Monday, September 8, 2008


"Oh, yeah, I used my last bottle of chloroform
when I was on 'Murder She Wrote'."

Jessica Fletcher of 'Murder, She Wrote' has been a best-selling mystery author in Toobworld since the early eighties, probably best compared to her contemporaries Glynis Granville ('Glynis' with Glynis Johns - Glynis! Glynis! Glynis!) and Dame Margot Woodhouse, who wrote "Death Rinses Out A Few Things" (from 'Dream On'). Even while the show was on the air, the TV and movie rights to several of her books (under the pen name JB Fletcher) were optioned and sometimes even produced within the reality of Toobworld.

In the decade or so since the show went off the air, it's likely that any mention of 'Murder, She Wrote' is about a TV show based on the works of Jessica Fletcher. If it's Jessica Fletcher herself who is mentioned, then it's because she is that famous an author, like Dame Agatha Christie, that everybody would understand the reference to her name.

Now should Angela Lansbury be mentioned in connection with 'Murder, She Wrote', we can say that she was the actress hired to play the lead role in the TV series based on the works of Jessica Fletcher - who in the real world is played by Angela Lansbury.

Confused yet? If not, I must have done something wrong.

One thing I won't worry about are the references to 'Murder, She Wrote' found in the Tooniverse, like on such shows as 'Daria', 'Family Guy', and 'Tripping The Rift'. They're not of any concern to Earth Prime-Time; that's Earth Prime-Toon.

The IMDb always has a nice collection of references to any particular show under the section "Movie Connections". And from there I was able to put together this list of possible "MSW" Zonks that can be rendered disabled by the splainin above:

"The Nanny: Fran-Lite (#2.1)" (1994)
- Fran mentions avidly watching eight years of the show.

"Married with Children: The Joke's on Al (#10.27)" (1996)
- Lucky: "I've seen 15 'Murder, She Wrotes' that started like this."

"Psych: Meat is Murder, But Murder is Also Murder (#2.6)" (2007)
- Uncle Burton mentions it.

"Roseanne: Another Mouth to Shut Up (#8.20)" (1996)
- Roseanne says to Darlene that she learned from "Murder she wrote" when something is wrong

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Smashed (#6.9)" (2001)

- Buffy: (to Spike) Way to go with the keen observy-ness Jessica Fletcher.

"Scrubs: My Night to Remember (#6.11)" (2007)
- [Jessica Fletcher is] one of the girls' names that Dr. Cox uses for J.D.

"Torchwood: Sleeper (#2.2)" (2008)
- Owen asks Gwen, "All right, Jessica Fletcher, who did it?"

"Boy Meets World: The Uninvited (#2.5)" (1994)

- Alan says he was watching Angela Lansbury solve crimes on the couch.

So that quote from Dale in last week's episode of 'Greek' doesn't affect the cohesive integrity of the TV Universe and all is right in Toobworld.

Toby O'B

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