1. The delightfully cheerful opening theme
There is nothing foreboding about this jovial jingle. The theme was composed by British film score composer John Addison, for which he won an Emmy.
2. The reliable formula of death, sleuthing, and satisfying discovery
In J.B. Fletcher’s hometown of Cabot Cove (and everywhere else she travels), someone always kicks the bucket, and the mystery novelist-turned-amateur detective always hunts down the killer.
3. The magical population math
Unless they’re procreating like bunnies, almost everyone in Cabot Cove should technically be dead. Oh, the wonders of television.
4. J.B. Fletcher’s array of alias personas
Angela Lansbury is regularly busting out a caricatured persona to snoop around in disguise. She even plays a dual role as her own British cousin Emma Macgill, an actress who stages her own death to evade murder.
J.B. digging up some dirt as a Pullman City general store owner. Check out those shades.
5. Jessica’s badassery
Just handling an alligator.
Ahead of her time, Jessica tests out some virtual technology.
Season 2, Episode 18: “If A Body Meet A Body”
7. The adorable friendship and never-to-be love affair between Jessica and Dr. Seth Hazlitt
8. The delicious near-death moments she always escapes when snooping around for clues
10. The parade of before-they-were-famous cameos, including:
As well as Eddie Albert, Andy García, Elliott Gould, Joaquin Phoenix, Marcia Cross, Julianna Margulies, Megan Mullally, Cynthia Nixon, Billy Zane, and more.
12. Countless tropes that make for excellent drinking games
These well-crafted rules are sure to get the job done.
13. J.B. Fletcher’s epic internet hipsterization
She was just SO contrarian.
14. J.B. Fletcher’s crew of sidekicks, including:
Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley)
Amos Tupper is Cabot Cove’s sheriff for the first four years of “Murder, She Wrote,” and a pretty useless one at that. He eventually retires to Kentucky.
Harry McGraw (Jerry Orbach)
Private investigator Harry McGraw was such a hit on “Murder, She Wrote” as Jessica’s friend and right-hand man that he was given his own (albeit shortlived) series entitled “The Law & Harry McGraw.”
Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak)
Poor Sheriff Metzger moves to Cabot Cove from New York City, hoping for a more lackadaisical lifestyle than his days with the NYPD. Little did he know that wherever J.B. Fletcher goes, murder follows.
15. J.B. Fletcher’s Adorable Closing Laugh
The end of almost EVERY EPISODE features a screenshot of Jessica having a giggle. Hurray for justice!