MURDER, SHE WROTE (1984-1996)

(peacock/IMDBTV) I’m sure if you had any interest in MURDER, SHE WROTE, you’ve probably watched it already — I won’t bore anyone with a summary of the series, created by COLUMBO’s creators Richard Levinson (RIP) and William Link — but I wanted to draw your attention to one episode in particular: S03E21, entitled -The Days Dwindle Down-, one of MSW’s most experimental, most intriguing episodes that -no one- ever talks about.

-The Days Dwindle Down- is basically a sequel to the RKO film STRANGE BARGAIN (1949). The episode calls into question the results of the film’s final act, bringing back many of the original actors from the film, and utilizes footage from the film as flashbacks. At first blush, one might consider it to be born from laziness, but it was anything but, as it took considerable time and effort to reunite the cast, including veteran character actor Henry Morgan (MASH, DRAGNET).

It’s a fascinating bit of film -and- TV history, and if you want to read more about it, you can do so at my personal website where I first wrote about it

THE GUEST (2014)

(IMDbTV/Netflix/tubi) YOU’RE NEXT’s Adam Wingard gave us this absolutely gonzo departure for DOWNTON ABBEY star Dan Stevens. A modern THE STEPFATHER that goes balls-to-the-wall in the final act, liberally cribbing from THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI. Also features an unappreciated Lance Reddick and one hell of a moody goth soundtrack.