The worst "jump the shark" moments in TV

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Many of the moments described in the OP and in the thread don't work :shuffle: Like, a character that has been there the entire series cannot be the reason the series 'jumped the shark' unless that character actually did something definable to cause the shark jumping.

    I loved Buffy season 5, honestly, even if Dawn was annoying. The Body might be the single best television episode I have ever seen, and I am probably in the minority but I adored Glory.
  2. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    The Sylvia episode is just another reminder of how sadistic Michael Landon was. If it wasn't Mary going blind, losing her child, being kidnapped by the James brothers, then he always put a Sylvia in for comedotragic relief. "Kith me my wub" was her best and most tragic line. Plus, poor Sylvia, my friends joke with me sometimes when I'm not feeling great that I'm climbing 'the ladder to nowhere'. And we all get the Sylvia reference. Nohohohohohoh! Nohohoho!

    I would have maybe tolerated Shannen Doherty as Jenny. Except that the SEASON before had Royal Wilder and his wife drop off their two hell on wheels sons while they had a second honeymoon. One of them played Joey in Airplane ("So, Joey, have you ever seen a grown man naked?") That kid. But then the next season, no vigilante boys, no wife, just all of a sudden, just JENNY. And she sucked. If she wasn't going all Virginia Woolf in the pond, she was having a stroke or taming Wild Boy. I cared more about frog mouthed Cassandra and her ugly crying than I could about Jenny.

    And Mary's burnt baby. Yes, that could be a JTS moment, because Mary already was the on-hold-tragedy cry queen. We saw her lose her sight, we saw her kidnapped and possibly raped. So Landon decides, well, let's have her give birth and then we can watch poor Adam JR burn to death while Mary goes crazy? The funny thing is, the actor who played Alice Garvey, I think it was Hersha Parady, asked to be written out of the show. Well Landon REALLY wrote her out, burning her to death and using poor little Adam JR as a battering ram against the window.
  3. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    I loved Heroes, but their fatal mistake was the producers falling in love with Zachary Quinto and refusing to let Sylar remain dead after S1, and in general misunderstanding what the strengths of the show were. But I suppose the JTS part would be the introduction of the inky-tear twins. :scream:


    I think the Dawn character ran out of ideas long before the show ended, but there were plenty of fabulous moments in seasons 5-7. The Body was truly amazing, as was Once More, With Feeling. And I loooooooved Glory. I'm sorry that Clare Kramer hasn't had more of a career, she was excellent.
  4. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    He became cool their senior year in high school, after he somehow ended becoming part of that class even though he'd been introduced as younger. Andrea had her baby in college, when she was 40.

    Yes! Use the Buffy/Angel theme and maybe Sacrifice from The Gift, too.
  5. jenniferlyon

    jenniferlyon Well-Known Member

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    Another show that jumped the shark was Boston Legal. Too many characters coming and going and then they got too political. I don't need fictional characters on TV lecturing me about the issues and telling me who to vote for.
  6. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Here are the shows I think in one form or another have "jumped the shark" as far as I am concerned:

    CSI
    NCIS
    NCIS: LA
    Hawaii 5 0
    DWTS
    Castle
  7. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    Except Mary did go blind in real life and up to then, the storylines were sort of following the books the show was based on. It was when Michael Landon really started moving away from Laura Ingalls Wilder's story that the show JTS. In reality, Mary never married, Laura did marry Almanzo who was ten years older than her, but the Ingalls never adopted other children etc.
  8. misskarne

    misskarne Spirit. Focus. Ability. Tenacity. Aussie Grit.

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    JAG - When Harm quit the Navy, adopted a 12 year old girl, and went crop-dusting, before going off all crazy after Mac who was on a CIA mission and he STILL didn't tell her he loved her.

    As much as I loved JAG, ten seasons was a bit beyond its lifespan...and then AJ left :(


    Bones - When she got pregnant.

    Blue Heelers
    (lol no-one will know/remember/care about this one) - When the police station got blown up.
  9. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

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    Ally McBeal. Still I love RDJ.
    The O.C. One of worst jumping the sharks ever.
    Prison Break. No explanation needed.
    Battlestar Galactica. Kara Thrace just needed sadation to keep her from talking. But still one of my favorite shows:D
    Criminal Minds. When they let both JJ and Emily go.
    Desperate Housewives. Could there be more drama queens in one show? I don't even remember when the show was genuinely enjoyable.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  10. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

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    There's something about it in Melissa Gilbert's autobiography; haven't read it properly but from what I gather Michael Landon actually tried to save the show by bringing in the new kids because with the Ingalls children grown they had lost the "cute" factor.
    But I agree. Albert was okay, but James and Cassandra were definitely too much!

