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  1. I could go on a rant about how TVland promotes a lot of problematic sexual and romantic behaviour, but I don't have the time for it now. All I'm going to say is that TVland does a lot to promote unrealistic sexual expectations, namely, if you're not getting regular sex there's something wrong with you (especially if you're a guy). The idea that a man may not desire sex until he's found the right moment, or the idea that men and women can't be friends (unless the man is gay) seems foreign to Hollywood.
  2. Yeah, that story was great. They really could have expanded on it and maybe even made it a whole episode, and I agree on the chemistry between Paget Brewster and Paul F. Tompkins. Brewster really needs people to play off of and Tompkins brought out some of the best work from her that I've seen in a long while.
  3. My guess is that the reason for the "murder village" setting is that it offers "shock value"- in a big city (which, to Hollywood, means the city's worst areas, never the nicer areas) you'd "expect" crimes to happen, but in a small, idyllic, quaint, "charming" small town, you'd "never expect" a crime to happen, let alone one as gruesome as murder. Heck, in real life small towns get on edge whenever murders happen. The upshot, though, is that in these idyllic, quaint small towns a serial killer would eventually get easy to spot. Even in a town of 10,000, there'd still be enough people to connect to one individual, especially if that one guy is going around causing all kinds of havoc and the town has had enough of their B.S. This is of course on top of the fact that the people who live in those towns are generally people who have their lives together and wouldn't be the types to commit crime- at least not violent crimes (you'd probably get theft and drugs and vandalism, usually at the hands of bored teens). Then, of course, if multiple murders started happening with any kind of regularity, I'm pretty sure people would start fleeing the town- after all, they likely moved away from "the big city" to get away from that stuff, so they sure won't want to put up with it in their new town.
  4. I posted this in the "Faux Life" forum, but it's relevant here so I'm bringing this here: I didn't really watch much of Murder, She Wrote, but my mother and my grandmother (who have both sadly passed) loved the show. So I'm intrigued by the Jessica Fletcher murder theory, so much so I wrote a short fic where she gets arrested. I also found this article from the Waterford Whisperer out of Ireland: http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2011/09/25/suspected-serial-killer-jessica-fletcher-arrested-at-east-cork-home/ I guess Jessica is too easy to figure out. On a more serious note, from what I understand about the show, the reason why I think the murder rate is so high in Cabot Cove and whenever Jessica Fletcher is around has a short and long answer. The short answer is- as has been pointed out before- without a murder, there's no show. I mean, it's not "Kidnapping, She Wrote" or "Robbery, She Wrote", or "Parking Violations, She Wrote". (Though I guess "Speeding Tickets, She Wrote" could have been a fun series...but I digress) The long answer is that I believe Murder, She Wrote is supposed to be an '80s version of the classic early 20th century detective tale where there's a huge dinner party and either the host of that party winds up dead or one of the guests. Writing these kinds of stories requires the crimes to have a very personal connection, because the mystery part of the story just doesn't work unless the reader tries to figure out who's got the greatest motivation to commit the murder. Which is pretty much how the cases on Murder, She Wrote worked. We may not have had a literal dinner party in every episode, but the style was still very much the same- Jessica encounters a group of people, one of those people wind up dead, and the murderer is the one who had the greatest reason to want that person dead. I may be wrong about this, but I'm not sure Jessica solved many of her crimes via great forensic work or even via simple detective work, i.e. clearing someone simply because they had a reasonable alibi. I'm sure Jessica solved her crimes by showing that the murderer had the most personal connection to the crime, either via motive or knowing something about the victim that only the victim could know. Which means, personally, the idea that Jessica Fletcher is a serial killer fails the Occam's Razor test. If she was a serial killer, she'd likely need a lot of help to facilitate the murders, planting evidence to not just throw the police off her trail, but to also frame someone else for the murder and make it so believable that the framed party committed the crime that others are convinced they did it. Oh, and do it so well that the people who were framed would actually get convicted of their crimes, which would likely need the assistance of the prosecutors- perhaps all the way up to the Maine Attorney General. Ultimately, I just look at this series as a product of its time. In the '60s and '70s, you had the end of the Hays Code and the Comics Code, which meant writers could start exploring darker material- so many did. The "pure mystery" featuring the "wholesome detective hero/heroine" where the story was a literal puzzle and the hero stood tall amidst an adoring crowd at the end would give way to the detective who was so affected by the realities of their job that, while they'd be great at it, their lives were still a complete mess as a result (which would eventually give way to the "almost villainous" crime fighters we see now). Stories focused less on figuring out who committed the crimes and started to focus more on the how and why the crimes were committed. The idea that the hero had to be entirely good and the villain entirely bad eventually fell by the wayside, leading to where we are now where lots of shows blur the lines between who is evil and who is good. In short, it's weird to think about considering how recent the show is, but Murder, She Wrote was a relic, a throwback to a different time. A lot of the inconsistencies- like Cabot Cove's insane murder rate- can be chalked up to the show's format, as I'm sure the creators wanted a show that was "wholesome" and "morally upright", which meant they couldn't place it in a big city and they couldn't have a heroine who was "too dark". It does make me wonder, in this deluge of detective shows where the cops are practically villains themselves, if we're long overdue for a series like Murder, She Wrote where we just get a straight-up "whodunit" with an actually heroic detective putting away actual villains, maybe with that hero struggling but showing they can overcome their struggles. It may just be too long since we've had an actual hero on our screens.
