Bringing the Text to Life
It started in a dumpy apartment, near the University of Michigan.
Five guys were loafing about, jawing on their two favorite subjects: women and sports. When they exhausted those topics, they searched for a more expansive and intellectual subject, as clever students do. They wanted a subject to seize their imaginations, a subject to enflame their deliberations — so they reminisced about classic TV. Eventually the conversation turned to a single, carefully honed question, to one idea:
“At precisely what moment did you know it was all downhill for your favorite TV show?”
For The Love Boat they agreed it was when Vicki arrived aboard. For The Flintstones it was when the Great Gazoo joined the cast. When the guys considered Happy Days, one friend nailed it easily, saying it was when Fonzie jumped the shark.
Silence filled the room. Nobody talked. Nobody moved. Everybody understood. It was a guy-group epiphany.
The phrase said it all — jumping the shark!
“Jumping the shark” refers to one...