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There is going to be a Murder, She Wrote reboot

If I had my own internet, there would certainly have been talk about Affleck-Batman, but that talk would now, obviously, be eclipsed by talk about Spencer-Fletcher. 

Most people are focusing on the fact that this reboot demonstrates that NBC is the network version of the saddest, most desperate, most unimaginative person who has ever existed.

Few people are discussing the fact that this re-envisioning of the long-running HIT SERIES might as well just be called Sort of Like Castle: With Octavia Spencer Instead of Nathan Fillion for all the resemblance it bears to the original. This isn't being discussed much (or at least not with much intensity) because the original show was not very good and most of the people who really liked it are now long dead—but damn it, I have proved on a mystifyingly regular basis that I love it deeply (it has its own category in this blog), and I would argue that even the most terrible shows are about things and have actors in them and so can be disrespected when networks remake them and change them so that they become unrecognizable.

If there's one thing everyone knows about Murder, She Wrote, it's that J.B. Fletcher was old, and old people liked her (that might actually be two things). Angela Lansbury was 59 when she took on the role in 1984. And J.B. Fletcher was a retired school-teacher and widow who expected to sink into quiet obscurity in Cabot Cove, Maine, but instead became a famous mystery author and international super-sleuth. It's the whole point of the show: this woman is (a) old, (b) a widow, and (c) living in Maine (although in later seasons she does keep an apartment in New York). She has already lived a whole life, and she never expected to have a whole other life. I would be willing to wager that old people liked this show not only because Lansbury was also old, but also because it suggested it's possible to have a second good and fulfilling life after your first one has ended.

I have absolutely nothing against Octavia Spencer, except for the fact that casting her as J.B. Fletcher is like casting Matt Damon as Matlock (Spencer and Damon are the same age). I also have nothing against hospital administrators (that's apparently what the new J.B. is going to be), but Jessica DID NOT HAVE A JOB ANYMORE, BECAUSE SHE WAS SO OLD. I still haven't heard anything about where this will be set—but if she's now young and a hospital administrator, I'm betting she won't be busy being both of those things in some small town in Maine. So if this show is about the crime-solving adventures of a young-ish hospital administrator/self-published author in some big city somewhere, it could really be called almost anything else. It could be called Remington Steele, for God's sake.

Oh, wait. NBC couldn't call it Remington Steele—BECAUSE NBC IS ALREADY REMAKING THAT SHOW, TOO.

 


Stripes
10/25/2013 15:10

Damon is gonna be Matlock? I need to find a thrift shop to find a VCR to tape that! Stat.

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10/26/2013 16:09

Remington Steele--I thought that show was called Bones and no one watched it anymore.

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