Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
saoirse

Murder, She Wrote

Recommended Posts

Busybody?! She was the freaking Angel of Death!

 

You make a good point. Maybe, this thread needs to be retitled the Busy Body Angel Of Death? LOL. Wherever a murder happens, Jessica Fletcher will be there! 

Share this post


Link to post

I couldn't think of a title. So, if anyone has any suggestions feel free to share them.

 

I'm currently watching season seven. What I'm finding fairly annoying is all of those non Murder, She Wrote episodes squeezed in, that start off with Jessica talking to the audience. I automatically bypass those. 

Share this post


Link to post

Ugh, I hate the "I got a letter from my friend Dennis, etc" episodes. I also skip them most of the time. The only one I let slide is the one where she explains the plot of her (someone else's?) book--the one at the college where they recreate what happened.

Would anyone be interested in a rewatch party since all 12 seasons are on Netflix?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Ugh, I hate the "I got a letter from my friend Dennis, etc" episodes. I also skip them most of the time. The only one I let slide is the one where she explains the plot of her (someone else's?) book--the one at the college where they recreate what happened.

Would anyone be interested in a rewatch party since all 12 seasons are on Netflix?

 

I'd be down for a rewatch party. It'd be fun to discuss the episodes with other fans of the shows. 

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know if binge watching is good. I'm halfway through season twelve and have watcher's fatigue. I've become annoyed with JB, and often find myself telling her to mind her business. Especially when it's a killer that I'm actually sympathetic towards. The most recent example being a young woman, who kills her father's killer in a fit of rage. Jessica got this woman to spill her guts in a court room filled with people. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Beck even in the first season series finale I was annoyed with Jessica for demanding that the four men (including William Windom pre-Seth) turn themselves in for the at most manslaughter of the rapist who blackmailed a dying man to give him a ranch instead of the daughter he raised so that she would never know that she was the product of rape.

Speaking of William, Jessica and Seth were my OTP!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Beck even in the first season series finale I was annoyed with Jessica for demanding that the four men (including William Windom pre-Seth) turn themselves in for the at most manslaughter of the rapist who blackmailed a dying man to give him a ranch instead of the daughter he raised so that she would never know that she was the product of rape.

Speaking of William, Jessica and Seth were my OTP!

 

I remember that one as well! When it comes to 'justified' murder in my opinion I wish Jessica would let sleeping dogs lie. 

Share this post


Link to post

This show is on late night on the Hallmark Channel, so if I have nothing else to watch, I put it on. Last night they showed the 2 part episode "Mirror, Mirror" & I LMAO when this conversation happened:

Sheriff Mort Metzger: Mrs Fletcher! Can I see you for a minute? [pause] I said, do me a favor, please, and tell me what goes on in this town!
Jessica Fletcher: I'm sorry, but...
Sheriff Mort Metzger: I've been here one year, this is my fifth murder. What is this, the death capitol of Maine? On a per capita basis this place makes the south Bronx look like Sunny Brooke farms!
Jessica Fletcher: But I assure you Sheriff...
Sheriff Mort Metzger: I mean, is that why Tupper quit? He couldn't take it anymore? Somebody really should've warned me, Mrs. Fletcher. Now, perfect strangers are coming to Cabot Cove to die! I mean look at this guy! You don't know him, I don't know him. He has no ID, we don't know the first thing about this guy.

 

I always thought it was funny that nobody ever mentioned the high death count in Cabot Cove, I'm glad someone finally said something LOL

Edited by GaT
  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post

This show is on late night on the Hallmark Channel, so if I have nothing else to watch, I put it on. Last night they showed the 2 part episode "Mirror, Mirror" & I LMAO when this conversation happened:

Sheriff Mort Metzger: Mrs Fletcher! Can I see you for a minute? [pause] I said, do me a favor, please, and tell me what goes on in this town!

Jessica Fletcher: I'm sorry, but...

Sheriff Mort Metzger: I've been here one year, this is my fifth murder. What is this, the death capitol of Maine? On a per capita basis this place makes the south Bronx look like Sunny Brooke farms!

