Thursday, May 13, 2004

When television jumped the shark

Rather than worrying about when any particular show "jumped the shark", we should be talking about when television itself jumped the shark. I'm sure there are those that would look to the end of some favorite show, or the launch of Who Wants to be a Millionaire or something, but I'm convinced that it's when the average advertising on TV became more entertaining, was better written and had higher production values than your average television show. Given the impending demise of the Whedon-verse (Buffy, Firefly, Angel) and the quick deaths of quality shows like Glory Days and Karen Sisco, there's no question that the shark has been jumped (and I ain't talking about the recent sitcom deaths - Frazier jumped around season 2 and Seinfeld and Friends sucked like black holes from their inceptions). Ads like the Tiger Woods Amex take-off on Caddyshack, almost every self-promo for ESPN Sportscenter (the one with the stealing of mascots from other networks was priceless - Linda Cohn running down and tackling a large fork from the Food Network was hysterical!), many of the "fake" ads for Geico, even the CGI'ed head-butting baby on the DQ ad are so much better than the latest Who Wants to Marry a Bachelor American Swan Survivor's Big Brother that I'm almost (but not quite) tempted to watch TV for just the ads. Okay, so I loathe and detest the Chili's baby back rib song and the god-awful Mr. Wendy's campaign and what rocket scientist thought a talking oven mitt would be a good mascot for Arby's?! I'm still left with the fact that with the last Angel airing next week, there is not a single damn television show on the schedule that I care enough to watch. That might NOT have been true if Fox hadn't kept moving Arrested Development around, but I've missed a few of them now due to scheduling changes so I'm not even sure how much I care anymore.

I have no idea what it would take for TV to jump back, but I'm pretty sure Survivor: Des Moines isn't it...


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