IT’S awesome, educational, occasionally gratuitous and it turns 15 this year. Yes, it’s that time again: it’s Shark Week.
The Discovery Channel’s longestrunning TV event, Shark Week owes much of its success to the fact it panders directly to what so many Discovery viewers love – footage of sharks doing, well, what sharks do.
The advertising campaign for this year’s event features regular host Andrew ‘‘ ET’’ Ettingshausen, who finishes by saying ‘‘ when it comes down to it, this is what Shark Week’s all about’’ as a shark leaps from the water behind him, prey clamped in its jaws. Awesome.
Describing sharks as feared, admired, hunted, threatened and misunderstood, Discovery’s mission is to use Shark Week as a vehicle to show viewers new and unexpected aspects of these creatures.
The week- long doco extravaganza
starts today with Summer of the Shark ( 7.30pm) investigating the chain of events behind a sudden, dramatic spike in shark attacks across Australia.
This is followed at 8.30pm by Jaws Comes Home: Return of the Great Whites, which features shark expert Greg Skomal and harbour master Stuart Smith investigating the return of sharks to the very waters in which the movie Jaws was made.
Monday night is the premiere of Rogue Sharks ( 7.30pm), which examines the contentious label of ‘‘ rogue’’ or ‘‘ man- eating’’ that is often applied to sharks, and unravels the truth behind the slander.
Tuesday night is the premiere of How Sharks Hunt ( 7.30pm), which looks at why no two species of shark attack in the same manner. Through groundbreaking tests and innovative hi- tech cameras, they reveal exactly why sharks are so deadly.
Killer Sharks: Attacks of Black December premieres on Wednesday at 7.30pm. It takes a close look at the brutal, deadly and unstoppable series of shark attacks that terrorised the coastal tourist towns of South Africa during the holiday season of 1957.
And Great White Invasion premieres on Thursday ( 7.30pm). This documentary probes why sharks are now so routinely seen off some of the world’s most popular beaches in Australia, the US and South Africa and how much of a threat they pose to humans.
Interspersed between these events will be an assortment of other sharkthemed documentaries so you can pretty much guarantee that any time you switch to Discovery this week, you’ll see sharks.
Why are you still reading this? Get the remote!