Jessica Fletcher: But I assure you Sheriff...

Sheriff Mort Metzger: I mean, is that why Tupper quit? He couldn't take it anymore? Somebody really should've warned me, Mrs. Fletcher. Now, perfect strangers are coming to Cabot Cove to die! I mean look at this guy! You don't know him, I don't know him. He has no ID, we don't know the first thing about this guy.

 

I always thought it was funny that nobody ever mentioned the high death count in Cabot Cove, I'm glad someone finally said something LOL

I saw that episode and missed that great quote! Too funny. Maybe that's one reason I always like the Metzger episodes better than the Tupper ones, Metzger always seemed worked up over coming to a quiet little time for some rest (like Sheriff Taylor in Mayberry) and instead finding he was in the surreal murder capital of the country.  I was always happy when an episode featured Jessica, Mort and Seth.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

It's like the chicken and the egg. Is there a murder because Jessica's around or is Jessica around because there's a murder?

Either way no murder, no show.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I think my all-time favorite episode of "Murder, She Wrote" will always be "Jessica Behind Bars" because it captures the sheer 1980s of it all when it comes to the show. I also enjoyed every time Jessica Walter showed up on the show.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I think my all-time favorite episode of "Murder, She Wrote" will always be "Jessica Behind Bars" because it captures the sheer 1980s of it all when it comes to the show. I also enjoyed every time Jessica Walter showed up on the show.

I watched that one last night!

Share this post


Link to post

That was an excellent episode.  I think my absolute favorite is "If a Body Meet a Body, " with Stu the blueberry grower, who tells his girlfriend Christie that her investor father is a fascist.  But "If it's Thursday, it Must be Beverly," "Keep the Home Fries Burning," and "Mr. Penroy's Vacation" are up there, too.  Oh, and "Murder Takes the Bus."  And of course, Grady and Donna's wedding. 

 

This show premiered when I was a freshman in high school.  I loved it from the beginning but never told my boyfriend at the time or friends that I watched.  Can't believe how long ago that was.  Damn. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
That was an excellent episode.  I think my absolute favorite is "If a Body Meet a Body, " with Stu the blueberry grower, who tells his girlfriend Christie that her investor father is a fascist.  But "If it's Thursday, it Must be Beverly," "Keep the Home Fries Burning," and "Mr. Penroy's Vacation" are up there, too.  Oh, and "Murder Takes the Bus."  And of course, Grady and Donna's wedding.

 

These are all among my very favorites too! I'm also obsessed with My Johnny Lies Over the Ocean (one her 12 million nieces is trying to get over her deceased husband's death while on a cruise but it/he(?!) keeps haunting her), Funeral at Fifty Mile (Seth before he was Seth!) A Lady in the Lake, Sticks and Stones (anonymous letters all over Cabot Cove), Trial By Error (a genuinely well plotted, twisty and compelling mystery, which obviously isn't true of every episode :),  Corned Beef and Carnage (I really like Victoria and her aspiring actor husband), Dead Man's Gold (OMG, Leslie Neilson!!! I so could have shipped his character with Jessica if he were around more and a touch less shady), The Corpse Flew First Class, Crossed Up, Simon Color Me Dead, Old Habits Die Hard (Jessica in a convent and "Mrs Peacock" as the murderer!), Trouble in Eden (Jessica as the madam of a brothel), Mirror Mirror on the Wall and so many others.

 

As with almost every show ever, the first four or so seasons are my favorite. I recently rewatched S1 and was surprised by how much I loved it despite the expected first season clunkiness (but on this show clunkiness is part of the charm!) and the absence of Seth. The mysteries were engaging, and Jessica was so relatably, refreshingly and more interestingly 'real' back then rather than the more perfect, polished character she became.  I remember loving Seasons 2 and 4 most, but Season 3 is pretty awesome as well. 

