I just finished watching a series on Netflix called “Rosemary & Thyme,” in which—and let the eye-rolling commence … right now!—a pair of GARDENING expert/enthusiasts named ROSEMARY Boxer and Laura THYME team up on landscaping jobs, which invariably end with a murder mystery attached.
I am a sucker for an old-fashioned murder mystery—and have been ever since I was in elementary school—and despite the groaner of a setup mentioned above, I burned through the first season in two days. I had been sort of under the weather, so watching episodes back-to-back offered an escapism and a reassuring sort of familiarity.
But after awhile, that familiarity turned into pure-on repetition. Despite nosing around and solving literally dozens of murders, the title duo are frustratingly stupid. They almost always decide to confront the villains in some isolated environment—scary downstairs cellar, for example, or abandoned country villa. Just two middle-aged lady gardeners popping up by themselves, accosting someone—who usually has killed AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE, and then somehow being saved by some sort of random coincidence.
At no point does one of them turn to the other and say: “Hey, remember that time we almost got killed down in the basement because we accused that guy of murder and even though we were right we didn’t have any police help, or another person at all, or any sort of weapon handy, and then that person reacted badly and tried to kill us, too? Let’s not do that again.”
Nor do they say, “Remember that one time we totally thought that person doing that thing was Person X, based on the clothing, even though we never saw his/her face, and we turned out to be mistaken? That really screwed us up. Maybe in this instance, in which we find ourselves in similar circumstances, we shouldn’t leap to that conclusion.”
And when one finds what could be an incriminating videotape, she never decides, “Let me take this out of this empty laboratory building I’ve broken into in the middle of the night. There certainly must be other places to watch a tape’s worth of footage besides this lone monitor, which will position me with my back to the door, where I would not be able to see anyone who might sneak in me and/or cosh me over the head and take this tape.”
Or: “Aargh! It’s the middle of the night and I’ve been awakened by a squeaky-gate noise emanating from somewhere outside our window, where there happens to be a gate that is one of the only entries into this somewhat-hidden garden! It sounds exactly like the squeaky-gate noise I heard in the middle of the night yesterday, before we woke up and there was a dead body in the garden and someone had taken some of our new plants! But I’m sure these things are unrelated. I’ll just go back to sleep again.” [Next day: “I am totally surprised that there is yet another dead body in the garden! And also more of our plants have been stolen! Rude!”]
The final straw was when an episodic character came up to one of them and said: “Hey, remember what your friend was saying about that death here probably being a murder? She’s right! She won’t believe what I’ve found out, and especially who’s behind it! Oh, your friend is not here at this table right now? OK, well, I have to go do something alone now.”
To which our heroine did not reply: (a) “You also would be able to tell me about this because, as you may remember, I was in that same discussion.” (b) “I’m almost done here, let’s go find my friend now!” or even (c) “C’mon, just a hint: How about the person’s first initial?” Instead, she was all: “That’s great I’m sure, can’t wait, my brunch is getting cold now, bye.” (Or as I texted my friend in outrage: “Have fun getting murdered!”)
This is not how curious minds work. If someone came up to me at, say, the gym and said, “You will never guess who, in this room right now, gave our Mutual Acquaintance X the clap,” I would immediately be, “NO WAY—who? When?”
So I had problems with these wild inconsistencies: Nosy Parker one moment, Can’t Be Bothered the next. Similarly, one character is a former policewoman who knows all about protocol and “I never forget a license plate,” etc. … until one episode she randomly becomes the sort who breaks-and-enters a crime scene, while carting around the likely murder weapon, in her damn pocket. Which earlier in the episode she—again, a former policewoman—stowed next to a baby. In the back of a car. And then closed the door on ’em to do something nearby. Teeth-gnashingly, glaringly off-base.
Which is to say: I still watched every episode. I KNOW, IT’S A MYSTERY.
|WHAT SAM WORE: 1/21/15|
|The sweater: Knit cotton vest, from Gap online.|
|The shirt: Long-sleeved cotton button-down, from the J. Crew factory outlet at Anthem.|
|The pants: Slim-fit cargos from Uniqlo, New York.|
|The shoes: Suede sneakers from Banana Republic, Chandler Fashion Center.|