Long before I saw this picture of Daniel Radcliffe in Equus
showing off his Nimbus 2000, I knew that J.K., Harry and crew had jumped the Hogwarts dormatory. However seeing Daniel as a young man in that picture gave me pause to consider exactly when Harry Potter Jumped The Shark.
I have narrowed it down to the time between book four - Goblet of Fire
and book five - Order of the Phoenix
. In my humble estimation, book four had it all, a World Quiddich Festival (to replace the boring summers spent at the Dursley's), a revival of Voldermort followers, a competition of other wizard schools (who knew?) and a yet another face off between the "child who didn't die" and "he who shall not be mentioned". This book was the quissential Harry Potter.
Pheonix became formulatic. Harry is stuck at the Dursley's. He gets rescued from that dysfunctional situation (as usual) and spends the rest of the summer at the Weasleys. They go to school, something evil and sinister appears, Harry and crew save the day and make Malfoy look foolish in the making.
Book six - The Half-Blood Prince
was just more of the same except that Dumbldore died (or did he?). That was a crushing blow for me. It was bad enought that poor Richard Harris, who portrayed Albus in the frist two movies, had passed, leaving my mind picture of Dumbledore all screwed up. But then J.K. kills his ass off in book six. For me, it not only had Jumped The Shark but Quint, Hooper and Chief Brody were in hot pursuit.
I know that I will not only buy Book seven - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
but I will sit down and read it and finish it the first day I get it. Rumor has it that at least two characters get killed (one possibly Harry, himself). It won't change my mind about Harry jumping the quaffle and it leaves me rather sad.