MerPeople season 1, episode 1 recap: No Dead Mermaids

MerPeople. Cr. Netflix © 2023
MerPeople. Cr. Netflix © 2023 /

The Netflix docuseries, MerPeople has arrived, and it is everything we could have hoped for. It reveals the good, the bad, and sometimes the downright heartbreaking world of mermaid and underwater performers.

In the first episode, we are introduced to several mermaid enthusiasts and performers, and how their passions and careers began.

MerPeople Season 1 Episode 1 recap – Fish out of water

Right off the bat, we are introduced to several inspiring and performing mermaids and where their passion has taken them in their lives. Mermaid Sparkles, lives in Arkansas, and has to practice and enjoy her love of mermaiding with her friend in public pools.

But even that can be difficult, as many public pools deem the large mermaid tails to be hazardous. While she practices and dreams of becoming a mermaid full-time, she works several jobs to make ends meet, which includes children’s parties.

Mermaid Sparkles easily has the most passion for mermaiding. Her warm and sweet personality is so contagious that you can’t help but root for her the entire time.

My heart broke for her when she struggled to get to a children’s party on time, only to have her mermaid tail break and have her assistant go back to get her a new tail. I could completely understand and relate to her frustration as she fights tears.

She’s so tired of fighting and waiting for her dreams to come true. The children’s party wound up being a success, however, she does mention that it hardly pays the bills.

But her luck might be changing when she hears about auditions in Florida for Mertailor’s Mermaid Aquarium Encounter. Mermaid Sparkles is willing to make the trip for a chance to be a part of his show and she’s not alone.

Amongst the hopeful many is Tristan, who has been following and learning Mertailor’s owner and founder Eric’s mermaid skills, for years.

MerPeople Season 1 Episode 1 recap – Florida is the place to be

To some, Florida might be the only place you’d think of in the United States, when it comes to mermaids. Before mermaiding became the phenomenon it clearly is today, there was the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Resort.

The resort, built around a natural spring, started putting on live underwater mermaid performances in the 60s’. Back then the women wore bathing suits with swimming fins on their feet.

All the same, they went through rigorous training to put on beautiful performances and truly putting mermaiding on the map. With all these majesties, there came several problems.

Some of these original mermaids wound up suffering horrible sinus infections, and even found themselves in dangerous situations when they needed air. At one point, Weeki Wachee Resort was going to close until the state bought it.

When it was bought even more changes came. Weeki Wachee in particular, changed Eric’s life forever.

He became fixated on mermaids and the underwater performances, to the point he was able to befriend one mermaid whom gave him his first mermaid tail. Eric, like many in this docuseries, found themselves by becoming mermaids.

Feeling alone and out of place with others, Eric became solely focused on mermaiding to the point where he got to perform as a merman at Weeki Wachee. That is until a horrific sinus infection forced him to quit.

But that hasn’t stopped Eric. He owns his own business making and selling mermaid tails.

He has decided to expand on his dreams by creating a mermaid live show like the ones at Weeki Wachee. His dreams cost him plenty, but by the end of the episode he is able to conduct auditions for his mermaid show.

Eric may be a perfectionist, but that is the business of mermaiding. So many want to apply and make mermaiding their career but it’s not for everyone.

MerPeople Season 1 Episode 1 recap – Goal setting

This is also shown through Mermaid Morgana Alba, and her business Circus Siren Pod. Her company motto, which is the episode title, “No dead mermaids”, truly speaks to the mermaid business as a whole.

She wants only the best of the best for her shows, which includes a lot of traveling. We get to watch her conduct auditions of hopeful mermaids including, Mermaid Che Monique.

Living in Alexandria, Virginia, Che is the founder of the Society of Fat Mermaids, which aims to be inclusive of all mermaids, no matter their size. She has been an inspiration for many overweight mermaids and wants to join Morgana Alba’s Circus Siren Pod.

However, during her auditions Morgana realized Che had a hard time pulling herself out of the pool. She suggested that Che work on upper body strength for if a mermaid struggles to leave the pool, it could lead to dangerous circumstances.

Keep in mind that these mermaids do wear tails, which means both legs are trapped. You have to rely on your body and strength to move.

Che won’t let that stop her and I’m sure we’ll be seeing her again in another episode.

MerPeople Season 1 Episode 1 review

Overall, I loved the first episode of MerPeople! I always found those who were involved in mermaiding, whether as a hobby or career, to be very fascinating.

To be able to be so passionate about something that can be very physically and mentally demanding and still sticking with it is incredible! Not to mention, all the wonderful benefits that come from their passion, which includes making children and guests happy.

You cannot deny the glow in those kid’s eyes when they see a mermaid for the first time. It might as well as have the same effect as taking them to Walt Disney World.

I’m really hoping to see Mermaid Sparkles achieve her goals and I’d love to see more about both the Circus Siren Pod and Mertailor’s Mermaid Aquarium Encounter. I’m also curious where Mermaid Che Monqiue will go for her next audition.

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What did you think of MerPeople season 1, episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

You can watch MerPeople season 1 on Netflix.