In 1977, the American favorite Happy Days was at 8 seasons and quickly losing steam after Richie left to go make the DaVinci Code and other cool stuff. Our generation may not recognize the term “jumping the shark”, but it stems from when Happy Days’ Fonzi ACTUALLY jumped over a shark that appeared while the gang was water skiing. The phrase refers to any show’s last-ditch attempt to keep things interesting (we’re looking at you, LOST).
Here’s how these once-great shows could have avoided jumping the shark, as well as the shrugs and indifferent looks people give when asked if they watched the new episodes/if they even knew the show was over.
The Office: I’m an avid Office watcher. It’s my dream life (I love paper). The first time I ever cried from being happy in my life was Jim and Pam’s wedding. And no I don’t think that’s pathetic, it was a beautiful ceremony. Unfortunately it seems that the people behind The Office, despite Carrell’s warning of his departure, seemed to have an “Oh shit, that’s tomorrow!” moment and just threw a season together with a confusing throng of guest stars.
What They Should Have Done: Hired, literally as well as fictionally, a boss from outside the office, preferably a comedian who’s own hit show wrapped awhile ago and is looking for a “hey I’m bored” kind of gig (cough* Ray Romano *uncough). Also, end every episode with a close up of Jim’s face.
Heroes: Though it’s been over for a while, I include it because it was a possible juggernaut show gone awry. What initially attracted me to Heroes was their notion that out of the 6 billion people in the world, only random few have special abilities. As far as the supernatural goes, it’s realistic. By the second season, however, it appeared that I was the only one who DIDN’T have a power! The problem with Heroes was that there were TOO MANY HEROES!
What They Should Have Done: Fewer heroes (we can’t ALL be special), less politics, and a lot more Sylar. He’s one of the better villains that’s come around for some time, and one of my better desktop backgrounds.
Two and a Half Men: With the departure of Charlie Sheen, ‘Men’ was faced with the challenge of keeping a hit show a hit despite losing its star character. Their mistake, though, was bringing in Ashton as a character who essentially is completely random.
What They Should Have Done: Bring Ashton in, but instead he’s the result of one of Charlie’s past one nightstands. This way Charlie is still in the spotlight a little bit. Now Walden has to get to know his quirky family! I’m already sensing the laughs and hijinks!
Grey’s Anatomy: You’d think all the patients would be admitted with gaping bite wounds from all the sharks this show has been jumping. Two hospital shootings, killing off the basically incestuous cast, and the most recent leap over a Great White: a plane crash! Remember how cute it was when George fumbled around and Christina was just a bitch? Neither do I, it was too long ago.
What They Should Have Done: Cancelled it.
— Taylor Kowalski