6 thoughts on “When Did Homicide: Life on the Street Jump the Shark?

  1. I’m going with when Falsone was introduced. Specifically, the moment when he introduced himself to Kay Howard by opening a bottle of aspirin with his mouth. (At least he was correct when he said it was “my one talent.”)

    He took over the show SO much, as it was obvious that Fontana was pushing him as a potential new lead once Braugher left at the end of S6, and it just didn’t work at ALL. Falsone was an unsympathetic, obnoxious character who spent much of his time clashing with Kellerman, a more popular character, plus Seda was just too inexperienced to carry a show at that point.

    As you say, it was still a good show, but going by the classic “Jump the Shark” definition, where you just knew the show had changed for the worse and was never quite the same show again, Falsone’s introduction was the moment.

  2. I think the dropoff has to be sharper for it to really count as jumping the shark, since ALL shows gradually get worse over time, even the brilliant ones that are still amazing in their final seasons.

  3. Well, if you want a sharp dropoff, the seventh season is RIGHT THERE. 😉

    (I kid, 7th season of HLOTS, I kid!)

  4. I was sorry to see Braugher go, but he was replaced by Giancarlo Esposito, so it’s wasn’t a total loss.

  5. I say “never jumped” because the writers handled the pressure to add more “pretty” actors by doing it THEIR way. Like bringing aboard Michael Michele, who is drop-dead gorgeous, so they leaned into that. Your average show would have had her in there from Day One, but in the early seasons Homicide was not about filling the cast with glamorous women and pretty boys; instead, they were proud of getting the most ordinary-looking bunch of schmoes they could find who also were stellar actors — including a future two-time Emmy winner (the late Andre Braugher) and a future Oscar winner (Melissa Leo).

    Michael Michele’s character, Rene Shephard, was a beauty-pageant winner, and so drop-dead gorgeous that nobody took her seriously. Worse, when she made a mistake — when she got her gun snatched away — even the other women cops were looking at her sideways.

    One of the best moments was when Shepard was in Lt. Giardello’s office (the late Yaphet Kotto) moping about it and told him, “I’m a woman, so you think I’m a screwup.”

    Gee — who had put up with more discrimination and harassment in his career than Shepard could imagine — glowered at her (as only Yaphet Kotto could) and said, “You’re a Black woman, so I think you damn well better NOT screw up!” Then he told her to get out of his office and they would both pretend the conversation never happened.

  6. Man, I really admired how willing they were to go THERE with Rene’s character by having the obvious problem with her (that she was such a slight looking person that didn’t look like they’d ever do well in a physical fight) being, well, you know, an obvious problem.

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