TIME Television

Sharknado 2: Everything You Need to Know Before Watching The Epically Absurd Second One

Get ready for a fin-tastic voyage

“You know what you did, don’t you? You jumped the shark.”
— Actual line from Sharknado 2: The Second One, as it desperately tries not to jump the shark

If you’re on Twitter come 9 p.m. Wednesday, consider yourself warned. Because literally the only thing the Internet will be talking about is SyFy’s uber-viral, uber-campy Sharknado 2, featuring Tara Reid, Ian Ziering, droves of quasi-celebrity cameos and, of course, a chain saw.

The movie gained more traction than its SyFy brethren Piranhaconda and Sharktopus ever did, and has become a cult classic even for those who have never seen the film. According to USA Today, while only 1.4 million people watched Sharknado’s original airing, a number that grew in subsequent airings, it inspired 5,000 tweets a minute. (We bet Samuel L. Jackson is kicking himself that Twitter was in its infancy during the Snakes on a Plane release).

So if you are jumping on the bandwagon before Wednesday’s premiere, or just need a quick refresher, here’s a crash course in all things Sharknado.

What the first movie was about:
Due to ambiguous reasons (“global warming?” a newscaster guesses) a massive storm and massive influx of sharks have simultaneously hit Los Angeles. Tiger sharks are flying through the windows of Beverly Hills mansions. Hammerheads are eating angry drivers on the 405 freeway. And it is up to one man with the subtle name of Fin Shepard (Ziering) to not only stop an impending Sharknado (which is exactly what it sounds like), but also to reconnect with his estranged wife April (Reid) and kids. His son saves the day by dropping a bomb into the Sharknado. All of our main characters survive, even though two of them were eaten by the toothy predators. (Note to self: When about to enter a shark’s mouth, remember to wield a chainsaw.) Fin and April make out. All is well.

What is the second one about:
Same concept. Different city. The Sharknado has followed Fin and April to New York as they promote their book, How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters: Fight Back When Monsters and Mother Nature Attack. (Available for purchase). Now Fin must use his knowledge to save New York from imminent disaster.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
Lots of symbolic destruction:
The Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel was shown rolling down the streets of Los Angeles symbolizing THE END OF FUN in Sharknado. Swap that for the Statue of Liberty’s decapitated head catapulting through New York to symbolize . . . something about the shark’s threat of freedom or something, and we’re all set.

It might be kind of educational:
As we learned in Sharknado: “Tornados happen when cold and hot air meet. If you drop a bomb in it, you just might equalize it.” Because SCIENCE.

It also might be kind of political:
Although the first film didn’t exactly take a stand against shark hunting, it was kind of implied considering a poachers face got eaten by a shark.

Hordes of cameos:
Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath (a.k.a. Sugar Ray) and Judah Friedlander have joined the cast as Finn’s college friend, his brother-in-law and a helpful cab driver, respectively. But there are also tons of quick hits from “stars” who were itching to ride Sharknado‘s viral wave. Watch for Kelly Osbourne, Andy Dick, The Naked Cowboy, Perez Hilton, Al Roker and Matt Lauer, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, and, of course, Jared the Subway guy, who eats a sandwich as sharks start eating people in a subway. (Get it? He’s eating a Subway sandwich in the subway!)

A total disregard for human life:
The cast of Sharknado appeared totally and completely unphased when a shark would come out of nowhere and rip someone’s leg off. Reid barely batted an eye when her live-in boyfriend was torn apart in the mansion.

Lots of New York “insider” jokes:
Sharknado’s script was riddled with LA jokes including: “It’s just a little water. Typical Californians afraid of the rain;” and “My mama always told me Hollywood would kill me” — right before letters from the Hollywood sign crushes him to death.

Expect gems like this from the sequel: “This is the big apple. Something bites us, we bite back.”

A renewed sense of patriotism:
May we leave you with Fin’s inspiring speech: “They’re sharks. They’re scary. No one wants to get eaten. But I’ve been eaten, and I’m here to tell ya, it takes a lot more than that to bring a good man down. It takes a lot more than that to bring a New Yorker down.”

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