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View Full Version : When for you did your favourite s.f. show/series "jump the shark"?



banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Feb-15, 11:15 AM
When for you did your favourite s.f. show/series "jump the shark"?

I can see the new BSG jumping ever so slightly....

if you don't know what "jump the shark' means....do a google search jump the shark + Happy Days.....the Fonz

novaderrik
2006-Feb-15, 11:21 AM
when Mulder left and Doggett came in...

soylentgreen
2006-Feb-15, 01:48 PM
When any sci-fi show that is not about time travel does a time travel episode! They might as well do a clip show/flashback episode.

Or worse....when a show, like some rescue vessel, suddenly takes on survivors of another show in an obvious PLOY to lure fans of the defunct show with them....hello, STARGATE SG-1!

ToSeek
2006-Feb-15, 05:24 PM
Classic Trek - Not a complete jump, but third season was a step down from the first two.
Doctor Who - Never quite the same after Tom Baker left.
Babylon Five - Like TOS, didn't quite jump but the last season wasn't up to the standards of the previous ones.
Red Dwarf - When they got back to the repopulated main ship and one member of the writing team left.

I actually can't think of any science fiction series I stopped watching because it got too bad to watch. Most of the other Treks, if they changed, got better rather than worse.

R.A.F.
2006-Feb-15, 06:00 PM
Classic Trek - Not a complete jump, but third season was a step down from the first two.

The way to Eden comes to mind. :lol:

The Enterprise Incident...although I liked it, just seemed wrong to me, and I'll explain why...(and I know I'll be disagreed with...that's OK:))

The Romulan Commander was right when she stated that the Enterprise was ordered (by the Federation) to conduct a secret spy mission in order to steal the Romulan Cloaking device.

If the Romulans had conducted a spy mission against the Federation, then that would have been a "bad" thing, done by "bad guys". But since it was the Federation "good guys" doing it, it was somehow "justified".

This is a "double standard", IMO. The "ends justifying the means" aspect of that show really portrayed the Federation in a poor light.

Then again...Shatner in Vulcan make-up was classic. :)

Doodler
2006-Feb-15, 06:13 PM
Babylon Five - Like TOS, didn't quite jump but the last season wasn't up to the standards of the previous ones.

May not have been a jump, but they were ascending the ramp with the wedding episode (the other mark of a series in decline). Regrettably, that's a subplot I saw coming from the moment Delenn made her altered appearance public.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Feb-15, 06:18 PM
The Romulan Commander was right when she stated that the Enterprise was ordered (by the Federation) to conduct a secret spy mission in order to steal the Romulan Cloaking device.

If the Romulans had conducted a spy mission against the Federation, then that would have been a "bad" thing, done by "bad guys". But since it was the Federation "good guys" doing it, it was somehow "justified".

This is a "double standard", IMO. The "ends justifying the means" aspect of that show really portrayed the Federation in a poor light.If only it were a satire, that would have been pretty realistic.

kzb
2006-Feb-15, 06:46 PM
"surface" "hyperdrive" and "invasion" jumped the shark within the first few minutes as far as I was concerned. Or -do they go straight to circling the drain?

Star Trek Voyager J'd the S on the first occasion they solved a problem with some made-up subatomic particles or whatever. I can't be bothered to remember which episode it was, but they did it regularly from then on.

ToSeek
2006-Feb-15, 07:10 PM
Ah, Lois and Clark, when we find out that the wedding wasn't to the real Lois. The series never recovered from that faux pas.

Gillianren
2006-Feb-15, 07:30 PM
My two favorite sci-fi shows were killed before they had a chance for shark-jumping--in the case of Firefly, long before. There are those who'll argue that the Lee Harvey Oswald episode of Quantum Leap was some fine shark-jumpin', but I disagree; I quite enjoyed it. (In point of fact, I shoved my cousins away from the TV at my own grandfather's funeral reception because USA Network was airing the second half, which I'd never seen. In my defense, my grandfather'd had a stroke some years before, and was just marking time until he actually died.)

I have to agree with the Mulder leaving point of X-Files as the moment the shark was officially jumped, but I have to say that they were revving their motorcycle for a bit before then--which is, of course, why Duchovny wanted out.

James_Digriz
2006-Feb-15, 09:18 PM
If the Romulans had conducted a spy mission against the Federation, then that would have been a "bad" thing, done by "bad guys". But since it was the Federation "good guys" doing it, it was somehow "justified".

This is a "double standard", IMO. The "ends justifying the means" aspect of that show really portrayed the Federation in a poor light.

