If there's something to admire about the "Sharknado" movie franchise, it is the ability of producers to turn brand integration into a weapon of mental destruction. Apparently there is some effort to not just wedge as many Comcast-owned people and products into each movie as possible. No, it's also important to make the tie-ins as subtle as a mallet to the forehead.
"Sharknado : The 4th Awakens" is crammed with Comcast-friendly messages, most of them majestically clunky. But if you're a fan of the Comcast-owned cable news channel MSNBC, there is one exchange that will likely leave you a bit queasy.
One of the running "jokes" in the movie (and I use that word loosely) is that the movie's hero Fin (Ian Ziering) still has not yet began dating despite the fact that his wife April died nearly five years earlier. After he saves a number of people from a shark-filled Dustnado, an unidentified woman with a microphone approaches him, yelling this question:
"I'm with MSNBC. I just have one question. Are you single? Because I might be able to set you up."
Now there are a couple of caveats here. The microphone she's holding doesn't have a network logo on it. And since I saw a review copy of the movie, this dialogue might have changed. Although I haven't received any update from Syfy to my question about whether this is the final broadcast version.
Regardless, this is a bit unsettling. Although probably no more unsettling than seeing Gilbert Gottfried chasing Sharknados in a "Today Show"-branded van.