Sharknado 2: The Second One is a masterpiece of stupidity, set in a world so illogical that the most logical thing about it is a nearly unrecognizable Billy Ray Cyrus playing a doctor. But even with all the befuddling D-list celebrity cameos, airborne sharks, and bomb-dispatched ’nados, one moment rises from the chum bucket to claim the award for superlative brainlessness: the scene in which Tara Reid’s April Wexler signs a copy of her book, How to Survive a Sharknado. There probably are a million reasons why it’s the dumbest four seconds in the history of made-for-TV movies, or at least Sharknado 2: The Second One, but after the GIF, let’s get into the six we care about the most.
1. It is unintentionally stupid.
The Sharknado franchise, as with most Syfy Original Movies, revels in intentionally imbecilic lines and plot developments, and a good percentage (77 percent?) of its success directly correlates to these purposely implausible and downright silly moments. The Tara Reid book signing is not one of those “we meant to do that!” moments. And I know this because …
2. … her book is actually not a book at all.
Stare intently at that GIF and you will notice that it contains information on how to use a Samsung Galaxy. That is because the text is a perfect match for Sandra Geisler’s Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for Dummies. What’s even more amazing about this gaffe (I mean, did they honestly think viewers wouldn’t notice that the content of the book has nothing to do with surviving a Sharknado?) is that the ubiquitous Dummies books are known for their shitty paper stock and squarish dimensions; this is clearly no store-purchased Dummies book. No, this is a hack’s prop, possibly the fruit of the set designer’s efforts to approximate the size and look of a paperback original from a printed-out e-book. So, the book April Wexler signs is a paperback-size printout of a Dummies manual wrapped in a How to Survive a Sharknado cover (which, by the way, is also totally just a color print-out on a piece of computer paper). Could they not have, at minimum, used a shark-related book?
3. April Wexler has never signed her own name before.
Also: Tara Reid has never taken a penmanship class. She has obviously never had to learn cursive. I also question her popularity; she in no way uses the economical and illegible squiggle of a celebrity besieged with autograph requests. But okay, so maybe a producer “signed” the “book” on Tara’s behalf for the pick-up shot. But that only makes it worse, because that would mean that no one on the production stopped to think that maybe the manufactured signature should look like an actual autograph rather than scrawl more appropriate for a fifth-grader’s M-A-S-H game.
4. She also signs in a place authors would never sign.
Of all of the decisions made by the Sharknado 2 brain trust, this is the one that causes me to suspect that no one involved with the making of the film has ever been to book signing or, more sobering, even read a book. True, there may be authors out there with a gimmick of signing a randomly opened page of their books. But no author would deliberately chicken-scratch a John Hancock on the bottom of a page without at least a little fanfare — such as a “Hey! I wrote this page!” or a “See what I did here?” or a “Pip-pip and tally-ho, guv’nor, I’m a stowaway!” And authors certainly wouldn’t sign the bottom of a randomly opened page of a book they didn’t actually write.
5. April’s name is right on the cover of the book.
How to Survive a Sharknado is an April Wexler production, as plainly stated in large font right on the book’s flimsy cover. So why, then, at the beginning of their exchange, does Kelly Osbourne’s purple-haired and inexplicably British flight attendant, a self-professed big fan of Ian Ziering’s Fin Shepard, think that the book was written by him?
6. “We’re doing a signing on Saturday. You should come.”
Those are the first words uttered by April Wexler immediately after signing the copy of the flight attendant’s book. But the flight attendant already has the book. She already has the signature. And she has already met her Sharknado-surviving heroes. What possible need would she have to go to a book signing — and on a Saturday, to boot? But it’s a moot point, I suppose, as the flight attendant was never going to make it to the signing anyway, thanks to the pesky flying shark that chomps her head clean off. That purple-haired and inexplicably British dummy probably should have read the real How to Survive a Sharknado instead of obsessing over a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 she’ll never get the chance to master.