As my legion of longtime readers can attest, I am a hardcore Murdochian.
This declaration, of course, inspires two questions for some of you:
- Do I really have the nerve to claim I have a “legion” of followers?
- What in the name of all that is still considered holy in this world is a Murdochian?
To which I can only reply:
- While 24 years of marriage have pretty much whupped all the nerve out of me, I still have an ounce left.
#43: Murdoch Mysteries.
According to the CBC (Canada’s national television and radio broadcaster, generously funded by my tax dollars, whether I like it or not) website:
Set in Toronto at the dawn of the 20th century, Murdoch Mysteries is a one-hour drama series that explores the intriguing world of William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), a methodical and dashing detective who pioneers innovative forensic techniques to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders.
Murdoch’s circle of associates includes Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Hatching, Matching and Dispatching), Murdoch’s eager and often naïve right-hand man; Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig, Coronation Street), Murdoch’s skeptical yet reluctantly supportive boss; and the love of his life, pathologist-turned-psychiatrist Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy, Durham County), a staunch ally who shares the detective’s fascination with forensic science and innovative ideas. All are valuable allies who help Murdoch solve his varied cases and traverse the many stratums of Victorian-turned-Edwardian society.
Yeah, I have no idea what “stratums” are either, but to suggest Murdoch Mysteries is just a “TV show” in my house is to suggest the Trumps are a slightly-dysfunctional presidential family. In my home this innovative Canadian drama truly is something worth living for.
My late father-in-law (I hate the applying the term “late” to the deceased but it’s societal convention so peer pressure wins again) John “Jack” Fisher lived with us for the last five years of his life after his emphysema became too much to deal with alone. And so he packed a bag and made the momentous trek – next door to our house. Yes, I lived Everybody Loves Raymond, and yes, there were times that it was as nutty as you’d expect.
But it also gave me a stronger sense of family than I’ve ever known. Jack, like most people facing a inevitable medical condition, came to view television as much more than a “boob tube”. It became his window to the world. Between the newspaper I’d bring him from work every day (shh) and TV, Jack’s world shrunk considerably. This was a man who got up and went to work every day of his life since he was 14 and then he became exhausted after getting washed up in the morning.
And so programs like Murdoch Mysteries became something for Jack to look forward to each day. He couldn’t wait to see what modern-day device Detective Murdoch was going to invent (the dashing Canadian sleuth invented, but never took credit for, everything from Scotch tape to the lie detector) while unraveling a crime most foul.
Fortunately, MM is on multiple times a day in Canada – and someone in the family was always there to enjoy it with Jack. He became an MM super fan (a”Murdochian”) and came to regard MM star Yannick Bisson and his co-stars as family. Indeed, these people got my father-in-law through the toughest – and last – period in his life. I hope we all have a program/band/film that we can all rely upon to lift our spirits at times.
This interview with Yannick Bisson perfectly illustrates his program’s strengths and it’s effect on viewers all over the world. Yannick makes a reference to everything I’ve been
shoving down your collective throat discussing at the 9:30 mark. I’ve met a few MM cast members in my role as a Niagara Falls bellman (and through social media) and they’ve been as decent, as human, as I could ever want them to be.
I have one last thing to say about this amazing program: When my mother was dying of bone cancer I reached out to a specific MM actor. This person’s identity is irrelevant; their privacy is worth respecting, but even though they were clearly exhausted at the end of a long day they filmed a short-but-touching-beyond-words video message to my mother that raised her up at the end of her life.
That’s not the hallmark of an exceptional actor, that’s the hallmark of a phenomenal human being.
I could say more but I don’t feel like it.
See you in the lobby, friends and fellow Murdochians…