Animal Planet ‘Mermaids’ Dive Deep for Nonsense

Animal Planet’s “Mermaids: The Body Found” is complete BS, a full helping of salty poppycock dressed up as science. And I actually mean that in the most complimentary way.

Mermaid_01_370x250Using CGI and reenactments, the two-hour production — premiering May 27, capping off a themed “Monster Week,” complete with beasts like “Finding Bigfoot” — goes overboard trying to peddle an “aquatic ape” theory, suggesting an offshoot of early primates moved into the ocean and became something pretty close to mermaids. Except kind of scary, not the kind Disney turns into movies and theme park rides.

Convincing? Not in the slightest, especially the conspiracy theory about the secretive Navy cover-up.

Nevertheless, as constructed by production company Darlow Smithson it’s so artfully done in terms of conventions of the genre — and appears to take itself so seriously, down to the so-called “experts” and anonymous interview with a shrouded Deep-Sea Throat  — it’s hard not to be entertained.

In that regard, give Animal Planet credit for creatively expanding a brand that, inevitably, can’t be puppies and horses all the time. (By that measure, it’s a whole lot less objectionable than what History has done.)

Granted, I wince at the idea anybody might be taken in by this silliness, missing the disclaimer in the press release about this being “science fiction based on some real events and scientific theory.” Further blurring the line between nonfiction and drama is always troubling, if increasingly commonplace.

But the charade only works if it seems remotely plausible, and while I sat down with zero expectations, I couldn’t help watching the whole thing, and grudgingly admiring it.

Can’t wait for the channel’s next special on unicorns. Or maybe flying monkeys.

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  1. hooly says:

    At my eleven year old son’s school, they showed this in class and presented it to the kids as fact. The teacher told them she believes mermaids are real. Some of his classmates changed from skeptic to believer after watching. My son was ridiculed for pushing back and telling them that of course its all fake. Religious arguments ensued. I’m not criticising the movie, I’m sure its great. I just thought it was interesting, and dangerous, how its being used.

  2. OH I DID WATCH IT 3 TIMES VERY CAREFULLY

  3. well I tell u what I think they said first of all tehy said some of the footage was real where the boy found it washed up on shore and he poked it with stick and it raised up where all the whales had washed up in WAHINGTON STATE THE GOVERMENT HAD TALKED TO HIM TO CONVINCE HIM THAT WASNT WHAT HE SAW BUT DID SHOULD LISTEN U MUST NOT HAVE WATCHED IT BECAUSE THE SCIENTIST WENT TO TALK TO HIM AND HE SAID THAT HE TAOED IT ON HIS CAMERA PHONE AND NO ONE NO ONE HAD SEEN IT UNTIL THIS WAS TAPED if I shound upset I am very when whales wash up on shore alll over the WORLD FROM SONAR BLEEDING FROM THERE EARS FOR AS SLOW DEATH OF SUFFICATING BECAUSE THEY REALY WANTED TO KILL THE MERMAIDS LIKE THEY SAID US AROGANT HUMANS CANT COEXIST WITH ANY BEINGS YOU CANT BE SERIOUS YOU THINK ITS BS YOU ARE AN AROGANT HUMAN I FIND IT VERY SAD AND P-RETTY NMUCH IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO BELEIVE FOR THERE SAKE I HOPE THEY DONT HAVE FEELINGS BECAUSE THEY WOULD BE SO SCARED OF US SO I GOES TO SHOW U THEY CAN HIDE FROM US THIS LONG NOT BEING DISCOVERED BECAUSE THEY PROBABLY NEW WHAT WOULD HAPPEN THEY SAID SOME REAL FOOTAGE SOME WAS NOT TELL TOLD WHAT WAS !!!!!!!!U COULD SEE OR WAS THAT FAKE WHALES ALL OVER THE WORLD ON SHORES I AM SAYING MY OPIONION THERE HAS TO BE MAN WOMAN AND CHILD THEY EXPLAINED ITB ALL I CRYED VERY SAD!!!

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