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CinemaInternational

Murder, She Wrote Appreciation Thread

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53 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

there are in the history of the show- at least three episodes that deal on a surprisingly realistic level with the fallout Jessica faces AFTER ostensibly solving the crime-

THE RETURN OF PRESTON GILES where her former publisher and FORMER LUVAH (not really, but they did kiss!) who was the first murderer she discovered (in the pilot movie) returns to complicate her life.

ONE WHOSE TITLE I CAN'T REMEMBER that starts with an ACTION SEQUENCE where a dude breaks out of prison and is killed in the process. turns out he was a murderer Jessica sent there and his daughter files a wrongful death suit and Jessica VIOLATES STANDARD LEGAL ETIQUETTE, PROTOCOL AND ETHICS more times than BONITA GRANVILLE as NANCY DREW in this one.

THE ERROR OF HER WAYS which is THE MOST CONFUSING EPISODE OF MURDER, SHE WROTE, EVER. It's like the MEMENTO of MsW eps- it starts with her solving a crime and then unfolds as it seems as if maybe she fingered thr wrong person. I give it a lot of credit for what the episode does- but it is not as good as it could've been thanks to the TOLKEINESQUE plot that revolves around a lot of real estate business and swindling and some ambitiously lackluster support from ELLIOT GOULD as a Palm Springs police detective.

edit- as i recall, TONY LO BIANCO is in one of the latter two, damned if i can recall which, and he might be in neither. but he was on MsW at some point.

Yes, I recall all 3 of those episodes.

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4 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Yes, I recall all 3 of those episodes.

THEY'RE HARD TO FORGET (oops, caps lock) because- at least with the latter two- they're astoundingly grounded in REAL LIFE, the legal ramifications of what Jessica has done, the fallout, the fact that she could be leaving herself open to charges or a civil suit- even if she's right and the person WAS guilty...

I personally think the genesis of the episode was a writer for MURDER SHE WROTE sitting next to an actual lawyer at a dinner and getting an EARFULL about everything the show had done wrong or glommed over for six seasons.

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and i think the one where the guy escapes prison and dies and his daughter sues Jessica because she's dating the guy from XANADU who wants the money to open his own pastry kitchen (whew) features ALISTAIR from PASSIONS as her lawyer who keeps asking her to (politely) NOT HAVE ANY EFFING CONTACT WITH THE OTHER PARTIES IN THE LAWSUIT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM and she's like "yeah, that's cool, so Imma go talk to this guy's daughter and ask her some questions..." and he's just like "DID I JUST STAMMER?" and she's already out the door.

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every now and then I wake up WAY TOO DAMN EARLY FOR MY (OR THE WORLD'S) OWN GOOD, and I will sit and really watch something on TV until it's time to get my **** together for work or whatever.

I watched the IF IT'S THURSDAY, IT MUST BE BEVERLY episode (season 4?) aka THE ONE WHERE AMOS TUPPER'S DEPUTY IS SPORT-*******G THE ENTIRE FEMALE POPULATION SAVE JESSIE (and he tries!)

I know I sometimes laugh at the silly, silly, sillyness of some of (the best) MsW episodes, but really- over the course of the show's history, they produced quite a few episodes that are legitimately very well acted, shot, written and as mysteries- the solution is great.

This is one of those episodes.

Watching it, I notice how the camera lingers on the LOTTERY TICKET a lot....but in subtle, clever ways.

Also, Seth's receptionist- the titular BEVERLY (who SADLY did not become a major recurring character- because she wins an MVP award as one of the BEST guest actors of the whole run) is (according to IMDB):

NAMED "NURSE BEVERLY HILLS."

I mean, c'mon, THAT IS GOLD.

I wish RUTH ROMAN (who appears as LORETTA THE BEAUTY PARLOR OWNER) had done more than three episodes. I also wonder how many cartons of Camels a day she must've smoked to have given her a voice like LORNE GREENE by the time she was 60.

