My husband and I have very similar tastes in almost everything. We play this game I made up called “Which is Becky’s Favorite?” We’ll be standing in the middle of an art gallery, or kitschy store, or display of lamps at Home Depot and I’ll ask him, “Which is my fave?” More often than not he’ll get it exactly right, because whatever it is will be his favorite too.
We silently study the menu in restaurants and end up ordering the same food. We have the same vacation destinations on our bucket lists. We happily watch movies and TV shows together … up to a point.
Hubs does NOT understand my obsession with murder shows.
I love them all! Just like I read widely over the entire spectrum of crime fiction—cozies, traditional, Icelandic noir, thrillers, suspense, true crime—so too do I stay up past my bedtime watching every murder show streaming on Netflix.
We saw a trailer for something gory and excellently stabby which made me perk up like a coyote in a bone factory. When it was over, hubs said, not noticing how I was drooling with anticipation to binge all four seasons, “Who would be interested in that?”
Um …* raises hand holding remote *
Then on SNL last week was this absolutely perfect skit …
So it got me to thinking. Why do women like murder shows so much?
Partly I think it’s the same reason we like to read mysteries. We like to solve a puzzle. We like good to win out over evil. We enjoy being scared … within reason and within our control. Evil is fascinating.
But it seems there might be more to it, with TV and movies, especially true crime.
When I’m watching true crime, I’m always thinking, would I have done that? Would I have gone there? Would I have dated him? Would I have seen the signs?
I’m collecting tips to stay safe in the world.
When I watch or read a news report of someone arrested for a terrible crime, my first thought is always, “Why? Why would they do that?” And I never find out.
But in murder shows, I get a deep dive into the psyche of the bad guy that often gives me empathy. There are reasons they made the choices they made. It doesn’t mean they were the right choices or they shouldn’t get their comeuppance, but at least I can understand and find answers to my many “why” questions.
One thing I love about murder shows is the study of forensics. I can’t get enough explanation of the science involved in solving murders. My current obsession is the series “Ripper Street.” Ostensibly, it’s about the British police who couldn’t solve the Jack the Ripper murders. But that’s just the jumping off point for the series. There’s an American character on there, a delightful blend of rogue, gambler, addict, ex-Pinkerton detective, and doctor. His main purpose—aside from being a delightful blend of rogue, gambler, addict, ex-Pinkerton detective, and doctor—is to explain the new-fangled forensic techniques that were being learned. Stuff like autopsies, checking stomach contents, determining time of death … things we take completely for granted now. But it fascinates me to watch the advent of that in a well-made series.
And speaking of well-made …. there’s an incredible number of well-made shows for us murderinos on TV these days! If I watched no other channel besides Netflix, and watched nothing except murder shows, I don’t think I’d have to move from my chair until they carted my happy little corpse out.
Are you the same? Do you have a thing for murder shows? Which are your favorites?