shark for shark week

Shark week blues: 5 documentaries to watch instead

By now I’m sure you’ve seen this year’s Shark Week promos. Perhaps it was singer Seal as a tasty dockside snack. Maybe it was Michael Phelps’ upcoming ‘thriller’ where he will ‘race’ against one of the ocean’s scariest beasts. Aren’t you so psyched? On Sunday, June 23rd, it all begins. There’s just one problem: I’m just not hyped.

Years ago I loved Shark Week. I would block off hours to watch the shows. It was something I looked forward to every year. Now? I tune in NAT GEO WILD’s Sharkfest, also starting on Sunday, June 23rd, this year. To me, their programming is much better.

One, Shark After Dark. Sharkmania. Really, Discovery? Give me a new show instead of this filler bull.

Two, I don’t need the 50th installment of Air Jaws.

Third, just five words: Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives. Screw you.

Fourth, is it just me, or do most of the shark attack shows seem like reruns? Or maybe new drapes, old furniture?

Finally, throwing celebrities in the middle of my shark shows. Look, I love Les Stroud. Survivorman is my favorite of the survival shows, by far. At least he’s outdoorsy. But comedians? Actors? YouTube personalities? Reality stars? Please go back to the days with no host.

Discovery’s Shark Week shows left a bad taste in my mouth starting a few years ago for these and other reasons. They felt repetitive, boring, too ratings-hungry and less what I used to love. I don’t hate Shark Week, really, but we’re taking a break. Seeing other people.

I’m going to try to get over it, I promise.

But until then, I’ll be watching Sharkfest and checking out the following shark-related documentaries.

These are what I want Shark Week to be. Not Michael Phelps ‘racing’ a shark. (Seriously, 4.4 mph versus 25 mph? What cheating tech is he going to wear? If your biggest promo makes me roll my eyes….this is what I’m talking about!)

Take a chance on these shark docs!

BBC One's Shark

A multi-episode series, Shark covers over 30 species, telling the story of shark life--from birth and courting to hunting and threats to their well-being.

Watch on Netflix

Galapagos: Realm of Giant Sharks

Researchers travel to Darin Island, where they track sharks to study their migration patterns. Here, both the currents and the sharks are a danger. 

Watch on Amazon

Mysteries of the Coral Canyon

This PBS documentary follows researchers in the atolls of French Polynesia as they explore how sharks and coral reefs are connected.

Watch on PBS

Of Shark and Man

According to the documentary's website, it "is an independent movie that follows the journey of David Diley, an ordinary man as he pursues his childhood love of sharks, uncovering one of the greatest conservation success stories of all time in the process."

Watch on Amazon

Shark Girl

From the Smithsonian website:
"For the young Madison Stewart, nothing feels safer or more natural than diving straight into shark-infested waters. Since childhood, growing up by the Great Barrier Reef, she's treated these predators as family. But they're vanishing from existence, and because of their bad reputation, few people seem to care. Follow Madison on her mission to protect our sharks, a battle that began when she put her studies on hold, grabbed a camera, and set out to save these incredible, misunderstood creatures."

Buy on VUDU or Amazon



Krista's a freelance proofreader and writer who spends most days eyeballing medical texts, others crafting stories for teen games. Sometimes she even makes a few bucks with photography. One thing's always true--she's got a hot geek streak for historical and scientific discovery.