Friday, May 11, 2007

The Case of the Judging Shark

Every so often, I want to jump on the bandwagon and try or experience something that sounds fairly nifty. Be it a popular show (haven’t quite got around to attempting Dancing with the Stars, and I think I will be able to resist that), a popular song (though probably a “good song” is a better description here as my music taste is infamous), a popular ad (nothing beats the Telecom stuffed animals range at the moment) or a website that sounds quite interesting.

So, it was with a modicum of anticipation that I found the website Jump the Shark. This, I had read, was a site that defined the point where TV shows “turned” and started descending from once great entertainment and must-see viewing down towards banal story lines and shameless grabs for ratings points. The “jump the shark” reference, as an example, is an allusion to the notorious Happy Days episodes where the Fonz, with a cheery “aaaayyyy!”, got on waterskis and, literally, jumped over a shark. Or at least the Fonz’s stunt double did.

The promise of a definitive, albeit subjective, list of something as inconsequential as TV shows appealed to my judgemental sensibilities. And if it was a recommended site, then, well, someone obviously enjoyed it.

Of course, I would not be ranting about it if I had been completely thrilled with my first experience. In fact, I was bitterly disappointed. The whole point of this kind of thing would be to say “this show jumped the shark at this point”. People can comment and contribute and disagree sure, but there should be (in my opinion) some sort of conclusion, even if that is later revised in light of new evidence. So how come the X-Files appeared in several “jumped” lists as well as the “never jumped” one? [As an aside, it did jump, and as evidence I give testimony to the fact I got bored with it even before Mulder left]. And Law & Order [that show has never jumped] appeared simultaneously in the “never jumped” list, the “jumped because of the new woman” list and the “jumped because Jerry Orbach died” list.

Yes, a savage blow to the world of one-eyed judgements on inconsequential subjects this was. But, never fear. I shall carry on for as long as I can!

Verdict: Less a shark, more a limp sardine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What? Mulder left? I had long since given up. It jumped my shark years earlier