Tele-Tuesday: When TV Makes a Wrong Turn (Via Andrew Mocete)

Writer and blogger Andrew Mocete shares a passion for a few of my favorite television shows, and when he accepted my invitation to do a guest post for my Tele-Tuesday series, I knew he would strike gold.   Enjoy!

When TV Makes a Wrong Turn 

Remember Happy Days? Richie Cunningham, Potsie, Ralph Malph and The Fonz? It was a show full of laughs that got better every season.

Then Fonzie jumped over a shark on water skis.

 

Yes, you read right. The coolest guy in all the land, slipped on something dangerously close to a speedo and water skied over a shark. The show was never the same. This was the birth of Jump the Shark, a phrase coined by Jon Hein, to describe the moment a TV show becomes less than what it once was. It doesn’t always mean the show is unwatchable, but has reached its peak and will never be that good again. Here’s a couple of examples.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

AliasVery few pilot episodes are flawless, but the series opener of Alias blows me away every time I watch it. Jennifer Garner plays secret agent Sydney Bristow who thinks she’s working for a black ops division of the CIA called SD-6. When she learns she’s been working for the enemy, she becomes a double agent for the real CIA.

First thing she finds out? Her dad, Jack Bristow (also an agent of SD-6), is ALSO a double agent! You’d think that might help their strained relationship, but no, it makes things worse. Maybe it had to do with the snuggly, wuggly feelings developing between Sydney and her CIA handler, Michael Vaughn. Maybe Jack was still grumpy his wife turned out to be a Russian spy whose mission was to seduce him and steal American secrets for her country. WHAT?! And that’s just the tip of the drama iceberg.

In addition there was a great series arcing storyline involving the race to find artifacts from Nostradamus like prophet, Milo Rambaldi. Whoever had the most, had the power. Naturally, Sydney played a pivotal role in these prophecies.

Jump the Shark moment? The bridge between season two and three.

After two seasons Sydney lost her friends. Francie Calfo and Will Tippin were Sydney’s “normal life” friends who knew nothing of her double life. They added a lot of heart to every episode and offered excellent contrast to all the globe-trotting adventures. Even if their stories were over, it would’ve been nice to keep that normal side of her life intact with new characters.

Rambaldi went on too long. When I first watched Alias, I thought taking down SD-6 would the series objective, but it was wrapped within two seasons. And the show got better. I figure if Rambaldi came to an end sooner, the door would’ve opened for even more awesome stories.

Despite my problems, there was much to love about seasons three through five of Alias (I own them all). But if seasons one and two were a ten, three through five were an eight. A fantastic score, but still a decline.

Gilmore GirlsAnother show that qualifies as having a perfect pilot. The show centered around the relationship of mother, Lorelai Gilmore, and daughter, Rory Gilmore. Lorelai had Rory when she was sixteen, which is the age Rory is when the show begins.

The opening episode has Rory being accepted into a very prestigious and expensive school. In order to pay tuition fees, Lorelai is forced to ask her wealthy parents for a loan. They’ve been at odds since Lorelai was pregnant and have barely spoken since. This is why Lorelai’s mother, Emily Gilmore, makes Friday dinner at her house a condition of getting the loan. If that wasn’t enough, Lorelai’s love life is a mess and she doesn’t realize the perfect guy, Luke Danes, is standing right in front of her every morning she visits Luke’s Diner. Luke does his best to be the “friend” while watching Lorelai date all the wrong guys.

And that’s just Lorelai’s adventures.

One of my favorite parts of the show was the dialogue.  It’s so quick and loaded with pop culture that the DVDs come with a Gilmore-isms feature. All this awesome and it still jumped the shark. And it was so bad, I have yet to finish the series.

Jump the Shark moment? Luke gets a long-lost daughter.

 

And this point in the show Luke and Lorelai are engaged, and to throw a monkey wrench into their plans, Luke’s long-lost daughter finds him. He decides to keep this from Lorelai, which snowballs into them breaking up and Lorelai sleeping with her ex-husband. Grrr.

Unfortunately, the creator of the show (Amy Sherman-Palladino) couldn’t come to an agreement to stay as showrunner for the final season. This is when the show went from Jump the Shark, but still good, to Jump the Shark BAD. I think the new showrunner did his best, but only Palladino could be the voice of that show. The characters weren’t acting like the ones I’d been watching for six years. I gave up.

I think the other problem was that it was the last season and story lines needed wrapping up. Perhaps after this transitional season, the next one would’ve been better. That’s what I’d like to think.

Agree or disagree? Has this happened to any of your favorite shows? Just like Tiffany, I’d love to hear from you!

First, a big THANKS to Andrew! His guest post couldn’t have come at a better time.  Having just returned from vacation, I found myself scrambling around and like magic his email saved me.  Please be sure and check out Andrew’s blog and learn more about him here.  Like I mentioned on Friday’s FabOoolousness, I’m hoping Andrew launches Author Club and my invite is in the mail…

Before I go, I loved Alias, and always wished for more Will Tippin (Bradley Cooper).  Anyone with me? It’s not like Michael Vaughn was a slouch by any means, but there was just something about Will that had me hoping he and Syndey would share more than just a friendship.

