When I was but a wee lad – OK slightly older than a wee lad but hardly the veteran TV watcher of today – in the mid-1980s, I was absolutely devoted to Murder She Wrote, a show than on CBS from 1984 to 1996 (followed by four movies released between 1997 and 2003).
In retrospect the show might seem charmingly daggy (Australian slang for not trendy or cool) but even now I warm to the idea of a small town Maine English teacher-turned amateur sleuth swanning her way across her home state, New York and the world righting wrongs unsolvable by anyone else.
That’s largely due to Angela Lansbury who as Jessica Fletcher somehow managed to balance grandmotherly warmth and friendliness with a “get the f*ck out of my way, I know what happened” approach that was unsurprisingly acquiesced to by the majority of law enforcement personnel she came across.
Granted it wasn’t groundbreaking and was rather procedural and formulaic but I cared not, happily tuning in week after week, watching every episode, collecting and reading the associated books that were released and devouring all the news I could find out about the show via the entertainment magazines in the local newsagent.
(Yes boys and girls there was a time before the internet and I lived through it.)
Second only to the closing Jessica Fletcher laughs that closed out every episode were the “A-ha!” moments that came just as the amateur sleuth to beat all amateur sleuths finally put two and two together and came up with a bright shiny four, and now, according to Laughing Squid, someone has assembled all of these epiphanies together:
“Video editor Isaac Royffe has compiled The Many Epiphanies Of Jessica Fletcher, a wonderful hour’s worth of the “aha moments” during which mystery writer Jessica Fletcher finds the clue that solves the day’s murder on the long-running classic television mystery series Murder, She Wrote. If an hour is too much time to commit to watching a video, the first four minutes of the video are highly recommended.”
It’s a joy to watch if you loved the show and while yes an hour may be a bit too much of a good thing, I take my hat off Isaac Royffe for going to all the trouble to assemble these “A-ha!” moments together.
Nostalgia duly and happily sated.
* For some extra Murder She Wrote goodness, check out this look at the show containing interviews with star Angela Lansbury and some of the production staff.