May 30, 2010

Review - Murder, She Wrote: The Complete Seventh Season



 I held off on Murder, She Wrote reviews for a while, mainly because I wanted more variety in my posts rather than post up nothing but MSW .
 Here in season seven, we lose the vast amount of "guest detective" episodes and are instead given a load of Dennis Stanton episodes. Although these are better than most of the "bookend" episodes from the last season, there is, of course, the lack of Jessica Fletcher that somewhat persists until the next season.
 Some significant events in Jessica's life unfold this season. Firstly, Preston Giles (Arthur Hill) is released on parole and rehired by his old publishing firm, but soon after his colleague is murdered, Jessica is unsure whether the first murderer she put behind bars is guilty or innocent. In "Who Killed J.B. Fletcher?", she teams up with a J.B. Fletcher fanclub to solve the murder of one of their members (Jane Withers), who was posing as Jessica. In "Thursday's Child", one of the more hard-hitting episodes of the season (and possibly the series), Jessica helps a woman (Vera Miles) who claims her son (who's suspected of murder) was fathered by Jessica's late husband Frank.
 Disc 1 of the set includes a featurette entitled "The Perils of Success" that mainly details the events during seasons six and seven, as well as the infamous "bookend" episodes.
 Like pretty much any other season, guest stars provide much entertainment. These include: Jerry Orbach (reprising his role as Harry McGraw), Kevin McCarthy, David Birney, Florence Henderson, Jimmy Dean, Hallie Todd, Ken Swofford, Brenda Vaccaro, Lois Chiles, Max Baer Jr., Michael McKean, David Lansbury (Angela's nephew), Susan Clark, Susan Blakely, Betty Garrett, Lyman Ward, Ricardo Montalban, Patricia Neal, Margaret O'Brien, Kim Hunter, Van Johnson, Sally Struthers, Julie Adams, Ruta Lee, Diane Baker, Brynn Thayer, Dee Wallace Stone, Nina Foch, Monte Markham, Harry Guardino (reprising his role from season three's "Deadline for Murder"), Phyllis Newman, Max Wright, Maxwell Caulfield, Donnelly Rhodes, Hunt Block, and Bradford Dillman.

Jessica (Angela Lansbury) in Murder She Wrote: Ballad for a Blue Lady

Dennis Stanton (Keith Michell) in Murder, She Wrote: Suspicion of Murder

Ben Devlin (Joe Dorsey) in Murder, She Wrote: Deadly Misunderstanding

Denise Abruzzi (Cynthia Bain) in Murder, She Wrote: Family Doctor

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) in Murder, She Wrote: Family Doctor

Murder, She Wrote: Who Killed J.B. Fletcher?

Dennis Stanton (Keith Michell) in Murder, She Wrote: Murder in F Sharp

Nick Cullhane (Pat Harrington Jr.) in Murder, She Wrote: The Skinny According to Nick Cullhane

Haskell Drake (Harry Guardino) in Murder, She Wrote: Moving Violation

Millie Stafford (Lois Chiles) in Murder, She Wrote: The Return of Preston Giles

Mort Metzger (Ron Masak) in Murder, She Wrote: Moving Violation

Meredith Hellman (Susan Clark) in Murder, She Wrote: Moving Violation

Harry McGraw (Jerry Orbach) in Murder, She Wrote: From the Horse's Mouth

Ron Masak in The Perils of Success

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) in Murder, She Wrote: From the Horse's Mouth

Truman Calloway (Robert Reed) in Murder, She Wrote: See You in Court, Baby

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) in Murder, She Wrote: Murder, Plain and Simple

Preston Giles (Arthur Hill) in Murder, She Wrote: The Return of Preston Giles

Harry McGraw (Jerry Orbach), Sheriff Metzger (Ron Masak), and Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) conclude the seventh season.

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