HDD Exclusive Weekend Roundtable: TV Shows That Jumped the Shark

We all know the phrase by now, and have undoubtedly watched it happen. “Jumping the shark” is that defining moment where a previously good TV show makes a turn for the worse and never recovers – so named for the scene where Fonzie literally water skiis over a shark in ‘Happy Days’. In this week’s Roundtable, we call out some of our most depressing examples of good shows gone bad.

I’m going to let our friend Adam from DVDTalk start things off, since he has perhaps the most egregious example of a TV show jumping the shark in recent years, and he followed this series all the way to its bitter, bitter end.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

Heroes‘! I mean, we’re talking about a series where NBC’s big marketing ploy for its third season was apologizing for Season 2, and then it followed that up the next year by apologizing for Season 3… just a steady stream of empty promises that the show was going to be a triumphant return to the heights of its first season. And it never, ever did.

‘Heroes’ was a one-season wonder. Less, even, if you’re in the crowd that thinks it jumped the shark in its first season finale. The show spent a couple dozen episodes building up to what had to a HUGE battle royale, only instead to wipe out pretty much all of the internal struggles with its sprawling cast of characters and disinterestedly throw out a lame, anticlimactic fight that lasted all of a minute or two.

‘Heroes’ didn’t even have a full season’s worth of ideas, let alone anything meaty after that. So the series just decided to spend the next few years running in place. How many times did Hiro lose his powers and/or devolve into an eight-year-old? How many different sets of parents did Sylar think he had? How many times did he waffle back and forth between good and evil and evil and good and morally beige but not really good but…? We saw lots of the same jaunts to apocalyptic futures, Mohinder routinely getting duped into helping out the bad guys again, plenty of shadowy, evil corporations, and around 287 different characters whose eyes would roll over white as they started painting visions from the future. If something kind of worked once, why not trot out the same exact thing an eleventh or twelfth time? Too many of the show’s characters were overpowered, which made it kind of tough to pit them against credible threats. The show was so terrified of having super-powered brawls that, during the third season finale, a climactic fight to the not-really-death was depicted by a bunch of flashing lights under a doorway off-screen.

‘Heroes’ piled on too many characters but didn’t really have much of anything for them to do. Their power sets and thinly-sketched personalities would vary wildly from one episode to the next. None of the badniks’ motivations really made any sense whatsoever. Seasons would be padded out with long, long stretches of boring, repetitive nothing. What few viewers it hadn’t hemorrhaged had to suffer through cringeworthy dialogue like, “I’M the most special!” and “You’re not a Butterfly Man; you’re an EVIL Butterfly Man!” It stopped being a story about ordinary people with extraordinary powers and instead mutated into ‘Passions’ with an effects budget. Ack. I have to make myself stop ranting. I’m stopping now. Sorry.

Aaron Peck

People may not like my decision here, but I’m going to go with ‘The Office‘. I can tell you the exact moment this show jumped the shark for me. In the fourth season, there’s an episode called ‘Dunder Mifflin Infinity’ where Michael Scott drives his car into a lake because the GPS told him to. At that exact moment, I gave up on ‘The Office’. Now, some may argue that it was one bad episode and the rest after that were just hilarious, but I don’t care. That episode marked a turning point for the show. Michael Scott was no longer a multi-layered character; he was simply a moronic dolt who amazingly never got fired from his job. The first few seasons showed Michael as this feeble man who just wanted to be loved, but when the situation called for it, he actually rose up and did the right thing. I’ll always remember the emotional moment he shared with Jim on the booze cruise, when Jim confided in him about Pam. Sadly, as soon as Michael drove that car into the lake, the character he was died and ‘The Office’ died right along with him.

Luke Hickman

From a very young age, ‘Quantum Leap‘ was a show that my family would gather around the television to watch. It was such a fun and unique concept. Although the story had no limits, its writers sure did. ‘Quantum Leap’ dabbled in shark-jumping midway through Season Four of the series’ five-season run. I’m talking about the episode where Sam jumped into a space-bound chimpanzee.

