Today, we look at when (or if) you folks believe that A Different World “jumped the shark.”
This is “Just Can’t Jump It,” a feature where we examine shows and whether they “jumped the shark.” Jumped the shark (coined by Jon Hein) means that the show had a specific point in time where, in retrospect, you realize that show was going downhill from there (even if, in some rare occasions, the show later course-corrected). Not every show DOES jump the shark. Some shows just remain good all the way through. And some shows are terrible all the way through. What we’re looking for are moments where a show that you otherwise enjoyed hit a point where it took a noticeable nose dive after that time and if so, what moment was that?
A Different World was a spinoff of The Cosby Show, initially starring Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) from The Cosby Show, but after a season, re-tooled to focus around her fellow classmates, specifically Jasmine Guy’s Whitley Gilbert and Kadeem Hardison’s Dwayne Wayne. It ran for six seasons.
So first…DID IT JUMP THE SHARK? I think so.
WHEN DID IT JUMP THE SHARK The sixth season had some interesting episodes in it, particularly an episode featuring Tupac Shakur that didn’t actually originally air on NBC, and an episode about Whitley and Dwayne dealing with their lack of romance in their busy new marriage (one of the romantic and sexy episodes of a sitcom you’ll see), but for the most part, the Whitley/Dwayne marriage was really the end of the series. So I’d say the Season 6 premiere during the L.A. riots. I admire the willingness to do an episode about the riots, so there’s nothing about that episode exactly (so if you want to say the episode where Whitley officially moves into Dwayne’s apartment, then fair enough), but just that that episode kicked off the superfluous sixth season.
Let me know what you think in the comments or on social media!
Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com for suggestions for shows for us to do in future installments!