When a tv series ‘jumps the shark’ it means that the story arc reaches its peak, the storyline becomes ridiculous and the show loses credibility. The phrase comes from the television series Happy Days when Fonzie jumped over a shark while waterskiing, still wearing his leather jacket.
Reasons for jumping the shark can be
- when the ‘will they won’t they’ couple gets together (Niles and Daphne in Frazier)
- Change of hairstyle (Felicity in Felicity)
- Death of a character (Bobby Ewing on Dallas. Though he came back)
- Death of a star (8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter)
- A star leaves (Michael J Fox on Spin City)