Jumping the Shark

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Jumping the shark

We all at some point have read or watched a TV show, anime, book, or other form of media that has "jumped the shark." Discuss the phenomenon of jumping the shark and why it happens. Can shows actually turn out better because of these plot twists (can jumping the shark be a good thing)? Why are these moments often so enjoyable to watch?

  • Sorry, it deleted my edit: Jumping the Shark refers to a ridiculous plot twist or gimmick in a show designed to draw in more viewers. For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark. – Connor Gregorich-Trevor 8 years ago
  • I feel that jumping the shark happens out of desperation to keep the audience stimulated, whether it be for better or for worse. Personally, I haven't seen a case where a show turns out better due to this phenomenon. A show draws in its audience because of its writing and formula. Unless jumping the shark brings about a turn of events that pushes the plot of a show forward, then I don't think that it could ever be for the better. I think something really game changing has to happen in order for jumping the shark to be used as a positive tool for the success of any form of media. – seanstartrunning 8 years ago
  • I actually never knew about this term before this topic. You could probably also mention in certain episodes when they make things look like the 1940's. I know they did it once in One Tree Hill, and another time in Pretty Little Liars, however, I didn't think either show was losing viewers? There should definitely be good examples for this article not just the one from Happy Days. Perhaps, adding more current examples could show why it's still a technique used today, and perhaps, if it shares the same purposes as before. – Jaye Freeland 8 years ago
  • Quality, schmality! If I had a TV show, I'd run that sucker into the ground! Homer pats Bart on the back. "Amen, boy. Amen.'' -- Bart learns of the demise of `The Cosby Show' The Simpsons. Which has jumped the shark many times. – marinetti 8 years ago
  • It has already been done. A lot. – T. Palomino 2 years ago

"Jumping the Shark" vs. "Growing the Beard": An Analysis of the Rise and Decline of Popular Television Shows

"Growing the Beard" is the definitive moment when a series begins to become noticeably better in quality and "Jumping the Shark" is the opposite.

What is it that gives a certain TV show that first burst of success? What maintains that initial popularity, and what are the signs that a show has endured past its prime?

Focus on shows such as "Happy Days," "Firefly," "Battlestar Galactica," and "Star Trek: TNG".