Category Archives: watching

blaugust #23: my, your scarf game is stronk today.

When I wrote my love letter to Murder, She Wrote, I fully intended to talk about Jessica Fletcher’s accessory wardrobe. It’s a regular feature of Murder She Drank to discuss her fierce scarf game, and I will not lie to you: scarves have been creeping into our fashion decisions since we started this thing. When it came down to it, though, I forgot that bit. But it’s ok! There is a whole week of Blaugust left to talk about JB’s scarves!

There are three main categories of scarf that Jessica employs. (Are you paying attention? There will be a quiz.) First, we have the casual, everyday scarf. It’s soft and feminine, generally tied loosely around the throat. It appears at home, while marketing down by the water in Cabot Cove, on a pleasant bike ride (during which we may discover a body, but that is no reason not to look our best), or when setting off on a holiday journey. Everyday Scarf:



Second, there is the Business Scarf. This is also sometimes a pussy bow (there is an awful lot of pussy bow in MSW, and not just on JB). It’s styled with more definition than Everyday Scarf, and appears in meetings with executives or interactions with police officials or politicians:

The third category is rare, but crucial: when you are a famous author, there are times you need to be able to go about your detecting business without being recognized. This is where the Scarf Disguise comes into play:

tumblr_n8ql1cio021r3g7qno1_1280Mark it well, reader, and perhaps start carrying a spare in your handbag for incognito emergencies.

There you have it, the three main categories of Scarf Game in Murder, She Wrote. You’re all set to spot them now if you join us tonight for Murder She Drank. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.



I’ll leave you with this, which is just gratuitous, but it’s too good to miss. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.


(All images property of Universal Television, and found via Google Image Search.)

(This is day 23 of Blaugust.)

blaugust #21: murder she drank.

A while back, I was talking to my friend Kathy and she mentioned that she wanted to watch Murder, She Wrote all the way through from the beginning. I was in for that, and doubly in when she suggested that we make a game out of it. She’d found a drinking game for the show, and suggested that we modify it into bingo cards (to avoid the alcohol poisoning that would surely occur if we followed the list on the original game). Not one to sit around, she did that, and we made a Hangouts date with a few friends to watch the first episode. It was such a success that Kathy made a website for it, and it’s been a regular once a month event for us ever since. This Sunday, we’ll be finishing Season 1 and starting on Season 2.

I love Murder, She Wrote. It’s campy and hilarious, fun to watch on nostalgia merits or to mock the whole of the 1980’s. But it’s also groundbreaking television, and worth watching in its own rights. No one is ever going to claim that the mysteries were original or challenging, but the character of Jessica Fletcher certainly is. If it’s possible that there’s anyone alive who doesn’t know the premise of the show, here it is: a late middle-aged widow living in rural Maine write best-selling murder mysteries, and keeps running into real life mysteries in her small town and elsewhere. She, of course, helps the (absurdly open-handed and cooperative) police solve them. What’s unusual about this show is that Jessica Fletcher is single, has no children, and there is no love interest for her for the entire run of the series. The very first episode dallies with a romance for her, but very firmly shuts the door on it. She is a middle aged professional woman, portrayed as gracious but private, intellectually limber, and competent. The mysteries, she dispatches without fuss. The more trying challenges for her come from business relations – insulting radio hosts on book tours, or movie producers who completely rewrite her stories. She navigates these difficulties with grace and toughness. Yes, she’s officious. Yep, she’s a busybody. That’s what detectives are. It only seems overblown sometimes because it’s not what you expect from the woman who looks like a retired schoolteacher. Put Peter Graves in the exact same role with the exact same dialogue and I bet you a fin nothing about it would seem pushy. Furthermore, every single episode of Murder, She Wrote passes the Bechdel test. It’s been 20 years since the show was on the air, but that’s still not being achieved in most tv shows now. It’s impressive.

When not solving crime, JB enjoys relaxing with a video game. #MurderSheDrank

A photo posted by Kateri Morton (@katerimorton) on

So I’ve been delighted, although not really surprised, at the number of people who get excited when they hear about Murder She Drank. The show has a tremendous following, and people of all ages and backgrounds love it. Every month, we have more and more people participating on Twitter and Instagram, with the hashtag #murdershedrank.

A photo posted by Kateri Morton (@katerimorton) on

If you want to join in, our next event will be on Sunday, August 23 at 8 pm Central/6 pm Pacific. We typically watch two episodes in an evening, and Kathy posts the titles on the website ahead of time. Watch along with us, and if you’re tweeting or posting to Instagram, use the #murdershedrank hashtag. I keep a column open in Tweetdeck so I can keep an eye on the hilarity as it develops.

I’ve got my Sharpie picked out, my screenshot fingers at the ready, and a bottle of wine in the fridge. Maybe this week one of us will actually get bingo! (So far, that’s never happened, but it doesn’t stop us.)

A photo posted by Kateri Morton (@katerimorton) on

(This is my 21st post for the Blaugust initiative.)

blaugust #15: gimme that old time sparkle.

I spent a lot of time today cleaning up my work trays and putting supplies back where they belong. In the process, I found part of a necklace I’d started making a while back, inspired by something Lady Mary wore on Downton Abbey. The piece had never been finished – probably because I’d just lost track of it in the shuffle. So I played around with it a bit, and the result is a new necklace with a distinctly 20’s flavor.

Lady Mary necklace, due to appear at Leaves of Glass next week.

Lady Mary necklace, due to appear at Leaves of Glass next week.

That got me thinking about jewelry and costumes in several different period dramas that I like. This necklace has flapper elements, but it’s nowhere near long enough to really deserve that name. My favorite antique necklaces are the insanely long and heavy cut glass flapper necklaces from the Art Deco period, often worn tied in a loose knot, or with a beaded tassel at the end. You can feel the weight of them when you look at them, and they’re just sooooooooo glittery. I’ve always intended to recreate one someday, but so far I have yet to have enough of one bead to do it. Most of my materials come in limited, small batches.

Thinking about this, I kind of fell down a rabbit hole googling screenshots of Miss Fisher, Lady Mary and Ariadne Oliver from the Poirot series. Initially, I was looking for the Downtown Abbey necklace that inspired me (no hope of finding that, really, and I didn’t). Before long, though, I got seduced by one costume shot after another. I mean, come on. I want to wear every single one of these outfits. If I can’t do that, I want to make things inspired by them.

Downton Abbey images copyright Carnival Film/Masterpiece; Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery images copyright Every Cloud Productions; images of Ariadne Oliver in Poirot copyright itv.

I have no point here, other than I’ve had a nice day appreciating the artistry of old things and trying to build on it with new things. See you tomorrow, I’m gonna go make more stuff.

(This is my fifteenth daily post for Blaugust.)