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...


Jean Marie Ward said...

I've got sooo many guilty mystery pleasures, but I really, really hope they bring back the BBC's 21st century SHERLOCK. I totally <3 their Watson. :-)

Xakara said...

On the surface, if asked, I'd say I'm not a fan of murder mysteries. Even in fiction, I'm always better when no one has died.

Look a little deeper, and I have an almost unhealthy attachment to procedurals. Many of the ones you named and more. Let's see:

In Plain Sight, Rizzolie & Isles, Castle, Hawaii 5-0, NCIS, NCIS:LA, Criminal Minds, Bones, Mentalist, and Flashpoint. In the broader sense of procedurals: White Collar, Cover Affairs, Burn Notice, Breakout Kings, Warehouse 13, Haven, Fringe, and Supernatural.

See? I just can't get away from them. *grin*


A. Catherine Noon said...

Hi, Meg! I love mystery and crime shows. They're really my favorites now, since there aren't any really good science fiction series on at the moment since Battlestar Gallactica went off air. (I should say that I don't have premium cable, so I can't see Game of Thrones until it's out on Netflix.)

I like a lot of the same shows you to, with the exception of the Closer - I find Kyra Sedgewick annoying. I love the Mentalist and NCIS and I do like NCIS Los Angeles. I also really like Criminal Minds. The one redux that I like is Hawaii Five-O, though it really is nothing like the original.

The BBC ones that I love are the David Suchet Poirot, and of course Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett - man, he was awesome. Such a sad thing that he passed away.

Thanks for bringing these to mind, Meg! :)