Ben Matlock is a very expensive criminal defense attorney who charges $100,000 to take a case. Fortunately, he's worth every penny as he and his associates defend his clients by finding the real killer.
Former high school English teacher and famed mystery writer Jessica Fletcher has a gift for solving mysteries. You see, it seems murder follows her around, whether it be to the houses of her seemingly endless number of friends, nieces, and nephews or right in her hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica is sometimes assisted by her friend Dr. Seth Hazlitt or the local sheriff, Amos Tupper (later Sheriff Metzger). Sometimes, later in the series, Jessica would only narrate the episode, which would be a dramatization of one of her novels. In later seasons, Jessica moved to New York City to be closer to her publisher and also closer to crime. Written by
Mike Hatchett <email@example.com>
Many viewers (and Angela Lansbury herself) believed that the move of the venerable show from Sunday to Thursday for the twelfth season was a deliberate plan by CBS programming chief Leslie Moonves to kill it. After all, it was going up against "Friends," which was about to get super-show status. But everything Moonves tried in the Sunday slot failed so badly that he wound up double-running "Murder, She Wrote" on Thursdays and Sundays for the last few weeks of the regular season and then for a summer of reruns. He had to place "Touched by an Angel" in the time slot the following fall to get a decent audience. The final season alludes to this with episodes tellingly titled "Murder Among Friends" (featuring the ensemble cast of hit TV series "Buds") and "Death By Demographics" - the final regular edition before the show switched to TV Movies. See more »
I'm not quite sure why Murder She Wrote isn't still running. I'm willing to bet that Angela Lansbury could command any kind of deal she could have if she wanted to do more episodes of this wonderful series.
Angela Lansbury is maybe one of the kindest and most unselfish of players ever to grace the big screen, the small screen and the legitimate theater. Let's not forget she's a star in all three mediums. What I like best about her is the fact that she used her star power to give lots of work to her fellow performers from the golden age of Hollywood's studio system who weren't as lucky with their careers as she. Just look at the cast list of any random selection of Murder, She Wrote episodes.
For twelve years she got every weekend to show up the police in every corner of the globe that they had the wrong solution to a given murder. The amazing thing is that most of them simply went with the flow as far as her interference with their investigation. It was part of her charm for them and for us.
About half the episodes took place in the little New England coastal town of Cabot Cove where William Windom as the town doctor and first sheriff Tom Bosley and then sheriff Ron Masak got assistance from Jessica Fletcher every time she was in town at her home. I liked the Cabot Cove shows best and I suspect most viewers did. Though that presents a problem in that Cabot Cove given the percentage of the population might just have the highest murder rate in the country. Good thing she WAS around. But even there she never embarrassed Bosley or Masak in solving the cases.
Her best scenes are with William Windom, the crusty old town doctor, Seth Hazlitt. I suspect that back in their youth Jessic and Seth were an item and the way Lansbury and Windom are with each other, you can see the bonds are strong. The writers in Murder, She Wrote very wisely never made Dr. Hazlett any kind of buffoon the way Nigel Bruce was as Doctor Watson to Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes. Windom played it absolutely straight and his medical knowledge occasionally helped Lansbury solve the case. I think it's a shame that William Windom never got an Emmy for playing Dr. Hazlitt.
My hope is that somebody gets the bright idea to have a reunion episode and maybe finally marry Jessica Fletcher and Dr. Seth Hazlitt. It would be the highest rated show of a given season.
37 of 40 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?