You're watching your favorite show, and everything is going well. Suddenly however there's something in it that makes the show not seem right. It might be a Cousin Oliver
. It might be a case of Character Derailment
. It might be an attempt to make the show Darker and Edgier
, Lighter and Softer
, or Denser And Wackier
. Whatever the reason is, somehow it makes the show not as appealing as it used to.
This is when the show risks Jumping the Shark
, but still has time to recover. Skilled writing or Dis Continuity
can ward off the shark, however the trope is a warning sign that it's incoming.
As a Your Mileage May Vary
trope it will vary from person to person as to what qualifies as an Incoming Shark, so try and limit it to well known examples.
[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
- Around episode sixteen of Neon Genesis Evangelion the action, which was light for a Humongous Mecha series to begin with, dried up in favor of more philosophy and analyzing the characters as they began crashing down. Fans loved it anyway and those who watched it casually were spared the shark by episodes seventeen through to twenty, before it went to the series' more familiar routes and it found a balance. The shark was looming again in the last two episodes, which fans debate to this day, to the point where death threats were sent to Hideaki Anno. He responded with two movies.
- The comic seasons eight and nine of Buffy the Vampire Slayer had the shark looming over certain storylines, particularly in nine. Creative writing had been able to avert this.
- There are two points in the Rogue Warrior series where the Sharkman had faced down the shark. The first was by straying away from the familiar half a dozen novels and going into new characters and plots. The second was his post September 11 works which became full on comic book fantasies. YMMV on whether he overcame the shark or jumped it.
- The Miz was one such character who had the shark looming around him, not just because he was seen as The Scrappy who thought he was better than everybody else, but the hated Michael Cole was shilling him endlessly. The real life Mizanin was treated this way in Real Life too, until he gutted it out, Took a Level in Badass and layed out the frustrations he had in pursuing his dream. Now if he's not liked then he's at least respected and had shaken off the X-Pac Heat enough where people do care enough to want to see him beat.
- Mass Effect 3 came dangerously close to the shark with the endings, to the point where fans were angry with BioWare and claimed they ruined the whole series. The free DLC Redemption did a lot to calm the waters as they expanded on the endings and made them better.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd of late has not only been far less active due to movie commitments but he has only made a couple of proper Nerd movies, the others being centered on praising old games, Bullshit Man, or handing off reviews to Mike Matei.