 

As a lifelong mystery buff, I hate that nearly all of today's mystery shows are so slick, grim, dark etc. and/or much more about romance than anything else. Nothing delights me quite as much as the cozy, cheerfully cheesy charm of Murder She Wrote. And while Jessica is too perfect to be all that complex and layered a character, you could make an argument that she's a phenomenal feminist icon. She's still kind of my heroine...and we needed a crossover with her and Miss Marple, disregarding the different eras during which these two amazing women existed :) 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

...And now I feel remiss for not mentioning S5 as a favorite as well! As others have mentioned, the Arsenic and Old Lace-ish Mr Penroy's vacation is definitely among the highlights of the series, we get Donna and Grady's wedding, Prediction Murder, Trevor Hudson's legacy, the infamously-cynical-Seth-suddenly-might-believe-in-witchcraft one (Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble), and the awesome two parter Mirror Mirror on the Wall.  Any season that kicks off with an episode entitled "J.B. As in Jailbird" is deserving of a spot on my DVD shelf :)   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Grady! Poor, sweet, naive, deeply stupid Grady! The fact that Jessica never even slapped him upside the head means she is far too nice.

Edited by biakbiak
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

One fun game is to watch for the moment in each episode where Jessica is struck all over again by the depths of his haplessness along with the realization that she loves him and is stuck bailing him out again anyway. 

 

This is a fun article from 2014 explaining the addictive awesomeness of the show...I plan to send it to friends who just don't "get" why I love it so much :) 

 

http://www.vulture.com/2014/10/murder-she-wrote-30th-anniversary-netflix.html

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Is the corpse flew first class the jewel thief one? That was one of my favorites too. I also liked the one when the sheriff tried to coerce the young lady into sex (there was something wrong with the town mine and she ran a diner)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Is the corpse flew first class the jewel thief one? That was one of my favorites too. I also liked the one when the sheriff tried to coerce the young lady into sex (there was something wrong with the town mine and she ran a diner)

Yep, the jewel thief and the retired Scotland Yard Detective working together to grab the necklace of the super wealthy lady who committed the murder.

Share this post


Link to post

One fun game is to watch for the moment in each episode where Jessica is struck all over again by the depths of his haplessness along with the realization that she loves him and is stuck bailing him out again anyway. 

 

Hello my fellow Days poster and Abigail- and Will-hater!  My favorite one of these moments is in "Crossed Up," where Jessica is homebound and Grady comes to help.  Seth stops by and asks her if she needs anything, as Grady is taking away a tray of food.  She says yes, please, something to eat!  She swore that Grady had bought up every single can of tuna fish in Cabot Cove and she couldn't bear to eat another bite.  The way she said it, and in context with Grady taking out the tray, was so funny.

 

There was also the one with Grady working at an accounting firm where a "ghost" (really a homeless man) lived in the secret passages in the building.  As Jessica is being threatened by the killer (a guy from Soap), she says that Grady will be right back from walking the pretty secretary to the subway or something.  He basically snorts and says, yeah right, Grady will really be hurrying back to work instead of trying to score a date with the secretary.

 

The first few seasons had so much more humor than the later ones.  It was especially lacking in the last two or three seasons.

 

Is the corpse flew first class the jewel thief one? That was one of my favorites too. I also liked the one when the sheriff tried to coerce the young lady into sex (there was something wrong with the town mine and she ran a diner)

 

That's the one, with the incomparable Kate Mulgrew, my favorite Star Trek captain.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Corpse flew first class is definitely one of the best ones. Very Poirot-ish in the best way.

Last night I watched a one where a priest very strongly hints to Jessica about a confessional and I couldn't contain myself. Dude, that's so wrong!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I find her immediate support for family and friends (who are always the accused in every other episode) to be questionable.  If DNA was more available at the beginning of this run, I'll bet she would have been proven to have been wrong half the time.  Grady could be the Zodiac Killer, who knows?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I am rewatching the series.  I have all the DVDs.  I am on season 5.  Next to the Cabot Cove ones that I love.  I think Snow White, Blood Red is right up there too.  I could watch that episode over and over.  It is the one at the ski lodge.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I rediscovered Murder, She Wrote on Netflix a couple years ago, and what really struck me was how revolutionary a character Jessica was! A smart, older woman having a very successful second act that had nothing to do with the "traditional" elements of female "success": a husband, kids, etc. At the same time, she was a very warm and caring person with hundreds of friends and perhaps thousands of hapless relatives. :) Plus, her manners were always impeccable--I wish I were as good at politely putting people in their place as she was!

