I got an iPad for Christmas last year, the new one with the brilliant Retina display, and to get the most out of it, I let go my longstanding resistance to Netflix. As a result, I’m doing less reading and a lot more TV watching. I’m enjoying a few current series, including Sherlock and Inspector Lewis on the mystery front as well as Nashville (right up my other alley as a singer-songwriter and filmed in locations I visited while attending Killer Nashville) and Downton Abbey (which I’d been hearing about on DorothyL since it started). But most of my viewing consists of crime shows: some I’d enjoyed and wanted to revisit and some that I’d missed for one reason or another.
There’s no better way to observe how rapidly the new technology has changed the way we live than to watch TV shows from the 1990s and even the early 2000s. Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren must have been one of the first shows to feature gritty forensics. Yet in the early episodes, she’s still using a phone with a rotary dial. In Inspector Morse, the plot frequently hinges on someone’s not being able to get to a phone, while in Inspector Lewis, Lewis and his sidekick, Sergeant Hathaway, are always excusing themselves in the midst of inspecting the crime scene or interviewing a witness to take a call on their cell phones.
Worst of all, as a mystery writer, I can no longer watch a detective story with the innocence and wonder that I used to bring to mysteries. I’ve just seen the first episode of The Closer, another favorite on DorothyL that I’d missed. Kyra Sedgwick’s acting is as wonderful as everyone said it is. But the twisty puzzle that has all her colleagues baffled? I figured it out in the first five minutes.