Then again...Shatner in Vulcan make-up was classic. :)

...or a young Star Treks fans first insight into how the real world works. The good guys are making the Universe a better place by providing Holodeck fantasies and stembolts to everyone with the results of thier spying while the Romulans? It's like Catholic School on a planet wide scale with the same uniform everybody wears. Ug.

Charly
2006-Feb-15, 10:42 PM
FARSCAPE - Season 4 was awful for the most part, and Peacekeeper wars was terrible!!!

James_Digriz
2006-Feb-15, 11:36 PM
The only one I can think of is when they killed off the male lead on Earth Final Conflict. Ah. And when they "killed off" Rev Bem on Andromeda. Those sort of things don't really count for the thread though do they?

The Fonz didn't go anywhere, he just jumped a Shark. There were no character changes, just writing changes.

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Feb-15, 11:57 PM
When did my favourite jump the shark? Never. Firefly.

Van Rijn
2006-Feb-16, 12:21 AM
Ah. And when they "killed off" Rev Bem on Andromeda.


Of course, that wasn't their fault. Brent Stait developed a bad allergy to the makeup/prosthetics and literally couldn't continue.

Van Rijn
2006-Feb-16, 12:24 AM
I'm still watching Stargate SG-1, but the magic is gone. I'm noticing a much higher percentage of silly plots or plot devices, like the old "why doesn't the villain just shoot them?" cliche. That always was there, but it is getting too obvious.

Inferno
2006-Feb-16, 01:36 AM
Sliders when the Professor left. The show lost it's heart after that. It needed that one older actor and character to give the show a serious and respectable side. After that it just became an opportunity to show the girls in bikini's at every opportunity.

......It was then swimming down the shark's throat when they gave it another season even after Jerry O'Connell left.

Chuck
2006-Feb-16, 03:01 AM
All science fiction shows start to do down hill when the characters develop interpersonal relationships. Adventure then becomes soap opera.

Enzp
2006-Feb-16, 08:18 AM
Not to be a nit picker, but well...

I draw a distinction between jumping the shark and simply deteriorating. I mean the term refers to a series using some slap the forehead super contrived device to bump ratings up. So running out of plot ideas and sinking into flashbacks and the same warmed over ideas doesn't constitute a shark-jump. For example I don't recall TOS doing anything in the last season of a totally outrageous nature.

Tog
2006-Feb-16, 09:15 AM
TOS: For the world is hollow and I have touched the sky. One character gets an incurable disease at the start of the episode only to be saved when the cure is found at the end. Let him have it an deteriorate for a few episodes at least.

Voyager technically jumped with the introduction of 7 of 9. If there was ever a ratings ploy that was it. It just happened to pay off in this case.

Enterprise jumped for me when they decided that whole Temporal Cold War was.. look over there... Oh nothing. Like I was saying there is group called the Xindi...

Sliders: Kari Wuhr.

I don't think Quantum Leap ever did.

X-Files I stopped watching when the Mulder is dead cliffhanger happened. I think any series that has ot have a 2 hour episide to explain the overal story to the rabid fans should probably be considered airborne.

John Doe Never jumped. It was pushed in. I loved that show. They got to the end of season 2, revealed a huge twist, and canceled it without a word.

Dark Angel The introduction of Scrappy-Doo, or Vincent what ever the dog guy's name was. That and the virus that targeted only her boyfriend's DNA.

Oh, and TNG didn't really jump the shark here, but it wasa consistently flawed premise. They used the transporter to save the day by recombining the pattern stored in the buffer several times. It's a really handy tool. Yet they still get people trapped in the holodeck. They have med techs run to the injured person, and they get boarded. Lock onto all <insert invading species> not wearing a com badge and beam them into space, or a cargo bay, or the brig.

Is CSI Miami considered science fiction. If so I'd say the decision to cast David Caruso, and every line he delivers would count. That show is a train wreck but I can't look away.

mid
2006-Feb-16, 09:52 AM
Between Firefly, Ultraviolet, Space: Above & Beyond, and Dead Like Me, I'll plump for the "killed before the shark was in the water" option, too.

However, I'll comment on a few. I thought the X-Files jumped some time into season 3 or 4, when (a) Scully's scepticism passed the point of incredulity for me, (b) they tied themselves in knots with a dumb arc, and most importantly (c) Morgan & Wong went off to do Space: Above & Beyond.

Quantum Leap had a pretty formulaic and dull patch in the middle, but the Lee Harvey Oswald episode is my favorite one, so I'd definitely not call that shark-jumping.

