Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jumping the shark

The term jumping the shark alludes to a specific scene in a 1977 episode of the TV series Happy Days when the popular character Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli literally jumps over a shark while water skiing. The scene was so preposterous that many believed it to be an ill-conceived attempt at reviving the declining ratings of the flagging show. Since then, the phrase has become a colloquialism used by U.S. TV critics and fans to denote the point at which the characters or plot of a TV series veer into a ridiculous, out-of-the-ordinary storyline. Such a show is typically deemed to have passed its peak. Once a show has "jumped the shark" fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original charm. "Wikipedia"
Post inspired by Neil

I love this term. What a perfect way to describe what's happened to much of television.

All of reality t.v. has jumped the shark (except, of course, American Idol)

So, I'll leave it at this...because I'm too lazy to figure it out myself...

which of your favorite shows, past or present, jumped the shark? and why?


Claire said...

So *that's* where that phrase comes from! Thanks sweetie!


treppenwitz said...

One of my favorite expressions as well.

Val said...

agree... American Idol rocks!

Jack said...

As long as American Idol is canceled all will be well in the world.

Wendy said...

I love that expression, too. Can't think of a good example, though - seems like so many shows drive themselves into the ground!

... Is the Window to Our Soul said...

All those old classics and their spin offs definitely jumped the shark.

ER is great example of that. I have no idea why it's still allowed to be on the air. It was so good in it's prime, but not it's just an embarrassment. I am seeing the same thing happening to Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives. Even 24 is losing its shine. It's such a brilliant show but if it returns again, I hope it's for the last season.

HRH said...

I read this a day ago and have been meaning to comment. I only know this phrase because living with my husband is like being married to TV Wikipedia. I think the last episode of Seinfeld, Lois and Clark getting married in any TV series and medical shows where the whole city requires its care all qualify. What fun.

cruisin-mom said...

Claire: good to see you!

Trepp: yep, really sums it up.

Val: Yay, a fellow A.I. lover!


Wendy: lately...how true

Jaime: would you believe I still watch E.R.? But I agree about Housewives (didn't even watch it all last season) and Grey's better watch it...they are just about to jump if they're not careful.

HRH: welcome! I love your husband already :). And YES...I hate those all city shows too.