Skip to main content

The Best TV Detectives

Television mystery shows have been a staple of my existence since, well, as long as I can remember. They are one of the few commonalities my father and I shared, and so they hold an extra special place in my heart. And with yesterday having been Father's Day and what not, I was thinking about all the mystery programs on TV that I currently (and used to) watch and, of those, which ones featured the best detectives. You know me, dear reader.... never one to miss an opportunity to do a 'best of' list. So, here goes: my favorite television detectives!

1. Columbo



The every-man, the quintessential American copper. With his rumpled raincoat, absent-minded demeanor, junky-looking car, his dog with the name Dog, and overall genial nature, Columbo was aces at putting a suspect off their guard -- until it was too late. I could watch his mysteries all day.


2. Endeavour Morse



An Oxford graduate-turned police detective, Morse used his education, his love of words, his intellect, his passion for seeing things through, to help solve the murders on his patch (not without the help of his sidekick Robbie Lewis). His mysteries are a perfect blend of classical music, a beautiful (yet sinister) academic setting, and a troubled man.


3. Tom Barnaby



From the pen of Caroline Graham to the screens of ITV viewers in the UK, the character of Tom Barnaby held down the fort on Midsomer Murders for 14 years, investigating over 200 deaths along the way. True, the body count was rather high for such an idyllic-looking place, but with Barnaby on the job, the criminals were always caught. Or were they? At times, he could be lenient on those whom he felt were generally good people. He also had a stable home life, which makes for a nice change from most of the frustrated detectives that grace our TV screens.


4. Jessica Fletcher



Whether she was solving crimes in her quaint hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine, or on the French Riviera, Angela Lansbury as J.B. Fletcher was always the consummate lady: polite, curious, and never afraid to stand her ground. She made 12 years of classic television so enjoyable for so many people.


5. Ellery Queen



Sure, the cases were somewhat obvious, the dying clue was pretty contrived, and the period setting was done up rather hokey, but Jim Hutton as Ellery Queen had a charm and charisma that carried the show. It was just plain fun to watch.


I could go on, of course. There have been so many exciting and enthralling detectives on television over the years: Joe Friday, Andy Dalziel, James Hathaway, The Equalizer, Sherlock Holmes, etc., but the aforementioned five rank as my favorites. If you haven't had a chance to check them out, they're all available on DVD, and even some can be streamed. So, get to sleuthing!




Comments

  1. I think we could watch tv together with no problem. Not as familiar with the Brits, but take your word on them. My only addition would be the quirky Monk. ;-)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.