We talked about the concept in class in the context of "30 Rock" and "How I Met Your Mother." When does a sitcom reach that moment when the rigidity of the format and the necessary stasis of the characters spread over scores of episodes mean there's nothing left to be done that hasn't been done before.
I tried to describe the eponymous scene from "Happy Days" that I had so often read about. But, you know, I didn't actually watch "Happy Days," so I wondered if I'd gotten some key detail wrong. Apparently not. I had not been aware that the Fonz - a method actor to the last - would do the scene live on the water in his leather jacket. Oh yes the shark was well and truly jumped.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
When a Sitcom Jumps the Shark
J. Michael Robertson directs the journalism program in the Department of Media Studies at the University of San Francisco. He was an editor/staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle, 1980-1991, and Atlanta Magazine, 1976-1980. He received a Ph.D. in English Literature from Duke University in 1972.
Reviewing the Fine Arts
A More Academic Approach
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