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November 18, 2003

Cold Case

Note: I'm writing this with Coldplay's "Green Eyes" playing in the background, and may I just send out a big SCREW YOU to Chris Martin for refusing to perform this song anymore (because Gwyneth Paltrow has blue eyes, not green). Chris, I hope you and Gwyneth break up soon, and you can go back to performing one of the best songs you've ever written.


I'm now taping the Simpsons on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. Why is this noteworthy? Well, for two reasons. One, I've been watching the Simpsons since it premiered, so for me to not watch a new episode at the exact moment it is first shown is unheard of.

Second, it's noteworthy because I've found a show that I think is better.

Well, I'm not sure it's better. It's a completely different genre, but for whatever reason, it speaks to me on a level that the Simpsons no longer does.

So. Does anyone else watch Cold Case? Yeah I know - it's on CBS. Which, generally speaking, isn't worth anything as a network except for reality shows (and okay, maybe CSI). But don't let the fact that it's on CBS keep you away – Cold Case is an excellent show, and you should be watching it.

It's a mystery, but it doesn't have Big! Momentous! Twists! the way that Law & Order does. Incidentally, I used to love L&O, but now? Not so much (although Jerry Orbach can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned).

But I digress. Cold Case is a show with heart. That's really the best way I can describe it. There is a palpable sense that the detectives working to solve the case, and bring closure to the crime, are emotionally invested in seeking justice for the victim. It's wonderfully acted, the stories are creative, and the messages within the show are subtle enough that I don't feel like I'm being beaten over the head by someone else's morality.

But it's the ending of the show that always gets me, and typically brings me to tears. Not big, heaving sobs, but those lone, solitary tears that people get when they're empathizing with others. At the end of each show, with the case finally closed, a song plays in the background. It's always a song from the era when the cold case originated - the last episode used the Byrds' "Turn" - and it's accompanied by slow-motion shots of the detectives, and the family/friends of the victim, and of the killer being led away.

Interspersed in these shots are shots of the victim, from the era when they were still alive. Usually they're looking at their friends or family and smiling, as if to say "I'm okay now. You don't have to hurt for me anymore." And at some point the victim and the lead detective, Lilly Rush, make eye contact, and the victim gives a little smile, or a little nod, in a gesture of thanks.

It makes me cry every single time.

Last week's episode involved a gay college baseball player being beaten to death outside a gay bar in the '60s. It was absolutely phenomenal, and the end was so poignant. The player appeared in the alley where he was killed, watching his mom and the detectives light a candle at the little memorial his mom had set up. He was dressed in a suit, and he and his mom kept looking at each other and smiling. And then his college boyfriend - who was a law student when they were together and had grown up to be a judge - smiled at him. Then we see a shot of the boyfriend - and in this scene he is no longer the judge, but shown as he appeared in college - walking up to the victim. They look at each other for a moment, and then embrace ... something they could never do publically when the victim was still alive.

I have a lump in my throat just remembering it.

Posted by Julie on November 18, 2003 08:40 AM to the category Entertainment

Whoooooooooa, I was listening to Green Eyes on my way into work today! It's on me June CD Mix! As is... Brass Monkey! Grr!

Sundays at 8, you say? I vow to watch Cold Case at least once, to please you. *sloppy kiss*

Posted by: Teem at November 18, 2003 09:30 AM

Ooh, I can sandwich this show between the first showing of Alias at 7:00 and the second at 9:00.

Posted by: rappy at November 18, 2003 11:10 AM

Yeah, that's not going to fly in my house. "You want to watch what? Instead of WHAT?" My marriage would be over.

Posted by: Ka Ching at November 18, 2003 11:39 AM

My husband doesn't seem to mind. He just makes me watch his movies on the weekend.

Don't you, Orlando?

Posted by: Julie at November 18, 2003 12:42 PM

You may be interested in this article about the alleged origins of Cold Case.

Then again, you may not. I've never watched either Cold Squad or Cold Case, so can't really comment on the similarites (or lack thereof).

Posted by: Albacore at November 18, 2003 02:17 PM

Do you know what the song was & who the artist was on the March 28th episode of Cold Case -- the hit & run driver?

Posted by: chlokara at March 29, 2004 11:25 AM

The song that plays at the beginning and throughout the scenes in the bar is "Save Tonight" by Eagle Eye Cherry. That's the only song I remember distinctly, although there were a few other songs I recognized.

Oh, the hit-and-run driver was singing "No Scrubs" by TLC when he did the deed.

Posted by: Highwaygirl at March 29, 2004 11:39 AM
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