    Many of the shows, I feel, jump the shark when the original cast is replaced for whatever reason and especially when it happens late in the show. Little House, X-Files, Profiler. CSI: NY (though they were dwindling already before Kanakaredes left).
    I find CSI (the original) to be the exception as I find myself liking the newest cast.
  11. Michalle

    Michalle New Member

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    I watched Blue Heelers (and every other British and Australian soap on the air) the summer I lived in London, like 15 years ago. I totally loved it, but I was so young that I didn't really get that it, and the other Australian soaps, were Australian and not English until someone told me!
  12. Scintillation

    Scintillation New Member

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    Agreed. The first season is just amazing. Then I got to the second and went from completely obsessed to completely indifferent.

    I know Sex and the City has been mentioned, but I'd like to propose that the series jumped the shark midway through season 6, right around the appearance of Mikhail Barishnikov. I don't blame Mikhail, but the writing became awful and it morphed from a comedic show into some kind of sappy soap opera. Ugh. The series finale still pisses me off when I think about it.

    Oh and the Sopranos jumped the shark I think an episode or two after Adriana realizes she's being followed by the FBI. I distinctly remember that episode being awesome (she vomits all over the table when they tell her she has to become an informant), and then after that it started to go downhill.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  13. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    I'm loving this thread!

    How about Friends? - Many may disagree but when Monica and Chandler got together (I think it was the sometime in the '99 season), the show for me lost a certain 'something'. Maybe it was because Ross and Rachel were on and off, then you had another couple in the group of six pairing up.

    Sex and the City - IDK. I think the show may have 'jumped the shark' post 9/11 (mostly good from inception in '98 to '01). For me, it was too much that these 4 self-centered neurotics carried on in almost the same way in NYC even after the world changed so much ... except they were older, less secure and even whinier. Anyway, whiny, self-centered neurotics who take themselves seriously are only funny for a little while, but it gets old fast :p

    Did The Golden Girls ever jump the shark? I think TGG started to wane in the last year, and may have experienced a drip drip drip in the last few seasons (it was learned later that Bea Arthur wanted out of the show and maybe she was 'mailing in' her performances in retrospect). But, the show was pretty solid throughout, no?

    I think that Will & Grace lost something around '04. It may have been that Debra Messing's performances as Grace were quite subdued and she eventually disappeared to give birth, which may have shook up the tight chemistry on the show.

    Desperate Housewives - I personally think it lost something in its 2d season, when Alfre Woodard kept her son locked up in the basement. A little too much
  14. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    I remember the first time I watched the episode, I was home on college break, watching LHOTP on Hallmark, because that's just how I roll :p, and the entire episode was just :eek: The first time I watched it, I actually thought it was Sylvia's father who was dressing up as a mime in order to rape her, so my mind is even darker than Michael Landon's. :p

    LHOTP has a reputation for being schmaltzy & overly sweet, and it was, but it was also had some pretty dark storylines: not only do we have mimes raping & impregnanting 13 year olds, we have babies burning alive, Albert had a one episode morphine addiction, wagon accidents, orphans galore thanks to said wagon accidents, and I'm pretty sure Ma had a mental breakdown at some point. Not to mention for the series finale, they literally blow up Walnut Grove.

    I did love the Olsens though.
    jamesy and (deleted member) like this.
  15. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    OMG :rofl: I've never watched the TV series, but I can't help laughing at how this sounds NOTHING like the books at all.
  16. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    A lot of shows tried this same remedy: Mad About You, Blossom, Family Ties, Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, Different Strokes, Full House and who could forget the show that probably started the trend in the first place, The Brady Bunch. While it might have bought the show one or two more seasons on the air, it usually signaled that the quality of the show had gone downhill.
  17. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

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    ^The show should have a bigger gay following just because of Nellie Oleson - evil smile, snarky comments, holding court. All this in the 19th Century! :p

    Not to mention the flouncy dresses, OTT curls, bows, patent leather shoes, lollipops. I mean, Draq Queens should be doing this look for Halloween non-stop!
  18. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Agree that LHOTP lost it when they started inventing content that wasn't in the books. There were 8 or 10 of them, so plenty there without making stuff up.

    :lol: when Oliver joined The Brady Bunch. They're already doing it on Modern Family by SORASing Lily slightly, and another baby on they way; wouldn't be surprised if Cam and Mitch end up adopting an older child to fill the void as Luke grows up.

