Today, we look at when (or if) you folks believe that The Love Boat “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?
It’s funny that there are certain series that just get a really bum wrap, whether warranted or not, and I think that The Love Boat is one of them. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it was some great show, as it wasn’t. But it was mostly pretty harmless fun, and not actively bad.
The series, of course, was a romance anthology series set on a cruise ship, with just the captain and the crew of the boat as being regular characters, and everyone else being a guest star who would have a romantic plot on the boat (typically at least one of the plots of each episode would center on the crew, as well). Like most Aaron Spelling productions, it was super cheesy, but had enough heart to not tip into being bad. Not something I’d go out of my way to watch, but not bad (I mean, sure, with an anthology like this, some of the plots were AWFUL, but not overall bad). Usually, each episode would have one romantic comedy plot, one romantic drama plot (sometimes just flat out dramatic) and one just flat out comedy plot (the crew would typically get the flat out comedy plot).
So first…DID IT JUMP THE SHARK? I’d say so, yes.
WHEN DID IT JUMP THE SHARK Like I said, I think the show wasn’t bad enough to say it jumped from the start (there are few shows worth discussing that I will think jumped from the start. Maybe I’ll share some in the future, though). In any event, while Gavin MacLeod (the captain) was definitely the best actor of the bunch, Lauren Tewes was a standout as Julie, the Cruise Director. When Tewes’ real life problems got to be too much, the show fired her before Season 8 started, and while her replacement (they tried the ol’ “It’s her sister, who’s just like the original!” replacement tactic) had a memorable debut in the Season 8 premiere, things quickly went downhill from there, and the show never recovered (we won’t speak of the insane final 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 to do in future installments!