Thursday, May 22, 2014

Snark Bites: Jumping the Shark

Have you ever seen a movie or read a book where the story suddenly veers from what is rational or reasonable for a stint in Wonderland? Everyone is mad, mad, mad...  Heroes make unbelievable leaps of logic or amazing deductions simply to further the plot. Authors and directors impose their wishes upon the characters, forcing them to act in unintuitive ways simply so some neat event will happen.

Congratulations, you have witnessed...

Jumping the Shark

According to TV Tropes, Jumping the Shark is defined as:  
The moment when an established TV show changes in a significant manner in an attempt to stay fresh. Ironically, that moment makes the viewers realize that the show's finally run out of ideas. It's reached its peak, it'll never be the same again, and from now on it's all downhill.

 What are some signs that your heroine may be strapping on water skis?
  • A major plot point is resolved. Again and again and again.
  • She divines unknowable facts or draws extraordinary conclusions without real information.
  • Poorly executed or contrived plot twists.
Read about more gimmicks here.


  1. Great post, Melissa. Sadly, I can say I witnessed the fatal shark jump in it's original format and remember my father refusing to watch another sitcom because they were just getting too stupid to watch. To my knowledge, he doesn't watch sitcoms any more. Then again, you can pry him away from the Scifi channel...even the really stupid movies with killer Alli-sharks. lol!

    1. Correction: cannot. You cannot pry my dad away from Scify. lol!

    2. Lilly,
      I recall watching it live also. Although, I couldn't have been more than 10. What I recall most are my parent's reactions to the fact that Fonzi was wearing his leather jacket. How had he gotten up on skis without it getting wet. (I was mostly bewildered.) :D

  2. I know of what you speak. Sometimes when a plot isn't going right, I'm tempted to have a fairy come down an wave a magic wand over the thing to make it go. That's when I know I have to rethink the story.

    1. Ilona,
      Sadly, I often don't catch my shark jumps on my own. Sometimes I'll have the feeling that something is wrong but not be able to pin it down. It's almost always a beta reader who catches mine. :D