Monday, November 15, 2010

It's All About the Writing?

For the past several days I've been thinking about this blog. I wanted to write about why I love Tom Selleck's Jesse Stone movies, but don't have the same feelings about his Blue Bloods television series.

Is it the same thing when the books are great and the television series is much less so? I love Kathy Reichs' Bones novels, but am disappointed with the Bones television series. Why? The TV show is fine, better than most of the dramas that are currently airing. Okay actually I don't have to wonder long about the Bones issue. The characters from the books are unrecognizable in the television series. So back to Tom Selleck -

(A friend suggested I just put up a couple dozen photographs of him and be done with this post. But as great as Tom Selleck looks, it's not the major draw for me. For instance, I never paid much attention to him when he was doing the Magnum P.I. television series or some of his earlier movies. So, no, Cathy, mere photographs won't suffice.)


1. Tom Selleck is just phoning it in for his Blue Bloods role? Probably not.

2. The Jesse Stone movies are twice as long as the television episodes. There's more time to set up the plot and tell the story. As a result they are better than the TV episodes? Maybe.

3. Familiarity breeds contempt? Ice cream three times a year tastes better than ice cream you get once a week for 22 weeks? It's possible. When I see the next Jesse Stone movie, I'll let you know if the weekly dose of Tom Selleck has made me immune to the movies.

4. More screen time for Selleck in the Jesse Stone movies? Both are ensemble pieces but clearly Tom Selleck is the star and the protagonist in the Jesse Stone movies. In Blue Bloods he's just the headlining star. His two TV sons are the major protagonists. So, I only like Tom Selleck when he's in a lead role? That's a possibility, but I don't think that's it.

5. Or maybe it's not Selleck at all. Maybe it's the writing: the plots, the characters, the solving of the mystery. We'll find out soon enough. The Jesse Stone movies were based on novels written by the late Robert B. Parker. The acclaimed writer died in January of 2010 and any future Jesse Stone movies won't have his books to rely on or his input. But if I were a betting woman, I'd put my money on the better writing of the Jesse Stone movies because, for me, it's always about the writing.

What do you think? Do you like the Jesse Stone movies? What do you think about Blue Bloods? Why?

And does anyone know when the next Jesse Stone movie is set to air?

Evelyn David


Note to Santa: The complete set of the Jesse Stone movies are available on DVD. I saw them at Amazon while I was drooling over the Kindle e-readers.

Note to Readers: To celebrate the publication of the Wolfmont edition of Murder Takes the Cake, we're having a drawing each Friday for an autographed copy of Murder Off the Books or Murder Takes the Cake (winner's choice). To enter drawing, leave a comment on our website -

The Sullivan Investigation Series
Murder Drops the Ball (Spring 2011)
Murder Takes the Cake - Paperback - Kindle
Murder Off the Books - Paperback - Kindle
Riley Come Home - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords


  1. Actually, I haven't seen Jesse Stone or Blue Blood. But I loved Tom Selleck in the Magnum PI show - his sense of humor and his looks made the writing even better. I also liked him in the last season of Vegas - too bad the writer strike ended the show - there was much more story to be told there. The best scenario, I think, is a combination of good writing and the actors playing the parts.

  2. I didn't want to read this post, because I've been DVRing (is that a word?) Blue Bloods simply for Selleck. I'm catching up on the Jesse Stone movies via Netflix.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  3. I haven't watched Blue Bloods but I love the Jesse Stone movies. Then again, I'm a big Tom Selleck fan so maybe that has something to do with it? I don't know--I do like the pacing of the Stone movies and the fact that the characters don't fall into stereotypical roles. And a little of his backstory helps. So, yes, it's the writing for me. Maggie

  4. My brother and I once had this conversation about a movie (not starring Tom Selleck).
    Me: This movie is terrible.
    Brother: No, it's funny.
    Me: But it's not a comedy.
    Brother: Yeah, it is. It's hilarious.
    Me: No, I think they're serious about the whole... flying motorcycle, indian ghost, two girls and everything.
    Brother: But if they're serious, then it would be a terrible movie...

    Sometimes it's all about your perceptions. My brother is still ticked that I ruined his movie.

  5. When I wrote my first novel at 19 (an historical romance), I had a poster of Tom Selleck plastered above my desk. It's funny to see episodes of "Magnum, P.I." now with him wearing those short-shorts! ;-)

  6. I think it's the character Jessie Stone. He's just someone you care more about than the police commissioner.