Side Views

Remotelessly Me
by Mary Alford-Carman

I don’t watch as much mainstream TV as I used to. I miss it. Criminal Minds, NCIS (the original for which I will always be grateful to Mark Harmon for his DiNozzo slap), and CSI, also the original, provide the escape I sometimes need. Yes, it’s dark subject matter, but what can I say? My Raleigh Grandmother, Mrs. Kane, raised me on Agatha Christie and Miss Marple. Solving the puzzle of “who done it” has me panting like a blue tick hound when the game is afoot. 

As much as I enjoy the shows, lately I’ve let them accumulate on “My Recordings” on Dish. Fast forwarding through 15 hundred commercials every nine minutes just ain’t part of the deal-e-o. When I see DiNozzo get slapped and then suddenly have to break for a hair removal system commercial, fast forward too far, backtrack to the car commercial, then get lost in the where-the-heck-does-does-the-dang-show-begin-again mode, the mood has suffered. My sleuthing skills shut down somewhere between picking the remote up and wondering if John Stamos would really offer me Greek Yogurt and a kiss. Oh yum.

Two years ago, after surgery to remove a benign tumor from my parotid gland, I found myself in a shared hospital room with a flatulating, nocturnal roomie. My family couldn’t stand to be in the room. With tears in his eyes, my husband pushed his brand-new, first-on-the-market iPad into my hands, showed me how to access Netflix, and ran, gaging to the door. With ear buds in and nose plug engaged, I found that delicious scratch to the itch of fast-forwarditis.

I’ve never had such a peaceful and enticing recovery from anything. Whodathunk? While my roomie packed and unpacked at 2am, putting on makeup, styling hair, and then letting go the big one sending a blue cloud in the hallway which had the nurses spraying air freshener with a fury, I was adrift in the world of Hercule Poirot, England in the 20’s and 30’s. The costumes were from a dream. Plots twisted and bent around my little gray cells. Ah bliss. Since then I’ve relived the German Blitzkrieg of England in Foyle’s War, which I highly, and I do mean HIGHLY, recommend. There is a laid back charm to finding out the mysterious ailments of a sea-side town with Doc Martin. The crème de la crème, long before it became skit material for SNL, Downton Abbey reigns supreme.  There is a running theme; I guess I’ll come back as a cross between Maggie Smith and Sherlock. Suits me. 

My current stable is Midsomer Murders, thirteen delicious seasons full of mischief and mayhem tucked away in the fictitious Midsomer County in present day England. Detective Inspector has such a quality ring to it. It reminds me of my Monty Python recordings of the dead bishop on the landing, or Sargent Vicar. If you were ever into Monty Python, you get it.

There is a vast variety to choose from for the Anglophile Sleuth. Check it out, settle in, and get the slippers and the pipe. Not gonna lie; I miss DiNozzo, but I love living in the land of no remote control.

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