We’re go­ing to need a big­ger In­ter­net: Syfy’s Shark­nado sets Twit­ter ablaze

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS & LIFE - By Mered­ith Blake

NEW YORK — Shark­nado, Syfy’s lat­est shlocky made-for-TV guilty plea­sure, hit so­cial me­dia Thurs­day night like, well, a swirling cy­clone of blood­thirsty fish.

The lat­est of­fer­ing from the minds who brought us Di­noshark, Shark­to­pus and Mega Shark Ver­sus Cro­cosaurus, Shark­nado also ben­e­fited from the pres­ence of at least two past-their­prime ac­tors, star­let-turned-party-girl Tara Reid and Bev­erly Hills 90210’ s res­i­dent bro, Ian Zeir­ing. And, well, it’s the sum­mer and there isn’t much else on.

The com­bi­na­tion of an ab­surd yet self-ev­i­dent premise, a clumsy port­man­teau ti­tle, vis­ual ef­fects that would leave Ed Wood em­bar­rassed, and D-list stars proved to be the per­fect storm for Twit­ter snark­ing, with seem­ingly ev­ery­one — or at least seem­ingly ev­ery­one re­lated some­how to the me­dia in­dus­try — weigh­ing in on the campy spec­ta­cle.

Lost writer Da­mon Lin­de­lof livetweeted the movie, at one point jok­ing, “I am go­ing to write the Shark­nado se­quel and I am go­ing to do it be­fore Shak­nado is over.” NBC’s Chuck Todd ob­served, “I fol­low about a thou­sand folks. Ev­ery one of them tweet­ing about Shark­Nado.”

A brief glance at Twit­ter met­rics (via the web­site Topsy) re­veal just what a vi­ral sen­sa­tion Shark­nado was Thurs­day night, seem­ing to arise from nowhere at pre­cisely 9 p.m. (It re­mains to be seen whether so­cial me­dia buzz trans­lates into ac­tual rat­ings. The pre­lim­i­nary Nielsen re­port in­di­cates that in this case, it didn’t, but more will be known when firmer num­bers are re­leased.)

The film’s di­rec­tor, An­thony Fer­rante, even re­marked on the so­cial me­dia frenzy: “i have never been part of some­thing this crazy ... the whole world is watch­ing my in­sane lit­tle movie and talk­ing about it.”

At one point, Mia Far­row, one of the most pro­lific celebrity tweet­ers around, posted a pic­ture of her with writer Philip Roth, say­ing they were watch­ing the movie to­gether. Alas, it ap­pears she was jok­ing: As sev­eral Twit­ter uses pointed out, Far­row posted the same pic­ture a few weeks back; she has since deleted the tweet.

But even if Amer­ica’s great­est liv­ing nov­el­ist wasn’t ac­tu­ally watch­ing the sum­mer’s most ridicu­lous (and ridicu­lously en­joy­able) B movie, it hardly mat­ters. The mere pos­si­bil­ity that he might be, and the fact that so many peo­ple fell for Far­row’s sar­cas­tic tweet, shows just what a gi­ant in­side joke the movie was Thurs­day night.

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