Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jumping The Shark

At what point did a pop culture series “jump the shark” and lose your interest?

I came late to Happy Days but it was one of my favorite sitcoms of the 70s. I never watched English TV from 1972 - 77 because we lived in Europe but when I got home to Canada I became a freak for syndication and catching anything I could that looked even remotely interesting or genre-specific.

I actually remember being excited about seeing if Fonzie, in his shorts and biker jacket, could actually jump that shark. It took me a long time to look at 'jumping the shark' as a bad thing.

NCIS - when the cast found themselves in a closed gas station with a pregnant marine on Christmas Eve I tossed the whole damn thing. You know how much I love my ENNUI but Jethro Gibbs is a downer that even I can't have fun with.

JUSTICE - a great cartoon, when it's actually ON television. They jump the storyline from the original starting point to five years later without any explanation that could easily be accomplished with a bit of narration. I like what I see - good character development, little used characters but the whole storyline is full of hidden enemies that only show up at the end of each episode to remind us they are still suppose to be important or relevant but never do anything to show how badass they are. When SPORTSMASTER is a serious threat you have lost me. The Avengers cartoon is so much better and shows reverence to the great Avengers comic book stories of the past.

THE GOOD WIFE - I love everything about Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski. They show at least a bit of life in their performances. However, all the guys on this show are mice who act the same lines, the same way, each and every time. Even Calinda, who was spectacularly interesting, has become a cypher. The whole plot line with her 'husband' that she ran away from, is going nowhere. I didn't even bother to TiVo this one this week. I left Castle for the same reasons because it started to give me too much of the same too many times. These show suffer from too much padding and too many episodes a year. Cut it in half and you really got something interesting.

LOST - No show ever jumped the shark more. I have a bitter, complicated relationship with this program. I went back to it more times than I ever should and I felt cheated at the end. When the Oceanic Six left the island then basically went away to SULK I was emotionally detached from a show I once adored.

BSG - BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - Great update on a 70s classic. Brilliant, often heroic storytelling that always suffered from an totally unsympathetic villain in Baltar. After the show came back on the air after the writer's strike they had lost their mojo and obviously, the great ending we had all been promised. Seeing what came before (including all the terrific stuff with the Pegasus) made us all hope for something memorable to end our journey with these people but all we got were obtuse answers to questions we didn't even ask.

24 - It took me years of looking the other way but when the NEWLY BUILT AND DESIGNED CTU was broken into and destroyed so easily, I was done with the stupid Counter Terrorism Unit. Plus when you actually hate having to watch the hero emote in his one note - the only acting that Kiefer Sutherland can do - get over yourselves people, he stinks up the room. - it's time to go. It was a combination of all those elements but the never ending kidnapping of the daughter did it for me. Once, yes. Twice, yes. Three times and this time with a cougar? YES. But after that she just seemed too stupid to live. She should have been implanted with a chip like some dog you want to recover if it gets lost.



Timothy Brannan said...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer jumped the shark so many times. The musical was one, "Spuffy" another. But when they killed off Tara I turned it off and never watched it again. Still haven't.

Kal said...

I always like Angel better. I watched that one from the beginning. You could get rid of HALF of Buffy and have a great series. So much of that show was repetitive fluff.l