Urban dictionary defines jumping the shark as “when your favorite show starts to flag and go downhill, as when Fonzie jumped the shark on waterskis. We all knew that Happy Days was on its way down then….Jumping the shark occurs when a show has hit and all time low and has to do something drastic and crazy to maintain its viewers and keep them interested. ”
We usually see it on television when a series goes on for too long and the writers/producers/directors have no idea how to go forward.
However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes it happens because the writers/producers/directors lose themselves in a maelstrom of megalomania. They start believing in the hype and the hoopla and start suffering from delusions of grandeur.
Result – jumping the shark.
Perfect example of this is the latest season of Sherlock, the BBC series.
Sir Doyle had written a whole bunch of awesome detective stories, these stories have stood the test of time and are as popular now as when they were first published. There are more than 50 of such stories.
My personal favorites are the one where the snake comes in through the ventilator (Speckled Band) and the one with the riddle and treasure (The Musgrave Ritual). And yes, before you start wondering, I don’t like the Hound of the Baskervilles because the dog dies.; and I loved Sign of Four as a child, but now find it a wee bit disconcerting due to the casual racism.
But no matter how I personally feel about them, I do not dispute that the stories, the plots, the characterizations were all top notch – Sir Doyle was a literary genius.
Moffat and Gatiss – the writers and producers of the Sherlock tv series – are most definitely not.
Gatiss has influence on all episodes as producer and he has written four episodes, one for each series: the finale, “The Great Game,” for the first series, “The Hounds of Baskerville” for the second, “The Empty Hearse” for the third and “The Six Thatchers” for the fourth. He also co-wrote “Many Happy Returns,” a mini-episode released in late December 2013 which acts as a prelude to the third series, with Steven Moffat; the episode “The Sign of Three” with Moffat and Steve Thompson; and “The Abominable Bride”, a special episode released in early January 2016, with Moffat.
Moffat, on the other hand, wrote “A Study in Pink” (unaired pilot, 2009), “A Study in Pink” (2010), “A Scandal in Belgravia” (2012), “The Sign of Three” (co-written with Stephen Thompson and Mark Gatiss, 2014), “His Last Vow” (2014), “The Abominable Bride” (co-written with Mark Gatiss, 2016), “The Lying Detective” (2017) and “The Final Problem” (co-written with Mark Gatiss), 2017
Now, A Study in Pink and The Great Game were wonderful stories, The Hounds of Baskerville and A Scandal in Belgravia very intelligent adaptations.
The writers had stuck with the basic plots and thus we enjoyed
But as they say, pride comes before the fall. With delusions of grandeur creeping in, the writers decided to create their own plots and stories.
The result – the confusing 3rd season with (one of the most irritating character portrayals in the history of television) Mary, Watson’s wife, who just happens to be an expert spy cum assassin!!
The 1st episode of the season was a complete and utter waste of Sebastian Moran, the 2nd episode was a cacophony of confusion with a freaking wedding as the setting and I still haven’t figured out just what the fuck happened in the 3rd.
If those were the results of pride, the 4th season saw the fall. It did not jump just one shark but a whole herd of them.
The 1st episode gave us a a deluge of degeneracy and a surfeit of shite. The 2nd episode was saved by Toby Jones (Hail Hydra)
And then we come to The Final Problem.
A bountiful of bunkum, a cornucopia of crap, a fulsomeness of farcical flapdoodle, a maelstrom of manure, a profusion of poop, a superabundance of senseless stupidity, a teemingness of tomfoolery !
The plot made 0 sense, a dog turned out to be human, Mycroft Holmes – one of the laziest men on the earth – badankadoinked a lady, Watson fell into a well, an endless stream of people got murdered, a prisoner in an extremely secure island prison somehow got a drone to bomb 221B Baker Street, Sherlock and Watson appeared on top of a trawler in the middle of an ocean and somehow the Holmes brothers got a sister!!!!
And also, here’s the thing, when you try to be pretentious la-di-dah oh I am so intelligent, at least get things right and logical – the names Sherlock and Mycroft – ye old English (look it up), the name Eurus – http://www.theoi.com/Titan/AnemosEuros.html
The last episodes of Lost, Sopranos and Dexter are renowned for being crap while the last episode of How I Met Your Mother was considered as the worst in the history of television.
Well not anymore.
The Final Problem has taken up that mantle, probably forever.