|Index||4 reviews in total|
This time the mystery woman and her coterie of allies, in particular
former CIA hacker and now business colleague Philby (Clarence Williams
III) and Cassie (Nina Siemaszko), her best friend who just happens to
be a lawyer, investigate the murder of a stuntman in a wild west show
who was doubling for the hero Clint (as in Clint Eastwood) played by
Bruce Boxleitner. Since the show centers around the not so happy troupe
of cowboys and one cowgirl, Annie (as in Annie Oakley), the change of
venue adds an atmosphere of novelty to a series that was becoming
The rugged wild west show cast adds a note of believability to the mystery. Solving the murder becomes more complicated as the investigative team discovers that the hero Clint was having financial problems that involved internet gambling, bad investments, and an ex that he stole from another of the cowboys, Strother (Wings Hauser). Suspicion falls on Clint because he had previously faked an accident by having his stirrup strap slashed so he would fall in front of the spectators, enabling him to get free publicity.
While the plot is tried and true going back to at least the Gene Autry oater "Home in Wyomin'" (1942) where the reverse happens and someone in a wild west show shoots one of the fans in the stands, watching the mystery woman team work is a pleasure if you don't take it all too seriously. The acting is top notch. It's good to see Clarence Williams III of "Mod Squad" fame on the tube once more. His part is a delight and the writers usually give him some good lines.
As the old banjo player Floyd Holland used to say just before he performed, "If you don't expect much, you won't be disappointed."
I did not like this episode. Usually the crime is detectable and the
people involved different. This was about a group of cowboys coming to
town to put on a big wild west show.
The head of the groups is name Clint who looks just like Bill Clinton and is in business and fools a lot of people. The people that work for Clint think he is rich and has property. He used other people and fake falls to present himself to the public when starring in these wild west shows.
This was boring and took many turns. Others in this wild west were bitter toward Clint and just as deceptive as him.
Samantha gets involved with the group. She is smart and a fan of the wild west group with their horses and performance. Philby and Cassie Sam's friends help her to find the killer of a cowboy that was in the show.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know why I watch "Mystery Woman." I hadn't seen it in years,
but I noticed it on Hallmark Channel and taped some episodes I missed.
I love Kellie Martin, and I guess I keep hoping the series shaped up as
it went along.
It didn't, but this one, "Mystery Woman: Wild West Mystery" does provide some fun for baby boomers who grew up with all the westerns we did. Bruce Boxleitner, looking the same except for gray hair, plays an old-time western TV star named Clint who has a few enemies in the wild west show he does on the circuit. After he's injured in a fall off of his horse (which he engineered for publicity), he has his replacement Dogie (Joe Stevens) go on for him. Dogie winds up dead.
Clint is arrested, since he seems he's the only one who knew he wouldn't be on the horse, but mystery bookstore owner Samantha and her assistant, former secret agent Philby, start nosing around. Suspects include members of the show: "Annie Oakley" (Barbara Niven) who lost her TV show thanks to Clint; Zeke (Charles Dierkop), and my favorite -- Strother Elam -- an homage to those two great western character men, Strother Martin and Jack Elam - played by Wings Hauser; and Jeb Fletcher (Jason Brooks).
Despite the change in atmosphere, this is still a slow-moving, boring series that moves at a molasses-like pace.
Finally, just to show how badly written this particular episode is, Philby is a former secret agent, a man with a mysterious past, who can do just about anything - hack into any computer, get anyone's financial records, find out anyone's criminal record - what can't he do? I'll tell you what he can't do. He can't find out who owns a cell phone number. At the end of the show, Samantha, while she's with Philby, finds the victim's cell phone and notes the last number he called. With Philby at her side, at the victim's funeral, she calls the number. Why didn't Philby just look up who owned it? I don't know. I just know that the lovely Martin is so much better than this.
Typically for her, Samantha Kinsey is the chair of the committee
organising a wild west show in town featuring some stars from the big
and small screen westerns. It is all going well but when a stunt goes
wrong, former TV star Clint Taylor is badly hurt. An accident it is
assumed but Philby finds that Clint's saddle was deliberately cut,
suggesting a deliberate mistake at best, attempted murder at worst. A
bit of investigation reveals that Clint had intended to take a fall all
along to drum up media interest in him again and Sam is affronted by
the cheek. However at the next show Clint falls again but this time
it was his stand-in and the fall is real, because he has been shot. The
mystery is set and Sam starts her own investigation while Chief Connors
goes down a more formal route.
I first watched the Mystery Woman series and found it to be a bit like cheap toilet paper it isn't anything special but it does what I need it to do and it never pretends to be doing anything other than the basics. However with the last few films I had found the weaknesses were becoming more overwhelming while its value was diminishing as it just churned out the same old ideas and style again and again. With this entry things are a little better than the last few films because it does feel a bit fresher because of the setting. Of course a lick of paint can only do so much and typically the weaknesses are still there. The delivery is so very "safe" with a basic mystery, obvious dialogue, cardboard cut-out characters, annoying incidental music and so on. It is very daytime television but those watching it will probably have forgiven it for that.
The cast deliver the usual collection of characters. Martin continues to be as bland as normal and doesn't seem to have any interest in making her character more than a young version of Jessica Fletcher. Siemaszko is unconvincing as usual and Martin and her have no chemistry. Williams sleepwalks his way through a half-baked character while Sander is as dry and humourless as always. The guest cast features reasonable turns from Boxleitner, Dierkop, Stevens, Niven and others.
A reasonable entry in a series of films where that should be considered to be the standard to be hoped for. All the usual weaknesses are present but, unlike some other MW films I had seen, the cowboy gimmick works well to make a typical mystery feel a bit fresher and livelier than it really is.
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