Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Season 1: Birds of a Feather

There’s a lot of dog barking early in this episode, which set my Chihuahua off for the rest of the day. Thanks MSW. Now she’s growling at my purse.

Anyways, what we have here is a drag queen murder mystery set in San Francisco. Proving that our writers have a predictable, if limited, sense of humor. Also, this epi features a death-in-office-chair, bringing the official count to 2.


Vicki is Jess’ favorite niece, and we ALL know no one else ever earned that distinction, right? Vicki is marrying Howard, a sensible young man who never seems to be around when Vicki needs him… “You know Vicki, it’s not abnormal to have last minute doubts” Jess offers. So apparently, Howard is lying about everything, staying out late and stinking like perfume. “Maybe he wears cologne!” Jess suggests, continuing to dig that hole deeper. Then she recommends that Vicki spy on Howard. I love all this advice, our Jess is so devious.

This leads them to a dinner-and-a-show establishment owned by Al Drake. Vicki name drops to get them a table. And you know the name, don’t play coy with me. So the famous Jessica Fletcher nabs a table, even if it isn’t up to her standards (insert joke about similarity to my mother here). Jess finds something “strange” about the place. Could it be, I don’t know, the plastic flamingos surrounding the stage? The copious use of ferns throughout the entire club? The lip-synching drag queen? Before she can put her finger on it, out comes drag queen Howard (not to be confused by the drag queen singing), fleeing the scene of a murder. Al Drake has been shot! And Howard was found fleeing the scene. The End.

Ha! Just kidding, line them up!


Howard Griffen Vicki’s finance, doing a drag show on the side to make some extra money, hence all the secrecy. He came to tell Al he was done with his double life, picked up the gun (?) and found him dead. Likely story, but Jess seems to believe him.

Ms. Drake— Estranged wife of Al, carrying on with Michael (or Michelle), our drag singer. Classic Dynasty bad-girl here, dramatic eye shadow, white furs, the works. Now that Al is dead, she is in charge of the club, and seems a bit too happy to make some changes…

Michael (Michelle)DuPont —Headlining drag singer, was trying to buy the club from Mr. Drake. Carrying on with Ms. Drake. Money and women, two essential ingredients in the stew of murder!

Freddy York— Truly horrendous, and I mean horrendous, stand up comedian. He’s up there with a drum kit and everything. Apparently, he’s done SO well for himself he’s trying to get out of a contract he had with Al. But was he desperate enough to KILL?

Famous Actors

Martian Landau, who was in so many freaking movies and TV shows it boggles the mind. He looks really good here, and out-acts virtually the entire cast.

Jeff Conway, formerly known as Kenickie and, more recently, the Celebrity Rehab bad boy. It’s actually kind of sad seeing him so young and virile. You can keep your “Danny,” give me Kenickie any day!

80's Baby

Puffy buns on the women, white suits (with vest) for the men. There is an order for “white wine” at a restaurant, which I’m sure was how people ordered wine back then. Who knows, maybe they still do. This is the second time I’ve seen a cranberry blouse/white suit combo. Come on folks, “light with light/dark with dark!”

The End?

Lieutenant Floyd Novak (our surly San Fran cop) agrees to works with Jess, but only after she threatens to expose his ineptitude on “national television.” Go Jess, go! The gun came from a pawn shop in NYC, where Howard is from. Apparently, this is damming evidence because Jess shakes her head and looks pensive. Once the time of death is established, it’s pretty clear that Howard is innocent.

Jess makes her rounds in the club, finding the lack of pillow in Freddy’s room suspicious for no obvious reason that I can see. Things start falling into place when they realize a gun shot would have been heard from the stage, but before anyone can draw a conclusion, a stage light comes CRASHING DOWN AT THEM! Jess seems to avoid this by leaning backwards a smidge, but Freddy gets knocked off the stage and hurts his neck. The rope was, of course, eaten through by acid. How else would one stage such a devious plot?

But before we can explore those possibilities, first things first, Jess needs a nap. She pulls the pillow up beside her head and… ah yes, the pillow. The missing pillow in Freddy’s office! “Sun faded, like the couch” simpers Jess. She confronts Freddy and the truth comes out. He wanted out of his contract with Al. After his drum set, he snuck into Al’s office and used the pillow to muffle the fatal gun shot. We end with a truly corny joke from our killer, Freddy York, and a happy wedding ceremony for Vicki and Howard. Jess celebrates with a peck on the cheek for the happy couple. A killer found, a niece wed, just another day in the life.


Kitten said...

I hope you like Vicki and Howard, because they're featured in a few more episodes. Kenickie is replaced eventually with an unknown actor, though. Love me some Kenickie!!

"So the famous Jessica Fletcher nabs a table, even if it isn’t up to her standards (insert joke about similarity to my mother here)." Ha ha ha!!

Elsie said...

And to be fair, its a trait shared by my father, and on occasion myself.

Anonymous said...

I've just started watching the series through, and only a few episodes in I've found another counter you should have on the side. "As long as you insist on sticking your nose where it doesn't belong." Someone has said that in every episode so far!