Shark Week really sucks! Discovery Channel says that the 26th annual shark week has the most hours of shark programming ever, yet to long-time fans, it seems like there is less bite each year.
The reason fans feel like this – instead of just lumping together looped programs the discovery channel wants to give a new hour or two hour episode each night and a late night shark talk show to go along with it.
This compartmentalization is not what made shark week the hit it was to begin with. Shark Week was great because you could turn to Discovery channel at any time during that seven-day period and you could bet your ass you would see sharks on your television. The reason why it was such a hit is simple: Sharks are fucking cool.
Shark week kicked off Sunday Aug. 4th at 8 p.m. and at 9 p.m. Megalodon: the Monster Shark Lives made its way onto the airwaves. Those familiar to Shark Week and its programming schedule knows that the first night usually contains the best footage in order to hook the audience for the rest of the week. Needless to say, Discovery channel came up empty.
Most viewers probably wish that it were real just so the gargantuan monster could come and eat them alive in order to end the misery that was Shark Weeks premiere episode this summer.
Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives broke the viewership record for Shark Weeks 26 year history. The episode garnered 4.8 million viewers, but did people watch it because it was great or because this was a tradition of theirs? It seems that while the ratings may have been through the roof, the overall fan reaction was outrage.
On the Discovery Channel fan page one user commented, “ever since I was a kid I have been tuning into shark week for the amazing information on these magnificent creatures. Discovery channel back stabbed us all!” While another one added, “pretty disappointed that a mockumentary is opening shark week this year.”
Combine the scaled back and caged off schedule with a two hour insult to ones intelligence and it becomes clear that those in charge of Shark Week may have let a lot of viewers get away.
The problem with Megalodon is that it was fake while pretending to be authentic. Whoever directed this mockumentary did not want to disclose the truth and wanted to string their audience on for as long as possible. After this charade of a shitty shark show ended a disclaimer ran at the bottom of the screen:
None of the institutions or agencies that appear in the film are affiliated with it in any way, nor have approved its contents. Though certain events and characters in this film have been dramatized, sightings of “Submarine” continue to this day. Megalodon was a real shark. Legends of giant sharks persist all over the world. There is still debate about what they might be.
Are you Kidding? Now I have seen my fair share of films, which say that they are based on real events with the keyword being based. This is a different animal altogether, though. This is a discovery channel documentary, I thought that they hade some sort of educational imperative that they would adhere to.
The Megalodon was advertised well and seemed to have a presence on the internet on the days leading up to the broadcast. A search for Megalodon on Twitter last night garnered few results in comparison to the social media frenzy that ensued during the B-rate(that’s being generous) flick Sharknado, which aired on syfy two weeks ago. Sharknado had 1.4 million viewers when it first aired and set a syfy record for 2.1 million viewers on its third airing. Sharknado also had 5,000 tweets per minute and was a huge social media success.
A B-rate shark film should not rival the authenticity that used to be Shark week. These are some of the most amazing creatures on the planet so go out and film some real fucking sharks and leave the CGI to syfy.
Maybe this will be the opener for Discovery channel to go back to it’s old ways, but right now you could add Shark Week to the endangered species list.