arthur herbert fonzarelli

THE TERM “JUMP THE SHARK” DESCRIBES THE POINT IN A TELEVISION SHOW WHERE IT STOPS CREATIVELY DEVELOPING AND STARTS TO BECOME A SELF-REFERENTIAL CARICATURE OF ITSELF. THIS IS OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH A SHARP DECLINE IN QUALITY. 

THE PHRASE ITSELF REFERS TO AN EPISODE OF “HAPPY DAYS” SET AT THE BEACH IN WHICH ARTHUR HERBERT “FONZIE” FONZARELLI JUMPS OVER A SHARK WHILE WATERSKIING. THE WRITER OF THAT EPISODE HATES THIS PHRASE, POINTING TO THE POSITIVE RECEPTION OF THE EPISODE AND THE FACT THAT HAPPY DAYS CONTINUED FOR MANY SEASONS AFTERWARDS. HENRY WINKLER, THE ACTOR WHO PLAYED FONZIE, LOVES IT BECAUSE WHENEVER IT’S MENTIONED IN AN ARTICLE, THEY USE THE SAME STILL FRAME OF THAT EPISODE WHERE HE IS IN A SWIMSUIT AND HE LIKES THE WAY HIS LEGS LOOK IN THAT PHOTOGRAPH. 

THE OPPOSITE OF JUMPING THE SHARK IS “GROWING THE BEARD,” OR A POINT WHERE A SHOW’S QUALITY DRAMATICALLY INCREASES, AND IF IT’S A SPIN-OFF, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT STARTS FEELING LIKE ITS OWN SHOW AND NOT SIMPLY AN EXTENSION OF THE PARENT SHOW. 

THIS TERM IS NAMED AFTER STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, IN WHICH THE MOMENT THE SHOW WAS GENERALLY CONSIDERED TO HAVE COME INTO ITS OWN ROUGHLY CORRESPONDED TO THE BREAK BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND SEASONS, DURING WHICH TIME ACTOR JONATHAN FRAKES WOULD GROW HIS CHARACTER’S NOW-ICONIC BEARD. 

ANOTHER DERIVATIVE IS A TERM FOR WHEN A GOOD FILM’S SEQUELS HAVE BECOME SO RIDICULOUS THAT PEOPLE GENERALLY ACCEPT THAT IT’S TIME TO ALLOW THE FRANCHISE TO DIE. THIS TERM IS “NUKING THE FRIDGE” AND REFERS TO A PART OF INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL WHERE INDIANA JONES SURVIVES AN ATOMIC BOMB BY HIDING IN A LEAD-LINED REFRIGERATOR.