Day 4: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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Not the strongest night of Shark Week so far…

Well, the night was off to a great start with a delightful shark adventure…  And then came the tv movie that Discovery has relentlessly been plugging all Shark Week.  From the trailers alone, I could tell I probably would not enjoy this film all that much, but I was still willing to give it a chance.  Had this film aired on Discovery channel on any other week, it might not have bothered me as much.  But I really don’t think this kind of film was appropriate for Shark Week.  I had hoped that after the disaster with the megalodon “documentary”/tv movie a few years ago, that Discovery Channel would have learned its lesson about making movies for Shark Week.

Extinct or Alive: The Lost Shark: This was a fascinating show, and it was refreshingly unique.  Host Forrest Galante searched through the waters around Sri Lanka for an extinct shark that had supposedly been spotted for the first time in over 50 years! Before the start of the episode, I had never even heard of the pondicherry shark.  Throughout the journey, Forrest and his team saw some amazing animals and other shark species, as well as some upsetting sights at fish markets.  This episode highlighted the importance of shark conservation (although not quite as much as I was expecting, given the nature of the expedition).  However, I was pleased to learn that the pondicherry is now listed as critically endangered, instead of extinct, and I hope biologists can work towards saving this species.  I would love to see more Shark Week specials like this.

Capsized: Blood in the Water: I get that Discovery wanted to feature a true story that involved sharks, but this tv movie did not belong on Shark Week.  As a movie, it was ok.  It’s in that grey area where it wasn’t bad enough to be hilarious or cringeworthy, and it wasn’t good enough to actually be good.  The characters were mostly ok, but some became annoying faster than others; basically, I wasn’t too upset when certain characters died.  And the CG and prop sharks were hilariously bad most of the time

As a Shark Week special: yikes.  There was some good information thrown in here and there in terms of what to do and what not to do when shipwrecked – most of it is common knowledge though, if you’ve watched other Shark Week shows.  But honestly, this is the exact kind of show that I do not want to see during Shark Week.  I’m sure other viewers look for different things out of Shark Week, but personally I want to learn about sharks, science, and ocean conservation efforts.  Something like this has just a little too much fear mongering for my taste.  Sharks are still feared by many people, so I think that if you want to teach people about shark survival, this is the wrong way to do it.  I even saw the first minute of Shark After Dark before going to bed, and the cast was watching Air Jaws footage to remind themselves of why they liked sharks.  That opening dialogue was enough to show how horribly out of place this movie was in the Shark Week lineup. Had this film been aired separate from Shark Week, during a different time of year, I might not have such negative views towards it.  But this just does not fit as a Shark Week show for me.

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