The Reason People Have Mixed Feelings About Chopped: Martha Rules

After 49 seasons, is Chopped jumping the shark with Chopped: Martha Rules? The expression may not be familiar to everybody, as the origin of "jumping the shark" is about as old as Martha Stewart's career. The original shark was literally jumped in the '70s by a water-skiing Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli on the sitcom Happy Days (via The Guardian). After that, the expression came to mean the moment when a TV series resorts to something extreme and inauthentic for the sake of publicity.

First there was Happy Days, and now we have Chopped. The long-running series seems restless nowadays, flying over one concept and then another like a man in a leather jacket and water skis. Following episodes featuring the themes "Comfort Food Feud" and "Hangry Baskets," season 49 of Chopped is pivoting to five episodes featuring Stewart's "rules" (via Food Network).

Based on Stewart's extraordinarily high standards for everything, including dog food (via Martha Stewart), you might assume she'll bring decorum to upcoming episodes of Chopped. Instead, it sounds like things are going to get a little crazy. A press release from Discovery announcing Chopped: Martha Rules gives a few hints about what to expect as Stewart puts chefs through unique torments at a location on the Maine coast. For one thing, she's going to make contestants switch stations and dishes in the middle of a challenge. And in one episode, instead of four ingredients in the mystery box, chefs will find three ingredients and some footwear.

Chopped fans question whether Martha Stewart is still relevant

Some fans of the Food Network on Reddit aren't excited to see Stewart get such a prominent role in upcoming episodes of Chopped. Additionally, her previous stints as a judge on the show didn't impress some Redditors. "I found her incredibly pretentious and annoying," one hater commented.

Sure, for some people on this particular Reddit thread, Stewart can do no wrong. "Tbh I like Martha Stewart, even tho she was a criminal," a fan commented. (This Redditor was referring to Stewart's prison sentence in 2004 for lying to investigators about a stock sale, as reported at the time by The New York Times.) But most people assert that Stewart's time has long passed. "They need to stop trying to make Martha Stewart relevant again," another Redditor commented. "I don't want to see her on Chopped," a sympathizer added. "I love that she can laugh at herself these days, but she's made herself a caricature, and I'm ready to move on," yet another Reddit user agreed, and suggested he didn't like the direction Chopped had taken in season 49. "Martha Stewart is a meme now. Just like the term 'hangry,'" he said, adding, "One basket will probably have Snoop Dogg's favorite stoner treats in them."

We wonder, are there sharks in the water off the coast of Maine? The Discovery family of networks hopes you tune in starting at 9 p.m. on April 13 to find out.