When TV shows go bad

From Jump the Shark:

If ER didn’t jump the shark when they cut Romano’s arm off, it ran screaming on fire straight at the shark, tripped, and fell flat on its face when they dropped the helicoptor on him. I stopped where I was, walking through the room, stared open-mouthed at the television, and started to laugh. My fiance said, “That’s the worst thing on television, ever.”

I wouldn’t say that I particularly liked ER and I don’t think I’ve seen more than a fifth of the episodes, but I would have to say that the helicopter falling on Romano was probably the single most inadvertantly funny thing on television that didn’t involve Joe Namath.

Like the guy who wrote the quote above, I wasn’t watching the episode but I did happen to walk in the room just as Romano looked up at the evil helicopter and I, too, burst out laughing. I haven’t been able to even think of the show without chuckling since… it astounds me that someone didn’t look at the writer who came up with the idea and tell him that it was too silly to even consider. I can only imagine the ordeal that the poor actor who played Romano must have gone through in attempting to keep a straight face while pretending that flaming death was descending from the skies.

Now, it’s entirely possible that ER jumped before that, but if not, you couldn’t point to a more flawlessly executed shark jump than that one.