Guy Fieri and Shark Week. Shark Week and Guy Fieri. One, an omnipresent and occasionally mocked American institution whose programs feature an insatiable but misunderstood beast that devours meals in single bites and has been around since what feels like the beginning of time. The other, a week of programming about sharks.
Prior to this year, it was an unexplainable oversight by the great and powerful gods of television that these two titans of chow had not been mashed together into a single glorious hour of content. It was so obvious. Maybe, like a man who spends 20 minutes turning his house upside down on a hunt for his sunglasses, we had all been making this too hard when the answer was resting right on the back of our be-spiked heads all along.
Luckily, this cosmic wrong has finally been righted. Discovery Channel’s 2018 edition of Shark Week — it’s 30th, hosted by Shaq, which also feels both perfect and long overdue — featured a program titled “Guy’s Feeding Frenzy.” I had known this was coming for a few weeks thanks to a tweet from Fieri himself, but it didn’t feel real until I saw it in the listings. Yes, I watched “Guy’s Feeding Frenzy.” I saw Guy Fieri swim with sharks. It was (almost) everything I hoped for.
But I’m sure you have some questions. Please, fire away.
What, exactly, was “Guy’s Feeding Frenzy”?
I’m glad you asked. Discovery Channel describes it thusly:
Shark Week teams up with Guy Fieri and his son, Hunter, in the Bahamas to experience local cuisine and explore and understand what makes the waters around these islands the ideal all-you-can-eat buffet for such a wide variety of shark species.
This was also explained in the opening, which sounded a lot like the opening to an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives,” with the most notable exception being that it ended with Guy Fieri and his son blasting shark food out of potato guns from the deck of a boat christened the U.S.S. Flavortown.
I refuse to believe that last thing happened.
Oh ho ho, my friend.
Holy hell. Please tell me the rest of the show lived up to this opening.
I am sad to inform you that it mostly did not, for two reasons. First of all, how could it, honestly? Look at that again. It’s wondrous. It should be in a museum.
But second, and more substantially, the show made quite a few mentions of “an ultimate shark all-you-can-eat buffet” and “the perfect shark meal,” which, combined with that opening, led me to believe there was a chance this special would end with Guy Fieri preparing hundreds of homemade shark meals and blasting them into the ocean out of potato guns. In hindsight, this was more my fault than theirs. I just got too excited and my imagination went scampering off its leash. But still. That would have been pretty great.
Maybe next year.
Dammit. But he at least swims with sharks, right?
Boy howdy, does he ever. In and out of the cage. Under the guidance of sharks experts, including:
- A man named Andy Casagrande, whose last name sounds fake and translates to “big house,” which leads me to believe he may be in witness protection and his name is a tongue-in-cheek reminder that he could be taken to jail at any moment
- A shark expert named Dr. Bond who uses a maneuver called tonic immobility to temporarily hypnotize sharks so they can be tagged or freed of dangling fishing hooks, and yes, “a man named Dr. Bond who can hypnotize sharks” is the single most supervillain thing I’ve ever heard
- An Italian shark expert who is a huge Guy Fieri fan and at one point does the Triple D opening (“I’m Guy Fieri and we’re rolling out…”) from memory with a look of glee on his face
Quite a crew. I love them. A few times they kind of slipped into Guy-speak and started describing buckets of blood and fish parts like he would describe a big sloppy sandwich.