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November 27, 2014

SevenPrincesOfHell

TV 101: Canaries In The Mineshaft (Pt. 1) - When Characters Become Caricatures

by Jay Black, posted Mar 26th 2010 11:21AM
Sometimes I feel like doing this to MY TV, but I'm married.One of my least favorite internet memes is the race among people who frequent TV blogs to be the first one to comment that a show has "jumped the shark." I'll take a busload of LOLCATS and Epic Beard Men if it means that I won't have to see "JTS!" four minutes into a show's pilot episode.

That said, the fact that JTS has been defanged by ubiquity doesn't take away from its ability to be a useful tool for analyzing pop-culture. Shows tend to weaken over time and the JTS moment is a fun way to decide where, exactly, the wheels came off.

In thinking about JTS, it occurred to me that there are a few warning signs that a show is about to jump. Today I'll be looking at the first in a series of canaries in the mineshaft: when characters become caricatures.

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