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Shark Week 2013

How could I NOT use this picture?
“Live every week like it’s Shark Week.” - Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas, silly. Shark Week! What was on the docket this year?


Air Jaws: Countdown to Shark Week
Another installment of Air Jaws. Basically more great white sharks jumping out of the water. The only thing really different this year? Georgie, the fake seal they tow behind the boat to get the sharks to jump out of the water, is now robotic. Featuring Colossus, a particularly aggressive shark. It would’ve been much more interesting if the entire day hadn’t been full of Air Jaws programming. By the time this came on, I was Air Jaws-ed out. It also featured several clips from previous Air Jaws, which I found decidedly lazy.

Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives
Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives was totally awesome, despite being totally fake. I wish they’d acknowledged that it was a mockumentary from the top (although it was rather obvious). All we got was a blink-and-you-miss-it disclaimer at the end. It was very dramatic and exciting, but it also represented a significant departure from the usual Shark Week fare, which has always been fact based. I’m not entirely comfortable with the precedent this set. Gawker did a great piece on the show. Find it here. P.S. Discovery Channel, if you wanted people to think this was real, you should’ve hired better actors.

Shark After Dark
A Shark Week talk show? About as lame as it sounds. I only watched about fifteen minutes.


Sharkzilla: Sharktweeto
Shark Week recycled last year’s Sharkzilla special, but with the addition of fans’ tweets occasionally appearing at the bottom of the screen. Suffice to say, I was underwhelmed.

Return of Jaws
This is what Shark Week is supposed to be about. Scientists developed a new type of camera, one attached to a robot designed to follow a shark and capture video of it. The robot’s target? The large great white sharks who summer off the coast of Cape Cod. They even end up following the shark that made herself famous in this picture.

Voodoo Sharks
My favorite special, Voodoo Sharks follows a team of Cajun stereotypes as they search for the legendary Rookin, a supposedly giant, 100 year old shark known for frequenting the Louisiana Bayou. I’m a sucker for cryptozoology, so I adored this show. I’m seriously hoping Discovery is planning on developing a series around Team Cajun and their fishy exploits.


I Escaped Jaws
If you’re at all normal, there’s a good chance this gruesome special disgusted you. I sort of loved it. Some of the attacks discussed had already been covered on Shark Week, but it also featured some new ones with some amazing footage. My favorite was the guy who was attacked by two great white sharks simultaneously, yet somehow ended up walking out of the water under his own power. It’s closely followed by the tiny carpet shark determined to injure a scuba diver, yet physically incapable of harming anything but the diver’s wet suit.

Spawn of Jaws
A scientist determined on learning the mating habits of great white sharks begins his quest by attempting to tag the two ton creatures by hand. Paul Walker helps him for about ten minutes. It’s your standard Shark Week fare, nothing to get too excited about, except the end sequence where they try to hand tag a 20+ foot great white shark which about is the same size as the boat they’re on.


Top Ten Sharkdown
This was a fun special. As the title would seem to indicate, the hour counted down the world’s deadliest sharks. So much of Shark Week is great white-centric, it’s nice to get some other, lesser known sharks in the mix.

Great White Serial Killer
Two surfers have died at the same Santa Barbara beach in a similar manner, almost exactly two years apart. Is the same shark responsible? They didn’t really come to a conclusion, which made this hour sort of pointless.


Sharks seem to be getting closer and closer to shore and hurting more and more people. This show seeks to examine why. Basically, it’s our fault for over-fishing and over-hunting sharks and their typical prey. Not a shocking revelation, but at least it was funnier than your usual Shark Week fare. One of the hosts suggested we give sharks cameras so they can start making a Human Week.

Alien Sharks
So this was insanely cool. The crazy-looking sharks of the deep ocean are examined. Deep sea creatures have always creeped me out (but in a good way) so I really enjoyed this one. If you’re interested in deep sea creatures and in Los Angeles, the Aquarium of the Pacific has an awesome exhibit on/of them.


Great White Gauntlet
A weird choice for the last of the new Shark Week stuff. Very few sharks. It told the story of Australian abalone divers who put their lives at risk daily (for rather a lot of money, it must be said). I was not a fan of this one.


  1. Having lived abroad for so long, I have missed Shark Week until this year. Turns out that I work with a large group of people, all of whom are obsessed. To that end, three of the multitude of televisions we have in our bar were tuned to the Discovery Channel all week.

    It became a running joke. Some of our patrons were less than thrilled to have shark attacks on the screen while they were trying to eat their dinner. Others came in specifically to drink and watch.

    The drinking game of choice? Every time a shark jumps out of the water, you drink your drink until he is fully submerged again. Can I just say, my tips were great this week!


  2. For those who have Netflix streaming and love Shark Week, there are episodes from previous seasons available on streaming. I only discovered them yesterday, so I don't know if they will be there for a while or for a limited time coinciding with Shark Week.

  3. Dustin - They've been there for a long time. At least a year. Still, Netflix does occasionally take stuff off with little to no warning...

  4. I must confess that for the longest time, I thought the phrase "shark week" was some sort of standing joke that I just wasn't getting. At least now when I miss the whole thing, I get a wonderful rundown from sunbunny! And how perfect was that shark/kitten photo?

  5. Thanks for the update Sunbunny. I just didn't know how much of a coincidence it was that I stumbled across it during shark week.

  6. Am i the only one who thinks this is the worst shark week ever? A mokumentary and a talk show? lame! I miss all the cool "scientific" shark week shows, really disappointed :(

  7. Like Billie, I thought Shark Week was a joke invented by sitcom writers! You live and learn...

  8. Anon - I think this week was DEFINITELY better than last year, which was just horrendous, but I agree that Shark Week keeps moving away from itself. Megalodon: The Monster Lives did not belong on the lineup, imho. But I think there were more scientific specials and fewer shark bite survival stories than in previous years.

    Chris - I wish I could've been at your restaurant. That sounds awesome!