I dunno about you, but I love detective shows. Always have, always will. The quirkier, the better. The only way detective shows can be even more awesome is if they star an older version of who we’d like ourselves to be. Or who could be someone we know. Like Quincy. Or Matlock. Or even better: Jessica Fletcher.
The best TV detectives are humble, have a sense of humor, are ethically sound (and still somehow occasionally struggle with those ethics when the evidence is at odds with their gut and/or their heart), smart, sometimes cranky, and loveable because they always want what’s best for us.
There are any number of shows I could point to, but Murder She Wrote occupies a special place in my heart because she was a woman and a great role model. Like Miss Marple before her (also once portrayed by Angela Lansbury), she was sharp and focused, but also deeply keen to understand the why behind the crime. She paid great attention to those around her, listening carefully, extracting information from the tiniest of clues because that was the only way to solve the mystery. In short, both gave weight to human nature and the study of their fellow man. They each proved there were advantages to being female: the greatest of which is people are often more willing to talk with you. There’s nothing wrong with appearing gentler, kinder, a bit softer. Those are the very traits that often unarm the ne’er-do-wells of the story. What more could a young girl want from a role model?
For me, it was a lovely moment to realize that being a girl meant I could do more and be more than just serve as a secondary character in a story. Jessica Fletcher gave voice to my longing to be the hero, to be if not the smartest in the room to know when to rely on the input of others and save the day. Finding other people who worship at the altar of JB Fletcher? Icing on the cake.