Shark Week, like bacon, is more popular for being popular than for being what it is. I’ve thought of a few tweaks to ensure that Shark Week lives up to the cultural fervor surrounding it.
- When researchers/idiots are trying to use a new technique to capture or film a rare shark, Mark Cuban should show up and incredulously say, “This idea is bullshit. Do you even have a patent? What’s keeping me from recreating this deep sea camera lens in my garage tomorrow?”
- Many of the programs are currently narrated by, I’m assuming, failed action-movie-trailer narrators who overly dramatize moments that don’t even directly precede commercial breaks. These hacks should be replaced by a) successful action-movie-trailer narrators, b) shark experts who can provide interesting science facts, or c) people who know nothing about sharks. The last option might be preferable, because they would either say very little and allow viewers to focus on the shark videos, or hilariously comment on peripheral aspects of the footage (a la Karl Pilkington).
- Whenever a shark bites something on camera, a little image of a Finding Nemo character should appear in the bottom corner and chant, “SHARK BAIT, HOO HA HA.” There should be no cap on the number of times this can happen in a segment.
- There should not be hashtagged facebook updates from viewers on my TV screen, ever. This should be a given for any show, unless the aforementioned viewers are Charles Barkley.
- Discovery Channel should replay the exact same programming from Shark Week ten years ago and see if anyone notices, and when they don’t, replay the same lineup in nine years, and so on until all the annoying little tweets at the bottom of the screen say things like “Anyone else think these same shark shows were on during the shark week six months ago?”
- The Mythbusters should tackle the myth that Shark Week only happens once a year.
- Regarding the title, “Deadliest Catch” is a gigantic letdown. During Shark Week, there should be an episode of “Deadliest Catch” where the fishermen somehow haul up a shark in one of their crab traps and have to scramble to throw it back. If he’s available, it would also be good to have Ashton Kutcher come out at the end and reveal that Discovery Channel spent a ton of money orchestrating the prank. If Ashton Kutcher is busy, Kyle Korver will do.
- The divers and people on the boats above should have radios that actually work. Being able to understand the dialogue is more important than injecting no-budget-horror-movie tension.
- There should be commercials for shark care products and nutritionally superior shark foods.
- Every time a diver expresses concern about going into sharky waters, an infographic should pop up to warn viewers about something that kills more people per year (adjusted for exposure, of course) than sharks do, like stairs or champagne corks.
These adjustments would catapult Shark Week from a pretty good concept to a fantastic cultural phenomenon worthy of all the fawning facebook updates it currently inspires. I give you, Discovery Channel, permission to use any and all of these ideas without further instruction from me. I look forward to next year’s Shark Week.