Monday, January 20, 2014

Disappointment is a Harsh Burden


Disappointment is a harsh burden, especially when there was great expectation.  Any fan of mysteries can understand this sentiment.

I remember the Agatha Christie books and how my white-haired grandmother would devour them.  Devour them!  Then those books came to me, and I became a Christie fan.

Miss Marple - miss-marple Photo
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In 1985 or so, BBC released the Agatha Christie Mysteries starring Joan Hickson.  She was an amazing Miss Marple, perfect to the letter.  The excellent filming, settings that screamed “England!  Right here!”, as well as the accuracy of clothing and times presented all the engaging drama one has come to expect from BBC mysteries.

Miss Marple - miss-marple Photo
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Let’s leave Dame Margaret Rutherford out of this, shall we.

Today’s American murder/drama/police dramas have gone down a dark, predictable road.  My heart is broken.

It is a dead give-away who did what the moment actors start appearing.  Excluding the usual main characters, the “bad guy” will be the once-off actor who is the most famous and gets paid the most.


And the plot?  The instigating event occurs by the 14th minute.  The searching for clues lasts until the 47th minute.  The big “Ah HA!” hits around the 52nd minute, with winding down (through commercials) until the 58th minute.  Then there are ads and previews of the next episode.


Disappointment, indeed.  Agatha Christie would have wept.

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28 comments:

  1. Have you tried watching Murdock Mysteries on Monday nights?

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    1. Yes, we have watched Murdock, and enjoy it. We love Morse, Lewis, Vera, Blue Murder, Somerset Murders,....and another one. We have NetFlix on line,, so we get our English murder fixes frequently!

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  2. It took me years to collect every book Agatha ever wrote. I carried a list of her books in my wallet and found them during my garage-sale scrounging days. Then I "loaned" the whole big box of them to my brother, who is also a fan of hers and that was years ago. I hope he didn't thoughtlessly toss them. I may want to re-read them some day.
    Lovely post.

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    1. May God protect him if he has thoughtlessly tossed them.

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  3. Oh my gosh I used to LOVE watching Agatha Christie mysteries. I loved "Ten Little Indians" the most.

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  4. Most things are mundane on tv now a days

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    1. BBC holds its standard, but US likes to mix it up, and thus ruin the quality.

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  5. You are so right about the current run of "mysteries" on TV. They seem to be more about "how graphic can we make this murder scene look?" than about solving who done it.

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    1. The latest CSI: Las Vegas was so detailed in its gore, at the PRIME TIME hour when children are still running around, that we turned it off.

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  6. It is rather pathetic indeed, that is why i barely ever watch cop shows anymore, they are all the same. Find some magic piece of evidence, whalla. And it is always that actor that plays bad guys everywhere.

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  7. Television, even on the BBC, has become rather tedious and predictable. We have to have a license to watch the BBC. I shall weep over that.

    Take care, Susan and please, stop sending over rubbish American shows :)

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    1. What!?? You have to have a license to watch BBC?? The gov't again getting its piece of the pie, I guess.

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  8. I too have been a longtime Agatha Christie fan and have enjoyed BBC dramatizations of her work. She is one of the few authors whose work I can read again and again --whodunnit becomes secondary to the sheer pleasure of her narrative.

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    1. Like you, I reread her books for the pleasure of her writing. She was/is a gem of a writer.

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  9. Which is part of the reason I am a reader rather than a watcher of mysteries. Interestingly I prefer Agatha Christie's memoirs and autobiographies to her murder mysteries (if there are young lovers one of them is probably guilty). And I prefer Ngaio Marsh mysteries to her autobiography.

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    1. I have read only one of Ngaio Marsh mysteries, and did not get into the flow of the story.

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  10. Sorry for your disappointment. I hare it, too. TV, I have heard described as virtually endless commercials interrupted by bad programming. Which is why I rarely watch anything.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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    1. Since NetFlix, Hulu, et al, have become available, we hardly ever watch actual TV programs.

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  11. Very good thoughts. I have loved Agatha Christie since I came upon her in our school library.
    We had to be in eighth grade to read books in that area. As a sixth grader, how I wanted to read that section.
    When I finally made it I was enchanted. You are so right, the mysteries today have gone down a dark path.
    So nice that you have thought about this. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I always like reading about books.

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    1. Once I discovered the mystery section in the library, I seemed to stay there for a long time.

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  12. My grandmother used to devour Agatha Christie books too. I remember trying to read one once, I was an avid reader even as a child, but it was a bit over my head and I switched over to reading her Perry Mason books. I may have to give one a try now that I'm grown. :)

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  13. The murder mysteries on TV these days are too graphic for me and there are just too many of them. I keep hoping that they will bring The Walton's back.

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    1. Hallmark Channel--it has the type of shows I enjoy, esp. at night. Re-runs of Murder She Wrote, etc. Enjoyable.

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  14. I was never able to read Agatha Christie, I prefer my crime TV style.

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    1. Try some mysteries that are excellent in their capture of the period, like the 1950s.

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  15. Joan Hickson was my favourite Miss Marple too. The recent actresses portraying her aren’t a patch on good old Joan.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!