pick your battles

I can’t remember where I saw this and I have no idea who made it, but I would like to thank that person, from the bottom of my heart, for the best laugh I’ve had this year.

checklist for a certain kind of British TV murder mystery

  1. The future victim has one heck of a last day antagonising everyone they come into contact with, thereby ensuring at least three suspects.
  2. Right before being murdered, the victim answers the door or turns around in a secluded place and says to an unseen person, “What do you want?” or “Oh, it’s you.” Bam!
  3. When informed of the murder, most of the suspects don’t even pretend to be sad or shocked, seeing this instead as an opportunity to trash talk the victim to people who are paid to be interested in their petty grievances.
  4. Despite #3, every suspect sooner or later says with great haughtiness to the detectives, “What, you don’t suspect I could have killed him!” or “Surely you can’t think I had anything to do with it!”
  5. The family/closest associates of the victim, even if they were devastated by the murder, are pretty well over it by their next scene. They’re back to work or attending a horse race or sleeping with the milkman or chairing a community board meeting the very next day, if not later the same day. You win some and you lose some, I guess.
  6. Someone is arrested, but we, the audience, know that as guilty as this dude seems, he isn’t the real murderer, if only because there’s still an hour to go. The detectives also come to realise their error, but not before giving the falsely accused many dirty looks.
  7. The murder is solved – for real this time – and the culprit confesses everything in enough detail to make their future defense lawyer weep. In the remaining forty-five seconds, we learn the deserving person inherits the estate, the undeserving person gets snubbed at the village pub, the young lovers are reunited, the old people rejoice at having grown a perfect rose, and the detectives retire to celebrate together because after a long, stressful period at work who wouldn’t want to spend even more time with their co-workers?