Shortly thereafter, Sam flew into the Bermuda Triangle, but the show truly jumped the shark in its fifth and final season. Season Five opened with Sam repeat-leaping through moments of Lee Harvey Oswald’s life and the key events leading up to the JFK assassination. In this season, Sam jumped into Dr. Ruth, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe’s chauffeur. He also had to fight against the Evil Leaper once again, only to have to work side by side with her in a multi-episode arc. The only thing ‘Quantum Leap’ got right in its fifth season was the series finale – and even then that’s open to debate.

Mike Attebery

I haven’t fallen out of love this fast since I started eighth grade and instantly realized the girl I’d had a crush on the year before looked exactly like Billy Joel on the cover of “Piano Man“. I had the exact same sinking feeling as I watched the first episode of Season Two of ‘Community‘.

I loved every episode of the first season. It continually played with the conventions of sitcoms, while walking just a fine enough line to keep me coming back week after week to see what the writers would come up with next. Plus, I was sort of rooting for fat Chevy Chase, an actor who can be truly obnoxious in everything but ‘Christmas Vacation‘, but who seemed to be working kind of an underdog thing quite nicely in his return to television. Unfortunately, the first episode of the sophomore season saw Chevy’s Pierce become thinner and meaner. Like Chase, the other characters, while looking much the same, had some sort of meta personality transfusions. Actually, meta became the name of the game for the show. But meta upon meta upon meta often becomes obnoxious, and that was what happened here. The writers seemed so determined to avoid anything resembling traditional sitcom elements that they made every story annoyingly bizarre. The characters became utterly unlikable.

Oh, and they put a miniature Andy Dick in several episodes. Andy Dick. Seriously, do I need to go on? As far as I’m concerned, that guy is the SAG equivalent of a coffin nail. I went from rushing to the TV every Thursday, to letting the DVR record the show ’til I could stomach it a few days later, to just watching the first ten minutes and deleting the rest. As far as I’m concerned, ‘Community’ went from being the best show on television to the worst, all in a matter of months.

Josh Zyber

For the record, I think Mike is nuts. I just needed to say that.

Anyway, my pick (sadly) is ‘Alias‘. I can hardly describe to you how in love with this show I was during its first two seasons – the seasons where J.J. Abrams was actually directly involved with the production. This series mixed James Bond intrigue with the emotional turmoil of a relationship drama. The result was a giddy concoction of exciting adventure, exotic locations, high-tech spy gadgets, shooting, explosions, martial arts, and even a little bit of kissing. What more could you possibly want from a TV show? It was awesome.

I still hold the pilot episode as one of the most entertaining hour-and-ten-minutes of television I’ve ever seen. The entire first season-and-a-half worked like gangbusters. Before the formula could go stale, Abrams pulled off the famous “reboot” episode in the middle of Season 2 that turned the whole premise of the show on its ear. This was brilliant stuff, and the season ended with a fantastic cliffhanger that had me salivating for more.

My anticipation for the Season 3 premiere was immense, but the episode left me deflated. It wasn’t awful or anything, but decidedly lacked the spark of the first two seasons. That great cliffhanger wasn’t resolved until the middle of the season, and the answer was terribly anticlimactic. As it went along, the show became silly and repetitive, developed enormous plot holes, and was overburdened by the increasingly ridiculous “mythology” storyline that stopped making any sense at all. By the end of its run in Season 5, ‘Alias’ had turned into an undeniably bad series that I forced myself to keep watching only out of obligation. What a waste of potential.

So, those are our worst jump-the-shark TV series. What are yours?


  1. Josh Zyber

    I feel like I need to address the “Michael drives into a lake because the GPS told him to” scene in The Office. Not only did Aaron call this out, but Luke had originally chosen that same moment for his pick as well.

    As I recall, Michael was having an argument with Dwight when he did that. Have you ever had an argument while driving? It’s a very dangerous time, because you behave irrationally even when you should know better. While I’ve never driven into a lake, I have done incredibly rash and reckless things like slamming on the brakes without looking to see if anyone was behind me. So, I sympathize with Michael in that instance. I don’t think it was out of character for him at all.

    Arguments can be made that The Office had several jump-the-shark moments over the years, but I don’t think that’s one of them. In fact, I’d argue that the show hasn’t truly jumped the shark at all. That implies a turning point where everything afterwards is crap. Although The Office is really uneven these days and does put out its share of crap episodes, the show is still capable of really good episodes as well. Since it can still be redeemed, it hasn’t jumped the shark… yet.