  5. So I learned that there's a fan theory about Murder, She Wrote that posits Jessica Fletcher was really behind the murders. My mother and grandmother (who have both sadly passed) loved that show, so naturally I got intrigued by this theory. So I had to get our friend Reid on the case: https://www.deviantart.com/danielg342/art/Jessica-Fletcher-Arrested-at-Bat-Mountain-828030505
  6. I didn't really watch much of Murder, She Wrote, but my mother and my grandmother (who have both sadly passed) loved the show. So I'm intrigued by the Jessica Fletcher murder theory, so much so I wrote a short fic where she gets arrested. I also found this article from the Waterford Whisperer out of Ireland: https://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2011/09/25/suspected-serial-killer-jessica-fletcher-arrested-at-east-cork-home/ I guess Jessica is too easy to figure out.
  7. I felt like there were 15 different episodes they could have written and expanded upon, because there were a lot of nice moments...but things didn't feel as "complete" as they could have been. It was great to see a lighter side of the team for once, especially when it comes to Prentiss. Tonight was a great example of what I liked about the character before she got bland as the Unit Chief, because Paget Brewster really plays "frustrated" very well. I also think when she gets a chance to let loose Brewster really shines- when she's "stuffy" she really feels constrained. I also liked Rachel Leigh Cook's Maxine and the lighter side it brought out of Reid. Cook had some real chemistry with Matthew Gray Gubler on screen, but, more importantly, Maxine seemed to "get" Reid in a way few have been able to. If she is- as I hope- Reid's ultimate love, I think the show found the right character for Reid to drive off into the sunset with. Furthermore, put me in line to pick up a copy of Simmons' Stories. Those should be fun to read. As for the case...I feel like it wasn't as developed as it could have been, and it made me think I would have liked it if the show built an episode that actually showed Garcia's expertise in full view. I think it's only fair- they've had Garcia pretty much "solve the case" for the team so many times that, just once, I'd like to have an episode where Garcia actually led the way and got to share her own knowledge with the team. She showed she's more than just a "magical database" and it makes me wish the show went to that well a bit more often.
  8. A lot to unpack here and a lot to process...but wow, what an episode. The only bad thing I can say about this episode is that I did feel the resolution to the crimes were rushed, but the emotional impact of this episode more than makes up for it. Talk about your emotional gut punches...this episode defined it. R.I.P. Nate...we'll miss you. I also think the team- not just Street- will be pretty frayed going forward. This really seems like it will impact the team's chemistry going forward. Which I think sets up the rest of the season well. With Hondo doubting his leadership and the team questioning his decisions and having to deal with being emotionally betrayed, we could have some nice drama the rest of the year. Oh, and before I close, tonight was the first night I actually liked Piper Lynch. I guess the vulnerability of her being a recovering alcoholic did it for me, and with Hicks for that matter. Really enjoyed them toasting with chocolates...it was a nice bonding moment.
