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How do you tell if your favorite show/comic/movie series/etc... is "jumping the shark"?
Lonnehart at 8:42PM, Oct. 16, 2009
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I'd like to know. Are there warning signs that I can look for? The only way for me to tell at the moment is when I'm watching the newer episodes of a show and I'm finding that the plot/story has become boring, trivial, and/or too bizarre…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
skoolmunkee at 1:47AM, Oct. 17, 2009
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Usually it's “someone's having a baby!” or clipshows.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
ozoneocean at 2:54AM, Oct. 17, 2009
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skoolmunkee
Usually it's “someone's having a baby!” or clipshows.
Yup.

And “courtroom episode” in scifi shows.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
DAJB at 6:55AM, Oct. 17, 2009
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Having a guest celebrity appear is usually a good sign. If the celebrity in question is past his or her sell-by date, then it's a doubly good sign. If several episodes in the same season feature guest stars, then it's a given!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
Product Placement at 7:31AM, Oct. 17, 2009
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ozoneocean
skoolmunkee
Usually it's “someone's having a baby!” or clipshows.
Yup.

And “courtroom episode” in scifi shows.
I think “courtroom episodes” fall under clip shows. Just like the “debriefing episodes” “interrogation episodes” “stuck behind enemy lines episodes” “lying on your deathbed… again episodes” and so on.

Man… they do allot of clip shows.

The only good clip show episode that I've ever seen was from that Clerks animated show where they did a clip show in the second episode.
Those were my two cents.
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This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:51PM
timethief at 7:31AM, Oct. 17, 2009
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Dream episodes. When they start resolving the story by having the character wake up, they have completely run out of ideas.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
elektro at 9:17AM, Oct. 17, 2009
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When a serious show starts doing really stupid plots or starts casting dumb characters. It's hard to explain, but that ruins the feel of the show.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
skoolmunkee at 10:07AM, Oct. 17, 2009
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DAJB
Having a guest celebrity appear is usually a good sign. If the celebrity in question is past his or her sell-by date, then it's a doubly good sign. If several episodes in the same season feature guest stars, then it's a given!
I don't know, that depends. They had Keith Carradine on Dexter for a long time and he was great. I guess that's more of a temporary cast member than a guest star though. Scrubs had a lot of guest stars (although they weren't usually made a big deal of as such) and that show was fantastic til they got to the babies-marriages-moving away stuff.

Shows like Colombo allllways had guest stars (not that we know who most of them are nowadays) but that was their hook, and the plots worked well with it.

If the shows are advertised as “And GUESS WHO is stopping by to visit the gang THIS WEEK?!” and Matthew McConnoughey turns out to be their nephew Slim just passin' through then yeah, that's no good.

Product Placement
The only good clip show episode that I've ever seen was from that Clerks animated show where they did a clip show in the second episode.
The Simpsons clip shows can be decent, but only because the Simpsons has had so much great stuff in the past that I don't really mind watching Burns sing “See My Vest” one more time. (I'd still rather have a new episode though.)


Basically any time a show has to resort to a gimmick, start killing off characters because the actors want to leave, etc.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
GracehFaceh at 9:20PM, Oct. 17, 2009
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I always just kinda know. Usually the show doesn't feel the same anymore.

The Office- Pam's preggo, doesn't feel as funny.
Scrubs- When JD got Kim pregnant and NBC dropped the show.
How I Met Your Mother- This kills me to say, because I was DYING for this to happen, but when Barney and Robin started going out. It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't have to add a subplot about it every episode.

It only happens to the best of 'em.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM
Sea_Cow at 10:24PM, Oct. 17, 2009
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When every other thing any character does is pretty much winking at the audience.
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
Rich at 5:04AM, Oct. 18, 2009
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When they kill off important characters and then bring them back next season because the fanbase got pissed off and they start dicking with the main cast every damned season.

Or when they try to get all dark and edgy. We all know how well that turns out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:07PM
lefarce at 2:30PM, Oct. 18, 2009
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Rich
When they kill off important characters and then bring them back next season because the fanbase got pissed off and they start dicking with the main cast every damned season.

Or when they try to get all dark and edgy. We all know how well that turns out.

Rich just summed up Heroes nicely.

I don't think preggo Pam is really jumping the shark on The Office, the show still seems hilarious to me. If anything, Jim getting his own office and sharing a job with Michael seems closer to jumping the shark.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
Product Placement at 3:11PM, Oct. 18, 2009
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Rich
When they kill off important characters and then bring them back next season because the fanbase got pissed off and they start dicking with the main cast every damned season.
^^ I know exactly what show you're referring to.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:51PM
Sea_Cow at 3:56PM, Oct. 18, 2009
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When a character jumps over a shark?
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
Aurora Borealis at 6:07PM, Oct. 18, 2009
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I don't know about shows… but I do know how to tell with movies.

Horror: latest sequel is moving into outer space (Jason X, Hellraiser 4… technically the four movies after that were better than this one, BUT they're not really hellraiser movies, just “horror movies with Pinhead”)

Fantasy: the main (or an important supporting) character of the previous films visits our world (Neverending Story 3… hell, some titles don't need a sequel for that even, He-Man for me was interesting only for the first 5 minutes before they came to earth)

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
lefarce at 6:46PM, Oct. 18, 2009
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How can you tell when your favorite comic series is “jumping the shark”?


