“Lol … Did that just happen?”
Ten Shows That Jumped The Shark
Jumping the Shark is TV-speak that describes when something happens in a show that makes you unable to ever take it seriously again. The phrase refers to a scene in the Season 5 premiere of Happy Days when The Fonz jumps over a shark on water skis (as if thats the craziest thing that ever happened in that show!). TV has seen some jumps that even Sharknado cant match for implausibility. And just because that fin appears above the water doesnt mean youre chump meat, as its happened to shows that just kept going or are still on the air!
Maybe we should change jumping the shark to winning the Illinois lottery since Roseanne Barr’s family sitcom lost all claims to realism the moment the Conner family became millionaires. We only had to endure one season after that but from then onwards nothing was too ridiculous.
Fox’s political thriller probably holds the water-speed record for shark-jumping over its 14 years on the air, so its hard to pin down an actual moment when its feet cleared the Jaws. Probably when Teri got amnesia in Season 1 and when Jack came back from the dead in Season 2.
The hospital drama had been putting its feet in water-skis for some time before with annual helicopter crashes that coincidentally maimed and killed the same person but it was the appearance of Santa Claus in a Season 13 Christmas episode that finally called time of death on the credibility of E.R.
Star Patrick Duffy wanted to return to the super-soap a season after his character was killed off. The only solution: the entire season was a bad dream (as it was to viewers anyway!). With all the flak they received, I bet they wished theyd gone with the identical twin thing.
No particular moment here just some ill-advised cast changes that left it unwatchable for its last 2 seasons. Steve Carrell left, then Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak. In came Catherine ”Jar Jar Binks” Tate (who did a similar number on Doctor Who a few years before!). The rest was miss-TV.
There was always a touch of the surreal in Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld’s ground-breaking sitcom but by the last 2 seasons, it felt like it had become a cartoon. The coincidences were wilder, the fantasy overplayed, the acting no longer convincing. Too much of nothing is obviously a bad thing.
Arguably, Showtime’s spy drama had a shark in its rear-view the moment Brody was arrested in Season 2 and wasnt executed, but it’s what follows that really sticks like a fish-bone in the throat. Brody works for the CIA, twice over, and his family keep doing stuff, like we still care!
Parks And Recreation
Season 6 ended with NBCs local government docu-sitcom jumping ahead three years…where a shark was waiting with jaws wide open! So to get the writers out of a few corners (that, incidentally, they had written themselves into), we now have to endure a final season that is basically science-fiction.
The Cosby Show
In later seasons, Bill Cosby’s family sitcom brought on a new child character called Olivia who cutesified the show out of all proportion. Bizarrely, years earlier The Brady Bunch brought on a character called Cousin Oliver, who viewers hated. Coincidence or self-fulfilling prophecy? Either way, Olivia virtually ended the sitcom.
No, I’m not talking about the poorly-received Netflix sequel. I’m talking about the Season 2 episode when Barry – played by Henry Winkler who also played The Fonz – jumps over a dead shark lying in the harbour. A great TV in-joke and it must have exorcised some demons for Winkler!