Monday 25 April 2011

Dancing With Myself: EMILY WINSLOW interviews EMILY WINSLOW

Things I'm Never Asked but for which I have Ready Answers:

What is the best episode of Quincy?

The botulism one, of course. No one can rationally argue otherwise.

The many, many "social issues" episodes are now the worst, though at the time they were important.

The weirdest episode is the one that--I'm trying to recall this from memory--involved the mafia and Egyptian artifacts. Okay, I've looked up a plot summary on IMDB: "there's international gem smuggling plots, ancient Egyptian Mummies, plot twists, double crosses, murder, mayhem, several dead bodies, the Israeli secret service pops up, there's a Nazi war criminal, poisonings... & there's even time for Danny to get kidnapped & held to ransom." So I was wrong about the mafia; it's Nazis and the Israeli secret service. Even better!

What are the best episodes of Murder, She Wrote?

Cabot Cove episodes are superior to New York episodes, which are superior to Ireland episodes. (Nothing against lovely Ireland; just everything against the ghastly accents affected by the American actors.)

Worst are the ones that don't have Angela Lansbury in them, where they are supposedly presenting mysteries from Jessica Fletcher's books.

What about Morse and Lewis?

The Morse novels are wonderful. I've never gotten into the Morse television show, because every time I tune in it turns out to be the Masonic episode, which I can't stand. Is it an actually dreadful episode, or just one that I can't appreciate without having seen the others?

Lewis, the sequel series built around Morse's detective partner when the actor playing Morse died, is a fun continuation. I do always watch it when a new episode is on. Two things frustrate me, though:

1) The Oxford students are presented as socially elite in a way that seems, to me at least, old-fashioned and stilted. I admit that my experience is living in Cambridge, not Oxford, but I assume there's some similarity. Here, the students are nerds in the best sense: passionate, intense, super-smart. They're privileged enough to have been well-educated, but aren't particularly wealthy, fashionable or socially snobby. I'd like to see more nerds on Lewis.

2) Why do women throw themselves at Lewis? He's mopey, doughy, middle-aged. Sweet, yes. He's a nice man, and I could happily see him grow into a new relationship. I just don't buy that SO MANY women are chasing after him, including witnesses. It's ridiculous. (Also, I am TIRED of hearing about his wife's car accident. No more references to it, please!)

What are your favorite TV relationships?

The family in Medium, and the brothers in Numb3rs.

Who has the best clothes?

Jennifer Love Hewitt on The Ghost Whisperer.

Why do you watch so much TV?

I love stories.

When Emily Winslow isn't watching crime-solving TV, she writes crime-solving fiction for Delacorte Press/Random House. Her debut novel, The Whole World, came out in 2010, and the sequel, The Start of Everything, will come out in 2013. Both are set in Cambridge, England, told by multiple first-person narrators.


  1. Great stuff. As for Quincy, I haven't seen the botulism episode, but it's hard to imagine the inspired lunacy of the 'punk rock episode' being topped.

  2. Great fun, love it! I'm in total agreement with your assessment of MSW (one of my guilty pleasures). Those fake Irish accents drive me nuts. And I love the middle child in Medium - the medium child as she's known in this flat - she's so funny. :)

  3. I remember the punk episode too. Are there Quincy box sets out there?

  4. Ooh, I haven't seen the punk rock Quincy. Do you know the episode name?

    The botulism one is Deadly Arena.

    Julie--"medium child"--ha! :-)

  5. The punk rock Quincy episode is called 'Next stop: nowhere.'

    My favorite line is when an 'authentically' attired punk rocker (clown makeup, Harpo Marx wig) tells Quincy: "Man, you're just a dog without a uniform!"

    29 years later I still have no idea what that means.

  6. Does he think that dogs normally wear uniforms? Is the insult the dogness, or the lack of uniform? So many questions!