09 September 2011

Murder, anyone?

Let me just start by saying that I really don't like reality shows. Sometimes I will find myself watching -- fascinated by the penchant some people have of making total fools of themselves for the world to see.

Personally, I prefer make believe. My favorite form of television entertainment? For years and years, it's been the weekly mystery/crime drama. If they can add a bit of humor, all the better.

I remember tuning in every week to watch Columbo or McMillan and Wife, and others in the NBC Mystery Movie night. These die-hard favorites often included intrigue, danger, some quirky characters, and a car chase or two. I loved Columbo and his wrinkled raincoat; his seemingly inept manor that put every bad guy and gal at ease. I thought Susan St. James was wonderfully cute and perky while she tried -- in an almost Lucille Ball fashion -- to help her husband solve crime.

But I was young. And, in all honesty, so was television for all intents and purposes. The weekly crime drama has evolved. Blood and gore abound... plots are a bit more twisted and not always so easy to figure out. But I do still love a good murder. ;) My favorites, however, are the ones where I have to figure it out along with the show's resident 'detective' -- whether that person be a mystery writer, cop, or forensic scientist*.

*Although, really, how many pathologists head out in the field to question suspects? Ummm, I'm thinking not many.

I love puzzles. I adore discovering those clues right along the hero (or heroine) on the small screen. I thrill at being able to piece it together and, sometimes, figuring it out before the professional sleuth does. With some shows that task is often difficult -- and those are the ones I watch more often.

So, while I still need a bit of mindless, silly comedy from time to time, (Thank you, Disney Channel); and something educational at rare moments (ala The History Channel) -- the crime drama is still my special fave.

Monk, sadly, is gone, except in reruns. But I still adore:

NCIS (the original, not the LA version. Sorry).

Other favorites include: Castle (love the character interaction);
Flash Point (fast-paced and often riveting);
Psych (much silliness and Shawn's dialog tends to wear me out.);
The Mentalist (sort of a 'grown-up' Psych?);
The Closer, a must-see every week (Again, love the characters!);
Warehouse 13 (rarely murder involved, but I love the sci-fi aspect and the characters).

I suppose it really comes down to which shows have characters that fascinate me? Entertain me? Characters that I care about?

This life-long fixation is why I like to include a bit of mystery in my novels. It keeps me, and the reader, involved with a story.

Do you like mysteries? Crime drama? Or do you prefer to laugh your way through television viewing?

~~Meg Allison

Indulge your senses...
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