Murder, She Wrote: Murder to a Jazz Beat   Rewatch 
September 27, 2014 1:31 PM - Season 1, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Jessica is invited to New Orleans by TV station WDX, but arrives two days early by mistake, so her host Jonathan Hawley has 48 hours to show her the 'Cajun paradise' (French quarter). Jessica soon notices the jazz show circuit can be nastily competitive; then clarinetist Ben Coleman dies from an apparent heart-attack during a recording, Jess figures otherwise, but why and how exactly? NOPD Detective Lt. Simeon Kershaw gets help from Jessica investigating Ben's private, artistic and business context, even smuggling...
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Boo: This one isn't on NFLX. I'll catch you for the next one.
posted by mochapickle at 1:51 PM on September 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

It was a decent episode, but you're not missing too much. The jazz was so bland, the most lively piece was "When The Saints Go Marching In", performed at a funeral. And the sets seemed like the Disneyland version of New Orleans -- too clean, too new even though it was made to look old, and the lighting looked like stage lighting, not the general ambient lighting in real life settings.

And you weren't missing some of the awkward writing and pacing. When Ben Coleman died on stage, a doctor (well, an intern(?)) popped up to say "I'm a doctor," open Ben's eyelid and look for a pulse, and state "He's dead." Luckily the guy had a few more lines, or it would be the saddest bit part, ever.

But you were missing Lafayette Duquesne, the best taxi driver in the series this far (which is actually a competition, given the number of times Jess has been in taxis this far in the show). Lafayette deserved to get his own spin-off show, or at least a re-occurring role.

This episode had more of the Overworked Detective who Jumps To Conclusions to Save Time, this time citing the cost of doing autopsy, especially on someone who was "a two-bit street punk" who got lucky. When the autopsy does come back, Det. Lt. Simeon Kershaw says it was "poetic" that a guy who was involved with smuggling was killed with poison smuggled in from South America. At least there was the ridiculous line "Somethin' else the coroner came up with. Heavy traces of junk in Coleman's system." So, he had a bad diet? Are we talking cholesterol, or a bad liver?

"Cops. That's the one thing about New Orleans that's no different from the rest of the country."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

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