The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Monday, March 12, 2007

But Sharks Don't Live in the Forest

There's a phrase in pop culture known as "Jumping the Shark", referring to a TV show that's peaked and introduces some sort of plot twist to boost ratings. Origins of the phrase date back to a 1977 episode of Happy Days where, during sweeps-week, The Fonz water skis over a shark tank.

Last night The Boy was watching "Little Bear" on Treehouse. A typical toddler cartoon; extremely polite and well behaved characters living in some magical land where nobody wears pants. "Little Bear" centers around the life of a five-year old bear cub who frollicks in the woods with his animal friends. They play, they laugh, they have opposable thumbs (even the birds!). Occasionally they act like the animals they are supposed to be, but most of the time they act like humans.

Yesterday I noticed the producers introduced a little girl into the storyline.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, hang on a minute! I can only suspend reality so much. Talking animals I'm okay with. The fact they live in houses, sleep in beds, use cutlery (and toilets I would imagine) - fine. But the idea a little girl can talk to the animals, share cookies, meet Little Bear's parents and not get mauled to death? That's going too far.

What's next? Little Bear's bastard half-brother returns and freeloads off the family? Maybe next season.

"Little Bear" has officially jumped the shark!