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Old 03-19-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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Nodsmiley Jumped Shark after season 3

Did anybody think Gary Coleman seemed to have more energy and enthusiasm in the first 3 seasons he was more outgoing he was always happy and in a good mood all the episodes from seasons 1-3 were entertaining and fun to watch, but buy the 4-8th season the show was not the same like in the early years he seemed to be self conscious are in a bad mood by those seasons.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:35 PM   #2
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I was thinking something similar, although I would say the 5th season was when the decline happened. In the 4th season, Coleman still came off as a cute kid, such as in the ballet episode. But by the 5th season, I think the cuteness started wearing off, and his character seemed to be a bit meaner and more bitter. His reaction to his mother's tape was an example of that, where he acted like he never wanted to hear her voice again. Also, with the episode where everyone was doting on his friend Joey, it was the first sign that Arnold could be replaced by someone even cuter (which happened for good when Sam came along in the 6th season). So I'd say things started going downhill for him in the 5th season as opposed to the 4th.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:29 AM   #3
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Yeah Season 5 and 6 was when GARY Coleman acted more mature and rude to the other characters in the show, you could tell he was a teenager by that point he was a downer and in desperation to have a girlfriend, then here comes little sam to replace arnold as the annoying cute red haired kid who bugs arnold all the time lol
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:43 PM   #4
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Sam was not cute. annoying, yes
cute, no way
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:15 PM   #5
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It JTS after Drummond got married.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:22 PM   #6
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catsrule the producers of DS thought sam was the better looking 6 or 7 year old kid with no problems in the world then 17 year old horny teenage arnold who was always complaining in every other episode episode or bragging to his family or friends he was a ladies man lol,the producers were thinking the ratings would go up if they bring in a innocent little kid.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:39 AM   #7
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I wonder if Gary Coleman was becoming more miserable the longer Diff'rent Strokes was on the air considering his health problems and his meddling parents. According to Todd Bridges, Gary's parents didn't seem to care much for his well-being, making him work long hours while he was sick.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsrule
Sam was not cute. annoying, yes
cute, no way
I think the problem w/ a show like Diff'rent Strokes is that it's success or appeal so to speak, seemed to mostly hinge on the idea of Gary Coleman being a cute, smart-alecky kid. Unfortunately, that sort of thing only has such a short shelf-life. Unfortunately, and w/ all do respect, Gary Coleman didn't exactly go through puberty well (he started looking more like a "troll-man" instead of the cute, chubby faced kid when Diff'rent Strokes started).

I think audiences didn't like Sam too much because they were smart enough to realize that it came off as a calculated and contrived attempt to replace Arnold as the resident "cute kid" on the show. It didn't help that it pretty much muddled Willis' role as the "big brother" (it didn't help that Kimberly was pretty much gone by this point, and thus opened the door for more screen time for Sam) in the family as Arnold by default, took on the role for Sam. Also, Danny Cooksey was extremely annoying in the role. It's almost as if Danny was too self-aware of his role (e.g. speaking too loudly) and didn't naturally blend in. I don't know if it's entirely his fault or simply the way that Sam was written. It's just that Sam seemed too much of a broad character (i.e. the adorable little "country boy", who always called his new step-dad, Philip "Mister D") to really connect with.

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Old 07-15-2014, 06:05 AM   #9
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Gary Coleman did later mention in an interview that the first 3 years of Diff'rent Strokes were "fun" and the next 5 years just "hard work".


I think that D.S. jumped the shark halfway through S6.

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Old 07-15-2014, 11:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsrule
Sam was not cute. annoying, yes
cute, no way
^This.

I've been watching the DS reruns on Encore. They're now showing the Sam years, and I'm not sure how much I'll continue watching the show. I don't remember how I felt about Sam during the shows original run. But seeing him now he is just obnoxious. Also the show just gets sillier and sillier.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
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^This.

I've been watching the DS reruns on Encore. They're now showing the Sam years, and I'm not sure how much I'll continue watching the show. I don't remember how I felt about Sam during the shows original run. But seeing him now he is just obnoxious. Also the show just gets sillier and sillier.
Danny Cooksey as Sam I think, mastered in what I would call "Disney Channel kid acting". What I mean by that is, you know how on Disney Channel's sitcoms now a days, in which the kid actors have to be overly theatrical (like their in a school play) and manic (as if, they're too self-aware about them being on camera)? That was pretty much what Danny Cooksey did on Diff'rent Strokes some 25+ years earlier.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:38 PM   #12
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I even made a thread at how Arnold seemed to change from season 5 onward, he seemed more aggravated and meaner to Willis, like others have said it probably had to do with Gary's illness.

And it's funny because despite the show getting just plain weird from that point on I prefer the last seasons 5-8 of DS because they were now in the 80's and I grew up in the 80's, the earlier seasons just felt too disco-y 1970's for me especially with the muted set lighting.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:26 PM   #13
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I was reading through the archives about Diff'rent Strokes on the old Jump the Shark website, and some of the posters believed that DS lost its "edge" (so to speak) once streetwise Harlem kids like Willis and Arnold became fully "assimilated" to living in Phillip's (their "white father") house. What I mean is that once the more conservative '80s under Ronald Reagan settled in (DS started in 1978, when Jimmy Carter was still the president), Willis and Arnold pretty much became "whitewashed" caricatures. A similar thing arguably happened to The Jeffersons during its later years.
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