The most wonderful time of the year, the hap-happiest season of all, etc... — Shark Week 2016 — kicks off Sunday.
Discovery Channel's annual weeklong special dedicated to one of television and film's most famous sea creatures will include its typical offerings of educational segments, man-in-cage-plunged-into-depths-with-deadly-sharks spectacles, shark attack porn and sensational "documentaries" masquerading as fact. (2013's Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, for example, was pure myth.)
Here are five Shark Week features not to miss:
8 p.m. EST on Sunday
Neil Hammerschlag, who Discovery Channel calls the "world's leading tiger shark expert," will answer three big questions about how tiger sharks mate, gestate and give birth based on his work studying the habits of the hers that congregate off the Bahamian coasts.
Called Tiger Beach, the stretch of shallow water was recently host to a feeding frenzy of tiger sharks tearing apart a dead whale, which, of course, high-flying drones managed to capture on video.
A taste, if you will, of what's to come:
Shallow Water Invasion
8 p.m. EST on Monday
Two marine biologists explore why great white sharks have begun to frequent shallower waters recently. Is it to make friends? Eat us? Convince us, as Blake Lively's upcoming film The Shallows seems to suggest, that our deepest darkest Jaws-inspired fears were well placed?
Good news: biologists Mauricio Hoyos and Grant Johnson say it's "normal behavior." They'll break out a self-propelled shark cage (!!) and maybe quell your anxiety about hitting the beach this summer.
Sharks Among Us
10 p.m. EST on Monday
This segment examines the responses to spikes in "shark encounters," which typically result in shark culls. Dr. Craig O'Connell sets out to prove sharks and humans can get along just fine, without anyone dying, which is jolly good news for us and the sharks.
We're all ears.
Sharks vs. Dolphins: Face Off
10 p.m. EST on Wednesday
In this Shark Week special, Dr. Mike Heithaus takes a close look at the antagonistic relationship between these creatures.
Always root for the underdog:
10 p.m. July 1
Marine biologist Barbara Block brings you never-before-seen (in high res) views of the depths of California's coasts using new camera and tracking technologies to study the region's white sharks.
Discovery Channel promises a window into the "vast, rich, and hidden world" Block calls the Blue Serengeti.
Last but not least, heed the sage advice of Tracy Morgan's character on 30 Rock: Live every week like it's shark week.