If you watched the TNT Mystery Movie Night presentation of Mary Higgins Clark’s and Carol Higgins Clark’s Deck the Halls last night, what did you think? Did it kidnap your interest then feed it some Christmas cookies before releasing it?
And what do you think now about the concept? At HQ, we’ve found the movies a mixed bag— some where we’d enjoy sequels, and some not really. Often, it has to do with how much the stories and characters are simplified for the screen. Too predictable and too broadly drawn, and crime fans—who by definition enjoy uncovering the hidden—can get bored. Some of the actors are capable of imbuing the roles with more subtext than others, and that makes the portrayal richer and more interesting.
What if they didn’t bother repeating flashback scenes as reminders or having the characters narrate and summarize everything we’re seeing? The great cable crime shows have demonstrated that audiences can handle some ambiguity and don’t mind investing attention to detail, and it doesn’t take a huge budget for special effects or glossy sets, but the writing and acting and direction have to be good. Would it be fun, do you think, to see TNT try executing one of these stories in a more challenging way?