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  #1  
Old July 25th, 2007, 11:45 AM
Barry Ergang Barry Ergang is offline
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Jonathan Creek

Courtesy of Netflix, today's mail brought Series 1, Disc 2 of "Jonathan Creek." (Disc 1 is on its way and should be here tomorrow.) This afternoon I watched the episode titled "The Reconstituted Corpse," and anticipate watching the other two episodes on the disc this evening.

If "The Reconstituted Corpse" is emblematic of the "weak" nature of the first season's installments, I really have something to look forward to when subsequent seasons become available because I was completely taken with the story, characters, the impossible nature of the crime and its logical solution, and the humor.

It makes me regret all the more that I didn't know about the program when it was originally aired here, or I'd have taped all of the episodes as keepers a long time ago.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Columbo Columbo is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

Thanks for posting your critique of the series. I will be adding it to my queue later today.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 08:22 PM
Barry Ergang Barry Ergang is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

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Originally Posted by Columbo
Thanks for posting your critique of the series. I will be adding it to my queue later today.
You're welcome. I watched the other two episodes, "No Trace of Tracy" and "The House of Monkeys," tonight. The former concerns an impossible disappearance (with a solution cribbed from a classic mystery novella I won't name lest I spoil the program for you); the latter contains a classic locked-room problem.

I'll be surprised if you don't enjoy them. In fact, it occurred to me tonight that "Jonathan Creek" is what "Monk" should aspire to as far as the mysteries themselves are concerned. Both programs contain plenty of humor, but as much as I love the show, "Monk" relies on humor--and Adrian's OCD--too much, more often than not padding episodes with shtick over story.

I eagerly await tomorrow's mail so I can watch Disc 1.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 08:53 AM
Archer Brisbane Archer Brisbane is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

I'm not saying that series one is without merit, but Creek is definitely at its best (especially plotwise) in series 2 and 3 (and especially the Christmas specials). Of series one, I'm only really fond of "Jack in the Box" (a very good episode). "Reconstituted Corpse" does have some strength, too. The only thing I find interesting about "Wrestler's Tomb" is Renwick's clever psychology in providing a character with a (real) nearly-impossible alibi, so that Creek (and the viewer) want to find a way to tear it down-- only to find that it holds and is unrelated to the rest of the story. The sequence of events leading to the locked room death in "The House of Monkeys" is just too convenient-- despite what Carr has said, implausibility can be a problem.I agree that Monk has quite often sacrificed plotting in favor of humor, but in its 2nd and 3rd seasons, it occasionally had stories that very much rivalled Creek (i.e. "Sleeping Suspect").

Last edited by Archer Brisbane; July 26th, 2007 at 10:08 AM.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 09:42 AM
mescallado mescallado is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

A friend of mine recommended a website which streams TV programs. I am not aware if this involves legal issues but if anyone is interested, this is the Jonathan Creek link:
http://www.tv-links.co.uk/show.do/1/51
The site requires a download of a DIVX applet so that viewing is possible. To those interested you can catch it while it is still available.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 07:57 PM
Barry Ergang Barry Ergang is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archer Brisbane
The sequence of events leading to the locked room death in "The House of Monkeys" is just too convenient-- despite what Carr has said, implausibility can be a problem.
Of the three episodes I've seen so far--the other disc didn't arrive on Thursday as expected, damn it!--"The House of Monkeys" was the least satisfying in its solution. I still enjoyed it, but you're right: the death was so "convenient" it felt much too contrived.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 09:55 PM
Archer Brisbane Archer Brisbane is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

Barry, if you can check out mescallado's link listed above, take a gander at THE BLACK CANARY-- you won't regret it.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 05:12 AM
Barry Ergang Barry Ergang is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archer Brisbane
Barry, if you can check out mescallado's link listed above, take a gander at THE BLACK CANARY-- you won't regret it.
Believe me, I intend to check out the site thoroughly.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 10:55 AM
mescallado mescallado is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

Looks like the TV links site has been shut down. I expected it as both their TV and movies sections looked suspicious. Anyway, I hope you were able to enjoy the Jonathan Creek episodes while they were available.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 12:25 PM
Archer Brisbane Archer Brisbane is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

Well, if it is any consolation, Season 2 has just been released on Region 1 DVD (Season 1 was released last year, and all seasons are available on Region 2).
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  #11  
Old October 22nd, 2007, 12:50 PM
Barry Ergang Barry Ergang is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

Quote:
Originally Posted by mescallado
Looks like the TV links site has been shut down. I expected it as both their TV and movies sections looked suspicious. Anyway, I hope you were able to enjoy the Jonathan Creek episodes while they were available.
Alas, I didn't--but after learning here that Season 2 is available, I added it to the top of my Netflix queue. I really dislike watching movies and television programs via my computer because the monitor I have, perhaps because of its age, renders most programs too darkly.
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  #12  
Old October 25th, 2007, 10:32 AM
Barry Ergang Barry Ergang is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

Yesterday's mail brought the two Season 2 "Jonathan Creek" DVDs, and I watched Disc 1's first two episodes, "Danse Macabre" and "Time Waits for Norman," immediately.

This afternoon I watched "The Scented Room," whose similarities in certain respects to my own story "The Play of Light and Shadow" are striking. So I want to go on record here and swear I had never seen a single episode of "Jonathan Creek," particularly "The Scented Room," before I wrote my own story.

Now it's on to Disc 2, then a wait until Season 3 is released.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 05:23 PM
Archer Brisbane Archer Brisbane is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

I thought Danse Macabre was an excellent episode, didn't you?

On the other hand, I wanted the solution of The Scented Room to be even more blindingly simple (for instance, the painting still being in its frame, covered by some faux backing material). Somehow, the explanation provided wasn't quite "Chestertonian" enough for me.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 08:41 PM
Barry Ergang Barry Ergang is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archer Brisbane
I thought Danse Macabre was an excellent episode, didn't you?
I've enjoyed all of them so far. The two-parter "The Problem at Gallows Gate" was a lot of fun, too, with its locked-room puzzle and murderer who couldn't be because he was three weeks' dead.

The more I watch "Jonathan Creek," the more I realize--at the risk of sounding heretical--just how much better a program "Monk" could be if the writers would devote as much time to plot as they do to the phobic humor. Then, too, they only have a little over 43 minutes to work with, whereas "Jonathan Creek" wasn't hampered by the constraints of four-minute-plus commercial interruptions.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Archer Brisbane Archer Brisbane is offline
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Re: Jonathan Creek

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The more I watch "Jonathan Creek," the more I realize--at the risk of sounding heretical--just how much better a program "Monk" could be if the writers would devote as much time to plot as they do to the phobic humor.
True, though I think there was a time (particularly in its second season) when "Monk" often did a terrific job of packing an impressive amount of both elements into its short running time (I'm thinking of such episodes as ...Goes to the Ballgame, ...and the Three Pies, and especially ... and the Sleeping Suspect). Its golden era is probably gone, never to return, but at its best, "Monk" was one of the very few great puzzle plot television series (along with "Creek," "Ellery Queen," and, well, I can't really think of any others right now).
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