Jumping the shark

Of the many TV series that I have followed ever since coming here, a trend I have noticed is for shows to jump the shark. It is in a sense, very similar to death – inevitable, tragic (in most cases) and it does leave a void in your life. Various shows are forced to jump the shark at varying speeds – opinions will differ on this, but Friends started its decline from season 7 (which sort of coincides with Matthew Perry’s decline as an actor), Scrubs from Season 5, House from Season 3, 24 from Season 3, The Office (US version) from Season 3 etc. etc.

The only exception to the rule seems to be Seinfeld (of which I have seen relatively little of), which retired at its peak after 10 years. And of course, Family Guy, which as years go by just seems to get random-er and crazier, but still manages to avoid Jaws. I seriously believe that the Family Guy writers huddle together every week, come up with random ideas and celebrities they hate (or love, come to think of it), stitch them together and form a barely-recognizable-from-where-it-started-with-many-flashbacks plot – all fueled by healthy doses of coke or pot.

Which leads me to think of how hard it must be for writers to come up with fresh material episode in and episode out; actors to maintain chemistry and spontaneity in their performances; producers not to succumb to ridiculous product placements and directors not to throw in the towel by bringing in guest stars.

I wonder if blogs have a jump-the-shark threshold as well…

Postscript: You may have noticed I have conveniently avoided talking about the TV show Family Guy is supposedly inspired from. I have nothing against it per-se, it’s just that compared to Peter Griffin and his family, the S’s look like they need to get a life.

And out of a weird loyalty towards Family Guy, I have vowed not to watch the movie spin-off as well…

UPDATE: I am tempted to see it however, for Spiderpig.

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4 Responses to “Jumping the shark”

  1. Chu Yeow Says:

    Interestingly, I just watched The Simpsons Movie today. And well it had a few chuckle moments but much like the TV show there are just no LOL moments. Used to be a time when The Simpsons was actually pretty good ๐Ÿ˜‰ So you’ve probably made a wise vow not to watch the movie IMHO.

    Despite being a big Family Guy fan I think it’s kinda approaching its tipping point. I’m sure hope not and pray for an awesome next season.

  2. arun Says:

    hehe yeah some of the jokes are getting a bit lame in FG, but somehow I seem to forgive that, and the Family Guy movie wasn’t all that great either…

    some of my friends who watched the Simpsons movie yesterday all seem to think that it was quite funny, but again like you said it’s probably not as retarded as Family Guy.

  3. Andy Croll Says:

    I’d like to add West Wing as a ‘never Jumped the Shark’ show, there is a slight decline in the 5th season, but it manages to pick up again – which is very unusual.

    I’d also say 24 hasn’t jumped (at midway through series 4), sure there are moments in Season 3, but overall the it’s the best planned entire season, and indeed Season 4 takes a while to get going, but still nothing compared to such gaping narrative of ‘the memory loss plot’ in Season 1 or ‘Kim cornered by a cougar’ in Season 2.

  4. arun Says:

    I’ve never watched West Wing – should start down-…I mean buying it’s DVDs!

    Yeah with 24, actually every season after Season 1 is kinda predictable, there’s always an evil-looking guy who turns out to be a nice guy, and a nice-looking guy who turns out to be evil.

    I love the fact that Nina Myers was the only person who used Dell (in a CTU full of Macs) in Season 1 and hence, was evil! ๐Ÿ™‚

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