Edited by lizzbert
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

"The Corpse Flew First Class" is a really fun one, and Kate Mulgrew is fantastic in it.  She's also great when she reappears in season 8's "Ever After" as a soap star who's also a murderer and who has Marcia Cross as a stepdaughter!

 

Another one I always get a kick out of is "Keep Home Fries Burning".  There's some fun snappy comedy with that bitchy lady from the health department.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I like "Snow White, Blood Red" as well, and that one has a creepier vibe than a lot of them with the way poor Larry was killed.  Emma Samms was pretty good in that episode as well.

 

I have "Keep the Home Fries Burning" permanently saved on the dvr.  The health department lady throwing shade at Jessica by calling her a crisis hound was hilarious.  Also, when John McCook's character hands an orderly (?) the keys to his Rolls Royce to move it out of the way, the guy gets the greatest "score!" look on his face ever.  So much of this kind of humor got lost in later seasons.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I love that people are talking about this show now---Murder She Wrote is the perfect holiday treat for me! ITA about the humor of earlier seasons, not to mention a less polished and more retalable Jessica, at least for me. Not that anyone who has literally thousands of "best friends", instantly becomes a wildly famous bestselling author known throughout the world, outsmarts trained professionals to solve murders she stumbles on EVERY SINGLE WEEK and who has pretty much zero flaws other than not knowing how to drive can be all *that* realistic, but you guys know what I mean ;) 

 

I think Seasons 2 and 4 are my favorites, or at least have the most episodes that I can just rewatch over and over. Some of my special favorites from S2 include the aforementioned classic with the poisoned preserves, aka Keep the Home Fries Burning, Jessica Behind Bars, A Lady in the Lake, Sticks and Stones, Trial By Error (the plotting and twists are legitimately great in this episode, which can't be said about most hour long crime shows, MSW included!) Murder in the Electric Cathedral, and If a Body Meet a Body, the last of which is arguably my favorite of the whole series for some reason.

 

Meanwhile, my beloved S4 gives us Old Habits Die Hard (the actress who plays Mrs. Peacock in Clue dressing up as a nun and sneaking into a convent to kill someone? I'm in TV heaven!) , Trouble in Eden (Jessica as an unwitting madam of a brothel?! How can that not be a fabulously entertaining hour of TV?), If It's Thursday, It Must Be Beverly,  Who Threw The Barbitals in Mrs. Fletcher's Chowder, Curse of the Daanau (loved getting to see more about Seth), and Benedict Arnold Slipped Here.

 

If pressed to pick, I think I'd go with S2 as my favorite, but S4 is a really close second.  This show is just so charming and surprisingly unmatched---other mysteries end up so grim and self-serious and/or so focused on tiresome romantic angst, etc. MSW is really rare: cozy, warm mysteries that are more traditional whodunits than edgy procedurals, a main female character who's over 40 and leads an incredibly rich and fulfilling life without a significant other, etc. I keep thinking that there must be (or at least should be!) similar shows out there today, but I'm yet to find them. 

Edited by amensisterfriend
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

One of my favorite things about "If It's Thursday, It Must Be Beverly" is how delightfully cranky Seth is throughout, from having to answer his phone because Beverly hasn't shown up for work to Jessica solving the crossword clue he was stuck on to his aghast reaction to learning Beverly was one of the deputy's regulars.

 

And the reaction from Seth and Mort when Beverly declared it "was good, clean sex, once a week" with them, like, fumbling for an excuse to stumble out of the room in shock was hilarious.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Have you guys read this, by the way? It's a really good look at why a whole new generation of people are getting into Murder She Wrote. (I'm way too old to be included in that category, but I love that this show appeals to so many people irrespective of age!) 

