Samurai Jack jumps the shark (possible spoilers)

[Note: I’ve rarely been more tempted to rant like a madman re. a TV show, but I really want to keep this out of the Pit because I’m interested in what others think of this subject. So, with, great reluctance, here’s my somewhat edited OP.]

Just got around to watching episode #17 of Samurai Jack (the episodes aren’t titled, only numbered). It’s a pretty typical “odd couple” ep, one of several Jack’s been in. He’s teamed up with a stereotypical Scottish warrior…I think he was even named Angus…and their task is to storm the castle where the Scot’s one true love is being held (much weeping and moaning every time he mentions this).

Well, they find her. Whereupon they discover that she’s somewhat less ideal than how the big guy described her.

So far nothing out of the ordinary. But then she berates him. For a long, long time. Then she discovers Jack, and berates him as well. And then comes the gripes. And more insults. And more gripes. And more insults. This goes on completely nonstop up until the big confrontation with her, er, captor. Did I mention that the insults (and gripes) just pour out nonstop? And she barely gives her rescuers a chance to get a word in edgewise? And this continues even while they’re locked in mortal combat with the castle’s guards? Yeah, that’ll motivate them to defend you…

Anyway, the nasty demon captor reiterates his desire to eat her for dinner (at that point, I was kinda hoping he would). And Jack and the seriously misguided husband are too tired to fight any longer. Well, you can guess what happens next…the helpless damsel…I guess I should mention that she’s even bigger than Angus; yet another lovely stereotype…immediately springs to life and utterly annihilates her captor and the remainder of his army. (There seems to have been a lame attempt to rip off Xena: Warrior Princess…you know, one-woman army, “Lllaa la la la la!”, etc.)

With the threat over, she seems to have mellowed out. Oh, but Jack makes the fatal mistake of suggesting that she might be too big to fit through the front door, and, lousy ingrate that she is, she chases the terrified samurai to the hills.

Did I mention that she never, ever receives any kind of comeuppance whatsoever? I half expected Jack to go nuts and hack her to bits at the end. Hell, I was rooting for it to happen. With the endless abuse that he received, I’m surprised he didn’t snap halfway through the rescue. But of course, it never happens because…

…gee, why doesn’t it ever happen? Are there, shudder, viewers out there who actually like this? I know Eric Cartman is practically a GOD among South Park fans for getting away with murder, but somehow, I have a hard time believing Craig McCracken and company would have the same menatality. Bear in mind that he’s the creator of The Powerpuff Girls, a show that’s all about evil being punished, and where three charming little girls routinely take serious lumps, so teaching the rotten ingrate a lesson was a possibility.

Gah. Well, whatever the reason, Episode #17 has forever ruined this show for me. As far as I’m concerned, whenver the writers get it in their heads that an episode about a completely irredeemable creep who constantly spews insults and never has to answer for anything is actually watchable, the show is beyond redemption. Now I can’t even look at poor Jack without thinking of that hideous face spewing those hideous insults in that hideous voice. I’ve gotten nightmares for less.

sigh…and this show had such cool sword fights…

Comments? Rebuttals? Pictures of me burned in effigy? Fire away. Bear in mind, though, that I don’t even understand the appeal of shows like Beavis and Butthead, so keep it simple.

I hate those kinda episodes also, they are NOT funny. Some day maybe whoever writes them will realize the end goal of a cartoon is not annoy the crap out of your audience. I’d like to point out though that Cartman hardly ever gets away with anything :wink:

While I didn’t like the fact that Jack wasn’t able to defeat the monsters, I don’t think this episode jumps the shark.

There were a number of neat little asides in this episode. For example, it starts off with the bounty hunters looking at a poster of Jack, titled “The most dangerous man in the world.” The show goes on to demonstrate that Jack may be the most dangerous man, but that doesn’t mean he’s the most dangerous person.

I also liked the brief pause in the fighting, where Jack and Angus are panting and preparing themselves for the next onslaught.
Angus: “What do we do now?”
Jack: “Resign ourselves to becoming soup.”

