Blonds and Blood

Does it seem to anyone else there’s a disproportionate number of blond white women playing victims and corpses in TV crime shows? This may be partly due to TV’s disproportionate representation of white people in general, but white lead actresses frequently have hair colors other than blond. While I acknowledge I’m not going to sit […]

The sexual tension that wasn’t

It’s the classic set-up. Brian’s wife, Esther, is out of town. He meets a woman named Alice. They connect intellectually, in a way he and Esther don’t. Brian and Alice are thrown together on a case. Brian’s friend Gerry picks up on all this and comments, “Esther’s just left town, and he’s at it already!” […]

“The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” rocks

I’m not sure I can speak intelligently about The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – that’s how much I enjoyed it. It’s an HBO TV series based on the books by Alexander McCall Smith. I love it for the usual reasons:  it features well-paced stories, terrific characters and beautiful settings. It also breaks a lot […]

New Tricks: Esther Lane

New Tricks has the most enjoyable female lead I’ve ever seen in a crime drama: Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman. But there’s a secondary character – a frequently recurring guest role – who also really interests me: Esther Lane. Esther is the wife of Brian Lane, one of Sandra’s team of retired detectives. To reveal Esther, […]

New Tricks: Sandra Pullman

“You shoot one bloody dog in this country!” –Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman. I love this woman. One day, Pullman is a fast-tracked British career detective whose team gets a Doberman sicced on them during a raid. She does the only sensible thing – shoot the dog – but that’s not good P.R. for the police […]

Nero Wolfe: Too Many Clients

When A&E produced a series based on several Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout a few years ago, one of the stories they chose was Too Many Clients. It’s a murder mystery about a deeply oversexed man (probably what we would call a sex addict these days) who is murdered in a hideously baroque, pornographic […]

House: Hunting


In the second season episode of House, “Hunting”, Cameron has an HIV-positive patient Kalvin cough blood into her mouth and eyes. Understandably, she’s upset. Chase asks her if she wants to go for a drink and she snaps at him that a drink is not going to make the threat of HIV go away. Later, […]