God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlesharks...

I have always been a bit cynical towards the notion of "Christmas in July". Everyone complains about how long the winter holiday season has gotten – even the wackos who continually yell about "putting the Christ back in Christmas" – but I have seen even the staunchest of their like get thoroughly disgruntled over being reminded that there are "just 87 shopping days until Christmas" sometime in late September. With the ever-inching advance of seasonal marketing over the past few decades, it is often unbearable. So, why is there this stupid notion of what should be a once a year, winter month thing also being forced upon us by various concerns in the middle of the summer? As far as I can ascertain, the thrust of so much (but not all) of this "Christmas in July" fanfare seems to revolve around and come from fairly secular activities and quarters. If anything, that probably makes all the Fox News alarms about the "war on Christmas" even more preposterous than they already seem, since so many people seem to want to have it twice a year, and a lot of those people are not even promoting it for religious reasons.

For the record, this writer is a hardcore, unwavering atheist who nonetheless, loves the Christmas season, happily decorates trees, sings along with Christmas carols (even many of the religious ones, because they are pretty), isn't afraid to say the word "Christmas", accepts the various faiths of all of his friends and will even listen to them share their religious beliefs, prayers, and stories, and only says "Happy Holidays" because he wants to be as inclusive as possible in a public setting, and also because Bing Crosby sang those very words as smoothly as anyone could possibly sing anything. And anything Bing sang is OK with me (including, and especially, "Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day").

But, as much as I like the Christmas season, I just don't want to deal with the thing in the heat of July. Why? WHY???!!! 

Well, since Shark Week has turned up earlier and earlier the last couple of years, I am starting to become a believer. Christmas in July has turned into a very real thing for me. I used to wait patiently (it was "impatiently" until Discovery Channel started messing with the "documentary" side of things a couple of years ago; you know... when they "jumped the shark" for reals) until sometime in August for the latest slate of shark programming. Not only has Shark Week jumped up to July, but Nat Geo Wild has seen good to counter-program at the same time with its own smaller version of the Discovery event called SharkFest. (Only two new hours this year, so they aren't really embracing it as much as they might.) And, since Sharknado took the basic cable and social media worlds by storm a few years back, Syfy launched an annual Sharknado Week event, the second version of which premieres today.

The start of Sharknado Week coincides with my wife and her mother being away from the house for the bulk of two days. So you can bet that there will be personal dietary habits set momentarily aside, Dr. Pepper poured, sausage and pepperoni pizza ordered, popcorn popped, and nonstop, stupid, mutant shark action with horrid CGI effects running on my big screen throughout that too short time. My cat will practically be walking around with a quizzical look and a word balloon above her head reading, "WTF?"

Counting the new Sharknado flick, subtitled (hilariously and appropriately) The 4th Awakens, there are at least six Syfy premiere shark movies airing in prime time throughout the week (which ends next Sunday, July 31). There are a couple of other shark movies that Syfy's schedule maintains are premieres on the channel elsewhere in the week: Dark Tide starring Halle Berry (which I have seen) and Shark Killer (which I have not). Running through the full schedule for the week (see below, which I have marked with notations as to my ratings etc.), there are eleven other films showing (not all of them shark-related) that I have also not seen. Which means the DVR will be pretty busy in the next few days. (Like it isn't already...)

In all honesty, I am not going to be sitting there glued to every film. Most of the ones I have seen really don't need to be seen again (except for reasons of reviewing for this site), and I have much else to do. But they will at least be on in the background, and I will save up my ability to pay full attention to atrociously acted films with bad effects until I really need that power. Tonight, that will be during a double feature of the third Sharktopus film (that I missed when it came out last year, which is sad because I really want to know what a "whalewolf" is) and the premiere of Atomic Shark. I am also DVRing the late night showing of Shark Assault, a film that was released on video as Shark Week, which I think Syfy probably had changed for airings on their channel due to legal reasons. (At least, that is my guess.) The reason for recording is simply to see if they actually changed the title card on the film to Shark Assault, or just changed it in the listings.

Strangely, for an event called Sharknado Week, there is not a whiff of an actual Sharknado film until seven days in, on Saturday, July 30. Since I am out of town for the last four days of the event, everything will have to be recorded and then watched at a later day come August. For the first four premiere films, I plan to have reviews up here on The Shark Film Office on the following day, which means Monday through Thursday. (Thursday's review of Planet of the Sharks – that's right, Planet of the friggin' Sharks! – will be written en route to San Francisco that day... at least, that is the plan.) The other premiere reviews, including Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, will go up the following week once I recover from my short trip and get a chance to watch the films.