 One last thing, stop by Roni Loren’s blog today and check out my guest post!  I was honored when she asked me to write a guest post for her blog while she was away at a conference, and I specifically looked forward to doing the research for her hot Boyfriend of the Week series.  Who did I choose?  Click to find out….

Friday FabOoolousness – MarvelOoous Mashups & Awards

One of my twitter pals awarded me with my first blogging award this month – The Stylish Blogger.

Ashley, THANK YOU! Being new to the blogging world, this award means the world to me!  From now on, every time anyone clicks on the Stylish Blogger Award icon on my website, they will experience Ashley’s fabOoolous blog!

The award comes with just a few fabOoolous rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Before I share seven random facts about me, I first pass the baton.  The Stylish Blog Awards go to: 

  1. Jen L Kirchner
  2. Jen Greyson
  3. Julie Glover
  4. Grace Lewis
  5. Robyn Sadler

Congratulations!

In addition to these 5 stylish blogs, click on these fabOoolous sites in my May edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

Looking for something to make for dinner?  Check out Kait Nolan’s Pots and Plots. Kait also features a special segment – Gluten Free Friday. Gluten free flour tortillasGluten free beer batter fish?  Yum – Try one out!

At DFWcon, I kept hearing about this guy Chuck Wendig.  I couldn’t ignore my new-found writer friends, so Chuck was one of the first people I followed on Twitter.  I am so glad I did!  His post, 25 Things Every Writer Should Know, prompted me to take notes, laugh, take more notes, and then laugh some more.  Chuck is helpful and FUNNY!

Did you read the Choose Your Own Adventure books growing up? Similar to the Stylish Blogger award recipient Jen Kirchner’s Vote Your Next Adventure, Anne-Mhairi Simpson also posts a What Happens Next You Decide blog.  Vote – 1, 2, or 3…A, B, or C…

Roni Loren is brilliant!  Every week she posts her Boyfriend of the Week, which helps the rest of the female writing population’s creative juices flow.  Previous boyfriends have included Ian Somerhalder, Vampire Eric Northman aka Alexander Skarsgard, and Joshua Jackson.  Roni, please keep them coming!

Know the characters – that’s one of the most important things for any writer when traveling this journey.  Ashley Graham’s post, 7 things you might find interesting about my MC, gives a perspective that other’s might benefit from when shaping their main character.  This article really peaked my interest in Ashley’s MC Elena, and I want to read The Socialite.

Now to my 7 fun-facts — A few of my favorite things:

1) I am a bit “Monkish” – Tony Shaloub’s fabOoolous character from the hit tv-show, Monk.  I love to clean; therefore, one of my favorite fabOoolous household items is the Bissell Spot Lifter.  I can’t live without it.  This one invention has saved both of my cats on numerous occasions.

2) Keeping with the “Monkish” theme, I love, love, love for things to smell good.  For my furniture, I use the fabOoolous Febreze Clean Linen Spray.  I use it so much, that friends and family members retreat in fear that I will spray them upon entry of my house.  Ugh, I’ve never once sprayed anyone!  I don’t know why they’re so scared…

3) If I had known in 1993 when I read Ray Bradbury’s famous opening line from Fahrenheit 451, “It was a pleasure to burn,” what I know now, I would have invested in a candle company.  That’s right!  I am a full-fledged pyromaniac.  The fabOoolous Circle E candles are my favorite candle – they burn evenly (there’s my “Monkish” attribute again), and the scent of one burning candle fills every square inch of my house.  If you haven’t already, please sample Circle E’s Bird of Paradise and Slice of Life candles.

4) Everyone knows that the spring & summer weather in Texas can be brutal and that makes it important to stay hydrated.  Water gets so very boring glass after glass, so I throw in a glass of ice tea as often as possible.  Sun tea is tasty, but what’s even more fabOoolous?  My Mr. Coffee Ice Tea Maker might just be the best $15 I have ever spent!

5) The DVR is the best electronics invention – ever!  I am addicted to television (could you tell?), and my fabOoolous AT&T U-Verse DVR allows me to record four shows at the same time!  I’m in Heaven every single night when I curl up in my love-seat, grab my blanket, and turn on the boob-tube.  Will I ever get my recordings below 100?  Probably not…probably not.

6) I’m spoiled, and I believe in spoiling!  I’ve spoiled my cat rotten, so much so he’s actually drawn blood protecting me.  I named him Shady-cat after my best friend insisted he had Bipolar disorder, but really I just liked the fabOoolous Eminem song at the time.  Shady is big like a dog: he plays fetch like a dog, and he runs to the door when the bell rings like a dog.  I actually rely on Shady to protect me more than I do our 65-lb dog, Shadow!

7) I’ve saved the best for last — I’m the luckiest girl in the world.  I have the most fabOoolous man standing by my side, and supporting me every day to accomplish my dreams.   Without him, this blog would not be possible, and I’d still be dreaming about writing my first novel instead of writing my first novel.  He makes my dreams come true; He is my dream come true!  XOXO, honey!

Who are your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? Do you have a list of must-have items?  If so, please share!  Leave a comment, I’d love to check them out!