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Murder, She Wrote - The Complete First Season
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The other audience for Murder, She Wrote: The Complete First Season consists of viewers for whom names like Bert Convy, Dack Rambo, and Barbara Babcock send waves of guilty pleasure down their spines. The promotional materials for this boxed set make much ado about brief appearances by stars-to-be like Andy Garcia (who appears briefly as "1st White Tough" in the pilot TV movie) and Joaquin Phoenix (who's around 10 years old and still going by the name Leaf), but every single episode is a festival of B-, C-, and Z-grade celebrities from the 1970s and '80s: Claude Akins, Tom Bosley, Jeff Conaway, David Doyle, Samantha Eggar, Lynda Day George, Morgan Brittany, Belinda Montgomery, Gabe Kaplan, and Lyle Waggoner, just to name a handful. Some of these names may be forgotten, but their faces (and scenery-chewing performances) will spark a Proustian rush of television memories. --Bret Fetzer
- Contains episodes 1-21 over three discs
- Includes pilot movie, "The Murder of Sherlock Holmes"
Top Customer Reviews
I was 14 when I started watching Murder, She Wrote in 1984. Having grown up with shows like Columbo, Matlock, Remington Steele, Hart to Hart, Charlie's Angels, (the short-lived) Ellery Queen, and many others, I was very intrigued by this new show. I didn't know who Angela Lansbury was or how the show would be structured. All I knew was that I would get to play detective along with the lead, and that was all I needed to hear. Created & written by the same team (Peter Fischer, Richard Levinson, and William Link) who'd created shows like Columbo, a deviously clever made-for-TV movie called 'Rehearsal for Murder' (which I had just seen the summer before MSW premiered), plus a whole slew of other shows to their credit, I knew MSW was bound to be a hit. And a hit it was.
Filled with more celebrity guests than Oscar night, the show played fair with its audience, giving them the clues they needed to solve the crime(s) before the final 10 minutes of the show. The flashbacks, helping to remind you what you may have missed, were an especially nice touch. The writing was sharp, the storylines fun & original, and the production was first rate. Of course, none of this would've mattered if the lead wasn't someone we liked. Cue: Angela Lansbury.
Originally, the part of J.B. Fletcher was supposed to go to Jean Stapleton; Edith Bunker from All in the Family. But Stapleton didn't want to do another series, so she turned the part down. Lansbury was the studio's 2nd choice. A veteran of stage and screen, Lansbury was the perfect fit for the role of J.B.Read more ›
The series began in 1984 when Angela Lansbury was 58 and continued through 1996 producing 264 episodes for CBS, and easily winning its time slot for most of its run.
The fabulous Ms. Lansbury, who as a distinguished career on Broadway and in the movies, portrayed the lead character of Jessica Fletcher, a widowed, childless English teacher from the fictional small seaport of Cabot Cove, Maine. (The exteriors of the homes, seaport and ocean scenes were actually shot on the opposite coast -- in Mendicino, Calif.)
In the series, Jessica's quiet and predictable life is abruptly turned upside down after her nephew submits a mystery manuscript she wrote under the name "J.B. Fletcher" to an East Coast publisher without her knowledge and the book is published. (In the show, Jessica's middle name is Beatrice.) The book becomes an instant bestseller, and Jessica-the-author continues to write similarly popular yarns until she becomes internationally famous. Equally famous is Jessica's uncanny knack at solving crimes as an amateur sleuth who is called upon to help by law enforcement from Cabot Cove to Europe and beyond as the series continues. (It is interesting to note that Jean Stapleton, who portrayed Edith Bunker on All in the Family, was first offered the role of Jessica but, thankfully, declined.)
Show creators Richard Levinson, William Link and Peter S.Read more ›
During my viewing of "Murder takes the Bus" my DVD froze and then skipped an entire chapter. This is the fourth Universal DVD that I will have to take back for this problem. I have no real knowledge of what causes a disk to freeze or skip but I'm willing to bet that it has to do with the way Universal crams eight shows on each disk, four on each side. I'm sure that Universal is attempting to save money by limiting the amount of disks for each shows DVD release.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
we gave up tv years ago,,,enjoying watching these old shows,,am starting out with first season,,and then onward as money allows,,,Angela Lansbury is great,,,Published 20 days ago by georgette lee
Watching these the second (or third) time is just as enjoyable as the first. Jessica is so clever, and her supporting players are wonderful.Published 3 months ago by Barbara D. Regen
Old long running TV series with a majority being creative "Whodunit" episodes. Includes some famous or near famous guest actors from those decades. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Quantum Thinker
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