Off Topic Messages

Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:38 am

The Drew Carey Show.

The last season, when they
made the department store into a dot-com and
brought some terrible UNFUNNY younger "actors".

I always thought the new people must have been
the ABC network's idea. Because ABC always
finds a way to f**k-up a good show.

ABC = Always Butchering Comedy

Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:47 am

"Law And Order" after Jerry Orbach died. It just ain't the same without him :(

Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:24 pm

I actually agree with Genesim - about "Three's Company" & "All In the Family." Although the Jack Ritter sit-com at the end went way off the rails - and the lighting changed and they seemed to get rid of the studio audience and go all the way with fake laughter.

Colin. one of those shows made it to PBS here in the USA: Upstairs...Never saw it. Very high-fallutin.' :lol:

Personally, I think HBO's The Sopranos lost it from just taking too long a break between seasons. When it was last on with new episodes, it ended in what, 2003? 2004? When I heard they'd be back in '06, I said, who cares?! Now that's it's almost back, I totally don't care.

Here's the official website, by the way:

http://www.jumptheshark.com/

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:06 am

I definitely agree with the Andy Griffith statement. It is ironic that the writing and acting lost its color when the film gained it. When Don Knotts left the show lost its sense of the absurd and Andy lost his sense of humor and became a crank. I would say save a handful of episodes mostly the Knotts' guest appearances, it went from being a great show to a bad show in those last few years.

I also agree about M*A*S*H*. I wouldn't chock it up exclusively to Alda's ego even though it played a part in making the show a dour preach fest each week. Norman Lear has said only an a**hole hits an audience over the head with a message and M*A*S*H* hit its audience too often over the head. Age also played a part in it as the show lasted three times as long as the actual Korean War. Also, it suffered neglect outside of Alda's ego with a lesser video quality, lazy unfunny scripts and poor continuity. When the show ended, Mike Farrell's character looked like no army doctor in the 1950s with long hair and a bushy mustache. Also, as Pete Dube pointed out, the series also suffered in its dynamic since everyone wanted to be sympathetic particularly Hot-Lips/Margaret. Ironically, I think the most sympathetic character in the show's history was Frank Burns in his final season when he was dumped by Margaret. It was good Linville left because the character as presented in that final season was unbearably lonely and too painful to watch. For the other doctors to keep piling on him was inhumane.

I would agree with Genesim about AITF. When Mike and Gloria moved out to the coast was when it jumped not when they moved next door. The relationships, particularly between Mike and Archie, only deepened in complexity. Their episode where the Stivics move is one of the most moving in all of television history. When Archie can't bring himself to tell Mike he loves him, it was almost stinging emotional truth. It also took great courage by the writers and commitment to the characters. Today they would have fallen all over each other.

I would not say it completely jumped though until it became Archie Bunker's Place. The last season with Edith had a hand full of strong episodes.

Some of my choices for jumping were Shelly Long's departure from "Cheers". The female actress was apparently the key point in the show's chemistry and when Kirstie Alley took over the show shifted from subtlety to broad humor and the results were not nearly so satisfying as the emotional resonance of the characters disappeared.

I would also say "Seinfeld" jumped when Susan died. They had taken all those characters as far as they could. In the last two years, the characters became very cartoonish and even more unlikeable. There were still some first rate episodes like Bizarro Jerry and Yada Yada but the thrill was gone.

I never thought Lucy jumped. Other shows that stayed on the beam for me in their entire run were "The Rockford Files", "Columbo", "The Odd Couple", "Dick Van Dyke", "Mary Tyler Moore" and both Bob Newhart shows.

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:10 am

Actually I said moved next door was when it changed. Though jumping the shark is a bit harsh.

I like them all though.

As for him saying he loved Mike....wasn't needed. Mike knew it without him saying it. That wasn't Archie. I am glad they handled it that way as well. Very different from how a show would have been handled today.

I often wonder how All In the Family would have been for 9/11. No other show really tackles issues head on like they did.

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:24 am

Good point, Genesim. Today, PC concerns would probably derail it.

re: the Andy Griffith Show

I've been catching up with it on TV Land. Surprisingly it has aged well.

LTB wrote:

I also agree about M*A*S*H*. I wouldn't chock it up exclusively to Alda's ego even though it played a part in making the show a dour preach fest each week. Norman Lear has said only an a**hole hits an audience over the head with a message and M*A*S*H* hit its audience too often over the head. Age also played a part in it as the show lasted three times as long as the actual Korean War. Also, it suffered neglect outside of Alda's ego with a lesser video quality, lazy unfunny scripts and poor continuity.


