Mystery TV and movies

I read a wide variety of books – mysteries, thrillers, romance, history, and more. When it comes to TV and movies, I tend to watch what catches my fancy, which may or may not fit into a genre I read or ordinarily watch.

I love watching a good mystery or thriller, though. I’m a huge fan of Criminal Minds, Elementary, NCIS, and NCIS: New Orleans. I watch them faithfully every week. And I’ve also found I enjoy, to a point, the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel’s mystery movies. Mystery Woman, Gourmet Detective, Flower Shop Mystery, and Murder, She Baked, are all movies that are series movies. Most are based, as far as I can tell, on cozy mystery books.

I’ll admit up front, they’re not the best movies in the world. The dialogue can be a bit clunky and silly at times, the plots sometimes have some pretty big holes in them, and the film continuity sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. But as something to take your mind off day to day life, or a little light entertainment that doesn’t strain your brain too much, they’re not bad. It’s usually not hard to figure out who the culprit is, and often, I find myself shaking my head at how the slueth in the movie manages to miss the glaringly obvious clues that are practically waving a sign that says, “Here I am! It’s me! I did it!”

They’re family friendly, though, which is a point in their favor. You can watch them with kids, even relatively young ones, because they don’t curse (seriously, the censor the word butt!), and there’s almost never any blood or gore. Deaths are pretty much always off screen and by something that kills, but doesn’t make a mess. There’s the occasional fist fight, but nothing horrific.

The stars of these movies are people that are usually pretty good actors – Candace Cameron Bure (Aurora Teagarden), Kellie Martin (Mystery Woman) Dylan Neal (Gourmet Detective), Allison Sweeney (Murder, She Baked), and Brooke Shields (Flower Shop Mystery) – but these movies really aren’t the best vehicles for their skills. They lack real depth, and even plot lines that continue from one movie to the next (a romance, for example) aren’t very detailed.

But, as I said before, they work as light entertainment. My weekly shows tend to be a bit more challenging – although even those can be a bit annoying at times (how many times can they say “It’s time to deliver the profile” on Criminal Minds, you know?). And you never know where inspiration can strike. Maybe one of those movies will spark an idea, if for no other reason than “I could do that so much better!”

Do you watch Hallmark mystery movies? Do you like watching shows that have mysteries? Or do you prefer to get all your mystery and suspense from books?

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