Tag Archives: tv

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:

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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:

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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.

popcorn

Popcorn.

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

gratuitous

(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 #13: what’s the macguffin, morning glory?

Today is Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday. I’ve been having something of a Hitchcock revival this summer. It started when Phil was here, and we got tickets to see a restored 70mm print of Vertigo at Portland’s historic Hollywood Theatre. Last weekend we watched Strangers on a Train. And in between we’ve been watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents on Netflix. It’s been especially fun to watch that with a fresh pair of eyes. The opening sequence and his somber “Good evening” are just so iconic. I love that you can see a wrinkle in the bottom left of the backdrop with his caricature silhouette. The stories are good – most of them, anyway; we’ve hit a bit of a drab spot just now. The best part, though, is Hitchcock’s introduction and follow-up to each episode. Someone else obviously agrees with us, because there’s actually a montage of all 271 intros on YouTube. I have not got 46 spare minutes lying around today, so I didn’t watch it, but I’m ridiculously pleased that someone took the time to make it. We’re particularly enjoying the ones where he takes the piss out of his sponsor just before or after the commercial break. I remember my mom telling me years ago how much Hitchcock resented advertising interruptions on his shows. His dry, straightfaced loathing is hilarious. I can’t imagine any director or writer being able to pull that off now – sponsors are as gods to networks. (Unless you count the fake ads for real corporations that air on Welcome to Night Vale – those are pretty excellent.) But he managed to get away with some plots that horrified those sponsors; there’s a pretty interesting piece about it here.

When we’ve run through those, there are a surprising number of full length films and episodes of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour on YouTube, so I think we’ll be down this rabbit hole for some time. Happy birthday, Hitch! You’re so creepy.

(This is my thirteenth post for the Blaugust initiative.)

crush month: day 10

There are many things I enjoy about Glee, and many things I really hate about Glee, but Emma Pillsbury never has a bad moment. She’s loony, and her doe eyes are almost too enormous, but in a show loaded with bad behavior, she’s often the only adult in the room. She pronounces the word “gosh” with an extra little twinge of “r” in the middle, and manages to make that sound charming. She sterilizes everything she touches and cringes away from ugliness, while still handing out sound advice for balanced, healthy living to everyone else. More than anything else, though, she’s a seriously snappy dresser. There are whole blogs devoted to Emma Pillsbury’s wardrobe and how to get it. One of her more wondrous necklaces inspired something special I made for Shana a couple of months ago, and may lead to more new designs for me this winter. While I personally can’t rock any of her sweater-clipped, giant-ribboned, rosette-laden looks, I wouldn’t miss obsessing over them for anything.

friday. in which i entertain myself at the studio.


I spent several hours at the metal studio on Friday, practicing basic techniques on scrap metal pieces. I’m most interested in texture, so I did a lot of damage with a roll press, several hammers and stamps and a really beat up metal brush (I think I’ll bring my own next time…). And let’s confess, I annealed my copper unnecessarily at least twice because I just like torches and t
he pretty colors that the heat makes and that nifty snuffing sizzle that happens when you drop hot copper in water. Didn’t really come out with anything finished, but I did amuse myself by making two sets of matching copper tags that say grr on one, and argh on the other (I got carried away and added one too many r’s on grr. Extra fierce.). For those of you in the dark about why that’s funny, I venture to suggest that you may be watching the wrong tv shows.

Afterwards I went to Margie’s for an ice cream shake, because nothing’s better than metal studio followed by ice cream on a hot summer evening.