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Jump the Shark

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Jon Hein

It's a truism that the entertainment industry can never leave well enough alone. With few exceptions, TV shows, movie series and entertainers all go on producing product well after their prime. The popular Web site jumptheshark.com which takes its name … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Jon Hein
Publisher: Plume
1 review about Jump the Shark

Pop culture pastry makes a great light snack.

  • Nov 27, 2009
"Jump the shark" is the colloquial phrase for the exact moment at which a cultural phenomenon has passed its peak in popularity on the way to eventual oblivion. This book is by the guy who, with his friends in a college bull session, came up with the term, and identifies that moment for many of television's most popular hit shows.

The term itself, as any pop culture maven worth his IMDB will know, comes from the "Happy Days" episode late in its run when Fonzie literally jumped over a shark on water skis--wearing his trademark leather jacket. This is an example of the "Vacation" category of shark-jumping (Hein helpfully provides a list of general caterogires before providing show by show breakdowns).

Of course, while somewhat serious (and accurate in identifying the beginning of the end), this is mostly tongue-in-cheek fun, enhanced by fun lists scattered throughout--best TV neighbors, favorite "Odd Couple" guests (Howard Cosell?), and finest off-stage game show voices (Johnny Olson, of course).

Won't change your life, but will provide a few hours of fun and reflection on the role TV has played in your life (probably larger than you think).

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