  9. I thought I'd reflect on this, given that this Sunday is the Royal Rumble and that's the beginning of "Wrestlemania season" in the WWE. (It's also a rare chance to talk wrestling on these forums...I'm not sure why, because they are on TV after all...but anyway) You know, it's kind of weird...2018 and 2019 were like night and day when it came to the women. When the WWE had Ronda, they seemed to do everything they could to make the women's division seem legitimate, after neglecting it for so long. They booked Ronda Rousey as their centrepiece, they held another edition of the Mae Young Classic to bring in more women into the WWE orbit, and they had the first ever all-women's pay-per-view in Evolution. Oh...and Becky Lynch happened. Through all this renewed focus on women's wrestling, a new female star was born, and not just one that ascended to the top of the women's division but arguably all the way to the top of the WWE ladder. Even now, I don't think you can argue there's a bigger star in WWE than Becky Lynch. ...but then, Rousey left and it just seemed like WWE had no idea what to do with the women anymore. They had Lynch, but then they had no one else. Logic would dictate that, in this situation, you'd have Becky face a new challenger at each PPV and see which one catches on but, for some reason, WWE just kept pushing Lacey Evans against Becky for months even though it didn't work. They also tried to pair Becky with her real-life boyfriend Seth Rollins and that didn't work either. Then All Elite Wrestling picked up steam in the summer of '19 and then the WWE seemed to think in order to compete, they had to "go back to what works" and that meant- to them- the worst of the Attitude Era nonsense and, of course, women not getting anything to do. (Unless you're competing for a title or, like Lana and Liv Morgan, you're sidekicks to the men as part of a very bad Jerry Springer episode...) I mean, last year we were told Evolution was going to be a yearly event. 2019 came and went without the second edition, or another edition of the Mae Young Classic...but we did get two shows in Saudi Arabia! Yay...? (Though to be fair, one of the Arabian shows did have a women's match) It's tempting to ask at this stage where it went all wrong for the WWE and its women's division. I think part of that may just have been luck, since when Ronda left it left a huge hole at the top of the card and it seems like no one on the WWE's roster was able to fill it. Maybe in this case it's just a matter of time, since Shayna Baszler seems ready to move on the WWE's main roster from the lower level NXT and become a star in her own right. ...but I also think blame should be placed at the feet of WWE. They had the chance to book Becky as the face of WWE (much like they were doing with Ronda) where Becky would just dominate WWE and wait for that one moment where someone else catches lightning in a bottle and takes the WWE by storm, much like Becky had done and Kofi Kingston on the men's side did early in 2019. I mean, the situation was right there for the WWE to finally say they came full circle and they really did turn a corner with the women's division, because nothing says that they have faith in the women in their roster than going all in and making a woman- and a woman they developed, no less- the face of their company. Add to this that their supposed rival, AEW, is having issues of their own with the women's division and the chance was right there for WWE to say "we're not just going to talk about being progressive, we really are progressive". Instead we get Jerry Springer nonsense...*sigh*
  10. I mean, if you're a stunt driver, you have a higher risk of death than a data entry worker. Although if you want to talk about bummed, I've been a janitor for eight years. I should have recovered at least a few dead bodies in my time- after all, even in reality people use dumpsters for bodies all the time- but the closest I ever got was finding a bone. Of a chicken wing someone had for lunch. Oh well.
  11. More tropes I hate- pretty much any trope that involves children in peril, for two reasons: I find the stories tend to be cheap drama and exploitative, done simply to tug at the emotional heartstrings of the audience. You hardly ever get a well-crafted plot or an interesting story involving children, as more often than not, the writers just use children knowing the audience will react strongest seeing them as victims. Even rarer is the writer that goes through and actually harms the kid in some way, if not going all the way and actually killing them. I understand why this happens- I can imagine few writers actually want to harm kids, let alone that few viewers would want to see that- but this has the effect of making almost every story about kids in peril the same: it's a race against time to save the kid with the heroes eventually winning the day and getting the kid back to their grateful parents in one piece, with happiness and joy all around. Never mind the fact that almost all of those rescued kids are going to be psychologically messed up for quite some time.
  12. My guess is that the show figured they had four "two-for-one token minorities" (counting the interracial marriage- with it being a white, fat guy with a black woman, no less- and, judging on the promo clips, the Hispanic guy is going to be the gay son's love interest) as well as a fifth token (who was going to get engaged to a black gay guy), that they could justify having the white male lead in Rob Lowe, whose character, to be fair, seemed to notice oddity.
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