Saturday, January 28, 2006

TWQ: Jumping The Shark

This week, TWQ (The Weekend Question) looks at 'Jumping The Shark'.

It is a phrase invented by tv companies to identify the point when a tv series reaches it's absolute peak and can only go down from then on. It originated from the tv series 'Happy Days', in which The Fonz jumps over a shark. It was said never to be as good again.

Can you identify some tv shows and the point in which it 'Jumped The Shark'?

My answers are:

Frasier: After Daphne found out that Niles had loved him, the show had lost part of it's edge.

ER: This show has consistantly deteriorated. It's finest hour was when Dr Crane tried to save the pregnant woman in the first series. All other storylines were thrown out for this episode.

The X Files: It's peak was reached when the aliens eliminated most of the conspirators in the aircraft hanger. After this, it limped along, with a poor last series, with the exception of the two part finale.

Only Fools & Horses (English comedy show): The episode 'The Jolly Boys Outing' had all the characters at their peak in this one. Afterwards, it became too sentimental, and was brought make after a five year break, which was a mistake.

Now it's over to you...

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But before I go.....

Don't forget you can join the Federation by being part of my Group Map Federation You can also click to that point by using the 'Join The Federation' button on the right side of my Journal.

32 comments:

rashbre said...

I am hopeless at watching TV series, so I don't really feel qualified to answer the question. Its also made more difficult by the replays on all of the 'Gold' type TV channels.

However, I think your shark point can also be a life point - its important to stay 'in the moment' and thinking ahead so that there is a constant state of 'the best is yet to come'. I say 'there is fun going forward'.

And Hello, Michele sent me today. Next stop, your Federation Group Map. Planet Rashbre Central needs co-ordinates.

Star said...

I can't think of any this morning, but I am rearely that into a tv show that I have to watch every episode. Seems to me that reality TV shows "jump the shark" every week. Michele sent me.

sage said...

Interesting phrase. I don't watch that much TV, so I really can't say for sure. In the Steelers game--against the Colts 2 weeks ago--the shark wasn't jumped until the last couple of seconds. How's that. From Michele's

Karen said...

I think that West Wing "jumped the shark" several seasons ago. I really enjoyed it at first, and then I couldn't figure out what was going on or what they were saying. Interesting.

Michele sent me. Good post!

Ivy said...

I dont watch much tv so I really cant...

Michelle Sent me..

Charles said...

Interesting concept... will have to think about this... Michele sent me.

Courtney said...

Oh my god, that ER episode was one of the most gutwrenching hours of television ever created. I remember they tried to re-run that episode during the off-season and had to run a warning about it, so many people were freaked out. Bradley Whitford played the husband in that episode, by the way.

All TV shows jump the shark. Friends did it the FIRST TIME Ross kissed Rachel.
Here via Michele today.

Radioactive Jam said...

Yes, the cynic in me thinks many shows do this on a regular basis. Some in our home used to watch 7th Heaven; seems that show jumped the shark when they started adding "family" "members."

ribbiticus said...

oh boy, don't get me started or we'll be at this for hours! i agree weith you on your choices for frasier, though. my other choices have given up the ghost so to speak so no use to put them here. :)

michele said hi btw...

janey said...

Great idea - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The jumped after the first show of the 7th season. Spike comes back with a soul and Buffy still can't love him. It was a waste after that. And Michele did not send me this time.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Quick point of contention, Captain, the phrase Jumping the Shark was coined by jumptheshark.com, and quickly spread from there.

Anyhoo, I have to agree with janey on Buffy. I understand that it was an allusion to the politics of the day and the US's invasion of Iraq, but Buffy got too angry and he character changed too much. Having the boyfriend from Two Guys and A Girl come in as this superhuman villian with a Texas twang and the whole town sinking into a giant hole at the end seemed so goofy.

Conversly, I thought the ending of Angel was so well done. Everything leading up to it just worked for me.

Simpsons, interestingly, I think "jump the shark" on occasion with individual episodes (Sgt Skinner comes back and Principal Skinner moves out, for instance), but then they either ignore those or poke fun at them themselves.

Helen Louise said...

The New Adventures of Superman jumped the shark when Lois and Clark got engaged. It was entertaining when Lois didn't know who Superman was and entertaining when there was she knew and they had a lot of angst, but it went downhill when they were happily together and got boring when it was "let's save the world and then go home for dinner".

