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Shark Jumping

After catching up on my “24” viewing this last weekend, I sat pondering the meaning of life.  And why there are 70 calories in just 4 measly Whole Grain Club Crackers.

Fiddledaddy walks up to me and asks, “So, do you think that “24” has jumped the shark?”


Sensing my confusion, he offered, “Jumped the shark,” speaking slowly as if to a moron.

“What does that mean?”

“You don’t know what ‘jumped the shark’ means?” he asked incredulously.

It was at this point that I considered lying, saying that I really do, and going on with my life not caring what ‘jumped the shark’ actually means.  And googling it later when he was asleep.

But I thought better of it, since sometimes he just makes stuff up to mess with me.  And to see if I’ll act like I know what he’s talking about when I really don’t.

“Please tell me what ‘jump the shark’ means?”

Deep breath.  And I’m paraphrasing here, because I’m sure he went into a much longer explanation before my eyes glazed over.  “Remember when Happy Days was on and was really good the first few years but then after 15 or so years they ran out of ideas, and then they wrote an episode in which the Fonze jumped a shark?

I must have missed that episode.  And don’t even start with me about “Joannie Loves Chachi.”

So, thereafter, any show which has gone on too long and really should consider putting itself out of our misery is termed having “jumped the shark.”

And then he sent me this article written by Ben Shapiro, which outlines an awfully good argument as to why “24” has jumped the shark.

It pains me to say this, but I might have to agree.  However, I will continue watching “24” in the hopes that they will prove me wrong.  And that Jack Bauer will turn Ben Shapiro into a pretzel and eat him for breakfast.

What do you think?  Has “24” jumped the shark?


25 Responses to Shark Jumping

  • I’m with you, I had no idea what that term meant! Thank you for my early morning social education! =)

    I haven’t even finished season 2 of 24 so I still have a lot of Jack Bauer left… haha

  • Fonzie in a bathing suit? That’s.just.not.right.

  • Never heard the term before. (And I don’t watch 24.)

    However, I do know a couple of shows that must have “jumped the shark” (7th Heaven comes to mind). . .and I know a couple of more that stopped before they got to that point, and it felt like I was being jipped of the rest of the story. Don’t know which is better.

  • Huh – Never heard that term before either… and I don’t know about 24, but LOST definitely has jumped the shark… I mean, seriously…

  • Even if it has jumped the shark (of which I’ve never heard of before must be similar to the phrase “go to the mattresses”! LOL) I still enjoy the fun of it! After all, the whole premise kind of “Jumped the shark” from the beginning don’t you think?

  • I sat down with my cup of coffee, to read some of my favorite blogs.. and yours made me laugh out loud. Thank you for that, I needed that this cold Monday morning!! I cannot tell you how many times I have pretended that I understood what my husband and teenage son are talking about, only to google it later..

    TV guide talks about shows that ‘jump the shark’ alot, so that’s the only reason I knew what it meant… and I have to agree with your husband.. I loved loved loved 24 the first few years, but it’s getting very hard to watch. Lost, too…

  • I had never heard of “jumped the shark” either!! Now I’ll be “one up” on my husband because I bet he doesn’t know that!!! But, I must say, that I guess I am just a true addict because even if “24” has “jumped the shark”, I’m still on the edge of my seat during every episode and counting the hours until the next one! I just love it and I love that Tony’s back – looking better than ever, I might add!!!

  • I’ve never seen a single minute of 24, so I don’t know if they’ve jumped the shark or not.

    However, ER? Definitely. Gave up on them a couple years ago. I’ll watch on occasion, but it isn’t nearly the same!

  • I was already familiar with “jumping the shark” and am an avid (read rabid) watcher of 24… No way has 24 jumped the shark. If Jack did have to jump a shark, it would of course cower in fear. Shapiro’s reasons are not that great especially the one about Sangala. 24’s writers would be showing incredible insensitivity if they were showing the world a show made by Americans depicting Americans involved in a plot help terrorists take over a real country in Africa. BTW I really enjoy your blog. It is great to see Christian women just keepin’ it real.

  • Well, I learned a pop culture colloquialism today [smile].

    I haven’t seen more than the first season of 24… so I can’t comment. I’m currently catching up on Lost…


  • I’m gonna have to back Fiddledaddy on this one. I’ve heard the term. And I’m thinking that article laid it out loud and clear.

    I don’t think fans would have been so harsh except it has been 2 years. When it came back on (finally) I didn’t care. (Takes moment to sob) Now I watch the Closer instead. Sorry Jack but you’re dead to me.

