Another Great (white) Night! Shark Week: Day 2

Those who know me, know that Shark Week is the one time when I allow myself to be truly selfish. You want to hang out? It had better not interfere with my TV watching. Oh, you want the TV? You can either watch Shark Week with me or go somewhere else. I’m not mean about it (at least, I don’t think so), but I’m so adamant about prioritizing my Shark Week schedule above all else that my husband knows this is the perfect week to make jokes about the TV not working. This is also a week when I allow myself to get really silly. It’s not the only week in a typical year that this happens, but it’s one of the big ones. When the shark onesie comes out, the cats know that they’re about to get coerced into a photoshoot. But this week isn’t just about me having fun and putting my needs first for once, it’s about the Sharks. (Well, duh.) This is the week where I spam friends and strangers with shark facts, share countless shark related posts on social media, in an attempt to get other people at least half as passionate about sharks as I am. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, people are more willing to protect something if they care about it. So if my Shark Week antics have caught your attention, please care about sharks, and please do what you can to help protect them.

Old man Max has lived through enough Shark Weeks to know that when the shark onesie comes out, pictures are imminent. As you can see, he’s trying to escape.

Air Jaws: Going for Gold: After 20 plus years of Air Jaws, it’s no surprise that they changed up the format for this year’s show. Honestly, I’ve come to expect that there will be a new focus, or a new gimmick, every year. This installment, hosted by Chris Rose, was filmed as if it was a sporting event. Air Jaws experts Chris Fallows, Alison Towner, Enrico Gennari and Dickie Chivell stalked the waters of Mossel Bay in South Africa to find a record breaking breach. Great whites Lwazi, Nandi, Thando, and Zola unknowingly competed for gold medals as the height, speed, and air time were measured by the shark experts. The winner was previous record holder Zola, who managed to set a new world record with one of her majestic breaches. With breach replays and leaderboards, this is the closest I will ever get to watching a sporting event on TV. At this point, the Air Jaws series is nothing but pure fun, so it’s okay that this particular episode was mostly fluff. Let’s be honest, people don’t watch this series for the science, we watch it for those spectacular breaches.

Jaws Awakens: Phred Vs. Slash: It’s a great white night! Brandon McMillan, Jimi Partington, and Dickie Chivell teamed up to investigate the waters of Half Moon Bay, New Zealand – the site of a potential territory battle. Reese Darby also returned to Shark Week to provide occasional comedic interludes as the team worked to settle a heated debate. Which shark rules the waters? Phred or Slash. Both sharks are formidable predators, and both are Shark Week alumni, but could Slash be vying for control in Phred’s teritory? The team measured size, aggression, and territorial behavior in the local great white population and concluded that Phred may be larger, but Slash still stands a chance to take control. The shark experts even suggested that both could even have equal footing in this territory. Basically, the debate wasn’t actually settled, which was a little disappointing. But at least there was plenty of fin-tastic footage of great whites.

My second look was inspired by the Whale Shark. Although this is the largest shark, it poses no threat to humans. In fact, humans frequently harass them by grabbing onto their fins to hitch a ride – this is discouraged by scientists.

Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek: Hooray! At least I get to see a little bit of Josh Gates during this year’s Shark Week. Picking up on an interview from last year’s Shark Week, Josh Gates took William Shatner on a sharky adventure to help conquer the actor’s fear of sharks. And the whole time, I couldn’t help but think about Tiffany Haddish’s Shark Week special. She pointed out that many of the episodes featuring male celebrity guests revolved around fear, and this was absolutely the case with Shatner. Obviously, there were plenty of Star Trek references in this episode, and Josh Gates went above and beyond to mix Shark Week with this iconic sci-fi franchise, despite Shatner’s insistence that Star Trek not be mentioned at all. Now, I adore Star Trek, but Kirk is not one of my top 3 captains, and I lost a bit of respect for Shatner when I saw him at Ottawa Comiccon a few years ago. Personally, I would have preferred just about any other Star Trek related guest. However, I do enjoy Josh Gates, and his passion and energy made up for the fact that Shatner wasn’t all that interesting to watch for most of the episode. Still, it was Shark Week science, presented in a Star Trek format, and hosted by Josh Gates. It was easily my favourite show of the night.

Without watching Josh Gates Tonight these past couple of nights, Shark Week feels shorter. I really wish I could stay up that extra hour, but my eyelids were getting heavy before Shark Trek was even over. Better yet, I wish this late night show had a daytime rerun so that I wouldn’t feel guilty about missing it. I understand why Discovery doesn’t give a show like this a rerun, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. At least I’m still getting my minimum three hours of Shark Week per night. That is what the doctors recommend, right?

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