Sunday, July 14, 2013

Jumping the Sharknado

When I first heard about the Sharknado, I'll be honest, I thought it was real.  In my mind, I pictured a series of angry shark attacks in a limited geographical area.  Sort of a Bermuda Triangle meets the killer bees meets Jaws.  With all the freaky stuff going on in the world today, I figured, "Why not?"

Then I found out it was a movie.  And a sci-fi movie, at that.  And suddenly I had lost what little interest I ever had.

I was on Twitter Thursday night when the Sharknado began.  At least three out of every four tweets on my feed were Sharknado-related.  As is often the case when seemingly everyone jumps on the bandwagon of anything, I become even more averse to that thing.

I briefly considered unfollowing everyone who tweeted anything about Sharknado.  "That'll show 'em," I thought to myself, suddenly feeling like someone you'd most often find living in their parents' basement.  But as that would have left me only following about eight people, I decided to pass.

And then...

Someone made the mistake of tweeting something about Ian Ziering being in the movie.

And that's all it took for me to be sucked into the Sharknado.

Yes, while many guys may have been watching to see Tara Reid, I was not among them.  I was watching for the actor who once played the affable Steve Sanders on Beverly Hills 90210.

You see, I have an obligation to watch any and everything featuring any former cast member of the original 90210.  (Except for Andrea. Blech!)  Why else would I have watched even the fifteen minutes I did of Tori & Dean: Inn Love?  Exactly.  There is no other acceptable reason.

For the few of you who may still be reading, er, wondering what Sharknado is, I quote from the ultimate source of all internet knowledge, Wikipedia: "Sharknado is a 2013 made-for-television disaster film about a tornado that lifts sharks out of the ocean and deposits them in Los Angeles."

Sort of a City of Angels meets Jaws meets Twister.

However, Sharknado was much more than just a movie.  It was, simply put, a Twitter phenomenon.  Soon I found myself making sarcastic comments about the movie with people I'd never met.  For two hours, that's all we did.  Even a few members of the Twitterati were chiming in.  It was such an in-the-moment, true-life experience... in a virtual setting, obviously.

In fact, I do hereby declare that from now to forever, all subsequent Twitter phenomena in which more than half of all Tweets in the world at any given moment are about the same topic also be referred to as a "Sharknado."

Some examples: "Boy, Twitter really sharknadoed last night."  "That UFO landing caused Twitter to Sharknado last night."  (Note: There hasn't really been a UFO landing. At least, not that the government will admit.)

For your confusion, I will be using the term "Sharknado" to refer to both the movie and the Twitter phenomena.

The fact that 1.4 million people watched Sharknado probably says more about the lack of halfway-decent summertime TV options than anything else.  Because it was bad.  We're talking  USA-Up-All-Night bad.  But the thing is, it was so bad, it was hilarious.  I would estimate SyFy spent upwards of five, six thousand dollars on the 1960's-era special effects.

What could have made it better?  I have two words for you: Brandon Walsh.  Well, any additional original 90210 characters really.  You telling me "Sure, Donna Martin graduated, but can she survive... the Sharknado?!?!" wouldn't have made a killer tag line?

But I'll take what I can get.  It was nice to see Ian Ziering not be typecast for once.  In Sharknado, his character is a California surfer and bar owner. As opposed to 90210, where his character was a California frat boy and club manager.  (I think we all remember the Peach Pit After Dark.)  So, very different.

I also have a few suggestions for future SyFy movies that I would like to see:  Dogcano.  Snakequake.  The scarier-than-you-might-think Hurricrane.  And the catch-all Zoonami.  And by "I would like to see," I mean, "I can't promise that I'll be watching."

One wonders what might possess SyFy to make such a bad movie in the first place?  Well, if nothing else, it keeps actors like Ian Ziering gainfully employed, so that they don't have to resort to a career in the porn industry.  I mean, even I don't want to see that.  Well, maybe.......  No, definitely not.

In closing, I'm sure this post has raised several questions in your mind, about me, about the world we live in... but mostly about me.  And I'm sure some of you are also wondering, could a Sharknado ever really happen?

Well, if you're referring to the tornado/shark natural disaster portrayed in the movie, my answer would be: I don't really know.  I'm not sure I understand all the science and meteorology behind it.

But if you're referring to the Twitter phenomenon which will now and forevermore be known as a Sharknado, my answer would be:  It already has.

