Monday M*A*S*H Discussions offers fans the opportunity to offer their opinions on a wide variety of topics relating to M*A*S*H. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. My hope is these discussion posts will continue to elicit comments in the weeks and months after they’re initially published. Have a suggestion about something you think might be worth discussing? Let me know and maybe it will become my next Monday M*A*S*H Discussion topic.
Today’s topic: Did M*A*S*H jump the shark?
Are There Sharks in Korea?
If you’re not familiar with the phrase “jump the shark,” it comes from a 1977 episode of Happy Days when Fonzie (played by Henry Winkler) literally jumps a shark while water skiing. Some fans consider this the point when Happy Days lost touch with its original premise and started to go downhill. Yet it remained on the air for another six seasons
“Jumping the shark” refers to either the moment when a TV show begins relying too heavily on gimmicks or, more generally, when it simply starts getting bad. Read more about the history of the term at Wikipedia.
Fans of M*A*S*H have debated when (or if) the series began to decline in quality for decades. A previous Monday M*A*S*H Discussion asked whether the series should’ve ended before Season 11, prompting readers to share their opinions about the last “good” season.
But did M*A*S*H “jump the shark”? The series occasionally presented unusual episodes: “The Bus” and “The Interview” during Season 4, “Point of View” during Season 7, and “Life Time” during Season 8. Some might consider these gimmicks, but I don’t.
Many will agree that Radar’s departure during Season 8 marked a turning point for the series. Does that mean M*A*S*H “jumped the shark” with the two “Good-Bye Radar” episodes?
Hit the comments with your thoughts.