 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
Chernobog at 7:21PM, Oct. 18, 2009
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A monkey or a toddler suddenly joins the cast.

Main characters who started the series are mysteriously ignored for the Mary Sue that appeared.

When a comedic themed series gets all grim and serious for more than a few moments.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
SpANG at 7:39PM, Oct. 18, 2009
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Don't forget about special “Wedding” episodes.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
lothar at 3:11AM, Oct. 19, 2009
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GracehFaceh
I always just kinda know. Usually the show doesn't feel the same anymore.

The Office- Pam's preggo, doesn't feel as funny.
Scrubs- When JD got Kim pregnant and NBC dropped the show.
How I Met Your Mother- This kills me to say, because I was DYING for this to happen, but when Barney and Robin started going out. It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't have to add a subplot about it every episode.

It only happens to the best of 'em.
firstly i have no idea wut “ jumping the shark means” and B - i have never heard of any of these 3 shows or most the stuff mentioned here my hybernation is success.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
ozoneocean at 3:30AM, Oct. 19, 2009
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lothar
firstly i have no idea wut “ jumping the shark means”
I didn't either, once. The internet teaches all…

The idea is that when a show is losing its edge they do a silly stunt. It's named after an episode of Happy Days where Fonzie jumps a shark on water skies. I think.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
Hawk at 9:29AM, Oct. 19, 2009
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ozoneocean
The idea is that when a show is losing its edge they do a silly stunt. It's named after an episode of Happy Days where Fonzie jumps a shark on water skies. I think.

That's exactly right. Fans of a series that has “jumped the shark” don't enjoy the show as much as they used to. It's usually viewed as the moment the series started getting worse.

Jumping the shark isn't always an action or episode, but is sometimes a shift in the way the creators treated the show. I think The Simpsons jumped the shark when Homer started becoming more stupid than humanly possible. In Season 4, Marge comes in with the mail and small plastic bottle saying, “Ooh, we got a free sample!” Homer grabs it and swigs it down. Marge says, “Homer, that was dish soap!”

“Yeah, but what're ya gonna do.”

So sure, it was a little bit funny at the time. But before that point Homer was a knucklehead with good intentions. After that point, it was all about what depths of stupidity Homer could reach, however unrealistic or ridiculous. The Simpsons would remain fun to watch for a few more seasons, but it was never the same again.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
SpANG at 9:56AM, Oct. 19, 2009
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ozoneocean
lothar
firstly i have no idea wut “ jumping the shark means”
I didn't either, once. The internet teaches all…

The idea is that when a show is losing its edge they do a silly stunt. It's named after an episode of Happy Days where Fonzie jumps a shark on water skies. I think.
Here's a little more history, if you'd care to know…

A guy named Jon Hein was with friends discussing when popular television shows began to decline, and his roommate, Sean J. Connolly, coined the phrase referring to a Happy Days episode in which Fonzie performed a water ski jump over a shark. The phrase “jumped the shark” became code between Hein and his friends for the moment that a television show began to decline, and became inspiration for the name of his website www.jumptheshark.com in the late 1990's.

Although the website was rough, it was actually really cool. It contained a searchable database and a rating/comment system. Sadly, TVGUIDE.COM bought it out and made it something completely and horribly different. :(

Hawk
I think The Simpsons jumped the shark when Homer started becoming more stupid than humanly possible. In Season 4, Marge comes in with the mail and small plastic bottle saying, “Ooh, we got a free sample!” Homer grabs it and swigs it down. Marge says, “Homer, that was dish soap!”

“Yeah, but what're ya gonna do.”
In the late 80's (I think) the company that produces “Sun-Light” dish washing liquid sent millions of free samples to consumers. Although the label DID say that it was soap, thousands of consumers mistook it for lemon juice because of the lemon graphics and the star-burst that said “Made with real lemons!”

That scene was actually a comment on real-life events. Homer represented the idiots that consumed it without reading. I thought it was funny. :)


“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
Hawk at 10:59AM, Oct. 19, 2009
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SpANG
In the late 80's (I think) the company that produces “Sun-Light” dish washing liquid sent millions of free samples to consumers. Although the label DID say that it was soap, thousands of consumers mistook it for lemon juice because of the lemon graphics and the star-burst that said “Made with real lemons!”

That scene was actually a comment on real-life events. Homer represented the idiots that consumed it without reading. I thought it was funny. :)

I actually didn't know about that incident. Interesting.

I definitely won't argue the funniness of the gag. I laughed at it too. The gag itself isn't what I think was jumping the shark… it was Homer's inability to realize it was dishsoap after drinking it. Before The Simpsons was a “stupid contest”, Homer would have yelled like a gorilla and spit it out, probably only after Marge said it was dishsoap, for comic effect. From that point on, Homer just got increasingly stupid.



I was actually just about to provide a link to Jumptheshark.com for everybody so they could see where people think their favorite shows have jumped the shark… but it looks like TVGuide destroyed the site.

Here is what people are calling its spiritual succesor, Bonethefish.

It's interesting to see what the internet thinks was the downfall of The Simpsons.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM

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