    Heroes, though… Starting with the Season 2 premiere, that show went on a straight downhill slide and never looked back. (Same thing with Prison Break, for that matter.)

    • No. I actually just saw this one the other night. The argument they are having is about the GPS and Dwight keeps saying there’s a lake ahead, and Michael keeps saying “No, I’m doing what it’s telling me to do.” Blah, blah, blah.

    • Watch the video. He clearly drives straight into a lake RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM with Dwight saying “There’s a lake there!” and Michael saying “Maybe it’s a short cut.” When they turn and then drive into the lake it couldn’t have been more than five or ten feet to the right. They would have both been able to see that giant body of water easily.


      • I’m with Aaron. I think it’s funny that this exact same moment is when we both threw our hands in the air and walked away. I’ve never looked back. Instead, I’ve got back and revisited the BBC ‘Office.’

      • Josh Zyber

        Nonetheless, my point is that they’re having an argument while he’s driving. Normal rules of rational behavior don’t apply.

        • Come on. They don’t start the argument until a split-second before they drive into the lake. You’re making excuses for a show that completely rewrote its main character into an idiot of epic proportions. ‘The Office’ wasn’t good after that because they completely changed Michael. He was no longer the guy who could embarrass himself at Chilli’s but also get the big account and show off his salesmanship skills. He was now just a slapstick idiot.

          • you forgot ridiculously cruel in your list of adjectives for Michael Scott. in earlier seasons he had some heart, he was the dope, he knew what it was like to not be popular, which is why he tried so hard to be. after a while, he convinced himself he WAS popular, and became a horrible bully. season 4 has one of the most cruel scenes in sitcom history, the way he was treating women, it wasn’t embarrassing to watch. it wasn’t funny. it was painful, hurtful, and ridiculous.

            he doesn’t deserve happiness. he deserved to be killed off. just random blurb after his last appearance saying his plane crashed, or he choked on some shrimp and died at some restaurant. something. it would be karma.

          • Josh Zyber

            Michael was always an idiot, based on the British character who was an even bigger, irredeemable idiot. The Michael who could come through at the end despite his idiocy didn’t even START showing up until halfway through the second season. That Michael returned many times after the lake episode.

          • BambooLounge

            Speaking of shows jumping the shark and rewriting a main character into an idiot of epic proportions, I am surprised none of you went with the obvious jumping the shark pick of The Simpsons right around Season 10.

            It was at that point they decided to switch over to the Family Guy animated comedy model of random stupidity and a basically retarded father character (Homer). Most of what has been written about what they did to Michael Scott can apply to Homer Simpsons. Sure, he was always a dolt, but for the first 9 seasons or so he tried to be a good dad. He would have minor epiphanies where he showed remorse and really tried to do the right thing be it an attempt at being a better father after using his daughter to win football wagers or taking his son on a boy scouts rafting trip. Somewhere around Season 10 though they completely abandoned those moments and really, any form of plot from episode to episode. And the show became a shadow of its former self, a parade of obvious guest stars, too on the nose social/political commentary, and characters pushed to their furthest character stereotype extremes.

            I was still in high school when this happened. I walked away from The Simpsons and barely looked back (maybe an episode or two here and there) except for the movie. The first 10 seasons (2-6 especially) still get a ton of play on DVD though, just brilliant brilliant stuff.

    • Ugh, Heros! I bought the first season as a blind-buy on HD-DVD for $10, and really liked it. I started watching Season 2 on Netflix, and could only make it halfway through the season. I felt like I was missing something, but when I started hearing about so much hate for the show post-season-1, I don’t feel so isolated anymore in my hate.

  2. God yes Heroes, what a waste. I’d also add Smallville, never really a great show but entertaining enough. Basically it turned unwatchable when Michael Rosenbaum (Lex) left the show. From that point on they kept trying to introduce new characters to fill the void, as well as clones and ghosts and alternate reality versions and secondary characters inexplicably getting super powers over and over and over, and every other stupid idea you can think of. Ugh.