 

http://www.theawl.com/2014/10/watching-every-episode-of-murder-she-wrote

 

Great article -- thanks for linking.

 

This is the line that makes me go "Yes!" so very hard:

And in the memetic era we’re in now, drenched in our lust for irony and an inside joke, it was immediately refreshing to remember what unabashed sincerity and earnestness looked like.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I think Seasons 2 and 4 are my favorites, or at least have the most episodes that I can just rewatch over and over. Some of my special favorites from S2 include the aforementioned classic with the poisoned preserves, aka Keep the Home Fries Burning, Jessica Behind Bars, A Lady in the Lake, Sticks and Stones, Trial By Error (the plotting and twists are legitimately great in this episode, which can't be said about most hour long crime shows, MSW included!) Murder in the Electric Cathedral, and If a Body Meet a Body, the last of which is arguably my favorite of the whole series for some reason.

 

If a Body Meet a Body is on my short list of favorites as well.  I loved it when Stew the blueberry guy called Christy's father (or business partner?) a fascist. 

 

The Season 3 episode The Bottom Line is Murder is a fun episode, too.  Adrienne Barbeau's character is hilarious as a television producer who deadpans that the murder victim should have been "canceled" long before.  Ha!

 

 

Have you guys read this, by the way? It's a really good look at why a whole new generation of people are getting into Murder She Wrote. (I'm way too old to be included in that category, but I love that this show appeals to so many people irrespective of age!) 

 

http://www.theawl.com/2014/10/watching-every-episode-of-murder-she-wrote

 

Great article!  I started watching MSW in its original run in 1984 when I was 15 years old and am happy to see it appreciated by a new audience today.  Just the other day I found Seasons 4, 5 and 6 at the thrift shop for $3.50 per set.  The (decade older than me) clerk kinda made fun of me for buying them by saying that her mother watches MSW reruns everyday.  Whatever lady.  My husband laughs at me, too, but I don't care. :-D

 

Anyway, this part was spot on:

 

She’s not equal to men—she exceeds their intellectual capacity, she outfoxes them all at every turn. She doesn’t fight for her rights. She just goes about her way in the world accepting every challenge as if every creature on this earth has all the rights and responsibilities as each other.

 

Jessica Fletcher was indeed wicked smart, didn't take any crap from murderers or misogynists, and had a steely determination to do the right thing.  That's some good stuff right there.

 

It was also nice for the author to advocate that Angela Lansbury receive the same sort of accolades that Betty White receives, and not just for her work but for being a decent and gracious person.  I read once that she made sure aging actors were given the opportunity to work so they could keep their SAG memberships. 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I love Tom Bosley as Howard Cunningham on Happy Days. As Mr C. he's one of my favorite TV dads, but I can't stand him on MSH as Sheriff Amos Tupper. That accent, which is supposedly a Maine one is like nails on a chalkboard. I pretend he's actually from the South who moved north just so I can maintain my sanity. Thank God Amos was only in less than 20 episodes in the first four seasons.

 

Also, Grady constantly needs to be smacked upside the head.

Edited by VCRTracking

Share this post


Link to post

It's funny when I was a kid and it was on the air I thought of it as "the show where the old lady solves mysteries" but now that I'm an adult I realize Angela Lansbury wasn't really that old. Liam Neeson was practically the same age when he started punching throats in the first Taken as Lansbury when MSH premiered in 1984.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, I thought so too, as far as Angela Lansbury's age is concerned. Same thing for the Golden Girls, back when the show originally aired, I wasn't interested in seeing a bunch of old ladies. Now I love them. Funny how that works. The older you get, the younger the TV characters seem.

Share this post


Link to post

I find her immediate support for family and friends (who are always the accused in every other episode) to be questionable. If DNA was more available at the beginning of this run, I'll bet she would have been proven to have been wrong half the time. Grady could be the Zodiac Killer, who knows?

In her defense I would be the same way but it's when she cops an attitude with the cops who dont know her and not understandiny why that they won't take her word over a mountain of evidence that I want her to be wrong!

