Friday, August 8, 2008
Reactions to this year's Shark Week on Discovery Channel cover the spectrum - from love it to hate it. Here is a posting written by Felix Leander of OceanicDreams who is a dedicated free-diver with sharks. It is representative of the position that many conservationists take regarding Shark Week.
"I recorded all the Discovery Shark week episodes this week, and unfortunately I found myself fast forwarding through most of them. How absurd was Myth Busters and Surviving Sharks. It is really unfortunate - watching the show almost had a reverse effect on me; I began to doubt if I should dive with Tigers again...that is just crazy talk! Of course I will, actually this coming November.
On the flip side, a friend of mine also watched the show and has become very interested in sharks; he actually came diving with me in the hopes of seeing one - each to their own I guess.
Around the same time that Shark Week aired, Richard Theiss sent me a copy of his film Island of the Great White Shark - and how refreshing it was to watch. It reminded me of what Shark Week used to be - informative, scientific, and not in the least bit sensational. While Richard directed, wrote, produced, and edited the film - he did not narrate it or appear in front of the camera...unlike a recent docuMEntary... :-)
So Discovery Channel - go back to the roots, take a look at Richard's film and some of your old tapes, and make a comeback in 2009."
As I said in an earlier 7/25 posting, I always have high hopes for this annual homage to shark programming. But as long as Discovery's advertisers are content with the record number of viewers (29+ million this year), the formula will most likely remain the same.
And thank you, Felix, for your kind comments regarding my film!