I think The Next Generation may have jumped the shark by Nemesis - I thought it was a disappointing film since I really liked the other Next Gen films and I can't believe they killed off *censored* and *censored* and *censored* got married. What were they thinking? (Spoilers in place for anyone who still hasn't yet seen it and still wants to :) )

On the other hand, Doctor Who jumped the shark (the TV movie, with the Americanised plot... ick), then jumped back and was brilliant again. So things can always change :)

Oh, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch jumped the shark when Sabrina split with Harvey, got obsessed with boring old Josh, and went to college... and it also jumped the shark because I grew up :)

Lori said...

Dawson's Creek.....when Joey and Dawson finally had sex!!!....Never the same!!!

Quantum Leap.....I loved this show...I don't think it ever jumped the shark!!!

The Love Boat...when they did the next wave!!!..ughhh!!!

Have a great day Captain!!!

Magdalena said...

oh I dont watch many but I agree with Helen about Nemesis very disappointing another

Serenity great movie until towards the end then it went from 10 starts to 6 when they killed (Censored)
and especial when they killed (censored)
btw great Idea Helen


Pensecoloa wings of gold did it when they lost the original cast

Xena did it several times in the end

puremood said...

I'm not much of a TV gal but I did add myself to your map :)

Ciera said...

Judging Amy - when they moved her cute brother off the show :( It just wasn't the same. But that's my opinion.

Lt. Cmdr Oneida said...

I have to disagree with Vampi on Serenity. The Firefly series won't ever be back, and blank 1 had to die to motivate Mal, and blank 2 was a character they had thought of killing off in a second season of Firefly, which never happened. And who knows if there will be another movie, though I hope there is :) Shiny

And ER, I think jumping the shark has become a weekly thing for them. I stopped watching after the helicoptor smushed the doctor.

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

i've never heard of that expression. ummmm, let's see, how about in friends, with that ross and rachel thing, back and forth all the time, it was sad to watch.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

The only show I watch consistently is Law and Order. Whether it jumps the shark or not, is irellevant: I still love it!

Jen said...

Man, that's a hard question.

I think Twin Peaks jumped why they figured out who Bob was, and then kept going. But that's an old one, are we allowed to go back that far?

I put myself on your map :-)

Trinity13 said...

Charmed jumped a loooooong time ago, but it is still somehow on the air.

Smallville almost jumped. They had a really bad episode, but have since redeemed themselves.

Btw, I agree with Helen...(TNAO)Superman jumped when Clark and Lois finally got together. But I watched it anyway!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Jean-Luc..
Here from Michele this A.M. I know there are many tv shows that I could name...but I really have to give this some thought about when they Junped The Shark...
Just quickly--"The West Wing" kind of got to that point right after Sorkin and Schlamme left...it was still a good show, but no longer GREAT!! Wonderful topic!

Viamarie said...

The only series I consistently watch is Amazing Race.

Good morning. Michele sent me!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Helen Louise, I agree about 'The New Adventures Of Superman' & TNG

Lori, Quantum Leap's finest hour was when when Sam was back in the lab but had to leave again.

Jen, I agree about Twin Peaks, had nearly listed that when I composed the message.

Trin, I dread the Smallville episode coming up. The new season has only just started. Surely it's finest two episodes will be the cliffhanger when the town was destroyed and the Kryptonian bad guys in the first of the new series.

Thanks all for joining the Frappr Map!

kenju said...

Jean-Luc, I just woke up. I can't think of any TV shows right now, but I know there are many that have jumped the shark (some even before the 3rd episode)! LOL

Michele sent me!

panthergirl said...

I'll go in the way back machine to "Rhoda", the spinoff of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show".

It jumped the shark when Rhoda got married. The whole point of the show was that she was a desperate single woman in Manhattan and that's what was funny. Having her get married was just stupid.

I HATED THAT ER EPISODE. I am a certified childbirth instructor and labor assistant, and it was so totally bogus. Don't even get me started!! (No woman would be having an emergency birth of any kind in an ER, for starters...).

OK, I'll shut up now! ;)

Here via michele!

Claire said...

Ooh, I can't think of anything which is terrible considering how much time I spend watching TV...shame on me!

Lisa said...

I think Seinfeld jumped the shark with their ridiculous last episode. Good thing it was the last episode!!

MIchele sent me!

Carmi said...

ED: When Ed and Carol finally got together. The entire show up to that point had been based on the tension between them. Gone in an instant, difficult to watch from that point forward.

GOLDEN GIRLS: The moment they all retired. What? You're telling me they were all retired BEFORE the series began? Well, then that pretty much confirms it.

Vampirella said...

the most jumping shark I thought of is Dallas -- who shot JR --- it was a record rating and was never ever able to do it again after

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Vampirella, JR was shot so many times in the series, water shoots out if he drinks.

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