    Some of the comments here are more about character development. On Friends, the whole show didn't jump the shark, but Monica did. She started as an intelligent character with some OCD tendencies, but after a few seasons became a neurotic parody. Almost happened to Joey when they focused on his dumbness instead of his popularity with women, but they got that character back and better than before in the storyline when he fell for Rachel later on in the series.
  19. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Glory was FABULOUS!!! She's my favorite big bad ever! I think every season of Buffy had at least 1, usually way more, really great episodes.
  20. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    ROFL...to me "Little House" jumped the shark the minute they green-lighted something that bore absolutely no resemblance to the books beyond the name.

    (Okay, and possibly Laura and Almanzo's age difference, which really was nine years or so--she was 15 when they met. They didn't get married until she was 18, and then it was a rush to avoid his family wanting a big wedding.)
  21. Rogue

    Rogue Sexy Superhero

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    Married With Children tried it too. It didn't work out, so the next season the kid was never mentioned except for being a face on a milk carton in the first episode.
  22. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    :rofl: Seven, right?
  23. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Eureka - time travel was cute, but screwed up the cool Eureka vibe when they returned.
    Warehouse 13 - time travel season now in session. Absurd and confusing.
    Kyle XY - Introducing Jessie as the female (slightly damaged) evil superhuman counterpart and the evil secret organizations. (Zzyzx and Madacorp)
    Heroes - the time-travel season was absurd,* but the war among the gifted killed the show.
    The 4400 - the war between the two gifted camps.
    Alphas - the war between the two gifted camps. (this season)


    NBC keeps trying to use the same damn formula - introduce characters with superpowers, let the audience really enjoy their adventures to Do Good, then create a comparable superpowered-group working against them. If you screw up the plotline and get stuck, write in a time-travel arc to jump the shark and reset. Never works, but keeps lazy showrunners employed.

    *This, from a huge Quantum Leap fan. Time travel doesn't solve bad writing/planning.
  24. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

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    America's next top model, when Janice Dickinson left the judging panel. She was the best thing about this show :drama:
  25. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

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    WOW! I am so glad people are enjoying this thread! :)

    Degrassi: Totally agreeing with people who have said that the Next Generation went downhill when the kids stopped being "normal" and turned into celebrity-wannabes. The show was also good when there were fewer characters. There were a couple of seasons where they had what seemed like TONS of characters. I do think that the Lakehurst kids made things worse.

    Buffy: I also think they executed the whole Willow and witchcraft thing terribly.

    Some more points about Sex and the City: Wasn't the show's original idea that you can still have a great life in your 30s if you are still single? It felt like at the end of the series, they were trying too hard to wrap things up with all of them being "settled down." Plus, I always felt that Aidan was way out of Carrie's league, especially after she cheated on him with Big. She really could have been better after he took her back.

    And I LOVED Kyle XY when the series first started but Jessi was a bit much.
  26. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate New Member

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    Seinfeld - when they write the show about nothing. I continued to watch but that was the turning point.
  27. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    Havent' read the whole thread. Jump the shark moments are specific plotlines, not general. ITA about Gilmore Girls. Ironically the way April was dressed with that oversized bike helmet, should could have literally jumped over a shark.

    Sex in the City - More specifically, it jumped the shark when she met "The Russian" IMO.

    Roseanne: Again, more specifically, when the Connors "won" the lottery (although it was all a dream). That was one of the worst jump the shark moments ever.
  28. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, ITA, although I do love the show (have the entire show on DVD). Also... the whole "Mary/Adam Kendall" scenario had absolutely no connection to the reality of the real Mary Ingalls' life. They also made it seem like Mary only went away to the blind school for a few months. IIRC she attended the school for something like 8 years, and after that she lived at home with family for the rest of her life. However, I *do* get it that this was the way to show (because LHOTP was an "issues" show in so many episodes) that people who are blind can work and live independently.

    I remember reading somewhere how Michael Landon defended the show's storylines and the liberties they took by saying that, had they followed the books exactly, the show would not have lasted anywhere nearly as long as it did.

    Besides, anyone who does a little research into the real LIW's life would find that she herself took liberties in writing the books. She was only 2-3 years old when they lived in Indian Territory (1869-1870), for example, but in the book Little House on the Prairie she makes it seem like she was 6-7 years old.

    There used to be a website called the LHOTP Nit-picker's Guild, which dissected every single episode for errors in continuity, straying from the fact's of LIW's life, etc. etc. I don't think it's online anymore, but it was an interesting read.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  29. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    A couple of others not mentioned:

    Charmed - I really think it died when Phoebe went evil for a time with Cole. I actually felt it declined with the death of Prue, but it was interesting for a little while when they found Paige. But then it went off the rails.

