Jumping the shark is that moment at which a television show, totally sapped of its former youth and wit and now coasting wearily from episode to episode on the momentum of its own clichés, buckles and collapses, like some bloated turd star, into self-parody. The expression, of course, refers to that infamous fifth-season episode of Happy Days in which the Fonz jumps a confined shark on water skis while wearing a swimsuit and a leather jacket, a highwater mark of hackneyed novelty writing where the series's tide broke and rolled back.
If given enough time, every sitcom with eventually jump the shark — that's just the circle of life, friends. But some sitcoms jump the shark right out of the gate. Snoop Dogg's sitcom, for instance, has already jumped the shark, and it hasn't even started yet. Let's take a look.
First of all, let's acknowledge right up front that there is no such real thing as hip-hop street cred. It's an illusion: Rick Ross used to be a corrections officer, Tupac went to a private art school, and the Game used to have a butterfly tattooed on his face.
And rappers are just as good at ruining their street cred after the fact — like hip-hop's two most famous Ices, one of whom once rapped about killing cops and now plays one on TV, and the other of whom rode his perpetual scowl from scary thug to soft-hearted curmudgeon. And it's been a long time since the D-o-double-g lived and/or died by the gun.
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These days, after all, the Doggfather is more about coaching pee-wee football on a reality show (reality shizzle?) than rocking a gangsta party, and the last musical project of any note he worked on featured him dressed as a pastel candyland pimp alongside Katy Perry shooting whipped cream out of her tits. And maybe you can't blame him: When your mind is on your money and your money is on your mind, you go where the money is, I suppose, and where the money is, apparently, is a family sitcom written by Don Reo, a man most famous for his work on Blossom. Sure, fuck it, why not.
The premise, of course, of a family sitcom starring Snoop Dogg is the novelty of it: Snoop Dogg? In a sitcom? Well, let the hilarious hijinks ensue, because who would have thought of that, amiright? But that, my friends, is a premise based on lies, because the answer is that anyone who thought of Snoop Dogg at any point in the last decade might have been expected to think of that, because it comes as utterly no surprise. Not that its lack of surprise makes it any less depressing. Possibly more so, actually.
The only way to save this show, really, is just to have Snoop Dogg literally jump a shark on water skis while wearing ten pimp rings and sipping on gin and juice or something in the first episode. At least that would be interesting.