  3. Alex

    I’m going to throw a vote in for “24” here. Seasons 1-5 are magnificent (except for the cougar. Yeah, I know). They’re tense, taut, emotionally powerful and compelling to the point of needing a 12-step program to be able to put the DVDs away. Season 5 was the crowning jewel, with the WTF twist as to who the Big Bad was. Unfortunately, all of that brilliance came crashing down as soon as Season 6 started. The show went from phenomenal to bland in the blink of an eye. Then, after Season 6, they missed a whole season because of the writer’s strike. Seasons 7 and 8 had their moments, but they never truly recovered.

    Oh, and Katee Sackhoff should never be hired for anything but Battlestar reunions and Big Bang Theory cameos. Man, was she terrible!!

  4. a big jump the shark for me was when they went from new Chicago to the ship on buck rogers. i’m watching it on netflix and havent got to that season yet but i remeber it wasnt good after that.

  5. Manny

    Can a show jump the shark on its last episode? That’s how I feel about Lost’s series finale (the sideways/purgatory stuff, the island stuff was ok), it made the whole series worthless for me to the point that I don’t ever want to watch it again. (I submitted this to the adjustment bureau contest, saying season 6 should either be deleted or the whole flash sideways removed from season 6)

    • Baked waker

      I totally agree. I got a bunch of people who were late to the party hooked on Lost, and then the series finale happened and I have no desire to ever watch that show again. I am currently in the process of lending my DVD boxsets to a colleague and I have just lent him the 5th season. I haven’t told him I refuse to buy the 6th season on account of how horrible the ending was, since he is really enjoying the magic of the first 5 seasons and amazed with the twists and intrigue. I don’t want to be the one to tell him that half the final season is worthless and meaningless, and all the conspiracy and questions were resolved with a BS “and they all get to go into the light together, but just forget about everything else ok?”
      Lost sucks, which is too bad because it could’ve been one of the greatest. Lost completely shit the bed with its finale.

        • Baked waker

          We’ll, most notably, the entire half of the last season meant nothing, and the more you rethink about any special wtf moments only made things frustrating because it was all bogus. Any attachment or interest in those story arcs, such as Jack’s relationship with his son and Claire in LA, was for naught. For all the way up to the finale, there have been so many clues and hints and teases about how big this was, then all of sudden, there was no point. At all. But we are all supposed to feel good because of the white light? Eff that, that is a cop out for an empty ending.
          Sure, the finale “reunions” were manipulatively effective in tugging at our heart strings, but the whole going into the white light together was pathetic. So, in all their lives, particularly including those who lived long after, they would go into eternity with people they only knew for 100 days or so, they didn’t have anything else going on with other families with stronger binds? They had to go with just the other island survivors? Seriously, that ending was so bad it ruined the rewatchability factor for such a brilliant series.

        • Manny

          I really don’t know what would have satisfied me to be honest. If I really think about it, the expectation that was out there was that somehow the island reality and the sideways reality were going to merge, at the end of season 6 that was still in play, it could have happened and it would have been more like Lost than the “gotcha!, this is a dream world where you meet your old friends from the island and walk into the light holding hands” crap. But honestly, I’m sure there are several ways the show could have ended that would have satisfied me. As I told Eric some posts below, if you gave me 1,000,000 possible endings to choose from, the one we got would have been the last one I would have chosen.

  6. Mike

    I didn’t have a problem with The Office until The Mafia episode. They won me back halfway through this past season, but it’s a very different show now.

    I assume Josh means I’m nuts cause I failed to realize a girl looked like a 1973 version of Billy Joel.

  7. I meant to get in on this roundtable, but a busy busy week drove me way off point.

    I full heartedly agree with Heroes, it’s one of the most obvious ones, but I was going to go with PRISON BREAK.

    Like Heroes, you have a solid, VERY interesting season 1. the whole concept of the show. Like Heroes, it should have ended there. You broke out of prison…now what the fuck what?!?! A horrible 2nd season. a ridiculous 3rd season with a NEW prison to break out of (ZOH NOES!), and a ridiculous 4th season that ruins even season 1, and its two lead characters. the show went from a 95/100 to a 45/100 to a 30/100 to a 7 or 8/100. The movie tried to tie it all together, but the show doesn’t work in such a short time span.