Too true. I like the early years but the rise of earnestness kills sitcoms.

I have the the entire 1972 season of AITF on DVD and love it to pieces. Whenever they soften up a character (however necessary), it loses something. I'm a big Carrol O'Connor fan so I can stand him in all the incarnations, but the show did lose something. And lately I've been wondering about how buffoonish they made him, in effect belittlling what might have been a better crafted show...

But then they did make "Meathead" a cartoon liberal as well.

On another note, to me, The Honeymooners (with really just 39 episodes sans the "lost episodes" is also one that never got a chance to go off the beam, unlike its imitation, The Flintstones, that had to add kids and then an alien. :lol:

There's some great discussions about AITF (pro and con) on the shark website, among others. People even analzye the Twilight Zone, which i normally think of being as beyond criticism.

I agree about Cheers and Seinfeld. I've always had misgivings about the latter even when i liked and "got" it.

It got a little cloying and too "inside" at times.

Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:35 am

I thought you meant Gene when they moved out west.

Greg- "Twilight Zone" is an anthology so it's a little harder for it to jump the shark since its character shifted each week. There are a lot of bad episodes particularly when it got weighed down by Serling's sentimentality. The twist endings while mostly effective were also hauled once too often. Still though usually a good guideline for that show is that it was great when it went chills and that it was not so great when it for tears.

"Honeymooners" the classic 39 is an example of a show where everyone is a classic.

It's interesting "Happy Days" is what started the idea. Although, the shark jump is the exact moment where the show and the Fonzie character went off the beam, it was never what you would call a great show although Fonzie was a great character. The early Richie/Potsie dominated episodes are often flat, the more Fonzie was featured the more color the show had. The season where he moved in with the Cunninghams was inspired, yet that's one really good season and nine mostly mediocre ones.

Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:56 pm

Yes, many fans mark the "beginning of the end" of a show at different, often surprising moments, which is why that site can be so much fun. Many think whatever value Happy Days had was short-lived. I recall someone mentioning it being about when Fonzie became effectively a phenomenon, "the star." The focus of a show changes when they know they have a hit. They know what formula works and then its all they can do but to not kill it with love.

Likewise, there's this self-consiousness that sets in that's not there early on with shows like "All In the Family." Later (and still liked it anyway) the characters are softer, more shop-worn, and even visibly less virile and original fire just fades away.

Writers begin thinking too hard about what works (or milking it) or try to "humanize" a character we actually liked at full roar. "The Sopranos" (to me extremely tired by now) also trys to walk back and forth with breeding contempt for these mobsters and also showing them as just plain folks. That balance is hard to hold.

Even the Twilight Zone is deconstructed on that site. I waded though it and I'm coming back to it as it's a richer source than I realized.

From debating O'Reilly to Bill Maher to the Honeymooners to Rescue Me, or I Married Joan ,there's something there for every one. Check out your favorite shows, folks. :D

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http://www.jumptheshark.com/

Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:39 pm

My favorite show jumped the shark in last week's episode.


"The Doc Show" starring Doc.

He did an episode where he condoned negative comments about the Beatles,
he didn't insults any of the supporting characters,
and he even said GG was right.


whoah! Dat boy has jumpa da shark!
:shock:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:40 pm

Err, I missed that thread, err, show. :shock:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:42 pm

Hopefully it'll be cancelled soon.

Like the Hoffa Show

:twisted:

Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:18 am

There wasn't any one episode but I thought "Batman" (the Adam West) version slipped when the writers and directors stopped incorporating a suspense element into the plot and making the comedy more overt.

Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:43 am

Batman also jumped the shark when
they stopped shooting on real locations

and got cheap (*note: main reason shows jump sharks - to save $)

Batman switched to lame soundstage sets decorated
with bogus "window frames" and "door frames"
set against black backdrops.

pretend it looks like a room/office/lab

That coincides with arrival of Batgirl,
although she was a nice addition.

Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:47 am

Graceland Gardener wrote:Batman also jumped the shark when
they stopped shooting on real locations

and got cheap (*note: main reason shows jump sharks - to save $)

Batman switched to lame soundstage sets decorated
with bogus "window frames" and "door frames"
set against black backdrops.

pretend it looks like a room/office/lab

That coincides with arrival of Batgirl,
although she was a nice addition.