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On 5/31/2019 at 10:43 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

PS- THE STRAIN OF WRITING so much outside of the forums is showing a little bit, so all apologies if this comes across as a deranged rambling- like the time BLANCHE on THE GOLDEN GIRLS spent an entire 48 hours writing her memoirs and lost her mind completely....

Blanche was actually up for 72 hours.  She had a dream to become a great Southern writer.  Obviously, she would write romance novels.  Her novel was called Ever Man

What day is this? I've been up for 72 hours.  I had a breakthrough.  I discovered a new form of writing.  I will go down in history. First I wrote all day. Then I tore it all up. Then that night it came to me and the words poured forth like liquid from a stream.  It was almost a mythical experience. Somebody else was writing this. Ever Man. This is Ever Man's work. It's all gold. Just open it anywhere and the magic will touch you. 

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

every now and then I wake up WAY TOO DAMN EARLY FOR MY (OR THE WORLD'S) OWN GOOD, and I will sit and really watch something on TV until it's time to get my **** together for work or whatever.

I watched the IF IT'S THURSDAY, IT MUST BE BEVERLY episode (season 4?) aka THE ONE WHERE AMOS TUPPER'S DEPUTY IS SPORT-*******G THE ENTIRE FEMALE POPULATION SAVE JESSIE (and he tries!)

I know I sometimes laugh at the silly, silly, sillyness of some of (the best) MsW episodes, but really- over the course of the show's history, they produced quite a few episodes that are legitimately very well acted, shot, written and as mysteries- the solution is great.

This is one of those episodes.

Watching it, I notice how the camera lingers on the LOTTERY TICKET a lot....but in subtle, clever ways.

Also, Seth's receptionist- the titular BEVERLY (who SADLY did not become a major recurring character- because she wins an MVP award as one of the BEST guest actors of the whole run) is (according to IMDB):

NAMED "NURSE BEVERLY HILLS."

I mean, c'mon, THAT IS GOLD.

I wish RUTH ROMAN (who appears as LORETTA THE BEAUTY PARLOR OWNER) had done more than three episodes. I also wonder how many cartons of Camels a day she must've smoked to have given her a voice like LORNE GREENE by the time she was 60.

Did not know that that was Beverly's last name. She was played by the great Dody Goodman, also very funny in Mary Hartman Mary Hartman and in the 1984 film splash. In her one big scene in this episode, she does get two of the funniest lines ever uttered in the show's run.

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I watched a stranGe SEASON 7(?) episode last night, THE SEAL OF THE CONFESSIONAL. It was a CABOT COVE EPISODE about a CATHOLIC PRIEST- who was kind of hot and the same guy who was in the AMISH EPISODE- who hears a confession of murder from JENNIFER RUNYON- who I know I have seen in something else- she is memorable because she manages to be SO GORGEOUS THAT SHE ACTUALLY MAKES THE MURDER, SHE HAIR WORK!!!!!

532ce13fc9a1cf48954478551ae326e0--gorgeo

note- in looKing up this image, i discovered she is also the gal in the electroshock psychic test scene from GHOSTBUSTERS and was in REVENGE OF THE NERDS. She also was in the Amish MsW ep.

EDIT: The above headshot is not how she looks in MsW, the BANGS and SIDEFLAPS are more out there...like, I honestly think the MURDER, SHE HAIRDRESSERS had a wind machine just outside the trailer.

The real revelation of this episode though was the performance of handicapped actress MADLYN RHUE as a wheelchair-bound wealthy widow. she was excellent and very moving AND GROUNDED THE EPISODE in reality in a way that did not often happen on MsW, she later became a recurring character on MSW as the CABOT COVE LIBRARIAN.

Come at me for this, but I really, really prefer RON MASAK to TOM BOSLEY. He has terrific chemistry with both Lansbury and William Windham.

Whoever wrote this episode clearly loved their classics- there is a running gag about MGM musicals and the plot is a reworking of I, CONFESS.

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4 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Come at me for this, but I really, really prefer RON MASAK to TOM BOSLEY. He has terrific chemistry with both Lansbury and William Windham.

