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How Shark Week's 'Fin of Fury' composer creates suspense without horror

Shark Week concluded Saturday, and while, like in years past, this year’s 13 specials were all highly visual, music was equally integral. There’s essentially nothing but silence underwater, where much of the filming and action takes place, but musically, the specials are at the behest of the composers.

Michael Gatt, composer for Air Jaws: Fin of Fury, seized the opportunity. “What I love about Shark Week is that it’s a blank canvas,” Gatt says. “The sharks are actually quite dynamic as characters. They can be terrifying, but they’re also incredibly majestic, beautiful animals. Musically, we get to inform that emotion.”

Fin of Fury follows shark filmmaker Jeff Kurr in his two-year search to find a particular great white shark, Colossus. Kurr filmed the shark about three years ago in South Africa, and had not seen the mega-predator since. Using Colossus’ unique dorsal fin, which acts like a fingerprint, as a lead, Kurr and his team set out to prove the top predator still exists. READ FULL STORY

'Shark Week' drinking game: EW's ultimate guide to getting sharkfaced

From reenactments to breaching sharks to water that’s just a little too still, Discovery’s Shark Week has certain sights we can count on after years of attentive viewing, making it the perfect television event to drink to. (You know, because nothing speaks to the beauty and awe of nature quite like alcohol does…)

Sure, you could drink every time a shark appears on screen, but we’re going for something slightly more ambitious. Bring your 21+ self and can-do attitude, and get ready to play Entertainment Weekly‘s ultimate Shark Week drinking game. Proceed with caution, or not at all. Hey, we tried to warn you.

From EW to you, soon-to-be sharkfaced readers: Happy Shark Week! (Yes, it should be treated as a holiday.)


-2-3 Beers (Your choice, but Land Shark sounds more spirited)

-1 Bloody Mary

-1 AMF (It’s blue, like the ocean)


-Swear Jar

-Full stomach (Well, not too full, but certainly not empty)



Before we get started, if you feel like adding an extra layer to our 10 rules, draw a mustache on a piece of paper and tape it to the TV screen. Every time the mustache lines up perfectly with a shark, or human, drink! Warning: high tolerance strongly recommended. For those who hope to spare their liver, if only slightly, skip the mustache and follow the 10 rules below.


1. Take a sip of beer whenever you hear an Australian or South African accent; we suggest Foster’s for Australia and (pause for Google search…) Castle Lager for South Africa. Then, try to imitate the accents. This will get funnier as the game continues…

2. Take two sips of beer whenever someone goes into the water to face the predators in a steel cage. Keep your camera handy! If a shark bites the cage, gather your friends and pose, delivering your best toothy grin. Don’t bite your friends (too hard).

3. Take three sips of beer if a new discovery is made and/or something is caught on film for the first time, and yell “Yeah, science!” a la Jesse Pinkman.

4. Speaking of Breaking Bad, when the water seems just a little too still, start humming Tommy James and the Shondells’ “Crystal Blue Persuasion” and gently sip your AMF. Oh, and try to relax; we realize you’re probably fighting the paranoia of an imminent attack.

5. If a diver swears, put a dollar in the swear jar. You know, so you can afford to buy beer the next go-round.

6. Whenever you see blood, reenactments or otherwise, get that Bloody Mary in hand, and keep drinking until you no longer see red.

7. Begin drinking when a shark breaches, and don’t even think about stopping until the shark is all the way back in the water (through all the slow-mo; includes replays). Probably best to go for lower alcohol content here. Stick to beer.

[Hold for Shark Week-related comedy break! Note, if you’re going to follow Tracy Jordan’s advice, do yourself a favor and don’t play this game every week. Your liver will thank you.]

8. In the rare event that a seal escapes from a shark, we have to congratulate the little guy. I know what you’re thinking: time to shotgun! The last to finish has to troll, meaning he or she sits under the coffee table for the rest of the episode (that doesn’t exempt the straggler from drinking, by the way).

9. When Colossus is located after a two-year search in Air Jaws: Fin of Fury, head to the kitchen and see if you can find a beer that’s been hidden in the back of the fridge, one that’s likely been sitting there far too long. Drink in the name of a successful search.

10. Whenever Jaws is mentioned or the theme plays, yell, “We’re going to need a bigger bottle of water!” Take the chance to sober up, so as to avoid that inevitable, nasty hangover, but use this time to think about how Jaws is just a movie, sharks aren’t actually man-eaters, and we pose more of a threat to them than they do us.

Whoa, this is getting a little too deep. I could use a drink…

Shark Week begins with Air Jaws: Fin of Fury at 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight on Discovery Channel

Is 9-year-old Sean Lesniak the No. 1 fan of Shark Week?


Nine-year old Sean Lesniak is quite confident in his love of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. When asked if he is the No. 1 Shark Week fan, Lesniak says, without hesitation, “Yes,” and all things considered, there’s little room for doubt.

“No one loves Shark Week more than I do,” Lesniak says. “People in school call me Sharkboy because I love sharks so much.”

Lesniak is unfazed by sharks’ reputation for being scary. To him, sharks are striking creatures to be admired. “They keep our coral reefs healthy and they keep our fish population in balance,” Lesniak says. “They’re magnificent.”

Lesniak first became interested in sharks through watching Discovery Channel’s annual deep-dive into the ocean’s top predators, beginning at the age of three. He has been addicted ever since. “I love Shark Week because it’s a week about sharks,” Lesniak exclaims. He seems slightly taken aback by the inquiry—Shark Weeks awesomeness requires explanation?


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