lenny briscoe

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Jerry Orbach would leave home early in the morning to shoot movies and TV shows. Every day before he left he would write out a love poem for his wife, Elaine, who would read it with her coffee. She saved them all, and after Jerry died in 2004 she published the best of them in a book called Remember How I Love You: Love Letters From An Extraordinary Marriage. 

as if i couldn’t love Jerry Orbach/Lenny Briscoe any more than i already do

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“Jerry is a comic genius and one scary mother-effer. He can’t stop giggling during all the crime scenes. We have to re-shoot like twenty times before he settles down. My favorite line of Jerry’s was when he investigated the bludgeoning of a nun and cracked, ‘Hope this doesn’t become habit-forming.’” –Sam Waterston

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From 1984 to 1996, one of television’s best crime-solvers was a retired English teacher turned mystery writer. Angela Lansbury played best-selling novelist and amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote. A hugely popular series both then and now, Murder, She Wrote was an institution on Sunday nights for over a decade. Each week, Jessica encountered another murder - sometimes right in her home town of Cabot Cove, Maine and other times at points all across the country and around the world. Using her sharp eye and her steely resolve, Jessica never failed to identify the guilty party and wrap up the case for the local police.

Like other classic TV shows, Murder, She Wrote is leaving Netflix on January 1, 2017. With over 200 episodes over 12 seasons, you may not know where to start. While the format never changed that much from Episode 1 to Episode 264, here are a few suggestions for diving into the series.

Tough Guys Don’t Die (Season 1, Episode 15) – One of the treats of the show was watching Angela Lansbury work with other veterans of the Broadway stage, and this episode introduces Jerry Orbach as hard-boiled private eye Harry McGraw. Before he was Lennie Briscoe, Orbach recurred as McGraw, a tough shamus who frequently ran into Jessica and pulled her into his cases. In this first episode (peppered with homages to the private eye genre), Jessica had been working with his partner “Archie Miles” before Archie was bumped off. Despite a rocky start to their friendship, Jessica and Harry team up to bring the killer to justice.

Murder Takes the Bus (Season 1, Episode 18) – A variation on the “locked room mystery,” this episode finds Jessica and Cabot Cove Sherriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) on a bus to Boston that has to stop at a roadside diner to wait out a storm. The wait turns into an investigation when it’s revealed one of the passengers was stabbed in his seat, and Jessica has to figure out when he was killed and identify the killer.

Sticks and Stones (Season 2, Episode 10) – This episode finds Amos on the eve of retirement with John “Gomez Addams” Astin all set to replace him. But a series of poison pen letters floods Cabot Cove and the ensuing feuds and misunderstandings result in two murders. The plot ties to a planned real estate development and ends with Jessica tearfully revealing that a longtime friend is a murderer.

The Corpse Flew First Class (Season 3, Episode 12) – Another “locked room” mystery, but this locked room is flying at 30,000 feet. On a flight from the US to London, Jessica has to contend with a murder and the theft of a priceless necklace. There’s no shortage of suspects on board, but how did the killer dispatch his victim and steal the jewels? Or are the two even connected? It’s a clever puzzle that doesn’t wrap up until customs.

Witness for the Defense (Season 4, Episode 3) – The old joke is that Jessica Fletcher would be the worst friend to have – everywhere she goes, murder follows. But it’s never articulated on the show as well as it is by Patrick McGoohan as a feisty attorney in this episode. Jessica’s in Canada to help her friend, a man who stands accused of killing his wife. Much of the show is set in the courtroom, giving ample opportunity for Angela Lansbury and McGoohan to square off.

If It’s Thursday, It Must Be Beverly (Season 4, Episode 7) – Jessica went all around the world, but for me the best episodes were the ones set in Cabot Cove. This one, one of the greatest of the small town stories, involves a deputy sheriff who goes the extra mile to protect and serve the ladies of Cabot Cove. When one of them turns up dead, Jessica has to decide if the local Romeo is innocent or guilty.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (Parts 1 and 2) (Season 5, Episodes 21 and 22) – At one time, this was going to be the series finale. Ultimately a deal was worked out where Angela Lansbury would come back, but if the show had ended here, it would have been a great way to go out. Jean Simmons plays a rival mystery writer who is losing ground (and money) to Jessica, and she decides to steal a story rather than come up with one of her own. Plagiarism is the least of her worries when she winds up accused of murder. Not only is it a great mystery, but it features terrific acting and character development between Jessica and William Windom’s Dr. Seth Hazlitt.

Murder Among Friends (Season 12, Episode 16 – After eleven years at the top of the ratings on Sunday nights, CBS moved Murder, She Wrote to Thursdays at 8:00. Up against the second season of Friends, Jessica Fletcher’s audience collapsed, and the show was slated for cancellation. But before it signed off, Murder, She Wrote got its digs in as Jessica investigates a murder on the set of a hit sitcom about a group of twentysomethings. The show’s title? Buds.

anonymous asked:

HI there! Now I know you're primarily an Outlander blog and all, but I'm curious and would love to know what other tv shows you're in to. What's been your ultimate favorite show (apart from Outlander ;) ) and what's your current obsession???

Well my other ultimate favorite TV shows are (in order):

1. The Walking Dead (I’m madly in love with Daryl Dixon and think he and Jamie Fraser would get along quite well)

2. Mad Men (storytelling, aesthetics, plot twists…and it takes place in New York)

3. The Sopranos (being of partial Italian heritage, this show speaks to me viscerally…and it takes place in New Jersey, which isn’t too far from New York)

4. Law & Order (the original, preferably the seasons featuring the incomparable Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe…and it takes place in New York)

5. Seinfeld (because you have to be heartless to not like it…and it takes place in New York…do you sense a theme…)

As for my current obsession…right now I’m really into watching World War II history documentaries. True life stories that are much better than what any fiction writer can dream up.

let me tag some others to see their responses: @bonnie-wee-swordsman @lenny9987@writtenthroughtime @iwanttodriveyouthroughthenight @tammywt @westerhos @yellowfeather84 and anyone else who wants to share!

Help me build an Orbachmobile

Hello Tumblr, the social media site I neglect most! I forget to tell you that I’ve launched a brand-new Kickstarter dedicated to transforming an old sedan into a custom Jerry Orbach-themed lowrider-style art car.

It’s already 1/3 of the way to meeting its goal, but that just means there’s 2/3 left to go and I could use your help spreading the word.

Here’s the hilarious pitch video:

And here are some of the things you can get if you donate:

Bumper stickers!

Laser-cut keychain!

Orbach on Board!

Air Freshener!

Satin driving jacket!

Let’s make this thing a success!

Click here to donate!