11/30/11

Jumping the Shark

I have a feeling this post is about to reveal the unhealthy relationship I have with TV.

But this subject has been on my mind lately and I want to discuss it.

That sentence made it sound like this is about to be a serious post. It is nowhere near a serious post. Perhaps a sad post because I watch too much television, but serious? No.

Have you heard of the phenomenon called jumping the shark? It refers to a television series. When a TV show jumps the shark it means that it did something entirely stupid and the show is beyond recovery and viewership begins to decline.

That was my own scientific definition, perhaps I should be a television critic or something.

The term "jump the shark" originated from a Happy Days episode in which "the Fonz" literally jumped over a shark while skiing, which was unrealistic and dumb.

Do you think I'm (more of) a nerd yet?

ANYWAYS, all of that to say, lately I've been thinking about my favorite TV shows and their moments of "jumping the shark".

And I just heard a few people out there say "wow she needs more to think about".

But the reason I've started thinking about this is because I've been watching Friends reruns over and over and there is such a clear difference between the early seasons which were laugh out loud till you cry funny and the later seasons when it got a little, shall we say....lame.

So as I sit in bed watching Friends and eating crackers I try and figure out when it lost it's steam - the moment that it jumped the shark. The only conclusion I can come up with is when Rachel got pregnant. It seems like it started to go downhill after that. What do you think?

Of course there may be some people who think it never jumped the shark.

Shows that I think never jumped the shark?
  • Dawson's Creek
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Reba (yes I went there)
  • The Wonder Years
  • Boy Meets World
  • LOST
I'm sure I could think of more if I sat and thought about it, but I have more important things to think about. (sarcasm intended)

I've also thought about my favorite shows and the moment that I feel they jumped the shark

- Desperate Housewives - I think it occurred when they did the time jump and moved to the future. That was cool at first but then it got weird

- Grey's Anatomy - I've gone back and forth about this one a lot. I think it either happened when Meredith fell in the water and almost drowned and then saw all those dead people, OR when Izzie started seeing her dead fiancé Denny. What is with the dead people Grey's? THIS ISN'T SCIENCE FICTION.

- Mad About You - when they got pregnant

- Beverly Hills 90210 - When Brenda left (yes it went on for many more years after that, this is just my own biased opinion)

Now I'm wondering.....What do you think? Do you agree/disagree? I'm willing to bet there are some people that think that Friends never jumped the shark.

And I know some people think that Lost jumped the shark even though I disagree WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

I get passionate about Lost. And Friday Night Lights.

Well this whole post might be proof that I get passionate about television all together.

So I want to know your thoughts on this matter.

Clearly we have big fish to fry here.

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23 comments:

Amy said...

brenda???? really?!?!?!
i think when she left is when it started to pick up.
the point where it jumped the shark had to have been when kelly got raped/addicted to drugs/stalked/ HIV scare/ miscarriage/ just to name a few.... ;-)
and i TOTALLY agree about Boy Meets World. classic.

Life and Times . . . said...

I have to say w/Boy Meets World it was when Tapenga got all crazy and stopped loving Cory. Now I completely agree with you on Brenda. She never should've left 90210. She belonged with Dylan. Maybe I need more to think about too?!?

Justine said...

See Friends was originally supposed to end at season 9. thats why they made Chandler get the job in Tuscon. Season 10 was just reaching and i hated that they made rachel get with joey. thats just me though :)

Lost- never jumped the shark...loved it till the end!

Brittany said...

I totally agree that Dawson's Creek, BMW, The Wonder Years, and Reba (yep, I watch it too) never jumped the shark. I'm a huge Friends fan and can watch any episode. Greys has not been good lately...it didn't make the jump...it was eaten by the shark. But for some crazy reason I must watch it every week. Desperate Housewives was another that jumped the shark, basically after the second season. Sometimes it's sad when that happens especially if you've invested time in the show. How lame/sad does that sound?!

California Wife said...

Okay, this is so perfect! We played Catch Phrase at Thanksgiving and Jumping the Shark was the phrase. They used the Fonzi explanation, but I still never understood it. I'm so glad you just explained this to me!

I agree with you completely on so many of these... Desperate Housewives was for sure the jump into the future, so bizarre. Grey's was definitely the Meredith drowning, and 90210 was without a doubt when Brenda left.

LT said...

I kind of feel like The Wonder Years jumped the shark as Kevin got older, but I can't think of anything specific. And I feel the same way about Dawson's Creek- I don't even remember watching the last season. But that's pretty lame of me to say they jumped the shark on a "hunch", so you're probably right :)

Courtney said...

I think Friends officially jumped the shark when Rachel and Joey hooked up. It actually made me really mad and I stopped watching for awhile. But it was slowly going downhill around the time Rachel got pregnant.

melissa said...

Oh gosh, is it sad that I could discuss this topic for days? Don't you hate it when someone says that your favorite show has jumped the shark but you're still loving it? I agree that Dawson's Creek never did - I loved it to the end. One Tree Hill jumped the shark for me when Lucas and Peyton left. I think Felicity was when she cut her hair, though I watched to the end. I loved West Wing to the end and feel like it never jumped the shark. Same for Will & Grace. And I've heard people say 30 Rock has jumped and I seriously disagree. Okay...that's probably quite enough out of me!

