Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Season 12: Murder Among Friends

"I'll be there for youuuu...'cuz you're there for me tooooo!"

Ahhh, the cutthroat world of corporate television! Actors...writers...producers...all subject to the whims of big network financing. Hmmm, could this topic be at all familiar to the folks at "Murder She Wrote"? 

While Mrs. Fletcher is filming a retrospective on Hitchcock movies for PBS, she becomes entangled with the real-life drama going down on a hit sitcom shooting next door about six 20-somethings  "sitting around all day long, discussing their sexuality". Jessica's words, not mine! I can only imagine her opinion about "Seinfeld"...

Rumors are flying that one of the Friends---whoops, I mean Buds!---is getting the proverbial ax, so everyone on the set goes into panic mode. The executive producer and resident ballbreaker, Ricki Vardian, is the only one who knows which character will be killed and decides to keep her secret by locking away the last page of the script in her office safe. When Jessica finds Ricki dead behind the office desk, there is no shortage of available suspects.

I'm just going to pause for a moment and wish that I would've kept count of every time Jessica has discovered a murder victim and/or dead body during twelve seasons of MSW. My conservative estimate: 65. Your guess??


Vince DeNisco--The equivalent of Joey on "Friends", he was having an affair with Ricki to help his career. Did the relationship turn violent after Ricki dumped him? 

Carly McAllister--This one's definitely our faux Jennifer Aniston, complete with The Rachel haircut. She was pining away for Joey...errr, Vince...and terrified of getting fired from the show. She argued with Ricki, but was it enough to drive Carly to murder?

Dyan Emery--The Phoebe of the group! Although she's Ricki's favorite cast member, Dyan is itching to get out of her contract with "Buds" to star in the next big Rob Reiner movie. But is she willing to kill for it?

Alex Bower--Former student of Jessica's. After Mrs. Fletcher termed his plot points "laughable", Alex turned to comedic writing as a means of living. Would he kill Ricki to land her lucrative head writer gig?

Timothy Flint---It's not obvious whether this guy is intended to be Chandler or Ross, but I'm guessing by the hair that he's Chandler. Anyway, Timmy recently became enraged with Ricki after finding out that his paycheck was half that of the other Buds. Could this lukewarm character be capable of murder?

Lt. Roy Flint--Self-avowed stage father of Timmy, he'd do anything to protect his son's career. With his police training, it would be easy to kill Ricki and arrest someone else for the crime. Could Roy frame his own son??

It wasn't hard to guess that Timmy would get himself arrested (by his own father--gasp!) for killing Ricki. After all, Jessica took a shine to him early on in the episode...and you know how much she loves to defend the underdog. Turns out the murder weapon was a brand new laptop computer and only Timmy and Ricki's prints were on it. Fortunately for Tim, Dyan's offhand comments to Jessica revealed her to be killer.

Which "Buds" character was supposed to be killed? Carly, our symbolic Rachel.

Famous Actors
I'm disappointed to say there wasn't anybody famous here. But we had plenty of impostor famous people to keep us busy. 

90's Baby
Kudos to the staff of "Murder She Wrote" for crafting such a surprisingly elaborate parody of "Friends"! The fake Joey alone was incredibly spot on, but there was even an impressive mock version of the famous Friends theme song and posters of the fake cast that seemed like perfect replicas of classic Friends advertising. Maybe when you're winding down to the final episodes of a 12 season run, it's time to have a little fun at the expense of another network's top rated show. Well played, Angela Lansbury. Well played! 

The End?
For her role in freeing Timmy, Jessica is officially designated as an honorary Bud! Lucky her, right?


Elsie said...

Wow, who knew MSW took a shot at mainstream fav, "Friends." Also, did you include in your Fletcher death count the number of office-related deaths? I seem to recall at least 10 "sitting-in-the-office-chair" deaths. Loved this one, well played.

Kitten said...

Thanks! There are so many office chair deaths! Many, if not most, were Fletcher discoveries. When you consider there was 12 seasons with at least 12 episodes each...well, that's a lot of dead bodies to stumble across. ;P

Elsie said...

There is also an association with the deservidness (a word?) of death and office chair killings. If someone is a prick in a MSW epi, it stands to reason they will die in their fancy-pants office chair.

Elsie said...

Also, after some early skepticism, I guess you could probably kill a person with an early 90's version of a laptop computer. Those things were phone books.

Kitten said...

Absolutely! If you're the one in the office that everyone hates, better watch your back! Or better, don't turn your back.

I think the laptop in question was probably a 20-pounder. Ha.