Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Murder, She Wrote Meets Parker Stevenson... and it was heaven




I keep no secrets here at Made for TV Mayhem so I will confess that my current obsession is Murder, She Wrote. After many years of dismissing J.B. Fletcher as a detective for the geriatric set, I came to understand the pure magic of Cabot Cove. Sure, lots of people get randomly murdered, making New York City look like Disneyland. But I call that ambiance. You never know when the local crab shack is serving up a pot full of mysteries!

I'm also not shy about how boy crazy I am, and there's been lots of tasty treats popping up in old Cabot Cove. I recently watched an episode with the delish Jared Martin, and the pilot does indeed feature Bert Convy (I will be covering that episode in the future, mark my words). But CBS really cashed in their machismo chips when they got Parker Stevenson to appear in a season 2 episode called Sticks and Stones. Parker is great as Michael Digby, an interloping travel writer who invites himself into Jessica's house and life. At first he seems like one of those obnoxious ne'er do wells, who have no appreciation for small town charm, but he quickly becomes J.B.'s confidante after a couple of murders are committed.

I've always thought Parker had a great sense of comic timing, but because he's so damn heavenly, I think it tends to get overlooked (as I'm looking him over, you dig?). He's so much fun in this episode, and if I didn't completely lust after him already, I would be completely lusting after him.

Let me set the scene here... There is yet another random murder in Cabot Cove, followed by a series of crank letters which sets the town into a tizzy. After another murder (set up to look like a suicide, but by season 2 we knew better), Jessica is on the case, and she enlists Michael as a tasty lure for Lila (Betsy Palmer).



Let's take a look at Michael, shall we?



Michael's goofy entrance




You can tell he's a nerd because he totally wears glasses




He's a ridiculous person because he tucks his pants into his boots (or maybe it was just the 80s. Tough call)...




Hey, this goofy guy could totally be a male model




But he's also a silly, sloppy drunk!




No comment!




Even Jessica wants him!




Who am I? I'm the interloping ne'er do well, that's who!

7 comments:

Caffeinated Joe said...

I am a big Murder, She Wrote fan and remember this episode. At the end, doesn't his character leave things rather ambigously with Jessica? Something reminds me that it was left sort of "open-ended".

Parker should be seen more. I loved his show "Probe". And of course, he was my favorite Hardy Boy.

Amanda By Night said...

Hi Joe, you have good taste! :)

At the end, Jessica invited him back but I think he was worn down from the murders. I remember he said he wanted to remember Cabot Cove as it was when he first came to town... I would like to think he'd come back. The ladies were calling for him! :)

Btw, Probe is awesome... I want to write about that one too.

VoyagerG said...

Oh LOVE Probe. It was the perfect vehicle for Parker, like Frank Hardy. I had never heard of it until last year. There is a Yahoo group for it too. I will share this blog post with them. :) Great post and screencaps! I wrote a big blog post for Probe. :)

http://voyagersguidebook.blogspot.com/2011/06/best-short-lived-series-ive-ever-seen.html

Jeanette said...

All I had to see was "Parker Stevenson" and "heaven" and I had to absorb everything in this post. Thank you for making some of my last memories of 2011 include my favorite teen idol :)

VesperRegina said...

Your enthusiasm about his looks is refreshing! Fact is, I get just as enthused about talented men like Parker Stevenson, and I loved that you were honest about it. I agree with you that Parker Stevenson does have a great sense of comic timing!

R.A.M.'67 said...

Hmm, in some of these shots, Parker looks like Joseph Campanella.

I always found Murder, She Wrote OK, but I couldn't ever quite get into it the way I currently do with Columbo. I think it had to do with all those '80s clothes and hairstyles seen on the shows aired in that decade! Plus, the photography was bland and lacked the atmosphere that helps give flavor to "whodunits". That said, I can't knock how successful MSW was/is, and it's a shame Angela Lansbury never got an Emmy for her consisently good performances on it.

I look forward to your coverage of the Bert Convy episode! :o)

Amanda By Night said...

Hi Vesper, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one enchanted by Stevenson's comic timing! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

Hi RAM, I agree about it not really being Columbo, which is just perfection to me. Murder, She Wrote has some great whodonits but it's really Landsbury who takes it to another level for me. While I've always liked her, lately I've become enchanted by her on this show... I really had no idea how successful the show was until recently. No Emmy? Ugh.

btw, Thanks for stopping by and reading and commenting!

It only took me 20 years, but here I am, a bona fide fan!