"And I've given up hope on the afternoon soaps and a bottle of cold brew / Is it any wonder I'm not crazy? / Is it any wonder I'm sane at all?"


  1. I like your idea about the sequels: Check out this guy and his idea about possible sequels:

    Given the kind of movie it is, I could forgive the REALLY bad acting (now we know why Tara Reid or Ian Ziering never really got as far as their other counterparts in terms of acting gigs), the sketchy science (how exactly did the sharks get sucked up into tornadoes since tornadoes don't form over water? and I don't think hurricanes can cause tornadoes to form either), or the lame plot points (he has to stop to save kids trapped in a bus and senior citizens near the airport), but I can't forgive lazy continuity.

    If you show an establishing shot of outside through the inside, then when characters go outside, the outside should match what was shown. If you show us that it's rainy and gray and the waves are high, then when we are actually outside, it shouldn't be sunny and clear with flat surf.

    Also, if the front door area/foyer is flooded and sharks are swimming in that area and you distract the sharks so that your friends/family can make a break for it, if they go out the front door, then the area where they're running to should be flooding with water from the damn open door.

    If you're going to make people suspend their disbelief so much that it stretches over the planet, then at least get the little things correct!!

    Sorry, I didn't mean to rant.

  2. It makes you wonder that if Twitter had been around if Rochelle, Rochelle would have been a similar phenomena. (wow, can't believe I spelled that right!)

  3. I am so glad i never heard of Sharknado, Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and I never watched 90210.

  4. Saw this article and naturally knew it belonged in this comment box:

    Additionally, I also just saw that a sequel is supposedly in the works for #Sharknado - hopefully they use one of your ideas and give you credit for it: I'd say maybe you'd get rich off it, but... I'm pretty sure no one is getting rich off these movies.

  5. I'm glad I live in the midwest and not along the coast. The only animals getting rained down here are cats and dogs!

  6. I have, what you call, shark-o-mania!!

  7. Poor Ian may not be in the porn industry (yet) but he's close...I hear that he's with the Chippendales in Vegas, I believe. Maybe if I go out that way next April, I will check to see if my sources are right and let you know. ;-) You know, research purposes only.

  8. Xinh ~ Actually, hurricanes can produce tornadoes once they make landfall. I know that because it's happened around here before.

    Renee ~ Ah, yes. Rochelle, Rochelle. A young girl's strange erotic journey from Milan to Minsk. I was actually thinking as I was writing this post how it would have been if Twitter had been around for Seinfeld. Thirty million viewers each week + Twitter = I would've been all over that!

    MarkD ~ If you ever grow curious, they rerun 90210 in the afternoons on SoapNet. Don't ask me how I know.

    TC ~ Thanks for that link. I was wondering whatever happened to Nat! Everyone always forgets him.

    Ed ~ Excellent point. One of the major pluses of midwest living has gotta be no Sharknadoes.

    Gautami ~ Yes!!!!!

    I believe SyFy is replaying it Thursday.

    Murf ~ Well, if you follow the link in TC's comment, there's a pic of Ian in his Chippendale's garb there. You're welcome.

  9. I really want to watch this movie it too much to hope that Henry Winkler made some sort of cameo?

  10. Wow Bone you made me nostalgic for BH 90201 and I was a Melrose Place kind of girl.

    What's wrong with USA all night? Some of the best people you have ever been privileged to know watch it )

  11. Yes, I do wonder about you... Great writing and you've convinced me that it is a good thing I'm not into tritter or summer movies.

  12. Twitter is never better than when the world is frantically live tweeting. When Wendy Davis was filibustering, I was having a blast.

    Now you need to go to Vegas and see Ian as a Chippendale's dancer. True story.

  13. Heidi ~ Now THAT would have been a perfect ending, to have the Fonz jump his motorcycle over the Sharknado.

    Pia ~ Some of the best people you have ever been privileged to know watch it

    That's good stuff. And how do you think I know about it?

    Sage ~ Thanks, Sage. I don't think a Sharknado would be possible over the Great Lakes, so you're probably safe anyway.

    Jocelyn ~ Twitter is never better than when the world is frantically live tweeting.


    Now you need to go to Vegas and see Ian as a Chippendale's dancer.

    Agr-... wait, what?

  14. "Hurricrane"...ha! Sadly, I was on vacation and missed this Sharknado movie. Dagnabbit. :)

  15. It annoys me that his name is pronounced "eye-an" instead of "ee-an". It actually makes me not want to every talk to him again.