    ALIAS! This was such an awesome show for the first two seasons. Even the start of Season 3 was interesting when Sydney "lost" 3 years of her memory. But then it slid out of control with it's relentless (and seemingly pointless) obsession with the Rambaldi device. I stayed with it until the end, but couldn't care less about the mythology at that point.

    Veronica Mars - again, good overall the first two seasons. But lost something when she went to college.
  30. pollyanna

    pollyanna Don't blink

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    Oh gawd yes, this was so not like Cordelia at all. I always figured it was Whedon's revenge on Charisma Carpenter for getting preggers.

    But I forgave him as soon as I saw season five's Smile Time episode. Never have I laughed so hard than at the sight of muppet Angel and Spike going at it. :rofl:

    And although I didn't really like it much when Buffy was brought back to life, I do agree that Buffy's The Body and Once More with Feeling were two of the best BtVS episodes ever. They nicely complement once another too, with Once More with Feeling full of and The Body completely devoid of music.
  31. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    FYI the real Almanzo was born in 1857, and the real LIW was born in 1867, and they married in 1885. So the age difference was actually correct.
  32. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    It's not a "jump the shark" thing exactly, but I HATED how the GG writers engaged in character assassination every time they decided they wanted to rid themselves of a character. Dean started out nice and ended up awful. (Not to mention that he started out smart and then they deliberately, majorly dumbed him down to look bad next to Jess!) Anna started out nice and ended up a raging, er, witch. Chris -- despite some huge weaknesses -- was being really nice and thoughtful to Lorelai, and then suddenly bailed on her when her father was sick. It was the quintessential example of lazy, careless writing, and they did it again and again and again.
  33. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    But they had already decided to end the show I think...but yeah, it was pretty much exhausted by then. The show is entertaining in re-runs, but OMG, Carrie was a selfish cow. LOL, I got so angry with her when she bullied Charlotte into lending her the money to put a down payment on her condo. All those years she pissed her money away on Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos...and she laid a serious guilt trip on Charlotte.
  34. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Roseanne JTS after they won the lottery, or at least continuing after it, it should have been the series finale.

    I hated what happened to Jackie's personality, Gilligan is great name for her.

    Michael Landon should have also been nominated at some point, why he got snubbed is beyond me.

    There really wasn't anything they could have done about Laura and Almonzo, there was an age difference. I hated the whole Nancy adoption but I did really like the show.

    Nope! Fabulous from start to finish! The Golden Palace spin off OTOH......:slinkaway

    She didn't become a mess and went from one of my favorites to one I liked the least.
  35. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    Oh GOD, I can NOT watch that part of the episode where he is doing the vomiting of what looks like milk (IDK, it's some white fluid).:scream::scream::scream: :eek::eek::eek:
  36. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    That was Michael Landon's decision. According to Melissa Gilbert's autobiography, NBC cancelled the show and did not even tell him they were going to cancel it, never talked to him about it before making the decision. So the blowing up the town was his feck-you to the network he had been on since Bonanza premiered in 1959.
  37. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Roseanne tried to remedy the lottery fiasco to some extent by the series finale, by saying that Dan actually did pass away from heart attack and the family did not actually win the lottery; but after Dan's "death" she wrote a book about the family where he cheated on her, because his death felt like a betrayal and as part of the book's plots, she had her family win the lottery. I think if she had left the series finale with that explanation, it would of been fine. It would have also been way to acknowledge that the last few seasons of the show strayed away from the show's roots. Unfortunately, she also added that Becky was really with David, and Darlene was really with Mark. Which made even less sense than the entire Conners win the lottery plot. Oh, yes the mother wasn't a lesbian, but the sister was.



    ITA. The Golden Girls was brilliant. I've never seen The Golden Palace though.
    I think Designing Women JTS when Suzanne & Charlene left the show, I never could stand their replacements. Not to mention, Suzanne was the best thing about the show. We wouldn't have Julia's infamous "the lights when out in Georgia" speech without her. :p
  38. Twizzler

    Twizzler Well-Known Member

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    Slightly off topic, but are there YouTube clips from Little House when Christopher Bowman was on it? I used to watch that show religiously, but can't remember when he was on or the character he played.


    A ??? JTS moment happened on Felicity when Keri Russell cut her hair. The ratings plummeted. It wasn't a writing issue, but the show never recovered after that. Used to love that show.
  39. lulu

    lulu New Member

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    Per IMBD, he played "Benjamin" for two episodes. I know Bowman was a child actor before he skated, but I had no idea he was on LHOTP
  40. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    IMDB is your friend :) Two eps/two different characters are listed, which should help you track down any video: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0101303/