Day 6: Brother Sharks, doo doo doo doo doo doo…

Tucked into bed and dreaming of sharks

Oh no! There’s only one day left of Shark Week! I’m not ready for it to end! And last night was a pretty good night for the most part; I was entertained, educated, and even a little outraged.  It’s too bad, however, that Shark After Dark typically hasn’t aired on Fridays for the past few years.  That was the one night where I could have gotten away with staying up late to watch it; the Sunday to Thursday showings just didn’t fit with my work/sleep schedule.  And by Friday, I’m used to staying up later for the previous nights of Shark Week, so I’m still full of energy and ready for more by the time the third show has finished.  Hopefully, one day there will be Friday episodes of Shark After Dark.

Isle of Jaws: Blood Brothers: Another Shark Week expedition to this sharky island to investigate the brother sharks seen on the last installment of Isle of Jaws. The team, led by Andy Casagrande, also sought out to find female great whites since only males have been seen swimming around this island so far. There were no females, but there was some fantastic information and theories shared about great white shark siblings. This show would have fit in well with the previous night’s lineup as it was a sequel, it looked at sharks living around a particular island, and it featured lots of old footage of the previous episodes in its series.

Andrew Mayne: Ghost Diver: This was a unique perspective on the science of how sharks hunt. Andrew Mayne introduced himself as a magician, and right away I was intrigued so see how this would fit into Shark Week.  With the help of scientists, engineers, and regular Shark Week experts, Andrew’s goal was to use his skills in illusion to create a suit to make him invisible to great white sharks.  Why? It is very hard to get close to these fearsome predators. The suit was designed to fool all of the senses that sharks use to hunt, so of course there was lots of training footage of him interacting with sharks to learn about these senses. I’m curious to see if the technology he used for creating his suit will actually be used by scientists to help study great whites up close. Bonus: the great white shark brothers from Isle of Jaws made an appearance!

I Was Prey: Shark Week: Well, I thought Laws of Jaws was going to be the shark attack survival show of this year’s Shark Week, but I Was Prey was much more of a shark attack show.  At this point, the shark attack shows are a staple of Shark Week and it’s starting to feel overdone and inappropriate. This one was a fairly decent show, but with only 2 survivor stories alternating back and forth throughout the narratives, some parts of the show got a little dry. These kinds of programs are a double edged sword: On the one hand, these stories serve as cautionary tales for what not to do around sharks while engaging in activities (like spearfishing) that can increase the likelihood of an attack.  On the other hand, the tone of these kinds of programs can turn an educational show into just another unnecessary bit of fear mongering.  Yes, exercise caution if you are around sharks – they are predators – but sometimes and increased fear of sharks leads to an increase in humans killing sharks. Although both stories had a happy ending, I did not learn anything new and I was only just barely entertained.  Perhaps Discovery should stick to the shark science from now on and leave the shark attack shows behind.

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