Exit Stage Left
Who wants to watch That 70's Show without Eric, or Three's Company without Chrissy? Remember the Dukes of Hazzard without Bo and Luke? Show minus stars equals different show.
The Bachelor - Jake Pavelka, Ali
Did The Bachelor jump the shark with Ali's abrupt exit stage left?
"I'm going to go right on a limb and say no," host Chris Harrison told TVGuide.com. "But you know, I think the great thing about the show is people are deeply disappointed and upset that she's gone."
Dave Franco, Michael Mosley, Nicky Whelan, Kerry Bishe
Sacred Heart Hospital has closed for good. In fact, it's been leveled. In its place stands a shiny new medical school campus that is the home of the rebooted Scrubs (Tuesdays at 9/8c).
For now, the setting change notwithstanding, things are pretty much the status quo on the ABC sitcom. J.D. (Zach Braff), Turk (Donald Faison) and Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) — plus former intern Denise (Eliza Coupe) — have all joined the faculty of the new medical school. A very-pregnant Elliot (Sarah Chalke) is waddling through the halls. Carla and The Janitor are no longer on the show, their absences explained tidily early on in the new season.
But things will change soon...
Show minus stars equals different show: It's one of the mantras of Jump the Shark, and it's true — unless, maybe, the show is The Tonight Show.
The Tonight Show is an institution that has had only four full-time hosts in more than half a century. Jack Paar, Steve Allen, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno all made their own imprints on the show, but in the way a minister does a church. Whether or not congregants like his or her personality or jokes, the basic religion stays the same.
Life on Mars
p>"Can a series finale make a show jump the shark?" asks my colleague Mickey O'Connor, referring to ABC's wackadoo Life on Mars wrap-up, in which we discover that time-traveling cop Sam Tyler is actually an astronaut from the year 2035 on his way to Mars. Cue the David Bowie; it's going to be a wild ride.
You see, in order to make the two-year-long journey more bearable, the astronauts upload a type of virtual-reality vacation for the brain. In Sam's case, he thought it would be cool to be a cop "way back" in 2008. But of all the luck, the ship hit an asteroid field or something, which rejiggered the program's calendar, sending Future Sam even further back into the past — to 1973.
Nevertheless, there are some nice touches. Tyler's copilots on the 2035 Mars probe are played by the same actors from the 125, including Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol and Harvey Keitel — who, it's revealed, is actually Sam's father. But otherwise, the finale reveals that the entire show as we knew it was a fiction. All those cases and characters and complications never existed. (Poor Lisa Bonet!)
What did you think of the Life on Mars finale? Refreshingly original or an idea past its time?
Give us your thoughts after the jump.
Grey's Anatomy, Melissa George
We love us some Grey's Anatomy, but just when we get to know new characters, they're out the door. One recent mystery revolved around the abrupt dismissal of Brooke Smith (Dr. Erica Hahn). People were really starting to get into the idea of "Callica" (the pairing of Callie and Erica), when poof, she was gone. Melissa George will wrap her time as Meredith's unpredictable, bisexual friend Sadie in the next few weeks. Why was she on the show if not to be another love interest for Callie? What do you think about the ins and outs at Grey's?