The idiom “jump the shark” was popularized back in 1977 when Fonzie from Happy Days literally jumped over a shark in an episode of the show. It was the moment that fans knew the sitcom had overstayed its welcome and was running out of viable storylines. Since then, “jump the shark” continues to be used to describe the moment a show’s storyline puzzled and angered viewers so much that they realized things were getting too silly.
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A good show knows when to end on a high, but others draw things out long enough to reach the dreaded “jump the shark” moment. Unfortunately, several currently-airing TV shows have become absurd and desperately need to conclude.
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10 The Blacklist Teased The True Identity Of Raymond For Too Long
For years, The Blacklist teased the truth about Raymond “Red” Reddington's true identity, one of the smartest characters on TV. The show also teased his relationship with Elizabeth. He was adamant about keeping his secret at all costs, to the point that fans were expecting a massive reveal that could justify why.
After nine seasons, fans aren't much closer to learning Red’s true identity, other than knowing he has been posing as Reddington for 30+ years. Elizabeth has died and The Blacklist continues. With a 10th season confirmed and no cancelation announcement in sight, fans have grown tired of the constant teases and misdirects and are ready for a resolution.
9 The Goldbergs Is Past Its Time
The initial charm with the comedy series The Goldbergs was that the episodes were based on the creator’s life. Like his on-screen character, Adam Goldberg carried a video camera around everywhere, loved making movies, and often filmed his family’s antics and mundane daily doings. It was adorable to see short clips of the real footage at the end of each episode.
In its 10th season, the children are all grown (one even with a child) yet still live in the same home. The father has died and the stories are now totally scripted with no real-life inspiration. The Goldbergs starts every episode with “it was 1980-something," but it is clearly long past that decade. It has lost the real-life tie-ins that made it so endearing to begin with.
8 Grown-Ish Doesn’t Work Without Zowie
Grown-ish was told from the perspective of a young Black woman, which made it so compelling. Zowie, the eldest daughter from the original Black-ish, was now in college and meeting new friends. She was also coming-of-age and dealing with the typical challenges of college life.
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With Zowie having graduated, Grown-ish has attempted to keep itself going by bringing in her younger brother Andre Jr. as the main character. This also meant replacing most of the original main cast. The continuation seems forced, and the show doesn’t have to same appeal it originally did.
7 The Walkers Need To Die In Fear The Walking Dead
Fear the Walking Dead will come to an end after its eighth season. As the first The Walking Dead spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead is a worthy successor. It was hugely popular in its first seasons, but constant cast changes, including the addition of Lennie James in a crossover role, saw a huge shift.
However, the biggest “jump the shark” moment was Madison's return in season 7. This was revealed before the episode, eliminating any shock value it might have had. The story then took even more unbelievable turns and had fans wondering if it could continue in any logical way. What’s more, with so many other spin-offs coming, Fear the Walking Dead is too old hat to continue.
6 Riverdale Is Ridiculous
Riverdale was always slightly unbelievable. The show tackled various absurd storylines, from a main character’s father being revealed as a serial killer to kids in the high school playing a deadly game in the forest.
However, when superpowers, witches, and alternate dimensions entered the story, Riverdale got too weird for even its most die-hard fans. It’s no surprise, then, that the upcoming seventh season has been confirmed to be the show’s last. While a massive time jump helped explain the 30+ year old actors playing teenagers and breathed new life into the story, there’s not much story left to tell.
5 Avenue 5 Long And Drawn Out
Avenue 5 got off to a good start and delighted fans with its intriguing story, which focused on a futuristic spaceship that represented a possible new method of travel to replace the played-out cruise line. However, when it’s revealed that the hapless billionaire owner hired mostly actors and placeholders to run things, and the travel route goes awry, the passengers and crew are in for a nightmare.
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The story of being stuck in space can only be played out for so long. Throughout the second season, the pacing seemed to get slower. The cast is wonderful and the concept is fun, but Avenue 5 might have overstayed its welcome.
4 The Morning Show Already Had A Fitting End
The Morning Show came out of the gate as one of Apple TV+’s first and most successful original series. With a star-studded cast and premise that appeared to be ripped right from the headlines, the timing could not have been better. The female-led story and #MeToo themes made The Morning Show even more relevant to current times.
However, Season 2 has seemingly wrapped up the story in the most tragic way. There are many ways The Morning Show can take the series from here, given that the Apple TV+ original has been renewed for a third season. Still, some fans question whether that pivotal season 2 scene marked a “jump the shark” moment.
3 Only Murders In The Building Is No Longer Believable
It’s painful to admit that Only Murders in the Building should probably end. It’s a hilarious and fun show that brings together generations of fans thanks to its mismatched trio of leads. Only Murders in the Building also boasted great performances. However, the premise becomes unbelievable when it's extended too far.
Two people have already died in the same building, which itself is questionable. However, the set-up for season 3, which adds Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep to the cast, appears to put the trio at the center of yet another murder. It seemed plausible that three true crime fans would encounter a murder and try to solve it. It's even possible that that murder could lead to one of them being accused of a second, but three murders are too much. It’s too ridiculous that these characters would have such incredibly bad luck.
2 The Simpsons Has Already Set Records
The Simpsons lives on with a new generation of viewers on Disney+. While The Simpsons holds an important role in pop culture history, 34 seasons may be several too long. In the early seasons, The Simpsons was clever, biting, and even ground-breaking in some ways. Since then, however, many other similar animated series have replicated the concept, flooding the TV landscape with more than fans can consume.
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What’s more, some elements of The Simpsons have aged poorly. Already earning the title of the longest-running American animated series, the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running American scripted primetime TV series, it might be time for The Simpsons to hang up its “D’ohs” and “Cowabungas” and live on through reruns.
1 Billions Isn't The Same Without Axe
Billions was riveting, exciting, and twisted. The drama combined fictional stories and inspiration from real-life investigations into hedge fund managers. The cat-and-mouse game between U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) is what made Billions so exciting.
However, when Lewis left after five seasons, Billions lost its luster. While Corey Stoll was brought on to play the new lead Mike Prince, the rivalry was simply not the same and the character was not as compelling. Nonetheless, Billions has already been renewed for a seventh season.
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