Well.......I don't know if Batgirl's caused Batman to jump the shark........but I know I thought a lot about jumping Batgirl.

OOOOOOO that sparkly jumpsuit :twisted:

Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:43 pm

Uh- huh!
ImageImageImage
ImageImage

Talk about corrupting young minds! As for the Batman TV-series,
I hadn't really thought about it as LTB has ( I enjoyed all the episodes) but he may be right.

Come to think of sharks, remember this, from the TV-show's movie version?
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:48 pm

GG :lol: :lol:

I got to admit, everytime I hear about "sharks", I think of what you just posted! No fooling!

Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:54 pm

Graceland Gardener wrote:My favorite show jumped the shark in last week's episode.


"The Doc Show" starring Doc.

He did an episode where he condoned negative comments about the Beatles,
he didn't insults any of the supporting characters,
and he even said GG was right.


whoah! Dat boy has jumpa da shark!
:shock:


Doc said you were right GG? "I'm comin' Elizabeth. I feel the big one comin' on. "I'll be seein' ya soon darlin.'"

Incidentally Sanford & Son jumped the shark when Red Foxx left.

Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:17 pm

You mean they kept going?

I must have missed them. I can only watch that show so much.

I'm also finding Good Times (also in heavy rotation now on TV Land) to be a bit annoying.
It never captured my fancy the first time around and I'm pretty quick to turn it today.

The brain-less "What's Happening" is also back, but I enjoyed it back then.

How about "Alice"? I"m surprised that has never been revived for cable re-runs.

It had some moments as did "One Day At A Time" but then I wasn't very discriminating back then. :lol:
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Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:19 am

They actually did a spinoff of the show called "The Sanford Arms" after the series demise where a widow bought the house and little hotel Lamont and Fred owned. It lasted less than a month.


"Alice" did get revived by the Nashville Network in the mid-90s. It was not a bad show. Compared to say "Dick Van Dyke" it was a non-starter especially in terms of writing and production. However, it had a good cast of likable characters and it was enjoyable to spend vicarious time with them. There's nothing wrong with that. I would say the same thing about a show like "Designing Women". It was seldom drop dead funny and could be a little preachy but the characters and the cast were genuinely enjoyable and the show was fun to watch for that reason.

"Good Times" was a good show until John Amos left. Later on it fell into latter day "Happy Days" disease with entrances and exits designed for nothing but applause and endless mugging by Jimmie Walker. Walker provided effective comic relief when Amos and Esther Rolle, two comedic and acting pros, occupied the center of the show. Given less support and having to occupy much of the center of the show, his character grew annoying.

I've found that good series TV depends a lot on the acting and the chemistry the actors have with one another. "Cheers", "Good Times" and "Andy Griffith" are all examples of how the absence of one particular actor can throw an entire show out of balance. Another good example is "Family Ties". Look at the way the writing rises whenever the show deals with Michael J. Fox's character and utterly drags when almost any of the other characters are featured. Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter Birney were pros but nowhere near as inspired or filled with energy as Fox. The youngest sister was a terrible actress and the older sister was passable for what she was asked to do. It kind of resulted in shark jump every time the story left Fox.

Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:42 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:It had some moments as did "One Day At A Time"


The only moment on One Day At A Time was Valerie Bertinelli. She was a baby doll on that show.

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Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:27 pm

Hey call me twisted, but Mrs. Romano always had more sex appeal to me. She didn't look it, but the angle was there if you ever sit down and watch the show.

Valerie was hot, but she wasn't played up that way.

In looking back, Valerie actually seems the more annnoying!!

That..and I like redheads from time to time. :twisted:

Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:40 pm

Image
Mrs. Romano? You are twisted. :lol:

Rob, thanks for the visual reminder of Val.

Speaking of TV Land, last night they had Bewitched and other '60s shows on last night. What a welcome break from the usual schedule. (LTB, I had forgotten that the John Amos-era Good Times worked while it lasted..)
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http://www.elizabethmontgomery.org/

Bewitched had some real wits writing for them. It's aged surprisingly well, and had a bit of a mean streak...

Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:46 pm

I think the question that needs to be asked is:

When Did Your Favorite TV Shark Jump The Show?

Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:48 pm

As a little kid Happy Days jumped the shark when they replaced the Rock
Around The Clock opening theme.

Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:55 pm

I remember when that happened, changing themes,

and they quit shooting in a real house, on film

and switched to that new "house stage" on video

and the audience screamed everytime someone entered.

That was a major shark jump!