    END a show at one season. it isn’t THAT fucking hard. let us imagine what happens next. don’t ruin it for us.

  8. Eric

    C’mon Manny, Lost’s jump the shark moment was long before that. I think that one of my favorite scenes in that series is actually the jump the shark moment. The final scene in season three was absolutely my favorite moment in the entire show, because finding out it was a flash forward caught me completely off guard. The problem was the show had no where to go from there. Season four and the amazingly dreadful time travel sequences which encompassed all of season five, were a death toll for a show that was oftentimes brilliant especially in season’s one and three. How did you want it to end? I was just glad it finally did!

    • Manny

      Eric, I understand your point and frankly I kind of agree with you. However, personally even though the time traveling stuff seemed slightly ridiculous I still enjoyed it, especially episodes like “The Constant” which I think were Lost at its best, mixing mythology with great character drama.

      Honestly, I don’t know how I wanted it to end. But if you gave me 1,000,000 possible choices the last one I would pick would be the one they went with. In my opinion the ending made the rest of the previous seasons irrelevant.

  9. Eric

    I agree with Nate. 24 was a perfect example of that. Season one’s ending would have been the perfect way to finish off that show. I mean really how many ridiculous days can one guy have?

    • when does he ever have time to sit down and defecate?!

      yeah, 24, one season may have been enough. uh oh, success, make it 7 or 8 seasons, make it ridiculous.

      • Josh Zyber

        Season 5 of 24 was awesome, definitely the high point of that entire series. Unfortunately, the show fell to shit immediately afterwards.

        Oh, and Jack goes to the bathroom during the commercial breaks. Obviously. 🙂

        • well apparently he never eats Jack in the Box, as those can take a good hour if you eat their “tacos.” NO commercial break is long enough for that. hell, the NFL strike might not be long enough.

  10. TWIN PEAKS jumped the shark when we found out who killed Laura Palmer…not only did the show lose its driving force, but it lost one of its best actors in the process.

    THE X-FILES jumped the shark not when David D. left the series, but a little earlier when the show moved from Vancouver to L.A. That may be one of the few times in TV show history where the changing of shooting locations actually caused a show’s demise.

    A much better question would be what shows had long runs without EVER jumping the shark? I would suggest THE SOPRANOS, CHEERS, SEINFELD (okay, well maybe not until the final one), and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.

    • hurin

      Agree, after Laura Palmer’s murderer was found the show basically stopped. Until then it had a main plot and side plots, after that it just had side plots.

    • Eh, I don’t know with STTNG, there was a weak season half-season when Crusher left and Polaski came on board. Its not that the actress was bad, but rather that her character was pretty one-dimensional. however, after around 10 episodes or so, the show seemed to get it back together.

      • Alex

        That’s an interesting question. Can a show de-jump a shark? TNG definitely improved starting with Season 3 (once they changed uniform styles. Seriously, once the uniforms had collars, the show kicked butt!!). Before that, it’s barely watchable.

        Except for Q. He’s always great.

  11. Am I the only person who liked season 2 of Heroes?? I think I might be. Sure, 90% of it didn’t end up making sense, but I blame that on the writers strike. I still thought it was quite enjoyable. Season 3, on the other hand, was horrific.

  12. Lets see, Heroes I do agree with as well as The Office. It’s boring now.

    How about Star Trek Voyager? They revolved all the conflict between the characters by the second episode. If never recovered.

    Also, Buffy jumped the shark in season 6 even though they had the musical episode. The storytelling became horrible. Same with Gilmore Girls. Great dialog like Buffy but it went on for about 3 years too long.

    Two that I can think of that are running on fumes are Gossip Girl and CSI.

    • Actually, I think the show really started taking off around the 4th or 5th season. Voyager was pretty much crap before then. Seven (the actress and the character), and the stories revolving around her, pretty much saved the series from being a complete wash. I honestly do not know how the series lasted so long. Enterprise was a MUCH better series, and only lasted three seasons.