And the part about the test to accompany Angus was just brilliant.

Besides, this episode wasn’t moving the underlying storyline along; it was a stand-alone. I don’t think Aku was even mentioned.

I haven’t seen all the SJ episodes, but I’ve really enjoyed the ones I’ve caught.

what shark?

The episode is inspired loosely by “The Princess Bride”. Well, the part where Buttercup berates and insults the Dread Pirate Roberts after he rescued her from the three kidnappers. She then eventually tossed him over the cliff, only to realize that it was Westley all along.

So, based on this one eipsode, you’re writing off the entire series? Even though you’ve previously enjoyed it?

This thread is a good example of exactly why I despise the “jumped the shark” cliche.

I haven’t seen the episode in question. My only real complaint with the series is that sometimes the “defeating overwhelming odds” thing gets taken a bit too far. But, hey, he’s a samurai. He can outfight a bunch of robots, right?

Anyway, for those who didn’t already know, the premier movie is out on DVD! Woohoo!

The worst episode of Samurai Jack has still got to be better than 95% of the rest of what’s on TV. It’s simply a thing of beauty. Daringly contemporary while charmingly retro.

Darwin’s Finch brings tidings of great joy. I hope they issue the first season on another DVD.

Not trying to be a jerk here, but do I have to watch consecutive episodes or something to figure out why people like this show so much? What I’ve seen of it ranged from not-particularly-interesting to uninteresting.

But then, I’ve hated all of McCracken’s other shows, so I guess it’s not surprising . . .

“Is this a superviolent porn cartoon?”

Okay, inevitable straighten-things-out post:

Miller - It may be a cliche, but trust me, I don’t use that kind of term lightly. (Acutally, that’s the first time I can ever remember using it, but I digress…)

I never thought this was a particularly great series. My biggest beef prior to #17 was the “Pinky and the Brain” aspect to how Jack could never return to the past (because if he did, the show would end). And I know that, being a Y7-FV show, it has to keep a lid on the carnage, but in that case, why give Jack a sword? Instead of, oh, a weapon that isn’t designed to draw blood? (Something along the lines of Sokaku Mochizuki’s staff. Still all cool and stylish, but don’t have to worry about using it against flesh-and-blood adversaries.)

All in all, I didn’t think it was the best way to handle Craig McCracken’s vision of the questing samurai, but at the very least, it was watchable, and it didn’t irritate me. Not the case with #17. And I’m not naive…if there’s one, there will be others. It happened with The Simpsons (how many “Worst Episodes Ever” have there been?), it happened with South Park, it happened with Futurama, it happened with King of the Hill. Take that one fatal step into irritate-the-hell-out-of-the-audience territory, and there’s no turning back.

One episode that’s not quite up to par isn’t enough to make me write off an entire seires. One episode that violates every concept of entertainment that I have and leaves me fuming is.

Ura-Maru - WYSIWYG. It’s supposed to be “minimalist”, if that’s any help. And the futuristic world is just an excuse to have robots instead of human enemies…you know, no blood. It was never intended to be particularly deep, and constant deux ex machinas (particularly the Pinky And The Brain-style near misses) are just par for the course.

Genndy Tartakovsky actually created Samurai Jack. Even though Tartakovsky and McCracken are good friends and often work together, I am unsure if McCracken works with Genndy on Jack.

The phrase “jumped the shark” refers to a certain cliff-hanger episode of Happy Days.

Oh yeah, good idea. A cartoon about a wandering Samurai with no sword. :rolleyes:

I’m not an addicted viewer, but I like the show, and I really liked the episode you’re complaining about. It was funny and it was entertaining. Sure, it had nothing to do with the storyline, but so what?

Joe - Lord, I hate it when this happens. “It”, of course, being jumping all over the tiny little throwaway example. (Maybe a chainsaw, then?) Please stick to the OP. For that matter, it may be a good idea to reread the OP and see why I really, really hated it.