Grady was too stupid to be a serial kiĺler.

Edited by biakbiak

Share this post


Link to post

Was Tuppers accent supposed to be Maine? He wasn't from there. There are a few episodes they mention he is from Kentucky and that is where he goes to retire to be with his family.

Edited by biakbiak

Share this post


Link to post

Okay good it is Southern. That makes it a little more tolerable because I thought Tom Bosley(an actor who I said I liked from Happy Days) was failing miserably at an accent every time he was onscreen.

Share this post


Link to post

It's so nice to see all the old movie actors appearing on MSW. I just saw the two-parter about the circus and it reminded me what a good actor Jackie Cooper was. Most of the time, the writing doesn't really translate to much of a part for anyone except Jessica doing her "Jessica thing" which is always well done. But Jackie Cooper really made Jessica's brother-in-law seem like a real person--he wasn't holding any talent back just because it was a formulaic tv series--and their scenes together were some of the best she's done, just because you believed the relationship and story. I know Jackie Cooper did a lot of directing after his own brief tv series, but I wish he'd acted more in movies as an older guy. He was still so talented.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Has the subject of which opening gets used depending on the channel MSW is being shown on? On Hallmark Movies & Mysteries they use the original opening throughout the series when they show it and I just started watching on COZI TV occasionally when it's on and noticed they use the actual openings from whatever season is being shown. I caught an episode on COZI from 94 or 95 and it used the opening with the computer typing 'Murder She Wrote' out and I was reminded that this show changed things like that even though I had forgotten due to watching on HMM most of the time.

I was still pretty young when MSW first aired and back then it was kind of known as a show for older people. Now that I'm older I like it along with other ones such as Matlock, Columbo, Hart to Hart and etc. 

The Ireland episodes of MSW drive me batty for the most part though especially the ones in the later seasons. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

"If a Body Meet a Body" - is that the one where Rex Smith (Solid Gold) is Stu the blueberry farmer and he spouts the line "Somebody! Stole my van!"? Ah, I love that delivery, and I don't even remember whodunit.

I watched this show as a kid every Sunday night with my grandfather. It was "our show," and now the reruns are my Friday night wind-down ritual. I put the kids to bed, fix a cup of tea, and relax with those cozy little murders. Now my 8-yr-old wants to stay up and watch them with me, even though she doesn't always understand what's going on. And I let her, because it's a gentler way to expose her to more mature themes without it being too gory or frightening. Plus she knows Jessica is Mrs. Potts.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

That's the one, mrsnolatron!  I love that episode.

 

I was in my teens when MSW started and watched every Sunday, too.  And my sons - now teens - have grown up watching the reruns.  I've followed the show from A&E, to Bio, then Hallmark, and now Hallmark Movies and Mysteries as well as Cozy.  My husband teases me for watching, but it (along with the first few seasons of L&O and ST:TNG) are my comfort food.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

"Murder she wrote" is a perfect place for rising star/falling star pairings, since they had almost equal measures of classic Hollywood and not-yet-famous guests. I call this intersection the "Tower of Terror" axis, named after the 1997 made-for-tv movie starring Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst.

Edited by DS1077
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

SO many people on "Murder, She Wrote", guys. One of my favorites is Megan Mullally, in the brilliantly-titled "Coal Miner's Slaughter."

Season 5 had a really good run - that episode was right before the ski lodge episode that was almost like a slasher movie.

Share this post


Link to post

Also note that George Furth was a guest star. Who was George Furth? From Wikipedia:

A life member of the Actors Studio,[2] Furth made his Broadway debut as an actor in the 1961 play A Cook for Mr. General, followed by the musical Hot Spot two years later. He was also known for his collaborations with Stephen Sondheim: the highly successful Company, the ill-fated Merrily We Roll Along and the equally ill-fated drama, Getting Away with Murder.[3] Furth penned the plays Twigs, The Supporting Cast and Precious Sons, and wrote the book for the Kander and Ebb musical, The Act.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×