6 Things 'Sharknado' Got Right About L.A. And 6 Things it Got Wrong
Last night, the world went temporarily insane thanks to the release of SyFy's "Sharknado." Everyone tuned in, Twitter blew up with commentary, and no one was the same in the end.
If you participated in this gluttonous mass viewing, you know that the film took place in Los Angeles. And as we soaked it all in, we couldn't help but notice that some of the ways our fair city was depicted were spot-on, while others were—to be kind—somewhat less than accurate. Here are the most pressing truths and lies:
Six Things They Got Wrong
1. The kindly old drunkard is warmly welcomed at his local Santa Monica bar.
The opening of “Sharknado” features George (John Heard) as a regular at a rickety beachfront bar, drinking alone, his antics accepted by the bartender with just a here-we-go-again eye roll. And yes, I know, The Daily Pint. But most bars in Santa Monica are not cobbled together shacks with tough-yet-loving drink slingers who have seen hard times themselves, and so accept the eccentric behavior of a late-middle-aged alcoholic in a Hawaiian shirt. IRL, that dude would have been kicked out for wearing shorts.
2. Claudia (Aubrey Peeples) says that she knows a shortcut to get from Beverly Hills to Van Nuys.
There is no shortcut to anywhere, anymore, ever.
3. The liquor store that our heroes visit is unmolested.
Please. That store would have been looted and rioted during a sharknado faster than you can say “where is the tiger shark.”
4. It actually started out as a sharkicane.
Not to be nitpicky, but just for accuracy’s sake.
5. Angelenos are out in the rain with nary a sweatsuit.
Yes, this is a sharknado, which means that it's straight disaster-level. But let’s get real—before they realized that living, manslaughtering sea monsters were raining down on our fair city, most Angelenos would at least toss on a scarf, a matching ski jacket and a pair of heavy boots to brave this kind of weather. We love our bikini tops but there’s a time and a place for everything.
6. And of course, the elephant in the room: Traffic. Would. Be. A. Nightmare. During. A. Sharknado.
Let’s just get right to this. Ian Ziering and his entourage fly through the city, from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills to Van Nuys during what is, for all intents and purposes, the worst disaster Los Angeles has ever seen, and they barely encounter one other car.
Look: We all tolerated a lot of suspension of disbelief during sharknado. Heck, that was it’s whole thing. But this is some creative license up with which we simply cannot put. It burns our eyes, accosts our ears, taunts our very existence. At least put those shark-fighters on bikes or something. Sure, the movie would have been a lot less fun if they had to tell the real story of how the group was stuck in traffic for 17 hours and made it, during that time, from the Santa Monica exit on the 405 to the Wilshire exit. But at least that would have shown some integrity.
Six Things They Got Right
1. Fin (Ian Ziering), an otherwise normal dude, has the skills to rappel off a bridge and save a busload of children.
In real life, Ziering is a Chippendale’s dancer. In the movie, his character owns a bar. Which leaves us with just one explanation for his extraordinary feat of athleticism: He Crossfits. By fitting in the occasional WOD, he has managed to rack up the raw paleo power necessary to harness himself to a bridge and salvage dozens of young lives.
2. Matt (Chuck Hittinger) and Nova (Cassie Scerbo) partially blow up a sharknado from a helicopter.
As previously discussed, no one would be able to accomplish anything on the road in Los Angeles in the midst of a natural disaster. That said, as we all bemoaned our fate from inside our homes, we’d be relying on the very choppers at whose noise we regularly shake our fists (and aim our lasers) to take down, from on high, whatever affliction was facing us. That would be it. The helicopters. Our only chance at safety.
3. All present are more concerned about a dog trapped in a car than the humans dying in droves.
Absolutely accurate. Even as we watched it, we found ourselves utterly unmoved by the human lives lost, but clutching our hearts in agonized anticipation as the woman tried to free her dog from her car before the sharks got to him. Dear God, we said, not the dog.
4. Fin is dating a woman who is also age-appropriate for his son.
FYI, Ian Ziering is 49. Did you realize that? 49. The actor who plays his son Matt (Chuck Hittinger), is 30. The woman they both love is in her early 20s. Nothing to see here.
5. There's an elderly lady wearing a red headscarf who appears to be a boss.
Elderly ladies in headscarves, as a rule, are bosses. They are particularly boss when they live in an old age home in Los Angeles and survive the sharknado. They've lived long enough to rock a headscarf unironically—they will not be felled by flying creatures of the sea.
6. Heck, maybe you can chainsaw yourself out of a shark if you get eaten.
To be fair, we’ve never been eaten by an airborne shark who dies immediately upon swallowing us because obviously he freaking suffocated, he’s a freaking shark. So for all we know you can essentially birth yourself out of him, C-section style, once you’re in there, and then pull out your friend as well, administer CPR, and bring her back to life. It worked for Jonah.