Startup: A Trope And A Fashion Statement

We had a lively discussion a while back about the ritual of shaving. And while some men will skip the routine out of laziness, others elect to actively pursue a manly beard as a show of, well, something. Some cultures and religions regard the beard as a symbol of strength or faith. Others simply regard it as an accessory. In the world of television, the beard is an important, if obscure dramatic element. Most people have heard of “jumping the shark” – a reference to the episode of Happy Days when the Fonz literally jumped a shark. It came to mean the point at which the best days of a series are behind it. There is an antonym for jumping the shark: growing the beard. Star Trek TNG was awkward and fumbling, until Riker grew his beard in season three and suddenly the series became poignant and interesting. DS9 was unoriginal and boring, until Sisko grew his beard and it started to become awesome (coincidentally, this is when the whole Dominion thing started, but I’m sure that had nothing to do with it.) Originally a Trek geek meme, growing the beard has become a proper trope in its own right – when a show finds its footing and suddenly gets good. Maybe I should grow a beard.

  • SSurfer321

    Although Rutledge had one last season, Top Gear USA is "growing the beard".

    I've absolutely loved the 2nd Season thus far and look forward to IT more than TG:UK.

    • P161911

      So have they just officially adopted the "Wacky Adventure" + "Big (History Channel) Star (or somebody else you might have heard of) in a Small Car" format and nothing else? I don't have a problem with this format.

      • SSurfer321

        usually one of them will test drive something new, though not necessarily around their track, followed by some sort of $ challenge and if they can get a C-list star to drive their car, they include that also.

        It just seems to me that they are trying harder than TG:UK and I appreciate their effort.

  • OA5599

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    A beard seemed to help things along for this guy.
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    • tonyola

      But beards proved to be the beginning of the end for both the Beach Boys and the Beatles.

    • dmilligan

      Billy is good with or without his chin shrubbery. He's one of my very favorite musicians, and influenced me a lot back when I played.

  • The Professor

    You in a beard? With your reflective pate, you would resemble a villain from an old Popeye cartoon. If you could work up a good Boris Badenov accent, it might help you in your work: "Mwahahaha! Sign ze papers, or else!"

    • Deartháir

      No no, Cardboard is the shiny one. Techie remains somewhat furry.

      Cardboard does look good in a beard though, although he's very light-haired so it takes a long time to be visible. I, on the other hand, have one good sneeze and I need to shave again.

      • dmilligan

        I thought that you had posted some self-taken pictures of yourself a while back. Sigh, confused yet again. If your beard is so aggressive, you should embrace it and let it grow. It beats shaving twice a day. Cardboard is a domis chromis? That explains much.
        My non-Professor persona is rather hirsute. I have a somewhat long beard with far too much gray in it, and I wear my hair in a long braid that extends below my shouldblades. I sometimes frighten old ladies by accident, and I'm often accused of owning a Harley-Davidson, which is unfortunately untrue.

        • Deartháir

          If you want to see what each of us looks like, search no further than the Hooniversal Polar Expedition!

          • dmilligan

            Very well [ Jeopardy music plays…]….well, well. That was quite informative, in fact, I had no idea.
            You lot are all morons, aren't you? Why am I always the last to know these things? Wait, does Engineered know yet? He could have at least warned me.
            Tell you what – just forget about me talking about having a beard and all that. I really don't look like that at all. Really. And I really live in New Mexico, waaay out in the desert.

          • Deartháir

            Yes. Yes we are.

          • It's more fun to watch people learn on their own.

  • Without my beard I am soft and forgettable. With my beard I am as I should be, less soft and slightly less forgettable.

  • As I understand it, players of a certain major league sport traditionally grow their beards during the playoffs. Not that I'd expect Cananadians to be familiar with that.

    • dmilligan

      I believe that you struck a nerve….