‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #12 “Jump the Shark!”

We are going down the television rabbit hole with this one.

Often this phrase appears for a series, to explain that what was once popular, has started to lose its novelty and is going downhill.

The ‘jump the shark’ moment typically represents an attempt by story-writers to reignite fan interest, but almost always fails in spectacular fashion.

The actual term came from the scene in Season 5 of Happy Days, when The Fonz quite literally jumped a shark on skis. Happy Days was a popular teenage sitcom depicting life in the 50s, but after this episode things started to change and go in a more fantastical direction.

Tacky, right? Although the show lasted for several more years after that moment, the plot point didn’t get the fan attention it was after, and was never as popular or successful as its earlier seasons.

However the legacy the moment created was solely in the term that was created out of it, becoming so often-used and long-lasting, a firm part of television’s vernacular, that it’s still used to this very day in tv shows and any examples where something good takes a sudden downright turn.

Known as, the beginning of the end.

Other TV ‘jump the shark’ moments? Why I thought you’d never ask 😉

Roseanne winning the lottery in its final season.

Seinfeld’s final episode… was there ANY closure?

Felicity cutting her hair on Felicity… that mane was a character all on its own.

Dallas had a whole season that was a dream! That weak writing wouldn’t be allowed nowadays! (ahem, Roseanne???)

The Brady Bunch introducing cousin Oliver to counter their child stars getting older.

The Cosby Show introducing Olivia to counter the aging Cosby kids too (what is this ageism? Oliver, Olivia were these the same writers?)

Buffy… (murky waters for me since I AM a fan) after she died at the end of season 5, she was resurrected by her pals at the beginning of the next season and, you know, there is so many times that a mortal person can actually DIE and come back to life…

Two and a Half Men. Ashton was great as Kelso in That 70s show, but trying to replace the obnoxious and infamous Charlie Sheen was no easy feat…

Angel, my love. ♥ Season 5 was lacking and I may be persectured for this but it was partly due to the good guys taking over the offices of the evil guys, Wolfram and Hart… and Spike. It was primarily ALL HIS FAULT. (Angel forever!).

Saved by the Bell! I had to go back to the time capsule for this one, but I faintly remember as a 10 year old going “huh?” when fan favourites Kelly and Jessie went off to do other work gigs in the final season, and the producers decided to insert some random girl named Tori (who the actual F&%^??? Get away from Zack!)

Any others I’ve failed to mention? Do you agree with my findings or do you disagree?

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

 

 

 

 

 

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