Jumping the Shark

In this issue: “This is crap!” is a phrase tossed about whenever a reader or viewer feels cheated. But when does it really turn to crap, and more importantly, why?


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  1. On the subject of disappointment, stay away from Tron Legacy, specialy Rodrigo. The movie is basically a 2 hours 6 minutes video game with characters you can’t control, every fight scene was made with the game in mind, down to the multiple lives of characters thanks to extra light vehicles they carry (oh no! Clu’s lightcicle goes to pieces he’ll die like all the others right? But wait he had an extra so he’s okay). Every damn fight with Clu he shows up with 4 lackies like a freaking mid-boss, add the crappy effect on Bridges de-aged face and I could have sworn I was watching someone play “Oni” on PS2.

    Matthew’s “he said hinting broadly” resumes any and all plot twists, here are some examples:


    Flynn senior: “ISOs were very innocent and curious”
    Flynn junior: “he killed them all?”
    Flynn: “Almost” *with big eyed curious and naive girl standing in the same room, do the math*

    We see Tron fight with 2 disks (they even do a close-up of the disks), then Flynn senior says how “I don’t know what happened to Tron”, Clu’s main enforcer is the only program who uses 2 disks and wear Darth Vader like body armor with a black helmet and knows how to recognize a user…

    They dropped the religious aspect of the original, the de-aged Jeff Bridges looks VERY fake, the story is weak at best and the acting even weaker, fail!

  2. I love your site and visit a lot. Your idea about the creators establishing “a contract” is an interesting and worthwhile analogy. But I have to say I’m a little disappointed that so much of the rest of the analysis was repeating something is “crap.”

    The point that is being ignored is that comics, for the most part, a products that are sold, not independent works of art meant to be displayed in a gallery. They are produced to make money. How do they do that? By walking that fine line between writing something that feels “new” while keeping the character everything we want. We don’t want change, yet we want creativity.

    Every artist goes downhill. We all do. The industry will keep on producing as long as things sell.

    • I see what you’re saying, but mostly we were using “crap” as shorthand for the story in question after that ambiguous turning point where you lose interest. We could have picked a better word, but I think if you look past it most of our arguments are still valid.

      • Not being a regular listener to your podcasts, I guess I’m not really used to your guys’ style. I found your input pretty thoughtful in the beginning, but it was established in the first five minutes that things degrade in quality and, beyond the exploration of the contract idea, we never really went anywhere after that.

        Do you guys explore industry related issues and realities? Cause it’s pretty obvious that there are editors and marketing teams and sales goals. I am amazed that we have gems we can hold to high esteem( mine is Bats: Year One) when really these guys are working for a paycheck and have a thousand obstacles against making a unique piece of art that endures in any way.

        And references to wrestling storylines? Come on…

        • Well, most fans of the site come for their opinions/analysis and stay for the wrestling/WoW/D&D/movie/etc. refs they make, as Matthew is fond of saying “your mileage may vary”.

          P.S. The weekend podcast was always the one in which they go for a fun talk amongs friends rather then in-depth analysis, their subjects are random and varied.

  3. Blackthunder01 on

    I can’t remember how the topic transitioned from “Crap things” to “Things I do with my kids”.

    That being said, I don’t think saying Lost went to crap is right. That show consistantly produced at a high level. And the major gripe wasn’t about something they did; it was about something they didn’t do. Lost ran for 114 episodes. For 113 of them, people were very happy with the show. I think if most people rewatched the finale, they’d see it was a great episode as well. There is a difference between something being bad and something being not what you wanted.

    It’s all a matter of personal oppinion on what Jumps the Shark. That’s why there are so many topics where people are asked when it happened and not telling you when it happened.

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