The Border and Murdoch Msyteries: Musings

Did you see that coming? I didn't see it! That last scene, the very last one, on the season ender of The Border caught me totally by surprise. All through it, you could see what was coming: the classic American solution for bad guys. As the episode moved inexorably forward to the scene that you knew was going to happen -- and it did! sort of -- the suspense almost went. I would have liked to have seen a bit more action, less melodrama. But it was a good show, and in the end, the only question was how and when. And then it didn't happen, the inevitable was side-stepped. A twist. Whaaaa??!!!

Well! They had better not cancel The Border now! So many plot points have opened up for the new season.

Another show they'd better not cancel is Murdoch Mysteries. Based on the mystery novels by Maureen Jennings, a Canadian author, the show just keeps getting better and better. The special effects -- to show 19th century Toronto, not easy with how Council has watched most of it get demolished through neglect or active destruction -- are excellent. They work without you seeing it; only Torontonians who know most of these buildings aren't there would know it's all special effects. The British viewers probably wouldn't (Murdoch Mysteries is co-produced with UKTV). I really like how Murdoch is a very 19th century man, no trying to avoid his Catholicism or his strait-laced attitudes to make him look like a modern man, a man palatable to our tastes. His charm is his curiosity and scientific mind within his Catholic rigidity. It's also fantastic seeing a woman coroner, and the Inspector is becoming quite likable. George is just fun.

But I must give kudos -- huge, big, sustained applause -- to the person who composed the score for Murdoch Mysteries. It's not only perfect for the opening graphics, for the 19th century atmosphere of mystery, but it's also interesting to the ear, not the usual pap of American shows or movies. It is a stellar piece of composition, and the composer ought to be swimming in awards for it.


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