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Keep Your Fin-tastic Summer Going with Netflix’s Splashy New Docuseries

Life under the sea is better than anything they got up there.

MerPeople. Jasmine the Siren and The Hydroblade Mermaid in MerPeople. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

This summer, thalassophiles (lovers of the sea) are getting a ton of cool things to watch. Yes, we are still riding the high of seeing Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid in theaters, but we want more. When you have salt water pumping through your veins, one movie or show about the ocean is never enough. And if you live far from the ocean, sometimes the only way to get your fix is through sea-related media. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched that mermaid mockumentary on Animal Planet just to vicariously experience life beneath the waves.

In a little over a month, the 2023 edition of Shark Week, hosted by Jason Momoa, will be here. No, you’re not dreaming. Aquaman himself will introduce this year’s shark-centric programming. Since that feels like a lifetime from now, Netflix has the perfect new documentary series to keep you occupied until then.

A big fins up for MerPeople

The four-episode docuseries MerPeople follows the real-life adventures of people trying to make a living as professional mermaids. Like some of us, these folks are obsessed with the sea and want to capture what it means to be a merperson. The time and energy put into their craft is amazing (or mermazing), and not something for the faint of heart. The professional merfolk drain themselves emotionally and physically to become the perfect underwater creatures. Being a mermaid isn’t as pretty as you think it is, but they make it all look beautiful and effortless.

MerPeople. Blix in MerPeople. Cr. Netflix © 2023

Besides watching the talented merpeople swim underwater, the best part of MerPeople are the people themselves. As a lover of the sea, I understand so much of what drives them. Even if ocean life isn’t your thing, their passion is admirable. The mermaid community was once small, but in recent years has opened up. They embrace people from all walks of life and celebrate their diversity.

Watching the merpeople live their best lives makes for a feel-good and emotional journey. Eric Ducharme, also known as the Mertailor, devotes his life to making the mermaid dream come true for himself and others. Mermaid Sparkles is so open and vulnerable with her story that you can’t help but root for her. The Blixunami found a merfamily after their biological family didn’t support their dream—and they have a merperson song! I adore Morgana Alba’s fin-mother energy and her affinity for weaponry (same, girl). Chè Monique, the founder of the Society of Fat Mermaids, made me so happy because I have always longed to see more mermaids with larger bodies. When Monique says people cry when they see her, I actually started crying. MerPeople shows lovers of sea-life that there is a whole community of folks out there like us. I know I’m ready to put a tail on and go to my nearest mermaid convention.

(featured image: Netflix)

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D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.