I am pissed. Discovery got me again because I bought its Shark Week opener, Shark of Darkness: The Wrath of Submarine, which is allegedly fake. Damn you, Discovery. This is by far the biggest — but by no means the only — BS moment from Shark Week’s premiere.
Like every other Shark Week sucker, I set my DVR for Shark Week’s specials and was salivating at the week’s big premiere: Shark of Darkness: The Wrath of Submarine. Submarine, as all Shark Week enthusiasts know, is the legendary 30-plus-foot, man-eating great white shark that chomps down on shipwreck victims right in front of us. These types of stories are what garnered Shark Week its massive popularity in the first place — documentaries of real shark behavior.
Michelle Wcisel, a zoologist who specializes in behavior and has completed a Master of Science from the University of Cape Town while studying the anti-predator tactics of Cape fur seals in Shark Alley, Geyser Rock, South Africa, appears to be one of the first to call BS on Discovery’s Submarine legend.
She maintains the scientists, shipwreck and even the location of Shark Alley as portrayed in the mockumentary do not exist. Wcisel says the only fact Discovery got right in its fake-u-mentary is Submarine’s scar, which actually belongs to another real shark named Prop. Wcisel thinks Discovery did this to legitimize its urban legend tale.
I can’t believe I fell for it! Sure, I had moments of, “They’re going to show us real video of people who were eaten? Is that OK with their relatives?” and “There’s something off about these survivors. Weren’t there any fat, unattractive people on that shipwreck?” and — at the end — “Oh. My. Word. That is better than any shark movie could have thought of being!” I should have known, especially since Discovery brought us Megalodon: The Monster Shark That Lives, which was chock-full of junk science and Discovery’s sister channel, Animal Planet, brought us Mermaids: Body Found, which was a complete hoax.
What gives, Discovery? I want my two hours back. When viewers tune into Discovery, they want to learn something, be fascinated — come away smarter. If we want smoke, mirrors and fake-a** content, we’ll watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Shark Week also pissed us off with its fluff-fest, Shark After Dark, Live. Hosted by Josh Wolf, celebrity guests included Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, who were there to promote their new movie Let’s Be Cops. Just… what? WTF, Discovery? What have celebrities got to do with sharks, or Shark Week? No. No, no, no. During Shark Week, I want to hear from scientists, experts, zoologists, people who have had their arms eaten off by a shark — I don’t give a rip what Wayans thinks about sharks, and now I’m not going to go see his movie out of spite.
Shark Week, or Shark Reek, as I am heretofore calling it, has turned into another blazing pile of commercial, sold-out, marketing excrement. I’m going to give Shark Week one more night to redeem itself, but if the rest of the week is anything like the premiere, Shark Week is dead to me. Shark Week can shape up or ship out.