Discovery Channel's SHARK WEEK 2013 started today!
And so I plop myself in front of the television to watch their all new shark-tacular Shark Week special... Megalodon: The Monster Shark That Lives... only to find something that wasn't SHARK EXTREME as expected... but a load of horse shit. Instead of being some kind of scientific exploration of one of the most brutal killing machines that ever lived, it's some kind of fictional Blair-Witch "found footage" garbage which tries to convince people that a mega-shark that went extinct millions of years ago is actually alive and terrorizing people even today. Which explains the odd title of the program.
Wondering what the bloody fuck was going on, I do what I usually do when I want to find out about something happening right now... I turn to Twitter. And there it is, courtesy of Wil Wheaton...
Discovery Channel Owes Its Viewers An Apology http://t.co/8kCqSSpcyD— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) August 5, 2013
This is so disappointing. Shark Week bites: Discovery criticized for hugely misleading documentary http://t.co/S069YOysIH via @verge— nilay patel (@reckless) August 5, 2013
Well crap. The write-up at Discover along with Wil Wheaton's comments pretty much sum up how horrible this situation is. What was once a brilliant television channel dedicated to science and education has ended up dredging the gutters of "trash entertainment" in a pathetic ratings grab.
Kind of puts a damper on something I look forward to all year...
On Saturday I spent 20 minutes on my DVR going through Discovery Channel's entire week of programming to record all the great new shark stuff (along with old favorites) so I wouldn't miss anything. I'm not going to dump all that work in some kind of boycott (as a lot of people are doing), but I am going to be watching with a lot less enthusiasm knowing what Discovery Channel has become.
We live in an age of scientific discovery that's both wonderful and fascinating.
But that's not enough to entertain the huddled masses.
Is this what we've come to? Really? Our "science facts" have to be sensationalized with bullshit or else nobody cares?
And I really shouldn't be surprised. We've got "news" channels with very little actual news, "music" channels that don't play any actual music, and now "science" channels that don't feel the need to air actual science.
I suppose the next step is to have science channels denying science.
I weep for the future, I really do.
UPDATE: And... point made. So many people have been passing this crap off as a real story that Snopes had to make an article about it. The huddled masses are so gullible to believe anything on their television... especially something on a "reputable" educational "science" channel... that it doesn't matter how outrageous or crazy the tale. Of course, it's not like anybody ever bothers to verify what they see on TV, even though the internet makes it easy and nearly instantaneous to do so. Unless people start forwarding the Snopes page at the rate they forwarded the Megalodon story, it doesn't make any difference. A giant extinct shark is actually terrorizing the seas.
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I’ve seen a lot of anger/frustration over this mockumentary, but I don’t really get it. Shark Week is all about fun (if you’re into that kinda thing). I just think the Discovery Channel took that fun to EXTREME level by making this. And c’mon…did anyone really believe that Megalodon might still be out there? I thought it was pretty obvious that it was a Blair Witch job before it even aired.
For me, no harm…no foul. Just fun.
Yeah, obvious to you and me… but do you honestly think most people out there are smart enough to figure it out? I know for a fact they aren’t. And the fact that there was no disclaimer on a SCIENCE CHANNEL for fictional entertainment means they’re actually encouraging people to believe it to be true. If this had aired on Sci-Fi Channel, fine. But, IMHO, it really has no place on DIscovery.
The Discovery Channel airs Amish Mafia. So they’ve been delving into fiction for quite some time now. 🙂
I suppose I can delete that from the DVR. Doesn’t even sound worth a five minute preview.
I watched it and tweeted something to the effect of “Well, I see Discovery is following in Animal Planet’s footsteps with Megaladon. (Mermaid Autopsy)”
I passed by the TV the other night while my wife was watching a Shark special. I’m not sure which one it was, but it looked pretty cool.
I still need to catch Sharknado. Just for the hell of it.
Comin’ right to my mind…
They did the same thing with a show on Mermaids. They call it “Docufiction”. Lame.
Maybe The Weather Channel should aire “Sharknado”.
Ahhh, Snopes, making people feel like jackasses since its inception.