sharknado*It’s amusing to think that the most entertaining film of the summer (“Sharknado“) had a climax that featured Ian Ziering – late of the immortal program 90210 – leaping into the jaw-filled mouth of an airborne shark while brandishing a chainsaw, and then carving himself out from the inside.

That, of course, was about the most realistic thing about Sharknado, the SyFy original movie that featured a swath of tornadoes coming ashore and flinging formerly-waterborne sharks around Los Angeles, creating an orgy of wind / jaw destruction. The concept and execution of this latest b-movie from the channel somehow gripped the country when it came out last week, leading to an avalanche of Twitter hilarity from incredulous watchers (Patton Oswalt’s live-tweeting of the movie was a gem), lots of other social media chatter, and plans for a Sharknado 2 sequel to be set in New York City. It was one of the more unusual television phenomenons of the last decade, that’s for sure.

SyFy’s carved out a pretty creative niche for itself by creating these cheap, effective monster movies. They might have names that look like they were created from a demented MadLibs book (Mansquito, anyone?), feature “stars” that are D-level at best, and feature some of the worst dialogue, color-correction, cinematography, special effects and craft services (probably) ever captured on any screen … but you know what? They’re fun. In an era of these dreary, 2.5-hour long “blockbusters” that meander around (howdy, Lone Ranger) and smash things for what seems like forever (Man of Steel, we’re looking at you), it’s downright refreshing to watch something as turn-off-your-brain entertaining as “Sharknado,” inherently dumb as it may be.

So, god bless you, SyFy, for giving us this wonderfully cheesy creation. We thank you, and we’ll certainly be watching the skies a lot closer from now on.