I need to talk about my daytime TV addiction because that is all I have to blog about. I watch Hallmark Movies and Mysteries all day since the Christmas movies went off the air. I also turned 47 on the 8th, and I’m really looking forward to getting my AARP card in a couple of years thanks to the commercials on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries doing a tolerable brainwashing job. I bet Diagnosis Murder was a prime time show in its day, and all those original viewers who gave it the reputation for being a show for oldies have long since shuffled off to Buffalo. I don’t know though; Dick Van Dyke may outlast me at the rate I’m going.
Anyway. I’m home all day with a homeschooling teenager and a DVT, sitting on the couch in my support hose (seriously) watching Diagnosis Murder and (the now probably problematic) Monk, and I’m in here Jerry and I’m loving every minute of it. Diagnosis Murder is one of those shows I missed when it was on because I had no interest in it at all, and then I started watching it out of a sense of kitsch, and now I like it because that’s how these things tend to go. And because Victoria Rowell was on it and was also on The Young and the Restless in the 80s. My Nanner watched The Young and the Restless and as you know if your grandmother watched a soap, you watched it, and everyone who was ever on that soap is your lifelong friend. Besides, who doesn’t love Dick Van Dyke? As a bonus, the hospital administrator is that guy from Grease who got caught out in the hall smoking a cigarette, and every time I see him my brain goes “Mr. La Tierre, yes ma’am, no ma’am” and I like that too.
So, I missed the very first episode, but somehow the premise of DM (I’m going to abbreviate from now on because I keep typing an uppercase “I” in the D word and having to correct) is that DVD is a doctor whose son is a detective, played by his real life son Barry big wow. And DVD has special permission from the cops to investigate murders. I don’t know why this gives the aforementioned Ms. Rowell and Scott Chachi Baio, who are doctors at the same hospital as DVD, the permission to barge into suspects’ houses and ask a bunch of probing questions as well, but for some reason it does. Naturally being sidekicks on a murder show they often become suspects or get kidnapped or both, and Chachi drives a purple Vette and has claustrophobia. This causes problems when someone from his past borrows his car to crash it and fake their own death, or when he has to hide in a locker and watch a girl change clothes.
In this particular episode which was on yesterday, Chachi gets voted one of the city’s most panty dropping bachelors by some magazine and has to go to a party and dance with the sexy editor of the mag. But he gets cock blocked at the end of the night and it’s a good thing for him because the next thing you know the guy who cut in on the dance goes upstairs with the editrix and then the camera cuts to a moon in the sky and you hear a man scream. At this point I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if she was a vampire? (Obviously I hadn’t noticed the title of the episode.) But this is DM, not The XFs, this show has light comedy and bloodless murders and everything makes sense after 45 minutes.
But damn if she wasn’t ACTUALLY a vampire! At the end of the show she’s flying though the air about to exsanguinate DVD when Chachi touches her with a 10 foot pole and runs her through! Holy shit!
This is not even my favorite episode of DM that I have seen, as that honor goes to the one where Betty White plays DVDs overbearing sister who marches into suspects’ houses and probes them because the body was found in the house she just bought. And I definitely will do a post on that one. But what the hell?! A real shit sucking vampire! Wait til I tell mom. This vampire episode wasn’t even originally released around Halloween, but instead on January 6th 1995! Which means if I hadn’t been too cool to watch DM on the free cable in my dorm I might have celebrated my almost 20th birthday watching this ! I’m going to have to pay more attention to DM instead of just kind of having it sort of on in the background while I do laundry and play Animal Crossing if there are going to be supernatural creatures fighting DVD!
Can I just say that I used to work for an insurance company call center answering calls from people who were disappointed with AARP and they all had this sort of whiny northern accent and they would say, through their noses, stuff like “I’m not seeing much of a SAVINGS, and I think you’re a little bit stupid.” But although Chachi argues with people on Twitter, his accent is a different kind of northern accent I’ve only ever heard on TV and it intrigues me. Not enough to get a job at a magazine so I can try to drink his boss’s blood, but it’s something. I’ve never actually met anyone who talks like that, but everyone on TV and the movies who is from NY/NJ talks like that, kind of tough, and not whining about “A SAVINGS.” I bet all those people who called and complained about AARP watched DM.
Finally, although the commercials on Hallmark are getting easier to tune out, and I’m totally not going to join the Boom diet app and order some veggies from Starvin’ Groot, there’s one that makes me want to throw my TV out the window and tell TDS to let the phone go, and that is a commercial for an app I’m not going to name that helps you find a doctor. This woman is wearing a 90s multicolored windbreaker and bicycle shorts, rapping about finding a psychiatrist while she air-humps in the middle of a fitness trail, and suddenly there are several of her air humping while the catchy chorus plays, and if she’s going to get to a shrink she better hurry up and maybe text me their number when she finds it, because somehow watching old shows live in real time on a linear streaming skinny bundle service makes me feel less alone here trapped in my house socially distancing. I have it in my head that somewhere there is someone else watching that same commercial at the same time, waiting for their friends on DM to come back on the screen and wondering: why does everyone in every commercial now have to dance about the product?
The last thing I wonder is this: now that the people who were the original audience for shows we think of as being for old people are mostly gone on to the Lawrence Welk Show in the sky, what are the New Old People, aka their kids, watching? Do they just watch the same old shows as me? Or are they all lost to the 24 hour news cycle and no programs get made for old people and that’s why we get nothing on skinny bundle cable but DM and Matlock and Walker? Not that I’m complaining, just pondering.