Red Dwarf - Season 6 for so, so many reasons. Notthereal Kochanski, dire CG, and a missing writer being the main ones, though. Though it arguably jumped the moment Duane Dibley first appeared on screen.

captain swoop
2006-Feb-16, 10:02 AM
No, it jumped the Second time he appeared on the screen, and Ace Rimmer.

Moose
2006-Feb-16, 01:32 PM
Hmm.

Enterprise didn't just jump the shark with all the time travel shows, it tapdanced on the thing's forehead on the way by. Ironically, they jumped back by the third episode of the 4th season, and then jumped it again (doing backflips) just in time for the finale.

Firefly never jumped the shark. The shark jumped Firefly before it could get a good run-up. :(

gethen
2006-Feb-16, 02:54 PM
I quit watching Voyager even sproradically when they put Captain Janeway in a Civil War era hoop skirt and had Q trying to coerce her into "marrying" him. One of the lamest episodes of any series ever.

mid
2006-Feb-16, 03:26 PM
Conversely, Firefly hit its stride for me the exact moment that it put Kaylee in a hoop skirt, so there's a coincidence.

gethen
2006-Feb-16, 05:40 PM
Conversely, Firefly hit its stride for me the exact moment that it put Kaylee in a hoop skirt, so there's a coincidence.
Yeah, I remember that one too. What a difference a good writer can make.

James_Digriz
2006-Feb-16, 06:15 PM
Of course, that wasn't their fault. Brent Stait developed a bad allergy to the makeup/prosthetics and literally couldn't continue.

Really? Didn't know that. The stories still went downhill though. They shouldn't have with only one actor leaving.


Lock onto all <insert invading species> not wearing a com badge and beam them into space, or a cargo bay, or the brig.

Scramblers.

teddyv
2006-Feb-16, 07:35 PM
Really? Didn't know that. The stories still went downhill though. They shouldn't have with only one actor leaving.

I read somewhere that Kevin Sorbo didn't like the stories because he thought they were too complicated and got the writers to dumb it down. I can't remember where I heard that and it might be wrong.

Gillianren
2006-Feb-16, 07:58 PM
Conversely, Firefly hit its stride for me the exact moment that it put Kaylee in a hoop skirt, so there's a coincidence.

How is that I can love the episode so much while really, really hating that dress? (Which is not to say that Kaylee doesn't pull it off, but no one else in the 'verse could've.)

Ilya
2006-Feb-16, 08:04 PM
All science fiction shows start to do down hill when the characters develop interpersonal relationships. Adventure then becomes soap opera.
Which is part of the reason I can't stand Ben Bova's "Grand Tour" books. Every book is a soap opera from the start! There are other reasons, though.

Ilya
2006-Feb-16, 08:11 PM
When any sci-fi show that is not about time travel does a time travel episode!
I like how "Futurama" handled it. Groening and Co. agreed from the start there would be no time travel in "Futurama". So when they just had to make Fry into his own grandfather, they decided that time travel requires a nearby supernova explosion. IOW, not something that could be done easily or often.

Speaking of which -- Fry is his father's father, yet he obviously inherited his hair from his mother. Just how inbred IS he?? No wonder he is missing a brain wave!

Gillianren
2006-Feb-16, 08:57 PM
I have to say, I find sci-fi with no interpersonal relationships remarkably tedious. Where would Firefly be without the conflict between Jayne and, well, everyone? Or the enchantingly confused love of Kaylee for Simon? Where would Quantum Leap be without the love (obviously of a different sort) between Sam and Al?

Now, when that's all it's about, with no plot beyond Will Kaylee Make Her Feelings For Simon Known, yes, that's pretty dull.

Peteman
2006-Feb-16, 09:41 PM
Of course, that wasn't their fault. Brent Stait developed a bad allergy to the makeup/prosthetics and literally couldn't continue.

I thought that was what happened with the lady who played Zhaan in Farscape (could be both).

Personally, Season 4 of Farscape Sharked, but they shouldn't have been killed mid-season.

Andromeda, however, should have been killed by second season. Really did not like the Hercules in Space premise, and the attempt to reintroduce story arcs fell flat, as they drove off the people who would enjoy such things.

As for personal opinions: Beast Wars becoming Beast Machines. Ugh... Aside from the lame philosophical tack-on, the massive changes in established personalities (though justified in some context, were still annoying, and how dare they make Rhinox a bad guy), the unbelieveable reappearance of Waspinator (I liked the character, but consider the fact that he was on Earth last, and I doubt he knows how to build a starship), the awful, awful, awful character designs (the best Beast Machines designs rivaled the worst of the Beast Wars designs), and the horrendous CGI (Beast Wars was a work of art, Beast Machines was wannabeism to the extreme), I hated the premise (Megatron 2 should not have been able to take over Cybertron by himself. Evidence of Unicron pulling the strings should have been evident).

