I halfheartedly watched So You Think You Can Dance tonight and am feeling decidedly meh about the whole thing.
Why? Well, I hate to admit it, but I think my fave reality show has officially jumped the shark.
For those of you unfamiliar with the origin of this term (ahem, Chad), take a look at this clip from Happy Days circa 1977.
Yes, that’s Arthur Fonzarelli, and yes, he’s literally jumping over a shark while waterskiing. And wearing a leather jacket. This single episode turned a corner for the series–from good to lame. It’s a TV phenomenon, and it’s a rare series that can avoid jumping the shark at some point or another.
So, how does SYTYCD fit into this? Wikipedia has a good list of “Jumping the Shark” categories. Based on these, here’s my take:
- Exit…Stage Left. When Mia Michaels resigned as a guest choreographer and judge, fans were concerned with good reason. Mia’s “I’m not here to make friends” criticism stood head and shoulders above her co-judges, and her choreography always evoked the most emotion in both the dancers and the viewers. It’s a shame she’s gone.
- Moving the main characters from their familiar surroundings to a new setting, such as a new home or even a new town. Fancy new stage with weird back projection images behind the dancers (Look! It’s the Taj Mahal and they’re doing a Bollywood dance!), and a new boot-off regimen.
- Special guest star. Yes, this was last season, but I have yet to shake the memory of Katie Holmes hoofing it on a soundstage while warbling “Get Happy”.
- A very special…This season started with a very special “it doesn’t count” episode where every dancer showed off his or her own specialty. Meh.
- New kid in town. Adam Shankman isn’t officially a “new” kid, but he’s now a permanent judge, turning the rotating panel into a static Mary/Nigel/Adam combo.