TV Shows That Never Were: Sharks and Recreation

A shark leaping out of the water on a beach near two human runners
A shark indulging in recreational activities (i.e. swimming).

Parks and Recreation is a rather enjoyable TV show that dragged on for a few seasons too many. Otherwise, Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman were proper belting in it.

The series has ended, so we’re suggesting a spin-off show. One with long-bodied marine fishies with cartilaginous skeletons. Plus, recreational activities.

Sharks and Recreation

Set in Bloomington of Indiana, in the US, the series follows the professional life of Les Nope (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

He’s the deputy director at the parks and recreation department. A mid-level bureaucrat, upon starting in the role he believes sharks to be far more exciting than parks.

Thusly, he changes the department’s name to sharks and recreation.

Mr. Nope immediately drafts in various large marine mammals into giant tanks and/or swimming pools in the neighbourhood. Including:

  • Several great white sharks.
  • Several tiger sharks.
  • A mako shark.
  • A dozen hammerhead sharks.
  • One spiny dogfish.

He also hires a few genuine extras from Steven Spielberg’s Jaws to ramp up the authentic shark vibes.

And, to placate locals angry about the sharks and recreation development, he builds a seesaw and swing set next to one of the great white pools.

Episodes over the two season run play out with mishaps involving the sharks. Such as slips and trips into the pools, followed by desperate attempts to scramble out of the water.

Lots of celebrity cameos follow, including Michael Fassbender, Michael Keaton, Michael Jordan, Michael Biehn of Aliens and The Terminator, Michael Shannon, Michael Bay, and Mick Jagger.

Anyone called Michael or some variation only—at the insistence of the show’s star Schwarzenegger (it’s believed he did this so archnemesis Sylvester Stallone wouldn’t get a cameo—as his forename isn’t Michael).

The show was a moderate hit, winning over unemployable wretches and drunkards with its easy humour and plot holes.

Although the crew pushed for an Oscar nomination, Sharks and Recreation was declined as it isn’t a movie. It’s a television series.

Schwarzenegger then pushed to turn the series into a film called Sharks and Recreation: The Best Shark Movie Since Deep Blue Sea.

Demanding a $500 million budget, Big Arnie was sadly declined as the studio felt that excessive for a film about a local government recreational activities.

Best Episodes

There were some top moments during the show. And we fondly remember them below. Feel free to chortle along with us as you reminisce.

  • Dream Shark: Mr. Nope acknowledges to his wife he got the idea for sharks and recreation from his desire to have a pet great white shark as a child. She looks at him funny and he says, “What? Babe, men know how to dream big. Women know how to NAG big. Am I right?!”
  • Sharks and Recreational Drugs: Some local hoodlums attempt to feed the sharks LSD for “a laugh” one night, resulting in the bloody deaths of the hoodlums by decapitation. Mr. Nope releases a press statement warning other hoodlums not to follow suit, “These are beautiful sharks in their natural environment such as giant tanks and 20ft by 20ft swimming pools, please do not attempt to turn this into some hippy love-in like Woodstock ’69. Any further ruffians attempting to do so will be provided with three hundred million hours of community service. And I am not joking. Respect the sharks, that are in our parks!”
  • Free Willy Watchalong: There’s a film night by the pools, running the classic movie for kids. Families turn up and enjoy the moment, whilst great white sharks swim casually by within mere feet. How jolly!
  • Alien Invasion: The series ends with alien monstrosities from the planet ZBV900 invading Earth and, subsequently, taking over the universe. This conclusion was criticised by the press for being out of step with the rest of the show’s themes. Sharks and Recreation’s star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, dismissed the criticisms as, “Stupid”.

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