Music Madness and DVR Depression

Two completely unrelated things that, on their own, wouldn’t really be full-scale posts:

You Can’t Solve Mysteries Unless It Affects You Personally

Here’s another way in which formula television has changed in the past 20 years or so:  back then, very few shows used the idea that the detective or doctor should have some kind of personal connection to, or parallel with, the cases of the week. Now most procedural shows use that idea. Moonlighting was probably the show that really popularized the concept that a mystery could parallel something that was going on in the characters’ lives, or cause the characters to re-examine their own lives and relationships. Other shows had used it it occasionally (and in keeping with the fact that sitcoms used to be more advanced and character-based than dramas, shows like M*A*S*H and Barney Miller did it frequently). I think Magnum P.I. would sometimes come across a case that reminded him of something he himself had gone through, and other detectives or doctors would do the same, as a one-off. But most of the time, the lead character didn’t have much of a life and was mostly concerned with solving the case, and there were no personal sub-plots that ran parallel to the main story. Columbo, for example, is a justifiably famous TV character, but he literally had no life outside of the cases he investigated; for many years we were deliberately left in the dark as to whether he even had a wife or was just making her up as part of his endless stories (which he used to annoy the bad guy and trick him into dropping his guard).