOR: Sharks are an apex predator, blah blah blah, highly-evolved sense of smell, blah.
— SCENE: More footage of sharks eating.
Cuts to scene of SPECIALIST.  Note: Specialist will either sitting in his laboratory with the jaw of a shark and plastic model shark parts strewn out over the table, or, if he/she is a particularly rugged specialist, will be sitting on the prow of a ship.
— SPECIALIST:  Details about sharks and shark history, blah blah, why some sharks are different from others, blah.
— SCENE: Sharks swimming, SPECIALIST continues to discuss the habits of sharks.
— NARRATOR: Blah blah, beautiful but misunderstood animals, blah blah, perfect killing machines with only one natural enemy.
— SCENE: Mild graphic shark death, such as American fishermen hauling sharks out of the water for sport.
— NARRATOR: Description of shark losses through human -related causes and effect of losses on the shark population and the ecosystem of the sea.
— SCENE: Moderate graphic shark death, such as sharks caught on commercial fishing lines or bludgeoned on docks.
— NARRATOR: Elaborate description of why sharks are necessary and why man is the real monster.
— SPECIALIST: Adds statements to support what the NARRATOR just said, such as details about general shark population decline and specific population crashes within certain species of sharks.  Emphasis on slow gestation times, lack of real information on how sharks breed or mature, etc.
— SCENE: Severe graphic shark death, usually on a Southeast Asian fishing boat.  Closeup on sharks being definned and the rest of the body thrown back into the water.
— SPECIALIST: Shark fin soup.  Blah.
— SCENE: Living, unthreatened sharks minding their own business.  Note: No more footage of them eating as that would be the wrong message at this point in the documentary.
— SPECIALIST: Possible extinction of certain species of sharks in X-number of years.
— NARRATOR: Revisits the plight of the shark and how we need to study, not destroy, these noble creatures.
— END TITLE: Same as in opening, music fades as shark swims over the camera and away into the dark, dark sea…

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"You TELL THEM that the fish will outgrow the aquarium, but no, they don't listen..." Ursulav

"You TELL THEM that the fish will outgrow the aquarium, but no, they don't listen..." Ursulav

Internet disclaimer: This shouldn’t be read as me not liking sharks (I do) or that there aren’t one or two interesting documentaries on Shark Week (I liked the one where they followed around the pregnant Great White as she traveled across two oceans, for example, and the slightly fabricated one about the wreck of the U.S.S. Indianapolis).  This repetitive formula is just why I don’t particularly think Shark Week is worth my time.

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~ by KBSpangler on July 31, 2009.

6 Responses to “Shark Week”

  1. I use to LOVE shark week. Granted, it fueled my irrational fears and wild imagination but when I was younger, Shark Week ROCKED! (And yes, I realize it’s weird that I believe a Megalowhatever Shark that use to eat whales like chips could fit in the deep end of a pool, but still…)

    But I was just sitting in my car a few days ago thinking about how much of a let down Shark Week is now. (I realize this comment does not make me look super sane) It’s just like you said, bunch of stupid repeatative shows and a lot of “shark attacks! So scary!! But they’re so misunderstood! THEY’LL TAKE YOUR LEG OFF! MISUNNNDERSTOOD!”

    I miss actually learning cool things and new kinds of sharks to fear.

  2. This, exactly this…..

    I adore sharks, a fact that my friends and family do not understand, and never will. I loved shark week, and when they have a new docu on, the remote becomes mine! I just get sick and tired of repetitive docus, and last year they were the sme damn shows as the year before!

    I had the same problem with pools. Makes no sense really…I could muck about in any creek, I had no problem with the actual ocean, but put me in the deep end of the pretty blue pool, and wham. I was completely convinced that something was gonna eat me, and I wanted out now.

    Yea for the teabox almost being broken down! Also, M’trying to convince my roomie that Raleigh/surrounding areas would be perfect to move too, but she is resisting. Any ideas on good, safe, and relatively inexpensive apt complexes?

    • Dude, the year I discovered that there were ancient river and lake sharks? That was a bad year for my family. Because then I was clinging harder whenever we went in the water. Everywhere. God help you if seaweed touches me. But I love swimming! I’m a great swimmer… mostly because if I’m swimming, I’m not touching the bottom and all the potentially deadly things on it. And I can get away from the eons dead sharks faster.

      And last year when it was literally the same shows? I was so furious. I was so disappointed. We should band together and rage at Discovery.

      • 😀

        You bring the woad, and I’ll bring the swords….

      • Oh man, same thing. In college, we used to go swimming in a reservoir and your mind does horrible things to you at three in the morning when you’re stuck in the middle of a lake.

    • I’m sorry but I don’t have any recommendations for Raleigh. It’s about 100 miles away from us and I don’t know the area too well.

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