  13. Mike

    Have to respectfully disagree about The Office. This is obviously all subjective, but I saw him driving into the lake as just another example of the character’s tendency to make outrageous and generally dangerous gestures to prove a point, like staging a suicide and nearly jumping off a building in Safety Training to prove that office life can be dangerous, or inciting panic in Booze Cruise just to get everyone’s attention, or kissing Oscar in Gay Witch Hunt to prove he’s not homophobic, etc. I think he was well aware he was driving into a lake, but did it to prove to himself, Ryan and the world that technology is harmful rather than helpful, hence the whole reason for bringing gift baskets to clients instead of pushing the website. Plus, it’s not a blanket statement about how the character will behave for the rest of the show. Season 5 has arguably the best arc of the series, The Michael Scott Paper company (and numerous other classics like Cafe Disco) where he really begins to become a (slightly more) competent leader. The show is wildly inconsistent now but if you have a fondness for the first few seasons and stopped watching at the car/lake moment you have missed some remarkable television

    • besch64

      ^^^Mike is absolutely right. Michael didn’t just drive into a lake because he was an idiot, he did it on purpose to act out. I agree that the Office has become a terrible show, but the way you guys described that particular moment is just completely wrong and a major mis-reading of a a character’s actions.

    • That’s exactly the way I always took that scene too.

      …and I agree that it’s all over the map quality-wise but still delivers enough to keep me tuning in.

      • Apparently characters have to be likeable within the first ten minutes of the season. He obviously missed out on the Dungeons and Dragons episode which was pretty heart-warming… his loss.

      • Also, Peirce (Chevy Chase) being an insufferable prick (for the most part) was actually explained later in the season and was part of a season-long story arc that culminated in the cliffhanging season finale.

        But again, his loss.

    • I have really enjoyed Community, and as ground breaking as some of the first season episodes seemed to be, I think season 2 went even further. The Claymation Christmas was AMAZING (notice when the wizard keeps popping in and out of the scenes, you can see the library room through the slit in reality?) and the 2-part paintball episode was epic. Let’s hope for a 3-part paintball game next season.

    • Very much agreed. Parks and Recreation is the funnier of the two, at least for my money, but Community is more creative and more adventurous, to the point where I kind of can’t believe it exists.

  14. Mike

    Also I think people confuse “jumping the shark” with simply disliking a season or direction of a show. With LOST, some people hate the mythology-dense second season, or the unabashed science-fiction of the fifth season, or the finale, or find the comparatively normal first season “boring”. I think this is reflective of the show’s propensity to take risks rather than any decline in quality. Personally I enjoyed all of it and found each season to be a reasonable extension of the recurring themes of fate, interconnectivity, salvation, etc. even at its most bizarre, but I understand why some may have found it overly ambitious or alienating. Likewise with the divisive latter seasons of BSG. Weeds, Entourage and Dexter could use some de-sharking if you ask me

  15. I had no problem with that particular episode of The Office. Michael has his many idiotic moments (remember he also ran over Meredith with his car, burned his foot on a George Foreman grill, fell into a koi pond..etc. etc.) and driving into the lake was really no more ridiculous.

    Dexter kinda sorta jumped the shark in seasons two and three (I find it quite unlikely Dexter would escape from Lila’s apartment, and the Miguel Prado storyline was interesting to a point, but lost a lot of steam before ending prematurely). Somehow the show it remained interesting enough, particularly in how Dexter’s perspective of Harry changed, and it more than made up for the previous two seasons with season four.

  16. Dan

    I do agree with the Quantum leap, but for me, the worst example in Spooks (MI:5),the third season. The first two seasons were brilliant, and the third started off great with Tom Quinn on the run and clearing his name. But the episode that did the show in was the one where Zoey and Danny hitch a ride on a ferry to Norway. To commit an assassination. It just seemed to bleed any sense of tension and the rest of season 3 got worse and worse. And whilst subsequent seasons were enjoyable, the show never recovered is taunt, this really is happening feel.

    • Ian Whitcombe

      I still liked the show overall, but I think I agree with this a bit. This was the episode that began with a top-shelf press confrence for new showrunners and ended with the first of many misfiring schetches.

  17. For me, a great show that totally nosedived when it jumped the shark was “Married With Children”. I can’t pinpoint a specific episode or even season, but after about season 5 or 6, once the Bundy kids started growing up, it started going downhill, and once they added the kid named Seven in their seventh season…. it was the beginning of the end. Even though they wrote Seven off the show (he appeared on a milk carton as a missing person), the show never recovered.

