"Murder She Wrote" and the meaning of life

Now, I know that some of you might think I’m crazy and refuse to read this blog anymore because it’s obvious that I have gone off the deep end, but I have a confession to make.

I love “Murder She Wrote”

Now, some of you might have already thought I was crazy and read the blog anyway, and for that I thank you. (although thanking you by writing an entry that is, in reality, complete drivel, may not be the best way to show my appreciation–although it does seem to support the craziness).

I have always been a fan of mysteries–I devoured the Nancy Drew series as a kid (in all its manifestations, including the later case files), and I love chatting about mysteries with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law (which I think disturbs my husband a bit). A good mystery is like brain candy for me. After reading big, dense, history books, or too many loose baggy monsters, it’s nice to curl up with a good mystery. They make you think, and yet are easy enough to read that you can just sit back and enjoy (at least, if it’s reasonably well-written you can). I tend to like the mysteries labeled as “cozy” although how murder in any form can be cozy, I’m not sure. But “Murder She Wrote” serves as my brain candy when I don’t have a mystery to read. I used to watch them as a kid, and now, as an adult, my husband and I are trying to figure out how we ever thought that the California coast could possibly be mistaken for Cabot Cove (although, he grew up in California and should have known better, whereas I was in Wisconsin, where one ocean looked like the next one). Here are some of my observations on the show, having watched every episode at least once (to my husband’s never-ending amusement):

  1. Don’t murder anyone. At least, not while someone like Jessica Fletcher is around, because she’ll find you out, usually when her memory is triggered by something somebody just happened to say/do/wear/buy/etc within 10 minutes of the end of the show.
  2. All murders can be solved in 45 minutes (if you take out the commercials), but the final dramatic confession, must happen exactly 6 minutes before the show is to end.
  3. The police love it when you just take over an investigation because, well, all tv detectives are rather bumbling and they need the guidance of a smart dame like J.B.
  4. Being a mystery writer gets you lots of money and fame, and you get to go lecture about criminal justice at universities all over the country because you are obviously the first choice since all cops are bumbling and in need of guidance.
  5. To properly signify the end of the mystery, it is necessary to have a “freeze frame” shot of J.B. laughing, usually at the romantic foibles of the young couple just starting out with a second chance in life.
  6. J.B. is like Jane Marple of Agatha Christie fame: she has nieces and nephews coming out of the woodwork
  7. Nephew Grady is an idiot.
  8. The reason J.B. had to travel so much was related to the fact that the population in Cabot Cove had dropped off precipitously due to all the murdering going on.
  9. J.B. always manages to trick the no-good murderer into a confession, with the law-man hiding in the corridor, ready to come in, guns drawn, at the last minute (Note: this was suggested by my husband, who I suspect is starting to turn into something of a “Murder She Wrote” aficionado himself…..My devious plan is working [cue evil laugh])
  10. Angela Lansbury does a much better job playing J.B. than Miss Marple in “The Mirror Crack’d”
  11. The plots are great precisely because they are completely improbable–I’m a big fan of improbable plots, they are much more enjoyable and escapist because they don’t have a firm rooting in reality (which I get enough every day while watching the news or reading newspapers)

My love of mysteries extends far beyond “Murder She Wrote” however. I’m also addicted to British murder mysteries on DVD: “Foyle’s War,” “Midsomer Murders,” all of the Agatha Christie Poirot and Miss Marple films, “Inspector Morse,” and “Prime Suspect.” For that matter, I am too easily wrapped up in the various versions of “Law & Order,” and the charming “Monk” and “Psych.” Perhaps I’ve missed my calling?…… (no, not to be a murderer but to be a supersleuth! How does one apply for a job like that?)

Oh, and this is to clear up a few miscellaneous matters:

Dear Queen Mother, I DO have sympathy for Mr. Loose Baggy Monster-with-a-different-last-name-and-no-hair (he picked out that name by the way), but I have a sneaking suspicion that my sympathy is rooted in the belief that he is to be pitied for being a misguided Bears fan in the first place….. Oh well, we can’t all be perfect (unless you are a Packer fan, and then you are well on your way).

Dear HarleyMan, as a shout out to you, I would like to add that one of the MOST socially redeeming movies I’ve ever seen is “Night of the Lepus.” As you know, it provides many life lessons, like: don’t inject bunny rabbits with radioactive material because they will breed like, well, rabbits and then become huge, rampaging monsters that will eat all of the lettuce and carrots that they can find (with some people thrown in for good measure). Oh, and bunny teeth cannot be taken seriously even when they are huge.

I apologize for the nonsense that is this post. I hope, dear readers, that you haven’t wasted too much time reading this entry when you could have been saving the world….


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Clair on February 8, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    But how do you feel about Matlock?


  2. Posted by Poplar Reader on February 9, 2007 at 3:31 am

    Can I recommend you read the Inspector Morse stories, they’re far better than the programmes and Morse is such a wonderfully flawed hero. Make sure you read them in order though!


  3. I love Murder She Wrote too!!! I remember being able to stay up ‘late’ to watch that as a tween. Excellent show – still like it when I catch a re-run here and there. I’ve added the season 1 and 2 dvds to my Christmas list this year!


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