Sunday, May 26, 2013

What Happened to Jump the Shark? It’s Now Boning The Fish

Do you remember the web site, “Jumping the Shark.”  It was a place where fans of TV shows could go and state why or when a particular television show had worn out its welcome.  The name itself was derived from an old Happy Days episode which featured Fonzie played by Henry Winkler, water skiing over a tank of sharks.  Some people felt that even for a show like Happy Days, it was a pretty ridiculous and embarrassing story line and an indication that the show was captured in a downward spiraling wormhole from which it never would recover. 

Eventually, the phrase itself wore out it’s welcome.  At least it did for me.  Some people were coming up with the most ridiculous reasons for a series having “jumped the shark” that it never held the meaning it once did.  In other words, the phrase “Jumping the Shark” jumped the shark. 

That doesn’t mean that particular web site held no purpose.  It was still a place where one could go and debate classic television shows and read the viewpoints of others who hold many of these older shows near and dear to their hearts as I do.  But eventually I quit visiting the site on a regular basis and pretty much forgot about it.  But it may not entirely have been my fault.

In 2006 “Jump The Shark” was bought out by Gemstar/TV Guide.  And as corporations sometimes do, they think they have a better idea when the truth is, they are pretty much clueless and brainless as to why some web sites succeeds and others often don’t.  That’s the long version of saying that the powers that be pretty much turned the whole shebang into just another glitzy generic celebrity gossip mess.  In other words, not only had the phrase worn out it’s welcome, we now can honestly say that the web site jumped the shark as well on June 21, 2006 when a press release trumpeted TV Guide’s new acquisition

There is another reason others believe that Gemstar bought the site.  That they did it to silence public discussion and criticism of TV shows.  I’m not sure about that reasoning.  You’d have to buy an awful lot of web sites to accomplish that impossible feat and it doesn’t even really make sense. 

Then again, this is Corporate America we’re talking about, and who in their right minds believe that they always think things through before actually implementing the plan.  New improved Coke, anyone?  And how many hundreds of millions has the RIAA wasted from the record companies by suing everybody in the whole wide world?

I went to TV Guide’s redirect and the page isn’t even an after thought anymore.  There has been no new content since June of 2011, and the last article before that one was in November 2010 and had to do with Bristol Palin’s appearance on Dancing With The Stars.  Although the previous owner claimed he only received a million dollars for the site, others claim it was much much more. 

However, some things never die.  They just get a new catch phrase and a new logo.  Exit Jump the Shark, enter Bone the Fish

After TV Guide turned JTS into a wasteland of its own aimless and brainless content, those who still loved the ideas behind the original Jump The Shark conjured up Bone The Fish which is for the most part, the original old site with a new name.  It launched on March 16th, 2009, and in most ways (at least as far as I can remember) resembles the old set up with some additions that may or may not be for the better.

Bone the Fish  has an official patron saint.  That would be Dawn Lyn.  That would be the Dawn Lyn that I had some not so great things to say about in my Walking Tall review.  The reason Ms. Lyn is the patron saint is because, “A Patron Saint is someone who exemplifies the meaning of Bone the Fish. Someone who whenever they do anything it sucks, or bones.”  So I guess what I had to say regarding Ms. Lyn would fit right in.

If you’re a big fan of TV series, you may or may not want to return to the oldie goldy days of JTS when you BTF.  I don’t know if I’ll be spending much time there myself.  Between real work, real life, trying to stay healthy, and this blog, I just don’t do much in the way of forums these days. 

I’ll make an occasional  few comments on political sites as long as I don’t have to get in a long debate, a rare one on IMDB, but I try to answer every comment on my blog and Facebook page although sometimes I may not notice them right away.  After an article is about two weeks old, then I have to approve comments to cut down on the spam.  On the other hand, I guess you can register and vote on BTF without having to take part in the forums, so at least there’s that.

Another added addition is that now you can comment and vote on political figures and how they have boned the fish, which more or less takes away from the original intent turning it into the usual political fodder.  Still, reading the comments, there will always be those who will interject political commentary into everything, including coming up with such nonsense that even a TV Christmas Special “Frosty Returns” boned the fish because of its “preachy eco-propoganda.”   Huh?  See what I mean.  But you run into that whereever you go these days, and I have made a point or two on this blog at times.  But comments like that are just silly.  So having said that, there’s the following.

Be forewarned:   The users who participate in the forums definitely swing to the right for the most part although some claim it fluctuates in both directions.  So let me correct myself.  It fluctuates to the right for the most part.

They’ll totally rip Nancy Pelosi by character assasination while doing their best to defend a misogynistic pile of useless pig droppings like Rush Limbaugh.  When you have 54 votes that says he still rocks, you know any discussions are hardly going to be an intellectual exercise in enlightenment or informative judgment.  Just another reason for me to avoid their forums.  But it may  be your thing and if so, have at it and enjoy yourself.



  1. I didn't discover JTS until after Gemstar bought it and thought then that it was a dead site because as you said there were no new articles. Will check Walking Tall review out as well as the boning the fish site.

  2. Did I give you a copy of that movie by any chance?