Central Snark

Jumping the Shark by mattresspolice
Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 9:21am
Filed under: Pop! goes the Diesel, tube sucks

diesel's avatarAs much as I love TV, I have to admit that I’m getting a little jaded about some of my favorite shows. It’s an undeniable fact that even the best shows tend to start sucking after a couple of seasons.

x-files posterI still remember the exact moment that I realized, while watching The X-Files, that I had as much of an idea where the show was going as the writers did. After about the sixth “shocking revelation” that was going to “explain everything,” it occurred to me that they were just making it up as they went along. Then Mulder left and they replaced him with the liquid robot from Terminator 2 — and for some unfathomable reason I kept watching. Then Scully left and they replaced her with a hotter yet more annoying chick, and I still kept watching. For some reason I kept hoping that it was going to get better, that they were going to eventually get back to the quirky, freaky little show that I started watching back when it was a clever little joke to name the main character of the show after the struggling fledgling network on which it aired. I stopped watching about three episodes into the final season. I have yet to meet someone who actually knows how that show ended.

jack bauer saves the worldIt was pretty clear to me early on that the writers were ad libbing 24 from week to week. The show holds together pretty well from one episode to the next, but when you take a minute to think back a few episodes, it starts to unravel. Remember the season when Chloe went from secretary to super-hacker in like 3 hours? I could tolerate the occasional non sequiter or outright absurdity (like the premeditated prison break Jack pulled a couple of seasons ago), but now the show is committing the unforgiveable sin: It’s repeating itself. What, another torture scene? That’s original. How about if the only way to stop the terrorists is for Jack to shoot one of his fellow CTU agents? Yeah, done that a couple times too. I know! We could have Jack break into a foreign embassy to extract information from… Really? Wow. Maybe we could replace Jack with the liquid robot from Terminator 2?

I’m about fed up with Lost too. The deserted island bit only has so much life in it, no matter how much back story you fill it with. Let’s wrap it up already, ok?

We started catching up on the new Battlestar Galactica on Netflix after hearing so many great things about it, and let me tell you, the first two seasons rock. Even if you’re not big on sci-fi, you’ll dig this show. But it’s going to be hard to maintain that level of quality, and I hear the current season isn’t nearly as good.

the shield 5-0Season three seems to be where most premises start to get tired. I have high hopes for The Shield this season, but the third season was definitely a notch below the first two, and then they had the bright idea of killing off the one sympathetic character. I have to admit that’s an original direction for a show to take, but if you’ve seen that show you know that one thing it doesn’t need is more bad guys doing heinous things to people. If I produced that show, I’d go in a different direction for season four. I’m thinking The Shield Goes to Hawaii. It worked for the Brady Bunch.

I could go on: Alias, Cold Case, Smallville, The West Wing…. Most shows start to suck around the third season. So I’m declaring a new rule: All TV dramas must wrap up within four seasons. That’s all you get. I don’t care if your show is still halfway decent (I’m talking to you, Law & Orders). We don’t need any more. Make way for some new shows that don’t suck yet.

That is all.



20 Comments so far
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whatever you do, don’t blame Diesel for the crappy “illustrative” posters… somehow i thought it would be funny to add in a picture or two. in my head, “The Shield meets Hawaii” was a variation of another police show based in Honolulu. eh. in my head it was funny. in this post, the only thing funny (yet right on the money) is Diesel’s writing!

couldn’t agree with you more about the fact that 24 repeats the same stinking theme year after year. we didn’t watch for two years, then started up again this season, because everyone said it was so good. So good? Jack still makes stupid/devastating mistakes that get people killed, then finds some fantastic way for getting out of one fire, and into the volcano (or something like that). thank goodnes your posts are always great, Diesel. i’m quite sure the last thing the world — not to mention this blog — needs is more “suck”. xox

Comment by One Hot Puppy

Amen. I’d like to add ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ to your list.

Comment by Robin

Puppy – You did a fine job on the pics. I was hoping you’d fill some in; I kinda forgot to mention that last night. I’m starting to approach my posts the way I handled term papers: Start 37 minutes before the deadline and then brag to everyone when I get a B-. Not good. I’ll do better next week. Maybe.

Have you seen The Shield, btw? That’s a crazy-ass show. Like nothing you’ve ever seen on tv. The first 2 seasons are definitely worth Netflixing/Blockbustering/whatever.

Comment by Diesel

Good points, Diesel. I’m a self-loathing 24-watcher, but the series is definitely starting to get on my nerves.

On the other hand, I think “Frasier” just kept getting better and better. And, on HBO, “Six Feet Under” was great out of the box and held their quality through six seasons, finally ending on what I believe was the all-time-best TV-series-ending episode ever, of any show. (Including the Newhart series finale, which used to be the best ever.)

You know, I was just thinking: everybody’s always talking about television, but nobody ever does anything aabout it. Hmmmmm….

Comment by al

You won’t believe this (I barely do), but I kept after Smallville, right through the complete suckitude of seasons 4 and 5….and amazingly, this current season rocks. It’s the best one since season 2.