I am one who prefers Tom Bosley. Now don't get upset with me, but it is William Windom. If you are like me and type with predictive text, it loves to change words without permission. When I type William, I get Shakespeare and Shatner.

The girl above is adorable, except she reminds me of Megyn Kelly. I found out that little mark is on her face. I tried to rub it off my screen and it wouldn't come off.

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I've  been bad today, and instead of doing anything productive, i went and watched the seasons 11 episode MURDER OF THE MONTH CLUB, which I do not recall ever having seen before and was really taken aback by how unexpectedly good it was.

Jessica has agreed to film an infomercial (90's style) with two other crime authors, one of whom seems to be modeled a bit on JIM THOMPSON and is played by ANTHONY ZERBE....IAN OGILVY is fantastic as the washed up actor who is hosting the show- his American accent is flawless and he is also GORGEOUS.

while you would think this set-up screams "CHEESE!" you would be wrong. it is one of the more gritty and hard edged and realistic episodes of the series, and it had some very interesting observations about the writing process.

JEFF CONAWAY makes another MsW appearance, I know he was having drug problems throughout the run...i guess he wa sa nice guy and they were trying to help him out. he started playing the actor husband of GENIE FRANCIS as JESSICA'S NIECE, then the role was recast and he later shows up playing other characters.

Nearly everything going on in this episode is a red herring.

 

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6 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I've  been bad today, and instead of doing anything productive, i went and watched the seasons 11 episode MURDER OF THE MONTH CLUB, which I do not recall ever having seen before and was really taken aback by how unexpectedly good it was.

Jessica has agreed to film an infomercial (90's style) with two other crime authors, one of whom seems to be modeled a bit on JIM THOMPSON and is played by ANTHONY ZERBE....IAN OGILVY is fantastic as the washed up actor who is hosting the show- his American accent is flawless and he is also GORGEOUS.

while you would think this set-up screams "CHEESE!" you would be wrong. it is one of the more gritty and hard edged and realistic episodes of the series, and it had some very interesting observations about the writing process.

JEFF CONAWAY makes another MsW appearance, I know he was having drug problems throughout the run...i guess he wa sa nice guy and they were trying to help him out. he started playing the actor husband of GENIE FRANCIS as JESSICA'S NIECE, then the role was recast and he later shows up playing other characters.

Nearly everything going on in this episode is a red herring.

 

Whenever I was flipping channels and would come across MSW, it became a running joke that it was invariably one of three episodes on - the one at the film festival, the one at the jazz club, or the one you review above. I began to wonder if there were only three episodes ever filmed, they came up so often.

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By “the one at the jazz club” you don’t mean The SEASON ONE one in NEW ORLEANS with OLIVIA COLE Where her husband is the clarinet player who gets poisoned through the reeds? And also features a SUPERBOOZY CAMERON MITCHELL? 

 

That at one is BAAAAAD! 

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If it is indeed MURDER TO A JAZZ BEAT Then really I’m very surprised.

I remember that one episode was omitted when the entire series was available on Netflix. I kind of figured it was because there is a black character who is developmentally disabled, and (very badly) played by the guy who is the dad’s coP partner who gets blowed up by Dracula in THE MONSTER SQUAD

The acting in the reveal scene is so especially bad, it could actually border on being construed as racist (Although I don’t think it is, just baaaaad acting)

edit- Those of you who are fans of the Comedy Central mystery science theater era, it’s on a par with Mikey who “didn’t steal no bike” in TEENAGE STRANGLER

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

By “the one at the jazz club” you don’t mean The SEASON ONE one in NEW ORLEANS with OLIVIA COLE Where her husband is the clarinet player who gets poisoned through the reeds? And also features a SUPERBOOZY CAMERON MITCHELL? 

 

That at one is BAAAAAD! 

I just watched that one on WGN America.

