…and solve crimes

One of my favorite episodes of The West Wing is a Thanksgiving episode called “Shibboleth” in which speechwriter Sam (Rob Lowe), bored with writing a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, decides the whole pilgrim thing would be better off as a new action-adventure TV series.

Sam: Over three and a half centuries ago, linked by faith and bound by a common desire for liberty, a small band of pilgrims sought out a place in the New World where they could worship according to their own beliefs… and solve crimes.

Toby: Sam…

Sam: It’d be good. By day, they churn butter and worship according to their own beliefs, and by night they solve crimes.

This has become somewhat of a meme in my house, to Sailor Boy’s eternal consternation. I have a habit, when falling in love with a character, to attempt to recast the entire show/film/what-have-you into a show starring whatever (usually secondary) character I’ve fallen in love with as a plucky detective sort.

Perhaps it’s my longstanding obsession with Veronica Mars.*

So when I went with my friend to see New Moon, this was the conversation we had:

Me: I like that Jessica person.

Her: Yes, she was very funny.

Me: I think I would have liked it so much better if the movie was about her. Ooh, her and the Dakota Fanning Vampire. Solving crimes.**


And, last month as Sailor Boy and I glommed two seasons of Modern Family:

Me: My favorite family in this is Jay and Gloria and Manny.

Him: Yes, they’re definitely the most compelling.***

Me: I want more Gloria. I want a whole show about Gloria. Solving crimes.

And then, even more recently, while watching the first season of Treme:

Me: I love LaDonna.

Him: You certainly have a type, don’t you?

Me: I want a show with LaDonna and Gloria from Modern Family. Solving Crimes.

And then, last night, as we were re-watching the first season of Sons of Anarchy in anticipation of the third season’s imminent DVD release:

Me: Man I forgot how much I loved Gemma. She’s such a bad-ass.

Him: Oh, here it comes.

Me: I want a show where Gemma —

Him: and LaDonna and Gloria get together

Me: Yes! And solve crimes!

Him: (turns up the volume)

Poor Sailor Boy. No wonder on one of our recent evening walks with Rio and Q, which I often use to whine about my writing brainstorm, he asked me why I never write one of these unadulteratedly badass characters I’m always talking about.

A few days later, I got the idea for my newest WIP. On August 1st, I started it.

It’s about a confident, witty, powerful, decisive, bad-ass…

…solving crimes.


* Though it should be noted, I don’t generally watch the shows where they solve crimes. NCIS, L&O, Bones, Monk, Closer, Psych, etc. etc. Nope. I don’t watch any procedurals, even the medical ones like House. And I don’t read mysteries. I never read Nancy Drew, even. But I loved Veronica Mars. (And the X-Files, though I guess the whole point of that show was that they never really solved the crimes.)

** Actually, I recently read a book like that. And it was AWESOME. And its sale should be announced any old day now.

***It should also be noted that we love all the families on Modern Family. We feel especially bonded with Mitch and Cam, since Q is just about Lily’s age, and how well do we remember everything they’re going through. Also, though I’m not proud to say this, I act a lot like Claire. I’m neurotic and obsessed with Halloween. Well, the Hallowween part I’m very proud of.

Posted in veronica mars, writing life, YA

8 Responses to …and solve crimes

  1. distracted says:

    I do love me some procedurals, but the West Wing is one of the best television shows ever. Also, Buffy was technically a crime solver–only the crimes were committed by evil demons and vampires, etc. Rambling here, I know, but just had to say that. =)

  2. Diana says:

    Not really. Buffy was about the characters, and occasionally monsters of the week. Procedurals are much more about the crime itself (like Law and Order). Even stuff like House and Bones is in the “quirky detective” brand of procedural — you get one or two characters, but the rest if all “crime of the week.”

  3. Angie says:

    Ahh. I love “Shibboleth!”

    And we share the same favorite characters on Modern Family.

  4. Tiff says:

    I don’t watch procedurals either. Although I’m working up to The Wire, which is not really a procedural. And I’m also watching The Killing, also not really a procedural.

    I’m so glad you’re writing a crime-solving heroine (or is he a hero)! I heart crime-solving bad-ass books. And TV shows, like Veronica Mars.

    I’m already behind in Camp NaNoWriMo. =(

  5. PurpleRanger says:

    You should try Ellen Byerrum’s “Crimes Of Fashion” books. The main character is a fashion reporter for a newspaper in Washington, DC (the city that fashion forgot), who has a habit of stumbling across murders. Which, of course, she solves, all the while dispensing fashion dos and don’ts.

  6. Tiff says:

    PR: Googling as I type. That sounds AWESOME!

  7. Pingback: Diana Peterfreund Blog | Simply Stunning

  8. PurpleRanger says:

    Tiff: Squish the author’s name into one word, and add a “.com” to find her website. (Just like Diana does, come to think of it.)