Today, we look at when (or if) you folks believe that Knots Landing “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?
Knots Landing was a sister series to Dallas (the relationship between the shows is so complicated that I hate calling it a “spinoff” of Dallas, although you could certainly say that. I’ll probably write about the complicated nature of the show’s connections in the future) that started with the lives of four married couples (one of them, naturally, being Gary Ewing, J.R. and Bobby Ewing’s brother. Gary was the middle brother of Jock Ewing’s three legitimate sons) in a cul de sac in a Los Angeles coastal suburb, but, well, seeing as how it lasted FOURTEEN SEASONS, things definitely evolved beyond that simple concept.
So first…DID IT JUMP THE SHARK? I’d say so, yes.
WHEN DID IT JUMP THE SHARK Season 13 saw a creative shakeup, so Season 13 is pretty safe to pick, but I’m going with the Season 11 plotline where Valene (Joan Van Ark) marries a guy who is plainly a psychopathic rapist. Even for a soap opera, that was a weird, weird plot, and I think it pushed things just a bit too far (the show was already having trouble with the loss of Donna Mills’ Abby).
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 to do in future installments!