I first discovered the Murder, She Wrote Cookalong on Wide Screen World. At the time, I thought, “What’s a cookalong”? I learned from Rich, the creator of the aforementioned blog, that a cookalong is pretty much a blogathon. Only this time, participants are required to cook a meal from a list of pre-selected recipes. Since I’ve never heard of on event like this before, I decided to join in on the fun! Out of all the recipes that were selected by Jenny, the creator of the cookalong and the blog, Silver Screen Suppers, I chose to make Martha Scott’s Coffee Ice Cream a la Star! After picking this recipe, I discovered that Martha Scott starred in 1959’s Ben-Hur, the movie that I reviewed back in January. The episode that Martha Scott guest-starred on, “The Days Dwindle Down”, was requested by Robin from Pop Culture Reverie. So, I was very excited to create this dessert and talk about this episode! Since the recipe itself is so short, I decided to review Martha’s episode of Murder, She Wrote. But first, let’s showcase the reason why this article exists: the step to step instructions of how to make the Coffee Ice Cream a la Star!
Martha Scott’s Coffee Ice Cream a la Star
(all of the pictures in this part are screenshots I took with my phone)
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Instant Coffee
Step 1. Leave vanilla ice cream out of the freezer until it is slightly soft.
Step 2. Put 2 pt. of vanilla ice cream into a bowl
Step 3. Take another bowl and put 4 teasp. of instant coffee in it.
Step 4. Put a few tablesp. of ice cream into the same bowl as the instant coffee.
Step 5. Mix the ice cream and the instant coffee with an electric mixer. After pouring the blend into the bowl with the vanilla ice cream, mix the batch with the electric mixer. It’s important to not let the ice cream melt.
Step 6. Pour the blend into an ice cube tray. After that, place the tray in the freezer until the serving is consistent.
I tasted the dessert before I put it in the freezer and I absolutely enjoyed it! It reminded me of a milkshake style coffee drink found in cafes or created by national chain coffee companies. I’m very thankful that I picked this recipe because it was not only easy to make, but it also tasted so good! Now onto the second part of this post, my review of “The Days Dwindle Down”!
Episode Name: The Days Dwindle Down
Season 3, Episode 21
Premiere Date: April 19th, 1987
What I liked about this episode:
Before watching “The Days Dwindle Down”, I was told, by Robin, that this episode was a “sequel” to the 1949 movie, Strange Bargain. I had planned to watch the film prior to the episode. However, I was unable to rent the movie. Fortunately, clips from Strange Bargain were incorporated into “The Days Dwindle Down” as a way to explain what was happening on screen. This helped eliminate any confusion for audience members, like myself, who are not familiar with this story. The movie clips themselves were placed at moments that made sense within the context of the overall narrative. It never felt like Murder, She Wrote was trying to capitalize on the pre-existing material. The way the movie’s story was treated as an event from Jessica’s world and not as a film was very creative.
What I didn’t like about this episode:
The mystery within “The Days Dwindle Down” was a cold case. This means that the climatic moments of this story have already happened. The chosen direction of this episode caused the mystery to not feel as interactive as mysteries from other episodes. Very few clues were featured and the story was dialogue-heavy. While Jessica’s interactions with each suspect played an important role in this narrative, the overall mystery felt observant rather than engaging.
The mystery itself:
As I just said, the mystery in this episode was a cold case. While this type of mystery had its flaws, I liked seeing Murder, She Wrote take a creative risk. In most episodes, the mystery takes place in present time, while a good portion of the story revolves around answering the question of “whodunit”. “The Days Dwindle Down” focused on figuring out the truth behind the mystery’s final verdict. This made the story very unique from others on the show. It also brought a sense of variety to Jessica’s overarching narrative.
The other factors from this episode:
- In “The Days Dwindle Down”, there was a brief discussion about justice and trying to achieve that idea. Murder, She Wrote is not known for introducing thought-provoking dialogue and encouraging conversation. But the way this concept was incorporated into the story brought some interest into the episode.
- If you read my post called “Sally Watches…Murder, She Wrote”, you would know how impressed I was by the locations featured in the episodes. The Jarvis house is yet another location that looked appealing on screen. The interior of this house was eye-catching as well, appropriately fitting the role of a regal style for a wealthier group of people. Whoever scouted locations for this show deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award!
- I like how some of the original cast members from Strange Bargain appeared in this episode! It gave this story a sense of authenticity and it satisfies the role of a continuation.
My overall thoughts:
I found myself liking “The Days Dwindle Down” more than I thought I would! This episode told a type of story that isn’t often found on Murder, She Wrote. Yet, it made this chapter of Jessica’s journey interesting and, at times, thought-provoking. I’ve never seen a tv show try to incorporate a movie into an episode’s story where the movie itself was not treated as a movie, but rather as a part of the tv show’s world. But it helped make “The Days Dwindle Down” stand out from the other episodes. As much as I enjoyed watching this mystery upfold, I’ll be one of the first people to admit it wasn’t perfect. The biggest flaw was how it wasn’t interactive. Despite this, I think this is one of the best episodes I’ve ever seen!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Have fun at the movies!