Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Jumping the Shark
I thought the term was ubiquitous but since I've had several questions as to what my last post was about I thought I'd provide a primer.
Jumping the shark is a colloquialism coined by Jon Hein and used by TV critics and fans to denote that point in a TV show or movie series' history where the plot veers off into absurd story lines or out-of-the-ordinary characterizations, particularly for a show with falling ratings apparently becoming more desperate to draw viewers in. In the process of undergoing these changes, the TV or movie series loses its original appeal. Shows that have "jumped the shark" are typically deemed to have passed their peak.
So to give an example, many people think that Moonlighting jumped the shark when Maddie and David finally hooked up. And Jon and I just had a discussion about at what point The Cosby Show jumped. He says it was when Olivia was added - I say it was the addition of Pam. The Jump The Shark website is no more but you can still get the book from Amazon. Hope that helps. What are you favorite, or most frustrating, jump the shark moments?