I am a dreamer. Because of that, I often times believe I can do what I see on television.
It’s pretty simple, really. I am convinced there is a hidden item in my house that is worth a couple thousand bucks, and I will eventually fly it to Las Vegas and have the men from “Pawn Stars” make me an offer. I will end up solving a murder someday based on what I have learned on “The First 48” and “Criminal Minds,” I promise. If I had to, I am pretty sure I could drive a semi-truck on the icy roads of Alaska.
Most of it just looks like fun. Some of it just piques my interest. Then there are some shows that pull on my heart strings and plunge me into weeks of deciding how I am going to leave all of my schooling and training behind to make a difference.
The first of these shows was “Whale Wars” on Animal Planet. Capt. Paul Watson leads his crew of whale lovers to Antarctica on a yearly basis to combat Japanese whalers who are devastating the Southern Hemisphere’s whale population. It’s easy to fall in love with a whale. They are very rarely portrayed as evil. So I spent a month researching how I could spend time on Watson’s ship, working with media communications but doing my part to help the whales.
But like I said. Whales are easy. Sharks are harder.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a shark enthusiast. It used to be just based on pure fear. I was terrified of sharks, so I researched everything I could about them so I avoid them. As I researched, everything changed.
I watched Shark Week religiously for 10 years before I found the movie “Sharkwater,” a documentary that shows the real dangers the shark population faces and really showcases the beauty of the animal. But Shark Week was the only reoccurring shark programming on television I could look forward to. That is, until this week.
History Channel on Sunday debuted “Shark Wranglers,” a show that follows Kentucky native Chris Fischer and his team to South Africa where they capture, tag and test Great White sharks in a ship called the Ocearch. The show is brilliant. There’s incredibly beautiful footage, the crew is fearless, and the story is riveting. Just the first segment has me already anticipating Sunday night.
Which of course, also led to me trying to figure out how many years of school it would take to become a marine biologist. Or, do I really need a degree? I have read up enough that I could just go to South Africa, get on this boat, and help out wherever I could. Of course, like on “Whale Wars,” I don’t believe I have the gumption to do it.
But I can use the tools at my disposal and at least bring some light to the project in my own way. I have a column, 15 inches of space to point out the best things on the entertainment scene. So this week, it’s “Shark Wranglers.” It airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. Central time. If you don’t like sharks, do it because Fischer is a Kentuckian.
Not many of us are going to leave our desk jobs, our families, and go on year-long expeditions to foreign countries. Not many of us are going to be as dedicated as Fischer and his team are. But if you watch, you support the cause. And that’s about all anyone can ask for.
Call Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.