This is a busy time here at Rap Sheet headquarters, as I work on year-end pieces set for posting tomorrow and next week. But I’ll be uncommonly susceptible to distractions from the medium of television over the next several days. And you might well be, too.
Cable network TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has scheduled a marathon showing of the six Thin Man comedy-mysteries, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, to begin today--New Year’s Eve--at 5 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT and continue through 3:45 a.m. ET/6:45 a.m. PT Friday. Those films will be broadcast in the order of their original production, with The Thin Man (1934), based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel of the same name, to be rolled out first. It will be followed by After the Thin Man (1936), Another Thin Man (1939), Shadow of the Thin Man (1941), The Thin Man Goes Home (1945), and Song of the Thin Man (1947).
Then tomorrow night, January 1, look for the premiere of “The Abominable Bride,” a new, 90-minute episode of the acclaimed BBC series Sherlock, on PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Mystery!, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The Web site Deadline Hollywood explains that “BBC One also confirmed [this episode] is airing the same day in the UK. This marks the first time the series has premiered on the same day in both countries ...” Britain’s Telegraph, which provides a handy recap of the previous nine episodes of Sherlock, notes that the story line of “The Abominable Bride” is “a closely guarded secret and no press have been allowed anywhere near it. What we do know is that Holmes and Watson are transported back to 1895, when [Arthur] Conan Doyle’s sleuths were investigating murder most foul on the fog-shrouded streets of London. Here, the pair investigate the mysterious resurrection of Thomas Ricoletti’s wife in a story inspired by Holmes’s throwaway reference [in ‘The Adventure
of the Musgrave Ritual’] to the case of ‘Ricoletti of the club-foot and his abominable wife.’”
Finally, on Sunday night, January 3, we can look forward (with more than a bit of trepidation) to the final season premiere of Downton Abbey. The 90-minute episode will begin on PBS’s Masterpiece series at 9 p.m. ET/PT. This Season 6 will feature nine installments, with its story set in 1925, when “momentous change threatens the great house, its owners, and servants” and “past scandals are also looming.” Downton Abbey is expected to run through Sunday, March 6.
How am I ever to concentrate on my writing?