    But I do hope Jack does twist that guy into a pretzel and eats him for breakfast – with a latte – just to show him you don’t talk down to Jack Bauer. 🙂

  • I’ve never heard of this before, but the segment was absolutely a blast to watch! That Fonz, he could do ANYthing!!

  • For now it is the only CIA/FBI fix I can get. When Mulder left, my life just wasn’t the same. (The Unit just doesn’t do it for me.)

    I’ve heard of Jump the Shark and remember that episode. I agree that ER jumped it a long time ago. So did Law And Order.

  • Showing my age and ignorance, I did not know the meaning of “jumping the shark”, and have never seen an episode of Happy Days.

    But, now that I have been educated I can say with confidence that 24 tried to jump the shark last season (er, two years ago!), but then benefited GREATLY from the writers strike and a season off. We have thoroughly enjoyed this year!!

    My hubby is still loving LOST. I’m kinda over it. It’s alright, but they are donning the bathing suit and putting on their jet skis as far as I’m concerned!!! (Though I’ve not heard shark music… YET!!!)

  • I’m not a 24 fan, but I think most shows jump the shark at some point. The Brady Bunch jumped the shark when they brought in Cousin Oliver. Cheers jumped the shark multiple times! I think LOST got bitten by the shark but is trying to recover.

    I mentioned Joanie Loves Chachi on my blog today too. Made me giggle.

  • I don’t watch 24, sorry. But, I thought I would pass on this info; my brother actually bought this book, and it is hilarious. 😉


  • Aaaayyyyeeee…I still love Fonzie.

    And Jack Bauer.

    I did suffer a shark attack from ER and had to quit it, but I’ve healed now and have returned to watching it because. Dr. Ross is coming back!!

  • i would probably say that yes, indeed, 24 has ‘jumped the shark’ — they lost me last season after I watched the first three seasons which all seemed remarkably similar.

  • I’d heard the term “jumped the shark”, but it was a looooong time ago.

    Secondly, tho’ I might be shark bait for Ben Shapiro, I have to ask–by season 7, what part of 24 did he think wasn’t going to be predictable? And also, what a supreme irony to have a liberal like Garofalo playing a bit as a CIA agent fighting the bad guys instead of just freeing them. Lastly, Jack’s more humble demeanor of the first several episodes plus accountability for his actions was a fresh take to his character.

    I gave up 24 last season because of its many fiascos, but this season has me intrigued. JB may still jump the shark or he might pull out all the stops and eat him for supper. Because that’s who Jack Bauer is.

  • Yea, I know it’s getting old and stale but I still love it – will watch an hour or “24” before much of anything else right now! LOL

  • I’ve never watched “24,” so I’m afraid I can’t be of any use…

  • Don’t know anything about 24, but can’t believe how many people have never heard of “Jumping the Shark”. The clip was great, but left off the best part when as the Fonz jumped the shark he said AAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!! Made it a classic.

  • Say it isn’t so!! I’m trying to catch up as I’ve only recently discovered my complete obsession with 24. In two short months I have watched up through season 5. I’ll be done with the last episode tonight if I can convince my kids that cereal is our “real” dinner. If all I’m doing is catching up to the end in season 7, I don’t know if I could stand it. I’ll have to start rationing season 6. Like allowing myself only one episode a week (ok, a day.)

  • I love 24 and Lost; they are my two favorite shows. I do not think either have jumped the shark. (I learned what that meant just a few years ago, and although I have seem many episodes of Happy Days, I don’t remember that one.)

    Lost is so far out there, I’m not sure they could jump the shark (but do you remember the Darma-tattood shark?). Since they now have an “end” date out there, they are leading us along better than when they were writing without knowing when they could (or would have to) end it all.

    As far as 24, yes it’s a little predictable, in as much as you know Jack is going to survive each tight situation he’s put in, but I am still on the edge of my seat, not wanting the hour to end. I love the moral dilemmas they throw out there – How far do you go to not give in to terrorists? What is the value of Americans dying versus Africans dying? What about strangers dying versus the person you love the most? Is it okay to torture someone if they are really bad and need to divulge info to save innocent lives? Do we need a Jack Bauer? If we had one in real life, doing the things he does on TV, would I prefer to stay ignorant of the whole thing? Oh, and after I think I’ve had a bad day, with children misbehaving and the like, I can watch 24 and know that my day was really easy!

  • Are you SOOOO impressed with me that I knew what Jumped the Shark meant?! 🙂

    I don’t think 24 has quite gotten there yet, although I am one episode behind.

    Jack Bauer would have eaten the shark.