DVD Review: Murder, She Wrote – season seven

Detective dramas for the elderly set became extremely popular in the 80’s and Murder She Wrote was the cream of the crop. While the show has many detractors today, it’s clear to see why it was ranked in the top 20 Nielsen ratings for nearly all of its 12 seasons. Compared to the gory forensics of CSI or House, MSW seems tame in comparison; however, by this time the show had become a well oiled machine, featuring clever mysteries and a parade of guest stars from Hollywood’s most glamorous era. All 22 episodes of seventh season were released October 9th, and are a welcome addition to any DVD collection.

Season six began the trend of guest detectives taking over for Jessica Fletcher, as the strenuous schedule of filming an entire season became too much for its star. This concept was met with middling success and declined ratings; therefore Lansbury is featured more frequently in season seven. Ratings bounced back, leading producers to drop the substitute sleuths altogether in later years. Thank heavens for that, as Jessica’s misadventures in Cabot Cove are clearly the stand-out episodes. In particular, check out “Thursday’s Child” featuring Hitchcock blonde Vera Miles.

The picture and sound quality is good for a show of its age. There is minimal grain on the picture and the soundtrack is clear, featuring its original mono presentation. The discs continue to be single sided and housed in regular amarays. A coupon for season 8 suggests there will be more MSW arriving in 2008. I’m crossing my fingers the body count at Cabot Cove continues to pile up on my DVD shelf.

Bradley Hayward
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For more reviews from Bradley, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.