A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and new articles throughout the week, including — movie reviews each Monday at 7pm and live events Wednesdays at 7pm. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — there's something for everyone… and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


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by Deborah Harter Williams


David E. Kelley was a lawyer in Boston and then he got bored. He decided to write a screenplay and became a feature film starring Judd Hirsch (From the Hip). Not a big hit but the roots were there – outrageous courtroom behavior, humor and winning the case.

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New TV Series March On

IN THE March 1 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andTV
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by Deborah Harter Williams


As a hint of spring hits the air, a bouquet of new TV shows hit the airwaves.
Close Encounters (SCIENCE)
Premiere March 4 10:00 p.m.
Dramatic recreations and a few experts explore UFO’s that defy scientific explanation.

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A Tale of Two Sherlocks

IN THE February 15 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
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by Deborah Harter Williams


The BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’s Elementary provide two wonderfully divergent flavors of Sherlock Holmes, Watson, Moriarty et al. You might call them light and dark.

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Medical Examiners Make Good TV

IN THE January 25 ISSUE

FROM THE 2014 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Deborah Harter Williams


It started with Quincy, M.E. (1976-1983). The medical examiner (aka forensic pathologist) came out of expository cameos and into a starring role. With Jack Klugman as the lead, Quincy started as part of the classic NBC Sunday Mystery Movie wheel, rotating with Columbo, McCloud and McMillan & Wife. By mid-season it was clear the show was a hit and became a weekly series.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


2013 was the year of binge streaming. In the past twelve months we crested the hill and coasted into time shifting, streaming, binge-watching and mobile viewing as day-to-day options for the masses. Not only can we see the latest and preview the upcoming but we can go back in time and revisit series from other eras – whether on TVLand or via Hulu, Amazon et al.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


The town, a 21st century take on Chandler’s LA,
The PI–a tough, witty, former sportswriter, survivor of lung cancer–like her author.
In 1998 Private Investigator Zenobia Moses made her debut with Zen and the Art of Murder, jumping in with a grabber first line –
“It rained the day I said good-bye to my best friend; the kind of storm that was packaged in a San Francisco-like cold front. December in Santa Monica could blow in from the Pacific like the draft from a meat locker. Perfect funeral weather.”

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The Blacklist: TV Review

IN THE November 16 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Deborah Harter Williams



James Spader is Raymond Reddington, former government agent turned criminal mastermind. After 25 years, he surrenders himself to the FBI, offering a deal. He will help capture some of the world’s most dangerous criminals and terrorists, but will only work with a junior profiler named Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). Reddington is a complete stranger to Elizabeth, but upon their first meeting hints that he knows a lot about her and her family.

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by Deborah Harter Williams



Sleepy Hollow (FOX, Monday 9 p.m.) is a fantasy mystery drama based on the 1820 short story by Washington Irving. If your remembrance of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow involves a pumpkin and an awkward, scrawny Ichabod Crane, be prepared for a whole new way of looking at things.

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by Deborah Harter Williams



50s television was black and white–perfect for private eyes. Gritty fedora-hatted tough guys with a past represented by Boston Blackie, Mike Hammer and Richard Diamond who made the transition from movies and radio. Diamond morphed from Dick Powell’s singing New York radio version to David Janssen’s LA noir persona. More glamorous were Nick and Nora Charles and a quirkier take on the genre was Have Gun Will Travel’s Paladin. Favorite for the 50s – Peter Gunn, a classic with a jazz club setting and Henry Mancini theme. Dun, dun, dun, dun…Dun, dun, dun, dun, DA DA.

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by Deborah Harter Williams



Damn, I really wanted to like this show. It’s a great set-up: two former, tarnished Secret Service Agents now partner as private investigators. Jon Tenney as Sean King was enough to draw me in. As Fritz Howard on The Closer he was ironic, smart, strong and sexy. On Brothers & Sisters he used those same characteristics to good effect as a con-man doctor going after Nora Walker’s affections and checkbook.

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by Deborah Harter Williams



We’ve all seen plenty of television “Who Dunnits, some “How Dunnits” and even procedurals that focus on how the villains are going to get caught. Motive is a “Why Dunnit?”

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by Deborah Harter Williams



A Ferrari 308GTS revs past scenes of ocean and tropical forest, a Detroit Tigers baseball cap, Hawaiian shirts, Higgins and “the lads”. T.C. pilots the chopper, Rick serves drinks at the King Kamehameha Club, the luxury of Robin’s Nest. For eight years, Thomas Magnum was on the case.

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by Deborah Harter Williams



Jack Webb Memories: “Just the facts, Ma’am,” “Dum de dum dum,” and dusty hands hammering the Mark VII imprint. Those were Jack’s hands and he had them all over radio, TV and film for more than four decades.

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TV Flashback: Spenser for Hire

IN THE February 23 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Deborah Harter Williams



Robert B. Parker’s Spenser had already been a success in 11 books when it came to television in 1985 with Robert Urich in the title role. Parker’s internal monologues translated well to Spenser’s voiceovers on TV, defining a classic PI style that has been envied and copied by writers ever since.

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February TV Premieres

IN THE February 9 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andFantasy & Fangs,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Deborah Harter Williams



Anthony Edwards (ER) stars in this drama about the publisher of the paranormal magazine, Modern Skeptic, who becomes involved in a centuries-old conspiracy when his wife is kidnapped from her antique clock shop. He finds a map in one of her clocks that sets him off and running with the help of two young associates and FBI agent Beck Riley played by Carmen Ejogo (who dazzled as “Sister” in Sparkle and starred as Sally Hemmings in the 2000 miniseries).

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by Deborah Harter Williams



Licensed private detective, Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) opens her own detective agency only to find that clients don’t want to hire a woman. So she invents a fictitious male boss named Remington Steele. It works like a charm. That is until a former thief/con man (Pierce Brosnan) shows up and publicly assumes the identity of Remington Steele. Drama, comedy and romance ensue.

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