Jumped the shark
Jumping the shark is a metaphor that was originally used to denote the tipping point at which a series is 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. The term has also evolved to describe other areas of popular culture, including film series, music, or celebrities or authors for whom a drastic change was seen as the beginning of the end. These changes are often attempts to attract their fans' waning attention with over-the-top statements or increasingly overt appeals to sex or violence. Some have broadened its use to simply describe any decline in appeal for the subject in question, without requiring a significant "jump the shark" moment as justification.
Jump-the-shark moments are typically scenes that finally convince viewers that the show has fundamentally and permanently strayed from its original premise. In these cases, they are viewed as a desperate and futile attempt to keep a series fresh in the face of a decline in ratings. In other cases, the departure or replacement of a main cast member or character or a significant change in setting changes a critical dynamic of the show.
The term was coined after a Happy Days episode involving the Fonz water skiing and eventually literally jumping a shark.
Lonelygirl15 jumps the shark
Critics of lonelygirl15 have been quick to point out moments when the show jumped the shark:
- What Did Daniel and Dad Talk About? -- Some pointed out that if Bree were truly sensitive about her religion, she would have edited out the footage of Daniel trying to light the candles in her shrine to Aleister Crowley.
- I Probably Shouldn't Post This... -- After this post, Brian Flemming argued that the series jumped the shark. He argued that the characters would never post this video, and that therefore, "this breaks a cardinal rule of serious mock-doc shooting: Never show a scene that would not plausibly be shot."
- Bree The Cookie Monster -- P. Monkey holds up numbers that post to the date of Bree's ceremony. There is no reason for Bree to have P. Monkey do this.
- Swimming! -- When this video came out, many felt that the gratuitous mention of Cassie and the subsequent Cassieiswatching video, showed the Creators had strayed from their original premise.
- In The Park -- This video showed Bree embarrassed about taking iron pills and yet was still posted to her account. This video was much darker than previous videos, and when a Cassieiswatching video appeared at the same park, many fans interpreted this as evidence that the Creators were behind Cassieiswatching.
- Stand Up Lonelygirl15 -- Some fans saw this promotional video (not officially part of the LG15 series) as the Creators cashing in on the success of the series and selling out.
- A Message From The Creators -- The post on the phorum which acknowledged that lonelygirl15 was fiction was ill-received by many fans.
- YouTube to Revver -- The switch from Youtube to Revver as primary host of the LG15 vblogs was considered by many to be the moment the show jumped the shark (primarily due to the adverts displayed at the end of each Revver video).
- The Perfect Beach -- Jonas had a gun.
- 12 in 12 -- Since the show was supposed to be real, it seemed unreal that they would post a video every hour and show their best friend dying.
- Run! -- The next ceremony girl, Emma, falls right into the TAAG's lap.