On New Year’s Eve my wife and I watched the chipper Kathy Lee and Hoda take a look back at 2013. They highlighted sports stories, viral videos, and celebrity gossip that was most tweeted and talked about. Among the top stories of this past year was the B-film, Sharknado. Let that sink in a minute. Of all the events in the world over this past year, Sharknado was considered worthy enough to discuss. The truth is, many of us may laugh at that reality (myself included) but should we? In a sense, I think we should feel some level of shame and embarrassment over that truth.
For those of you who are out of the loop on the whole Sharknado craze, let me catch you up.
Sharknado, as you can tell from the artistic poster, tells the story of a hurricane filled with sharks (I guess Sharkicane didn’t have the same ring to it). A freak hurricane sweeps across the sea and sucks up sharks that are flung upon Los Angeles. As we know, sharks gotta eat, so they chomp at victims as they fly through the air.
In it’s initial showing on the SyFy Network, it was viewed by 1.37 million viewers, which was somewhat small. By it’s third airing (that’s right, the aired it 2 more times) the film reached 2.1 million viewers, which broke records for SyFy. Much of the popularity can be attributed to the number of tweets about the film, and now SyFy has announced a sequel which has been creatively titled, Sharknado 2: The Second One.
And why was Sharknado so popular? Why was it mentioned as one of the most talked-about films of last year? Why was it tweeted about millions of times? And why did it break network records? Because it was horrific! It was’t just bad, it was awful and it was popular for being awful. I must admit that the horrific nature of this film actually makes me want to see it.
This is the dilemma I face as a Christian, though. I’m not so much concerned about viewing the shark violence, I’m concerned about viewing something that seeks to be awful. Should Christians laugh at something that’s striving to be so bad it’s laughed at? Aren’t we to praise hard work? Aren’t we to strive after excellence? If that’s true, then I find it hard to watch something that doesn’t strive for much other than being awful. Not to mention the fact that the filmmakers are solely pursuing money. Let’s face it, they didn’t make Sharknado to lose money. And they also didn’t exercise much mental effort to make Sharknado.
So what does this say about mankind? Here are a few things it tells us about much of humanity (much, not all):
- People laugh at mediocrity.
- People are okay with wasting their only life.
- People often don’t use their time wisely.
- People are typically mindless when watching movies.
- People often don’t live with an eternity in mind.
- People really like sharks.
- People really like tornadoes/hurricanes.
- People like violence.
- People will settle for less.
- People struggle with exercising self-control.
What do you think? Am I being too harsh? Too pessimistic about mankind? Maybe so. I should probably start taking shark-filled tornado disaster movies more seriously.