I had been thinking for a while about what to write about for my first blog post of 2023. A new year is often symbolic of change and renewal, and so I was immediately reminded of the eighth season of Murder, She Wrote, which marked Jessica Fletcher’s part-time move to New York City. While I had already conducted a fan poll regarding the best and worst Cabot Cove episodes from Season 8, I thought it might be fun to conduct a similar poll to find out what fans think of the New York City episodes from that season.
There were a total of 8 episodes in which Jessica investigates a murder in New York City. However, Jessica’s connection to each of these murders breaks down in an interesting way:
- In two of the cases, Jessica gets involved because they involve people who live (or lived) in her building. This is the case in ep.1 “Bite the Big Apple” and ep.16 “Ever After”.
- In three of the cases, Jessica gets involved because they involve people she knows from teaching at Manhattan University. This is the case in ep.2 “Night Fears”, ep.5 “Lines of Excellence”, and ep.17 “To the Last Will I Grapple with Thee”.
- And in three of the cases, Jessica gets involved because they involve her career as a writer. This is the case in ep.3 “Unauthorized Obituary”, ep.9 “The Committee” and ep.22 “Murder on Madison Avenue”.
Although only 5 of those 8 episodes are due to Jessica moving to NYC to teach, I nonetheless included all of them in my survey.
In the past, I found that the best way of collecting this information is to set up a survey using Google Forms which allows fans to rank the episodes from best to worst. However, since we are dealing with 8 episodes this time, I thought I would limit the survey so that all you have to do is select your top 5 episodes (1 meaning most favorite; 2 meaning second favorite; and so on.) I will assume that any episodes you do not give a ranking for are your least favorite.
UPDATE (March 14th):
The survey results have now been tabulated! A total of 50 people had responded to the survey so far, and the bar-graph below summarizes illustrates the number of votes each episode got along with the specific ranking (i.e. 1 through 5).
“Bite the Big Apple” is the clear winner here — 35 out of 50 people listed it as one of their top-five NYC episodes of the season, and a whopping 33 of them even listed it among their top two (18 votes for first and 15 votes for second)!
In second place is “The Committee”, which got a total of 30 votes for top 5 and an impressive 14 votes for top NYC episode of the season.
On the other hand, the lowest scoring episodes were “Unauthorized Obituary” (which made it to the top 5 for only 18 responders), and “Murder on Madison Avenue” (which made it to the top 5 for only 15 responders).
Overall, I’m not surprised that “Bite the Big Apple” was so well loved as it is the only episode here that included a glimpse of Cabot Cove and involved Seth in the storyline. And it appears that, beyond that and “The Committee”, there weren’t any other episodes that fans thought particularly stood out (whether it was in a good way or a bad way).
(NOTE: If you like you can still fill it out and submit your responses here: https://forms.gle/1jWHfEghvQXQapHm6. I may update this post again if the results change significantly).
Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey!
Thanks for creating this, it’s a great idea. I had no idea that there were that many NYC episodes in s8. I thought the Committee was in the suburbs in part? If that hadn’t been there my 5th choice would have been Unauthorized Obituary. I feel bad as I love Jessica Walter, but the Committee was more innovative and exciting, and less sad. I can’t stand To the Last I Will Grapple with Thee. I will be very surprised if that makes into a lot of favorite lists!
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Well, I am pleasantly surprised that The Committee is so popular. And unpleasantly surprised that To The Last Will I Grapple with Thee is more popular than Unauthorized Obituary. I dislike Grapple more than most. I can sort of understand the unpopular spot for Madison Ave, as people don’t like creepy toys. My mom was just complaining about the huge amount of mystery shows with creepy toys/dummies. From Madison Avenue to MSW Where Have You Gone Billy Boy, to the creepy toy episodes of Remington Steele, Hart to Hart and Scarecrow and Mrs King, fans really hate that subject.
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