Sci-fi-ish: Reboot Movies. I loved Season 3 (though Number 7 totally went over my head, as I never saw The Prisoner), but the first movie wasn't up to par I felt, while the second movie... They didn't jump the shark, they fed the characters to the shark.

Jim
2006-Feb-16, 09:45 PM
It's not the interpersonal relationship, but how it's handled.

Some relationships require a certain tension between the two involved; remove the tension and things go downhill. (The classic example is Moonlighting.)

Some relationships require no tension or resolve it quite nicely. (The married couple on Firefly, or the eventually married couple on B5.)

Some use that tension quite effectively. (BSG has several going now.)

And then, of course, the relationship has to fit into the plot line, not change it. (BSG is doing this now with a nice little love triangle; it will be interesting to see how it gets resolved, and if it augments or detracts from the plot line.)

Inferno
2006-Feb-16, 09:47 PM
Buffy: Season 6 - Joss Whedon was know for taking risks. Keeping Dawn was a big risk...and it failed miserably.

The Supreme Canuck
2006-Feb-16, 09:54 PM
How is that I can love the episode so much while really, really hating that dress? (Which is not to say that Kaylee doesn't pull it off, but no one else in the 'verse could've.)

Well, the point was that it was a cruddy dress in the first place.

Van Rijn
2006-Feb-16, 10:39 PM
A google on "brent stait allergy" will turn up a number of references. Apparently he had to be hospitalized at one point. He isn't the only actor that has had bad allergies to the latex or other stuff they may wear.


I read somewhere that Kevin Sorbo didn't like the stories because he thought they were too complicated and got the writers to dumb it down. I can't remember where I heard that and it might be wrong.

Wouldn't surprise me. I started calling the series "Hercules in Space" as the silliness increased.

James_Digriz
2006-Feb-17, 03:13 AM
I read somewhere that Kevin Sorbo didn't like the stories because he thought they were too complicated and got the writers to dumb it down. I can't remember where I heard that and it might be wrong.

Well somebody sure did. Nothing but fights like in Hercules after a while.

Ah. Now I remember when it really went downhill. When they came back after the Magog Worldship cliffhanger.

I was all excited and then was left saying: "What the heck happened to my show?"

Inferno
2006-Feb-17, 07:27 AM
The Centurions - when they brought in the bearded "energy" and Native American "security" experts.

mid
2006-Feb-17, 09:31 AM
Re: Kaylee's dress, if it actually was a lovely dress then it wouldn't mean much. But the fact she thinks it's great is so cute that we all just go completely gooey about her.

James_Digriz
2006-Feb-17, 04:52 PM
Now, when that's all it's about, with no plot beyond Will Kaylee Make Her Feelings For Simon Known, yes, that's pretty dull.

Once again we see why Firefly is number one. It's all how it's handled. The romance in Firefly seemed like just another natural part of the character's lives, not contrived like towards the end of DS9 when everybody was falling for everybody. Too much.

gethen
2006-Feb-17, 06:14 PM
Re: Kaylee's dress, if it actually was a lovely dress then it wouldn't mean much. But the fact she thinks it's great is so cute that we all just go completely gooey about her.
Yeah, that was one ugly dress, but she still looked cute because you could believe that she loved it. Well-written characters can pull off lots of otherwise silly things.

Gillianren
2006-Feb-17, 07:50 PM
That dress looked just like a Barbie wedding cake, didn't it?

Peteman
2006-Feb-17, 09:21 PM
Buffy: Season 6 - Joss Whedon was know for taking risks. Keeping Dawn was a big risk...and it failed miserably.

Ugh... Buffy Season Six... I now use it as part of my personal lexicon. That Season didn't Jump the Shark, it Fed the Shark.

Unfortunately, this isn't SF

Moose
2006-Feb-18, 09:55 PM
Yeah, that was one ugly dress, but she still looked cute because you could believe that she loved it. Well-written characters can pull off lots of otherwise silly things.

That was one of the nicest things about that episode: Kaylee doesn't fit in at the party, not even close, and yet she finds a place through sheer personality and charm (once the older guy chases away the "useless people".)

I have to say the impish grin to Mal when she suggests "questionning" the buffet table to be sure it's not their contact pretty much sums up her character and personality. :D

Darasen
2006-Feb-27, 04:03 PM
When Gohan becomes the idiotic "Great saiya man" :)

Peteman
2006-Feb-28, 05:41 PM
When Gohan becomes the idiotic "Great saiya man" :)


Hmm... I always felt it was the 8-episode 5 minute battle.