When Did Who’s the Boss? Jump the Shark?
Today, we look at when (or if) you folks believe that Who’s the Boss? “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?
Who’s the Boss? was a long-running sitcom about a former baseball player, Tony Miceli, who gets a job as a live-in housekeeper, along with his daughter, at the ritzy Connecticut home of Angela Bower, a divorced advertising executive who has a young son of their own. The initial hook is, “He’s a MALE housekeeper!” and more specifically, “He’s a MALE housekeeper who looks like, well, you know, Tony Danza!” However, after that, the hook is the “When will they?” tension between Tony and Angela.
So first…DID IT JUMP THE SHARK? Definitely.
WHEN DID IT JUMP THE SHARK The show definitely was feeling its age by its fifth season, as you really can’t sustain “Will they or won’t they?” for more than four seasons without it hurting the show, but I think that even if you think Season 5 was too long for the quasi-romance, I think it wasn’t a huge drop-off from Season 4, more of a gradual decline, so I will go with instead the Season 6 premiere, “In Search of Tony,” when the whole family goes to Jamaica for vacation, and Tony and Angela make out….
and Tony stops it and tells her that they can’t make out until they are married, then corrects himself to UNLESS they are married. Then he mentions he is not ready to propose and she says she is not ready to accept and…uhm….what the heck?! This is insane. The show couldn’t keep going from this point with them in a “Will they or won’t they?” anymore. It was absurd, and this is the point I’m picking for the jumping the shark point. When they finally DID get together at the start of its final season in Season 8, it was a big ol’ “Who freaking cares anymore?”
Let me know what you think in the comments or on social media!
Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for suggestions for shows for us to do in future installments!