    The Sam Kinison episode (where he plays Al’s guardian angel) is still one of my favorite episodes of a tv show ever, and I watch it at least once every Christmas.

    • hurin

      The show lost it’s dynamics after the kids grew up but continued to live at home.It was still fun to watch, but its main attraction was being parody of ‘feel good’ family sitcoms.

    • Married With Children is my pick. And I can tell you when the show started going down hill – Peg’s pregnancy and GrandMaster B, and the worst part was when Al woke up and discovered the entire season was a dream. The show never recovered.

  18. hurin

    ‘Family Ties’ older sister becomes stupid.

    ‘South Park’ Kenny stops dying.

    ‘Simpsons’ still going strong, I just lost interest.

  19. I know I am a couple of days late, but had the whole weekend to think about this. Just hope I can still get a bit of discussion out of this and I am not too late.

    Agree with Heros. Had a great first season, I could not even make it through season 2, haven’t seen 3 yet.

    Legend of the Seeker – AWESOME first season, but season 2 just kind of sucks. I am probably about 6 episodoes in, hoping it gets better.

    Married With Children – when Peg found out she was pregnant, Bud became Grandmaster B, and then Al wakes up and discovers the whole season was a dream. Oh, and then Marci getting all feminist. The show never recovered.

    Star Trek: The Original Series. Show kind of fell apart mid-second season.

    Lost In Space – another great first-season, but the show once again kind of fell apart after that.

    Oh this is going to generate controversy – Dragonball Z. Somewhere around Super SayaMan. There were some good stories involving Videl and Gohan, but the show never really picked back up again, and while I made it through the
    Z series, I could not make it through GT.

    Full House – pretty much the show started falling apart around mid season 5 or early season 6. The kids were growing up, and the writers decided to just start seeing how many people they could throw into the house. They had a few good episodes, but the show was just never really the same.

    Is it possible for a show to jump ship, and then regain their footing? I can think of a few shows like that.

    The Simpsons – jumped ship around season 13, regained itself around season 19ish.

    Voyager – jumped ship around the 6th episode, and it was not until Seven came on board that the show regained itself.

    Sailor Moon – jumped ship twice – I want to say around episode 45, but it could have been earlier, the show just got stupid, and didn’t really regain itself until the story about the Moon Kindgom started unfolding. Really, just too much fighting Barrel’s henchmen, and nto enough story. After the Moon Kingdom, and Chibiusa showed up, the show stayed good, pretty much up until Sailor Moon Super S. The entire SuperS series SUCKS, but then Sailor Moon Stars came out, and I was hooked again.

  20. I was waffling between writing about Heroes and Weeds for this one. (Honestly, I thought Heroes was such an obvious choice that I decided against it, assuming someone else would’ve gobbled that one up first. Maybe everyone else made the same assumption, and that’s why it was wide open for me…?)

    The first season of Weeds is *okay*. I liked it enough to give the next Blu-ray set a shot, but…geez, its sophomore year is one of the most ridiculously addictive seasons of a show I’ve ever come across. I couldn’t name another show with one brilliant cliffhanger after another after another like this. I wound up watching the entire season in a single sitting after work one evening. Capping it off with my beloved Zooey Deschanel didn’t hurt either. Season three, meanwhile, was pretty much unwatchable, and season four’s marginal improvement from that catastrophic low only looks good by comparison. Didn’t stick around after that.

  21. CGerow

    Surprised no one has mentioned Rosanne yet. This show probably has several Jump the Shark moments. For me it was when the family won the money Replacing Lecy Goranson with Sarah Chalke is another Jump the Shark.

    • Josh Zyber

      I agree with you 1000% about the lottery storyline. That show went rapidly downhill in its last couple of seasons.

      However, the cast replacement was sort of unavoidable. Lecy Goranson wanted to attend college full time and wasn’t available for filming very often.

      I actually like the way that the show handled this by not disguising it at all. The “Identical Beckys” montage was hilarious, and I thought it was great that the actresses would alternate whenever Goranson was available.