Ben Matlock is a very expensive criminal defense attorney, who charges one hundred thousand dollars 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 and Tupper's successor, Mort Metzger, a former New York City cop. Sometimes, later in the series, Jessica would only serve as narrator. In later seasons, Jessica moved to Manhattan to teach criminology at fictional Manhattan University.Written by
Mike Hatchett <email@example.com>
The fictional "Cabot Cove" Maine setting for this show is an actual harbor inlet in the town of Kennebunkport, Maine. "Cabot Cove" is located on a main road leading from the township, with a bridge over the small inlet bay. Local motor-hotels and lobster-crab shack restaurants are nearby the cove, a short walk from the main village. The pilot episode town exteriors were filmed in Mendocino, California; subsequently, filming each season with a two hour (sometimes split airing as a two parter) show. The main (in town) Victorian mansion stood-in for Jessica's house. The exterior Sheriff Station was the local Rangers Station. In 1992, this exterior was changed, using a coastal bluff building on the main frontal street. Several small business shops were filmed for the exteriors of a beauty salon, a newspaper office, et cetera, with the "Hill House Hotel" utilizing the Mendocino town's largest hotel's exterior, grounds, parking, and interior lobby and check-in desk. The beach and bluff area filmed mainly for specific episodes. The Harbor of Fort Bragg was filmed for the docks, exterior pub and bar dressing decorated wharf buildings. Interior restaurants above the harbor were also filmed as "Cabot Cove" sights. At Universal Studios' backlot, the Jaws Lake attraction was filmed as the exterior village. The show maintained the studio attraction's exterior buildings until cancellation in 1996, afterwards, falling into disrepair. The exterior Victorian "Best Little Whorehouse" set, relocated from stage 12 feature filming, to a hill area on the backlot, was a stand-in for the Mendocino Victorian Jessica's house. The interiors of this house were filmed, redressed, repainted, and redecorated for many of the episodes for other story scenarios. See more »
You don't have to be an old lady to like this show; I'm sixteen years old and a male to boot. I am a big fan of whodunits, and always have been. This is one of the best. In the first few seasons, several episodes featured creative and delightful gimmicks. Although creatively the series sagged a bit in the "middle years," the last two seasons showed a resurgence in quality. Throughout the series' twelve years, however, very few episodes failed to deliver in terms of the mystery itself: it's always fun to try to find the clues and deduce their meaning before the detective does, but if you don't, it's also fun to hear the explanation.
Although there are several lovable recurring characters, the only real regular in the series is Angela Lansbury. Consequently, the format is refreshingly free, and the writers aren't forced to bog the stories down for a boatload of regulars. However, there are always plenty of interesting characters acting as suspects. Frequently there are famous beloved older guest stars, especially in the first few seasons, but the special guest star is not always the killer; the mystery always comes first! This is an old-fashioned mystery series, unmarred by an overdose of violence or melodrama. Plus, Jessica Fletcher is a character that one can't help but love, and Angela Lansbury plays it to charming perfection.
There is, of course, the obvious creative license: that Jessica Fletcher always accidentally stumbles across a murder. If you are willing to put this aside, this is a show one can really enjoy. (Note: The show pokes fun at itself on occasion, including one where Jessica reveals that she is nicknamed "the Bloody Mary of murder.")
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