Up until the last hour, this was the best overall night of Shark Week so far, and it’s a bummer that it took us until Friday to get there. If you need to go big and splashy on the first night, OK, whatever. Launch it with Air Jaws, go into the Will Smith show, and then wrap it up with one of the “B-list” science shows (and I hate to call Mako Nation or Lair of the Great White “B-List”, but they don’t have the hook that something like Extinct or Alive: Land of Lost Sharks or Alien Sharks: First Contact have. I’m thrilled they absolutely buried I Was Prey Shark Week 2 on Friday night at 11, because it more or less guaranteed no one saw it except maybe angry loners and the unemployable. But tonight… tonight was a solid Tuesday night offering. Maybe Discovery assumed with the pandemic, that more people would be staying home, and this could provide the hook, but Alien Sharks and Tiger Shark King (UGH THE NAME) were two five fin offerings and Lair of the Great White was pretty good – as I type this, I’m still trying to decide if it was a 3.5 or 4.
The TL;dr version of that paragraph? I don’t get how networks program their schedules.
Alien Sharks: First Contact (5/5)
Shark Twitter freaked out about this last night and with good reason. It was a solid hour of shark science featuring scientists and conservationists of every variety, studying and sharks of every variety from the far-flung Pacific destinations Alaska, Hawaii, and Japan. AND it was narrated by Star Trek’s Michael Dorn! You get to see Japan’s weird deepwater sharks, including a television (and possibly scientific first!) of watching a deep water dogfish give birth! Watch the weird sharks of Alaska’s coldwater and you feel like you’re there as part of the experiment! See if Hawaii’s cookiecutter sharks can be coaxed into feeding on camera for the first time. It’s just top fin from start to finish and if you haven’t already seen it, make sure you watch it Sunday, August 16th (check your local listings, or catch it on DiscoveryGo).
Lair of the Great White (3.5 or 4/5?)OR
I can’t decide on a rating. It was good. Was it 4 fins good? Am I just burnt out on great white sharks? Maybe? I mean, I enjoyed it. I thought it was good. It featured an island I had never heard of before with unique features, (underwater caves and caverns? AWESOME), using technology I haven’t seen deployed (underwater ghillie suits!) and a stingray drone. It was just… look, great whites? Great. Science? Great. Maybe it was the editing that kept this from being a 4. It was a 3.5. Good. As someone who’s been watching great whites on TV for a long, long time, I think we need to see more of what we saw during the last 10 minutes of Great White Double Trouble – more poetry, less motion – more classical, less John Williams. Take a risk, Discovery.
Tiger Shark King (5/5)
Despite the dumb name, I enjoyed the hell out of this show. Lots and lots of sharks, an actual testable hypothesis , featuring submersibles, gear that doesn’t immediately fail, with tension and discovery. Plus, it follows up on a show from NatGeoWild’s SharkFest (which featured a BUNCH of good shows this year, like Sharks of the Bermuda Triangle, Shark vs Whale, and Sharks vs. Dolphins: Blood Battle). On NatGeo, they did another show featuring Dr. Austin Gallagher called World’s Biggest Tiger Shark, which used the same study to based their show on. This must have caused some Jets vs Sharks type strife in New York, as the NewsCorp people probably wanted to rumble with the Discovery Channel people.
I Was Prey 2 Shark Week (.5/5 – LOWEST POSSIBLE SCORE)
Allow me to illustrate how I felt about this show with a Simpsons gif from the Frinkiac:
I stopped watching 10 minutes. Exploitative, click-bait uselessness. And there’s another one of these garbage fires on Saturday night.
One night left to go!