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Author Topic: "The Wire" jumps the shark
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 29 January 2008 10:13 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Season 4 of the wire was the best season of the best television show ever. By episode 2 of season 5 (the final season) I was worried. Episode 2 was the most poorly written, embarrassing episode of the series. They completely lost it on "show, don't tell" with all kinds of meaningful lecturettes and pronunciamentos explicating things the entire series had succeeding in showing already. The bar scene with Lester, Bunk, and Jimmy was the worst.

SPOILERS below.

The season seemed to recover a bit, but the whole media line was a drag on things and the pacing was off -- probably because dumbass HBO only ordered 10, instead of 13, episodes. And Prop Joe's sentimental fathering of Marlo made no sense. Nor did Jimmy's serial killer hoax, with Lester going along with it. And Omar wouldn't be as stupid as they made him. They betrayed all their characters and tried to tie up too many plotlines in a half-assed way. But it was still getting better. Until episode 6. That's where it jumped the shark, and I am pissed off and disappointed!

Are there any other fans of The Wire here? What do you think of the current season?


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martha (but not Stewart)
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posted 29 January 2008 10:19 PM      Profile for Martha (but not Stewart)     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had the same feeling when I watched S05E02. I was so disappointed that I haven't even got around to starting S05E03 yet.
From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 29 January 2008 10:25 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I fast-forwared through episode 7, that's how little interest I have in it now.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boarsbreath
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posted 30 January 2008 05:47 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought jumping the shark was continuing to be good when most series fall apart. What Barney Miller did.

(Seen only Season 2, the dockers one; devoted fan nonetheless.)


From: South Seas, ex Montreal | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
rural - Francesca
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Babbler # 14858

posted 30 January 2008 06:11 PM      Profile for rural - Francesca   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought jumping the shark was doing something completely over the top and totally ridiculous

sharks don't jump but in some movie somewhere they 'made' them jump (special effects no chicken) to spice it up

it's B movie stuff


From: the backyard | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
Sharon
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posted 30 January 2008 06:26 PM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The term jumping the shark alludes to a specific scene in a 1977 episode of the TV series Happy Days when the popular character Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli jumps over a shark while water skiing. The scene was so preposterous that many believed it to be an ill-conceived attempt at reviving the declining ratings of the flagging show. Since then, the phrase has become a colloquialism[1] used by U.S. TV critics and fans to denote the point at which the characters or plot of a TV series veer into a ridiculous, out-of-the-ordinary storyline. Such a show is typically deemed to have passed its peak. Once a show has "jumped the shark" fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original charm.

Wikipedia


From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
rural - Francesca
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14858

posted 30 January 2008 06:38 PM      Profile for rural - Francesca   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
what they said!
From: the backyard | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
bliter
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Babbler # 14536

posted 30 January 2008 06:53 PM      Profile for bliter   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Have never heard that expression before, and am not familiar with the show under discussion - possibly because I don't have cable and watch little TV.

One show that I do try to watch daily is Matlock It certainly hasn't "jumped the shark" yet, in my opinion. He's a maverick lawyer who frequently pees off the judge and, consequently, spends the odd spell in the slammer himself. A great show - not dumbed down.


From: delta | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged
Dogbert
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1201

posted 30 January 2008 07:10 PM      Profile for Dogbert     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bliter:
Have never heard that expression before, and am not familiar with the show under discussion - possibly because I don't have cable and watch little TV.

One show that I do try to watch daily is Matlock It certainly hasn't "jumped the shark" yet, in my opinion. He's a maverick lawyer who frequently pees off the judge and, consequently, spends the odd spell in the slammer himself. A great show - not dumbed down.


Eh, just wait 'till you get to season 7. That's when Matlock's new paralegal is a little green alien only he could see. I think it really went downhill from there...


From: Elbonia | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 30 January 2008 08:41 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If that's an allusion to the Flintstones, I most certainly disagree that the Great Gazoo was the shark jumping point.

Fred and Barney Nothing? Come on! A classic!
"Yes, yes, yes"
"No, no, no"

Scared by hot soup indeed.


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 31 January 2008 02:35 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I haven't seen any of season five yet, but that is incredibly disappointing to hear. Yes, Season 4 was the greatest season of television ever. Ever. What could possibly have happened that could change the aptitude of the best dialogue writers, the best plot crafters, an dthe richest character development on television?

In the words of McNulty and Bunk in Season 1, Episode 4: "Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Fuck."

BTW: I think the best way to describe what "jump the shark" means (despite wikipedia's watered down answer) is when a serial work becomes a parody of itself. Not simply when it starts to go pear shaped.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sineed
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posted 31 January 2008 08:03 AM      Profile for Sineed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Never heard of "jumping the shark" either, but over the years I've noticed one way to tell if the writers are running out of ideas is if one of the main characters gets pregnant. Almost always, a show goes into decline after that.
From: # 668 - neighbour of the beast | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
aka Mycroft
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Babbler # 6640

posted 31 January 2008 08:06 AM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sineed:
Never heard of "jumping the shark" either

Comes from the episode of Happy Days where Fonzie anticipated Evil Kenievel by jumping a shark tank on his bike. Happy Days went downhill after that


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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Babbler # 4019

posted 31 January 2008 08:08 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not quite right, Mycroft. Look upthread.
From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
kimi
rabble publisher
Babbler # 4299

posted 31 January 2008 08:12 AM      Profile for kimi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just watched season 4 - couldn't stop watching in fact, and watched it all over a week-end. I agree it was the best yet! I wasn't sure I could keep watching it after the way Season 3 ended. Your comments about Season 5 are very disappointing.
From: on the move | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 31 January 2008 12:54 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What happened to our show?

quote:
For four seasons The Wire reinvented the crime drama. Now the viewer's the victim.

From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 05 March 2008 02:40 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Season five is still the worst season by a country mile but episodes 8,9,10 somewhat redeem it.

The overall failure of this season aside from some of the things already mentioned is its abandonment of the epic or historical perspective in which individual trials are submerged in the broader sweep of history. There was a cosmic or epic perspective that set The Wire apart from cloying dramas overly attached to their characters. Sadly, this season, they succumbed to the temptation of closing off almost every single story line and revisiting almost every single character. They misunderstood one of the great strengths of the series, which is its open-endedness. Lots of people called The Wire novelistic but as one Salon critic notes it is only in this season that it becomes novelistic with all the closeness and individualism this implies. It feels like they were too attached to their characters when they should have let go, even of great characters like Omar.

Another thing I read on Salon also resonates -- this season feels like TV in a way that previous seasons didn't. Especially the serial killer thread. It just wasn't credible.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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