Fortunately our family trip to the beach occurred last week, before the premiere of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (otherwise, there would have been a lot more sand castle-building and a lot less boogie boarding). This SyFy original upped the ante with sharks raining down on Washington, DC, including the President (Mark Cuban, of course) and the Vice President (Ann Coulter, okaaaay). Again the day was saved by surfer/restaurateur turned shark-killer Fin Shepard, played with trademark method-acting by Ian Ziering. This time, though, he got some help from dad (David Hasselhoff, an obvious casting choice given his experience baywatching).
In a previous post I defined my Heroism Quotient (HQ) and Villainy Quotient (VQ). I rate pop culture heroes along five factors (0-20), yielding a Heroism Quotient (HQ) with a maximum score of 100. The higher the HQ, the more heroic the hero. The factors are inspired by the thinking of Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who has explored heroism following his ground-breaking work on the roots of evil with the Stanford prison experiment.
Here’s how I rate Fin on the HQ factors:
- Acting in service to others in need, or in defense of an ideal: Fin acts on his survival instincts (forget idealism), but he is a family man and throws himself into the action to save his wife (Tara Reid) and others. But he also defends friends and strangers from D.C. to Orlando to orbit (yes, he fights sharks in outer space). He gets a 15 here.
- Serving voluntarily: Fin also gets high marks (15) here for stepping up to get the job done, even as pros (like the Secret Service, U.S. military, and NASA) fall short.
- Recognizing possible risks/costs: Fin maxes out at 20 since he knows full well what he’s in for, having had ample personal experience with shark-infested tornadoes in Los Angeles (Sharknado) and New York City (Sharknado 2: The Second One).
- Accepting anticipated sacrifice: I went a little low here (5) for Fin because most of the sacrificing is his personal safety. Sure, his wife, father, mother-in-law (played by Bo Derek!), daughter, and un-born child are in the fray, but he’s not risking them for the greater good.
- Anticipating no external gain: This factor is about taking action without want of reward. Fin does well here (17), but I docked a few points only because during the prologue he gets the Presidential Medal of Freedom (maybe that was in the back of his mind as he and Dad launched into to space to obliterate the sharknado?).
So Fin gets an HQ of 72. That’s a very good score, but with room for improvement (and rest assured, there will be a sequel next summer). His score in the 70’s is comparable to that of Olivia Pope from Scandal (HQ 74) and Marge Gunderson from Fargo (HQ 70).
Check back to find out which hero or villain I rate next!