Monday, 23 August 2010

So it's been a while, I know. I've been busy. Busy watching mysteries that is.

New kids on the block (well, my block anyway) include -

Castle (on alibi)
The smokin' hot captain from Firefly is a famous crime novelist. After helping the police with their investigations into a series of murders apparently based on his books, he takes a shine to the detective in charge (feisty, gorgeous and about as hard-bitten as hollywood gets) and inveigles his way into her team as a sort of advisor.

So far, so good (ish).

(oops, wrong castle)

Unfortunately the stories are all run of the mill, sub-CSI/Law & Order and mundane. Plus they're shot to look like Desperate Housewives, Weeds et al. Castle's snazzy apartment, wise-head-on-young-shoulders daughter and flighty but fun mother are also too identikit to make you care one iota about them.

It's a shame, but it's a real let-down. Only worth watching if you've run out of Diagnosis Murders. And that's saying something.

Oh there they are - look, she's wearing a sassy, don't-mess-with-me leather jacket

Moonlighting (on DVD)
What an AMAZING programme. We used to occasionally be allowed to stay up and watch it when we were kids. Even now I can remember how exciting, how illicit that felt.

Once, when my Dad came back from a trip to Hong Kong we stayed up to see him when he arrived back late and Moonlighting was on. In amongst the presents he brought back there was a little turquoise dressing gown with a Chinese dragon embroidered on the back for me. Even now I think of that as one of the best nights of my life. I can remember it so clearly, watching David and Maddie bickering, talking over each other in rapid-fire staccato sentences, Dad walking in the living room larger than life. It was so exciting we even put the big light on.

Thinking back it must only have been on at about 9.30pm, but it felt like midnight.

Now I'm watching them again years later, years older, and I'm struck by how much fun they are. The stories themselves are pretty preposterous - let's face it they're just the framework to hang all the flirting, moralising and sarcastic quips on.

Oh, and the fashion. The glorious, ridiculous fashion! Eat your heart out ladies, there's never been anyone as consistently stylish as Miss Maddie Hayes. The gigantic shoulder pads, from which hang the softest peach-coloured satins (not silk, natch, this is the eighties). The over-sized clutch bags, co-ordinated with neutral shaded court shoes. The big hair, so perfectly coiffed and hairsprayed to within an inch of its life.

Now I see why there's a ruddy great hole in the ozone layer. It's all thanks to the Elnett-happy hair stylist.

And they don't ever really solve the mysteries. The stories either wrap themselves up of their own accord, or else someone dies and it sort of fizzles out. One episode finishes with Maddie wielding a fire-hose on a hotel stairwell and everyone is left in a soaking heap on the floor. No summing up. No gathering of the suspects. Nothing but a madcap chase round the building and a truck load of water.


I wonder if we'll ever see a Law & Order / Without a Trace / CSI finish like that. It'd be a bold and brave move.