TV Columnist Diane Werts tuned into Hallmark’s Mystery Movie wheel and wasn’t wowed by McBRIDE, JANE DOE and MYSTERY WOMAN:
Suspending disbelief and sometimes logic is required to get through either this
or a "McBride" case without throwing things at the
Hallmark’s mysteries try hard, but feel perfunctory. Instead of tight plotting,
we get sluggish implausibilities. You can sense the writers shrugging their
shoulders and saying "close enough." There’s just a basic-cable minor-league
Even the key characterizations fall flat, which is itself a crime
when it comes to John Larroquette. This Emmy collector has proven from "Night
Court" to "The Practice" that he’s got high-test fuel in the tank. "McBride"
gives him a dog and sports trivia expertise, and that’s pretty much the
personality picture. Is it the genre that’s tired or just these cut-rate
interpretations? I’d hope the latter. But it’s still a mystery to me.
I felt the same frustration when I tuned into the shows. They are so flat, they make MATLOCK seem cutting-edge. There’s no reason the mysteries can’t be better. A lot better. It’s not the genre that’s tired, it’s the writers.