Such a fun post!

Lindsay said...

Friends is my all time favorite and even though it went downhill I still had to watch. Same thing with Desperate Housewives. I agree that when it jumped ahead in time it started going down. But I have to keep watching. I'm also still watching Grey's because even though it's lame now, I still feel like I have to be loyal! Ha!

Shelley said...

Im one of those people who thinks Friends never jumped the shark :)

Melody said...

Okay...I'm very glad to know that I am not the only one who still faithfully watches Grey's and Desperate Housewives even though it is a bumpy ride each week. I just have to get this off my chest...Why did they have to let Teddy's cute-as-a-button, adorable husband die!!! I am SO upset. Can they not have one functional, loving relationship last on the show! Whew!...and done.

Danielle said...

I am one of those people who thinks a show jumps the shark, but then I get sucked back in again and again, especially with Grey's. I think Grey's ultimately jumped the shark for me when they killed off George.

And Reba never jumped for me either, I'm especially excited about the rumored Reba Lifetime movie!

Danielle said...

Friends NEVER went downhill!!! :)

Carrie said...

First and most important Dawson's Creek NEVER jumped. It was incredible!

I think I agree with the Friends timeline. They had good moments after but not consistent.

I feel like Boy Meets World lost steam in the college years.

Desperate Housewives is interesting because I think it was good then it jumped but it really came back a season or two ago to quality story telling; however, right now I think it's back over the shark.

Classy Fab Sarah said...

I think Grey's Anatomy jumped the shark when Izzie did mouth to mouth on a deer. Remember that episode?

Yeah, whoa baby.

Shannon said...

I agree with Grey's 100%. Used to watch it and am pretty sure the season that Izzie started seeing her dead fiance. Stopped watching after that season.

FNL and Lost never lost it. great to the very last episode!

Julie said...

I don't think Friends jumped the shark, sorry. I agree that Dawson's Creek is pure amazing though. I also love me some Gilmore Girls. Oh and I totally agree about Grey's with the dead people. That's right when I stopped watching.

Sweet Simplicity said...

Friends, never! I'm so glad you have been tweeting about it being on nick at nite. I laugh out loud in every episode.

Julie said...

My first thing I was going to say was that Friends never jumped the shark, but actually thinking about it and reading some comments, I have to agree it was somewhere around the time where Rachel got pregnant and her and Joey hooked up. All my favorite episodes were before that moment.

I LOVED Lost. Like, I had a pretty unhealthy relationship with that show. I cried for like, um days after it ended, I felt like I had such high expectations, and the finale just never pulled it off for me. I honestly felt like a jaded ex girlfriend when that show ended. I still can't watch re-runs. It's too painful. I tell you it's sick. Sick. Sick. Sick.

So, um, I guess you are not the only one with TV obsession and issues ;)

Great post.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who is addicted to TV. Love it.
I'm helplessly addicted to Greys so even as rediculious as it is getting I still watch it religiously.
I love Reba also so happy it is on lifetime everyday!
I was also a Gilmore Girls fan. There was a lull for awhile when the girls were fighting that I almost lost hope, but I still love it.
You are definately not alone in the tv obsession department :)

Amy said...

Oooo I love this. I will agree with you on Friends for sure, I think they definitely jumped the shark, I'm not going to say when she got pregnant though, I'm going to say when Joey fell in love with Rachel, so in between it all. Her pregnancy was cute for a bit, but then Joey fell in love with Rachel and the show got awkward and Joey changed. I'm going to say it started to decline but when it just totally took it to a dumb level was when Joey "accidentally" proposed to Rachel... like really?? COMMON. The Barbados episodes are the worst, look at the London and Vegas episodes in comparison. Barbados was SO SO SO dumb - like really Monica? They just made her completely annoying as the seasons went on.

The funny thing is that my cousin loves those episodes, they are her favourite parts of the series (Joey and Rachel love story). Odd ball that one (and she owns the series and watches the show every day).

Sex and the City never jumped the shark, but then they made a second movie.

LOST... I'll agree with you there.

Grey's... I will think when George died and Izzie left. It had it's moments. I think it's still decent... but it's definitely rapidly declining.

Private Practice? This season when Addison started going to therapy and they started showing it, and the Addison obsession with pregnancy.

Gossip Girl jumped the shark at some point last year, I think it was when they did the Blair/Dan thing.

Desperate Housewives, I'll totally agree with you on the future thing, was this before or after the pharmacist and Brie?

Yes... I watch a ton of television too!

I think Big Bang is starting to decline, with Sheldon becoming such a popular character parts of what made him so good are being lost.

Jess said...

I do agree that Friends started to decline in the later years.... and I was NOT a fan of the Rachel/Joey thing.... but, I thought they fairly quickly resolved it.

Totally agree about Dawson's Creek (Team Pacey, btw) and Boy Meets World.

I love Grey's. I just do. I can't help myself. I HATED pretty much anything they had Izzie do that wasn't being in love with Alex. Hated it. But, they still have really great moments of storytelling. And, the writers remember stuff.... which a lot of writers don't. The little details.

Ashley said...

Oh gosh. I loved Friends to the end, but the whole Joey Rachel thing irked me. And then Grey's? I would have to say I started getting irritated with Izzie and Denny after Denny died.