Media Freak-outs: Every Week Is Shark Week

Summer is high season for media freak-outs. Is that the apocalypse, or is it just my TV?

Illustration by Francisco Caceres for TIME

Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) on 30 Rock once sagely declared, "Live every week like it's Shark Week!" But what does that mean? You could say it means to seize the day, to live as if at any moment, a hammerhead might chomp through your torso.

Or it could mean something else. Shark Week--returning Aug. 2 to Discovery Channel--is not actually a week when people get attacked by sharks. It is a decades-old TV ritual in which millions of people watch in awe of toothy monsters that will never get within biting distance of most of us.

To live every week like...

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