To wrap up, I hope you enjoy my version of Christmas in July. I think a constant array of shark shows and movies is exactly what hopes to get under their extra-seasonal holiday tree. And a merry (and ultra-idiotic) Sharknado Week to one and all!

RTJ

SHARKNADO WEEK 2016 SCHEDULE  Syfy Channel
(Initial showings this week of each film in bold; shark-related films in blue)

Sunday, July 24
Dinocroc vs. Supergator (9:00 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]
Piranhaconda (11:00 a.m.)
 [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Dinoshark (1:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Sharktopus (3:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda (5:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf (7:00 p.m.) NEW TO ME
Atomic Shark (9:00 p.m.) SYFY PREMIERE
Dark Tide (11:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 5/9]
Shark Assault [aka Shark Week] (1:30 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 2/9]
Jersey Shore Shark Attack (3:30 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]

Monday, July 25
Supergator (6:30 a.m.) NEW TO ME
Piranhaconda (8:30 a.m.)
Shark Assault (10:30 a.m.)
Robocroc (12:30 p.m.) NEW TO ME
Dark Tide (2:30 p.m.)
Mega Shark vs. Kolossus (5:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]
3-Headed Shark Attack (7:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]
Dam Sharks! (9:00 p.m.) SYFY PREMIERE
Lake Placid 3 (10:55 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]
Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (12:57 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]

Tuesday, July 26
Beast of the Bering Sea (7:00 a.m.) NEW TO ME
Croc (9:00 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]
Dinoshark (11:00 a.m.)
Snakehead Swamp (1:00 p.m.) NEW TO ME
Lake Placid 3 (3:00 p.m.)
Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (5:00 p.m.)
Zombie Shark (7:00 p.m.) NEW TO ME
Ice Sharks (9:00 p.m.) SYFY PREMIERE
Mega Shark vs. Kolossus (11:00 p.m.)
Bait (1:00 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 5/9]
Snakehead Terror (3:00 a.m.) NEW TO ME

Wednesday, July 27
Eye of the Beast (7:00 a.m.) NEW TO ME
Beyond Loch Ness (9:00 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]
Bermuda Tentacles (11:00 a.m.) NEW TO ME
Sea Beast (1:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Shark Killer (3:00 p.m.) SYFY PREMIERE
Ghost Shark (5:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Atomic Shark (7:00 p.m.)
Planet of the Sharks (9:00 p.m.) SYFY PREMIERE
Malibu Shark Attack (11:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (1:00 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 2/9]
Dinocroc vs. Supergator (3:00 a.m.)

Thursday, July 28
Ragin Cajun Redneck Gators (7:00 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Robocroc (9:00 a.m.)
Dinocroc vs. Supergator (11:00 a.m.)
Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (1:00 p.m.)
Roboshark (3:00 p.m.) NEW TO ME
3-Headed Shark Attack (5:00 p.m.)
Swamp Shark (7:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]
Ozark Sharks (9:00 p.m.) SYFY PREMIERE
Dark Tide (11:00 p.m.)
Ghost Shark (1:30 a.m.)
Chupacabra: Dark Seas (3:30 a.m.) NEW TO ME

Friday, July 29
Shark Killer (7:00 a.m.)
Shark Attack (9:00 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 3/9]
Shark Attack 2 (11:00 a.m.) [TC4P Rating: 2/9]
Malibu Shark Attack (1:00 p.m.)
Ice Sharks (3:00 p.m.)
Bait (5:00 p.m.)
Shark Night (7:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Killjoys [series episode] (9:00 p.m.)
Dark Matter [series episode] (10:00 p.m.)
Killjoys [rerun] (11:00 p.m.)
Dark Matter [rerun] (12:00 a.m.)
Shark Attack (1:00 a.m.)
Shark Attack 2 (3:00 a.m.)

Saturday, July 30
Shark Night (9:00 a.m.)
3-Headed Shark Attack
Sharktopus (1:00 p.m.)
Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda (3:00 p.m.) 
Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf (5:00 p.m.)
Sharknado (7:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Sharknado 2: The Second One (9:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Zombie Shark (11:00 p.m.)
Planet of the Sharks (1:00 a.m.)
Ice Sharks (3:00 a.m.)

Sunday, July 31
Ozark Sharks (8:00 a.m.)
Dam Sharks! (10:00 a.m.)
Atomic Shark (12:00 p.m.)
Sharknado (2:00 p.m.)
Sharknado 2: The Second One (4:00 p.m.)
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (6:00 p.m.) [TC4P Rating: 4/9]
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (8:00 p.m.) SYFY PREMIERE
Van Helsing [special series preview] (10:01 p.m.)
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (10:46 p.m.)
Atomic Shark (12:50 a.m.)
Dam Sharks! (2:54 a.m.)

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