Last of the Summer Wine : Jumped the shark?

Jumped the shark?

Ok, I know it ended a while back so I'm probably the only one on this board now, but... I'm keeping up with the repeats on UKTV Yesterday.

In Series 25's opener, Jurassic - No Parking (love the title), Miss Davenport (played by Josephine Tewson) joins as a regular. In the ladies' coffee morning, Nora Batty mentions scouring her step, to which Miss D replies, "I love these quaint northern customs!". Roy Clarke really let me down with that line. It's far too much of a cynical knowing dig at southern metropolitan types, and really jarred with the rest of what was an otherwise fine episode. For me, that line is where the series "jumps the shark" and seems to step out of the "Summer Wine land" bubble.

Ironically, the giant model dinosaur at the centre of the episode could have been the perfect "jump the shark" moment, quite literally. But the surreal image of three old men hoiking a dinosaur through the Yorkshire hills actually works, even if this is now becoming a well-tread plot device from Mr Clarke.

By the definition of "jump the shark" on other websites, it could even have occurred when Tom 'replaced' his dad as the third man.

Re: Jumped the shark?

The show should have been put to bed when Owen died. Last Post and Pigeon, along with the episodes dealing with Compo's death/funeral were some of the best in the series. This would have been a brilliant point to end on.

I think the powers that be realised that Tom Owen was a mistake quite early on but they were just too scared to sack him (would have looked embarrassing for them, given all the media coverage his entrance received). Originally, his character was supposed to be replacing his Dad as part of the trio and for his first series, this is largely what he does. However, his character quickly became a supporting player, with a reduced level of screen time.

That said, you could also argue that the show had been getting increasingly silly ever since Brian Wilde's original departure in 1985. It was during Michael Aldridge's tenure that the storylines became increasingly reliant on slapstick, rolling down hills, ejector seat inventions etc. However, there was still plenty of good in there too. The great Thora Hird was at her very best in these late 80s episodes and whoever originally thought of her for the role of Edie deserves a medal. The 90s were ok, though I think Bill Owen's final full series (1999) was very silly and rather tired (I'm not counting the Millennium special here, which was superb). Like a lot of people, I think Brian Wilde's original tenure was the high point of the show.
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