Tomorrow (Monday) COZI plays the very last episode, then starts all over.

http://www.cozitv.com/tv-listings/

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I wonder if (for the reruns) they edit the shot at the very beginning of the MURDER TO A JAZZ BEAT episode Where Jessica is supposed to be arriving in downtown New Orleans and you can **totally see** the Capitol Records building in the background. Like, They aren’t even really trying to hide it, And then the cemetery scenes at the very end are shot at, I think, Hollywood Forever cemetery and you can see all the king palms in the background which the ones with the extremely long skinny trunks and small pom at the top, I don’t think those grow in New Orleans.

GARREtT MORRIS also plays Lafayette the cabbie. 

I have a very distinct memory of being about seven years old and watching this episode with my dad and having him have to explain to me what (musical) reeds are.

Seriously though, CAMERON MITCHELL is suh-LOSHED in his scenes. 

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I've  been bad today, and instead of doing anything productive, i went and watched the seasons 11 episode MURDER OF THE MONTH CLUB, which I do not recall ever having seen before and was really taken aback by how unexpectedly good it was.

Jessica has agreed to film an infomercial (90's style) with two other crime authors, one of whom seems to be modeled a bit on JIM THOMPSON and is played by ANTHONY ZERBE....IAN OGILVY is fantastic as the washed up actor who is hosting the show- his American accent is flawless and he is also GORGEOUS.

while you would think this set-up screams "CHEESE!" you would be wrong. it is one of the more gritty and hard edged and realistic episodes of the series, and it had some very interesting observations about the writing process.

JEFF CONAWAY makes another MsW appearance, I know he was having drug problems throughout the run...i guess he wa sa nice guy and they were trying to help him out. he started playing the actor husband of GENIE FRANCIS as JESSICA'S NIECE, then the role was recast and he later shows up playing other characters.

Nearly everything going on in this episode is a red herring.

 

it also has one of the more unusal murder weapons in the series run. You don't see that everyday.

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11 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

it also has one of the more unusal murder weapons in the series run. You don't see that everyday.

Yup. Second only to the frozen fish from the Sonny Bono/NYC restaurant episode.

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Thanks for the info about Cozi's schedule.  That's where I have been watching episodes occasionally, hit or miss.

But now after following this topic and reading everyone's comments I'll pay closer attention.

The last one I saw was George Segal suing Jessica with the ubiquitous Morgan Fairchild.  It was pretty good I thought, but I'm no expert.

 

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1 hour ago, RoyCronin said:

Thanks for the info about Cozi's schedule.  That's where I have been watching episodes occasionally, hit or miss.

But now after following this topic and reading everyone's comments I'll pay closer attention.

The last one I saw was George Segal suing Jessica with the ubiquitous Morgan Fairchild.  It was pretty good I thought, but I'm no expert.

 

MURDER AT A DISCOUNT, Also featuring a young Juliana Margulies as Segal’s daughter/lawyer and some comedy as well. 

MORGAN FAIRCHILD is an interesting case of naturally occurring MURDER, SHE HAIR.

I wonder if the chief hairdresser on set wept upon learning of her casting, as she surely had to’ve been an idol, lifelong inspiration and muse

It is a good one, And another one that deals pretty realistically with some of the potential fallout of Jessica’s amateur sleuththing/writing.

 

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Yes, Murder at a Discount.  Thanks.

What's funny, watching this episode, I thought of a "Law and Order:SVU" episode Morgan Fairchild appeared in.

Bedtime, where she played a former girlfriend of a discount mattress store lothario!  Funny.  (It's the episode that earned Ann Margret an Emmy.)

Incidentally, although it was almost 20 years later, Miss Fairchild looked exactly the same.

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Morgan Fairchild was on Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition recently. She has gained a lot of weight, had a lot of plastic surgery, and talked very slowly. I've always been a fan, ever since she was on Search for Tomorrow many years ago. She was happy to be on Falcon Crest playing a lawyer instead of a hooker and then they gave her character a split personality (IIRC) and the other personality was, of course, a hooker.

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On 6/15/2019 at 9:46 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

every now and then I wake up WAY TOO DAMN EARLY FOR MY (OR THE WORLD'S) OWN GOOD, and I will sit and really watch something on TV until it's time to get my **** together for work or whatever.

