Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Jessica Fletcher meets Magnum
It had to happen. Lee and I would eventually get round to this. And it's very odd.
First off, it is "fabulous" without being in any way "good". The mystery (spanning an episode of Magnum and one of Murder, She Wrote) is almost incomprehensible. It's something to do with widows, hitmen, diamonds and public relations. The plotting is diabolical - for scheduling reasons, Jessica's only in the second half of the Magnum episode, and Magnum spends most of Murder, She Wrote in single-set prison.
And yet, it's still eye-watering as the New England sleuth descends on Hawaii and the corpses start piling up. It's the inevitable clash of the acting titans that we're here for as Tom Selleck does rueful charm and Angela Lansbury does... nope. Still no idea. It's a unique acting style that doesn't mesh with Tom Selleck at all. It's a weird "i'm the star of the show, dear" display of mugging and business, all delivered to the cheap seats at the back.
It's a wasted opporunity really. The two bicker gently, but not too much. There's precious little gun play, and all the chemistry you get when two inert gases intermingle. But who cares? Lee and I can tell people we've seen the fabled Murder, She Wrote/Magnum crossover, and we'll get looks of awe and wonder.
(As an aside, when I was young my favourite character was Higgins, but you now realise the poor actor appears to be being fed his lines off camera, managing a delivery that is both surprised and stilted, as though he's just reeled in from the pub to be confronted by bright lights and cue cards)
PS: Thanks to the wonders of the internet - here's the trailer. Amaze.