A few years back I first heard the phrase “jumping the shark” and had to look up what that meant and where it came from,
Jumping the shark is an phrase used to describe the moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery, which is usually a particular scene, episode, or aspect of a show in which the writers use some type of “gimmick” in a desperate attempt to keep viewers’ interest.
The phrase jump the shark comes from a scene in the fifth season premiere episode of the American TV series Happy Days which aired on September 20, 1977. In the episode, the central characters visit Los Angeles, where a water-skiing Fonzie (Henry Winkler) answers a challenge to his bravery by wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket, and jumping over a confined shark.
I heard this phrase when the last Indiana Jones film came out and Harrison Ford survived a nuclear bomb blast by hiding in a old lead covered fridge. Actually I think that movie was the first time I had heard that phrase and had to look it up.
I mention this because about a week ago on the TV show “The Soup” that my wife was watching, they were mocking an upcoming TV movie for SyFy channel called “Sharknado” in which literally there were tornados filled with sharks from the ocean.
Many viewers of The Soup laughed it off and didn’t think any more about it – but me, I was hooked – fascinated to see if it were true (it was), so I quickly went to the other room searching the online TV guide for Sharknado – and sure enough, it was real and would be on TV July 11 – for me and my kids, it was a focal point, a time for us to share some family time and watch sharks fall from the sky onto unsuspecting people – so many life lessons – My wife was inadvertently interrupting this magical time by asking questions like “How come when they shoot the sharks flying in the air – they drop like rocks – are we supposed to believe they are flying?”- but my daughter and I didn’t have the time to debate the physics of a flying shark and how with their waving tails they were maintaining just enough forward speed aided by the tornadic winds. So many highlights like the below scene – yes – that is truly a great white shark being flung from the tornado with only one thought on its mind – not where is the water, but rather, how best to eat that young lady.
Not since Mystery Science Theater 3000 had I laughed so much during a TV show (on a separate note – seriously, why is this show not on the air anymore either? Its really time for someone to bring this back)
And now the clamor for a sequel has started up………………………
But people have this all wrong – there can’t be a sequel and there should not be a sequel– this movie has figuratively and literally already jumped the shark – there is nothing left to prove – once you see guys use bar stools to beat off great whites in the street, fly helicopters into tornados to drop bombs to stop the tornados (learn something new every day), and see people get put out of their misery by a hammerhead shark landing on them – what else can you have? – we just need to let this movie become the cult classic that is predestined for it – I think the below scene says it all – there cannot be a sequel as this is as good as it can get (and yes, that’s a chainsaw in his hands)
“Jumping the shark” was normally seen as an act of desperation but here the Sharknado movie gloriously jumped every shark possible to set an impossibly high standard. In an interview, the star Ian Ziering said:
When I read the scene where I’m actually chainsawing my way out of the belly of a shark, how could a guy turn that down when that’s in the job description?” actor Ian Ziering told CBSNews.com about reading the script for the new original TV movie.