Television has become a distinct part of my life. It is a nice, familiar thing. No replacement for friends and good times - but, really, who can enjoy friends on a weeknight without staying out way past any time that is sensible? Well...I could, when I was in college. But nowadays I am a working gal, with working gal hours to keep. So I enjoy television on the weekdays and do my best to make plans with friends for the weekends. (For instance, this weekend I get to play Catan! Hoorah!)
My TV week goes something like this:
Monday - Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is on.
Tuesday - NCIS is my happy place...
Wednesday - I geek out with Criminal Minds
Thursday - Ugly Betty! Occasionally new episodes of CSI!
Friday - if I'm sick or can't make Grace Gathering for some reason, Numb3rs is a good show.
Saturday - in the morning, I get up before Scott & indulge in Trading Spaces and other TLC & HGTV fun. Not that I don't indulge throughout the week...but this is my special time.
Now, of course, this list is a highlight reel. I make dinner (especially the chopping of vegetables & the cleaning of dishes) while watching Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy from 7-8. This is a ritual. I really should join the Wheel Watchers club - because then it might, really slimly might, become a profitable ritual.
But, as the title of this post suggests...there is a new player who is really making my Thursday nights the best TV night of the week. This newbie is not only a Canadian show (take THAT Hollywood...I shall get creative writing despite the writer's strike!) it is also set in Toronto. But...wait for it, wait for it...it is not merely set in Toronto, it is a murder mystery show set in Toronto in 1895!
The first episode (watched with total enjoyment last night) featured prominently Nikola Tesla & several of his inventions. The murder was done via electricity and it was so fun to see the scientists & doctors doing the good ol' CSI explain with paper & pencil...tracing the path the current went through the body. Plus, there is the "cute but awkward" sargeant who I sincerely hope is a recurring character. At one point, he breaks the ice by asking his lady interest if he can court her dog (after clearly being rebuffed in his original intent to visit the lady herself). It is so sweet...
The authors/producers/whoever admit up front that they have taken many liberties with the exact train of history. (i.e. although Mr. Tesla may have invented the wireless transmitter, he probably did not have help from Detective Murdoch of the Toronto constabulary). However, historical inaccuracies do not prevent me from geeking out over this fun twist on the scientific mystery solving show.
The fact that it is set in Toronto is cool (I keep going "oh Scott...I think we walked by that house once!"), the fact that it is set in 1895 is also cool (and if anyone can tell me the likelyhood or truth behind a woman doctor in 1895, I'd be greatly appreciative), but as always, the terrific thing is the characters. It is great fun to watch Detective Murdoch geeking out over the "latest scientific breakthroughs" like Alternating Current power. It is terrific to see historical figures like Tesla portrayed with character & wit. (I kinda think Tesla is going to be a recurring character!) It is also great fun to watch the aforementioned "cute while awkward" sargeant be sweet & late 19th century to his animal rights activist lady-love.
All in all, Murdoch Mysteries is indeed fun. A much, much better first episode than my previous attempt at watching a Canadian crime drama (The Border. Could have been cool, but the characters were too "realistic" without being realistically quirky. The people who make The Border need to watch NCIS and take notes.) The only thing it has going against it at the moment is it's time slot - with a 10 o'clock start time, I shall be staying up later on Thursday nights than I usually prefer.