I watched the IF IT'S THURSDAY, IT MUST BE BEVERLY episode (season 4?) aka THE ONE WHERE AMOS TUPPER'S DEPUTY IS SPORT-*******G THE ENTIRE FEMALE POPULATION SAVE JESSIE (and he tries!)

I know I sometimes laugh at the silly, silly, sillyness of some of (the best) MsW episodes, but really- over the course of the show's history, they produced quite a few episodes that are legitimately very well acted, shot, written and as mysteries- the solution is great.

This is one of those episodes.

Watching it, I notice how the camera lingers on the LOTTERY TICKET a lot....but in subtle, clever ways.

Also, Seth's receptionist- the titular BEVERLY (who SADLY did not become a major recurring character- because she wins an MVP award as one of the BEST guest actors of the whole run) is (according to IMDB):

NAMED "NURSE BEVERLY HILLS."

I mean, c'mon, THAT IS GOLD.

I wish RUTH ROMAN (who appears as LORETTA THE BEAUTY PARLOR OWNER) had done more than three episodes. I also wonder how many cartons of Camels a day she must've smoked to have given her a voice like LORNE GREENE by the time she was 60.

LOL! I hadn't realized her name was Beverly HILLS! Too bad Dody Goodman didn't become a semi-regular. (I think that was the only time she appeared). Roman too!

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On 6/15/2019 at 3:56 PM, CinemaInternational said:

Did not know that that was Beverly's last name. She was played by the great Dody Goodman, also very funny in Mary Hartman Mary Hartman and in the 1984 film splash. In her one big scene in this episode, she does get two of the funniest lines ever uttered in the show's run.

YES! Brief scene but memorable! :D

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On 6/16/2019 at 9:22 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

I watched a stranGe SEASON 7(?) episode last night, THE SEAL OF THE CONFESSIONAL. It was a CABOT COVE EPISODE about a CATHOLIC PRIEST- who was kind of hot and the same guy who was in the AMISH EPISODE- who hears a confession of murder from JENNIFER RUNYON- who I know I have seen in something else- she is memorable because she manages to be SO GORGEOUS THAT SHE ACTUALLY MAKES THE MURDER, SHE HAIR WORK!!!!!

532ce13fc9a1cf48954478551ae326e0--gorgeo

note- in looKing up this image, i discovered she is also the gal in the electroshock psychic test scene from GHOSTBUSTERS and was in REVENGE OF THE NERDS. She also was in the Amish MsW ep.

EDIT: The above headshot is not how she looks in MsW, the BANGS and SIDEFLAPS are more out there...like, I honestly think the MURDER, SHE HAIRDRESSERS had a wind machine just outside the trailer.

The real revelation of this episode though was the performance of handicapped actress MADLYN RHUE as a wheelchair-bound wealthy widow. she was excellent and very moving AND GROUNDED THE EPISODE in reality in a way that did not often happen on MsW, she later became a recurring character on MSW as the CABOT COVE LIBRARIAN.

Come at me for this, but I really, really prefer RON MASAK to TOM BOSLEY. He has terrific chemistry with both Lansbury and William Windham.

Whoever wrote this episode clearly loved their classics- there is a running gag about MGM musicals and the plot is a reworking of I, CONFESS.

That actor (WISH I knew his name!) Also played a new doctor/rival in Cabot Cove with Seth in one episode. It took me a few episodes to warm up to Ron Masak, but I came to prefer him to Bosley as time went on. He grew on me. I liked them both in different ways.

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1 hour ago, kingrat said:

Morgan Fairchild was on Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition recently. She has gained a lot of weight, had a lot of plastic surgery, and talked very slowly. I've always been a fan, ever since she was on Search for Tomorrow many years ago. She was happy to be on Falcon Crest playing a lawyer instead of a hooker and then they gave her character a split personality (IIRC) and the other personality was, of course, a hooker.

I remember Morgan hawking cubic zirconia jewelry of MORGANite on the QVC shopping channel in the 90s. She was on there quite a few years.

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