I feel slightly rewarded for having wasted all that time on the other episodes and seasons.

Alias, I gave up on in season 4. Man that show declined in a hurry.

Comment by CrummyJoel

Al, I agree with you on the Six Feet Under comment. That last episode was so incredible that it leaves you speechless.

As for 24, I LOVE 24, but yeah, it’s starting to get old.

I’m a die hard Star Trek Fan and I don’t tire of watching “The Next Generation” or “Voyager” which I’m currently watching on DVD (love my Blockbuster online account!) I plan to watch “Deep Space Nine” next.

Comment by Pavel

PS: Hey, Al, just in case you wanna see it again, here are the last 9 minutes of Six Feet Under.

Comment by Pavel

Al, count me in on Six Feet Under and I too think that the Season Finale was beyond compare. Although I was always a Sunday night HBO fan, so I found a couple of their shows pretty good (although come to think of it were they beyond 3 seasons yet?).

I’m a bad commenter for this post as there have been few shows I have been keeping up with. See now based on your post, it doesn’t pay to get personally invested in the new crop anyway. Thanks.

Based on last week’s post, I did watch 30 Rock and it was pretty funny, if I do say so myself.

Comment by G

All that is to say, thank you for your public service.

Comment by G

Oh and Snuppy, nice pics to go with the story. Yes indeed.

Comment by Lampsha who is suddenly G again

If I can’t watch 24 and LOST… then is there anything left to watch??? (echo echo echo…)

Comment by Dave

Oh and Snuppy, this comment didn’t go through earlier, but your illustrations are great!

Comment by Lampsha who is suddenly G again

Hey, Pavel, thanks for the YouTube link. “You can’t take a picture of this. Its already gone.” Wow. The medium of television is capable of so much, yet too often willing to settle for so little.

Here’s a link to Sia’s performance of the haunting song “Breathe Me” that played such a big part in setting the mood for that finale:

(Sorry, G, I know music’s your thing hereabouts; I hope you don’t mind. And, you’re right. They cancelled “Deadwood,” and now we’re told that this is the last season of “Rome” *sigh*. No sense getting too attached to anything on HBO Sunday Night, huh?)

Comment by al

Pavel, thanks for the link to those last nine minutes. “You can’t take a picture of this, its already gone.” Wow, huh? Television is capable of so much, yet all too willing to settle for so little.

Here’s a link to Sia’s performance of “Breathe Me,” the song that set the mood for that great last episode.

(Sorry, G, I know music is your thing hereabouts. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂

Comment by al

Hey, whattya know? WordPress sucks at comments, too!

Snarksters: Please pick whichever of my duplicate comments you deem less literate and delete it. And, thanks for the great post today.

Comment by al

I loved Lost at first but gave up on it last season because they never ever really tell you anything at all and I’m completely annoyed by that!!!
Sorry I cannot agree about Law and Order: CI because VDO is the best actor around and I wouldn’t mind watching him read the newspaper out loud.

Comment by Claire

holy Tuesday, Batman! i kept trying to find my way to my computer, only to be thwarted at every turn on the wide wide world of webs. or maybe i was simply detoured by the fact that our dogs got groomed today, and i spent way more time than i planned driving them back and forth.

whatever. i’m here now, and that’s all that counts (okay, maybe only in my own head, but that’s where all my words are coming from, so let’s go with that, shall we?)

i’m glad the “illustrations” met with your approval, Diesel (or at least didn’t make you gag maggots) and, uh… that’s all. i agree with everything i’ve read here (in case anyone wondered/cared) — i think the show that seems to have done serious “shark jumping” in recent years is The Simpsons (sorry, but it had to be said). after reading Al/Pavel’s exchange about Six Feet Under, it seems clear we made a terrible mistake by not sticking it out for the last few episodes (sooooooooooo freaking depressing, we just couldn’t take it anymore). guess we’ll have to break down and rent that DVD and not watch, eh?

i’ll never get over the fact that many shows that never came close to jumping sharks wound up getting cancelled, but, as Al pointed out, television is capable of so much, and willing to settle for so little (you do not get me started on this topic…) anyway, where was i? oh yeah: three amazing shows got axed over the past couple of years that left Joel and I speechless and/or scrambling for something to watch (and/or settling for something “less”). Deadwood, Dead Like Me, and Arrested Development. and don’t think we’re not bitter, because we are. we really are. *sob* xox

Comment by snuppy

Good examples, everybody! You’ve confirmed my feelings more than ever. I have to admit I’ve never had HBO so I’ve never watched Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, etc. More stuff to Netflix….

Comment by Diesel

there’s a new post up, just above this one. just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

not sure what’s going on, but i suspect it has something to do with the fact that this is “Albert Einstein Day”. all this to say…. aieeeeeee! (some days it pays to stay in bed and/or away from the freaking computer.) xox

Comment by One Hot Puppy

ok, you watch too much TV!

I have to agree with Lost though. Boy, wa staht first season great and thrilling, by season two I realized they were just guessing along without an answer and I haven´t watched season 3 yet. I think I can´t do that to myself. They should have wrapped it a season ago!

Comment by Penguin

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