Mrs Pollifax: Spy

I just saw a headline (yes, big enough to warrant a headline) that the tv series Friends is doing a reunion show in the spring.  I never saw an entire episode of Friends when it was originally airing – the bits I did see didn’t make me want to tune in.  But between what other people talk about and all the various commercials, I know enough that I’m thinking an enjoyable reunion show almost 20 years after the fact will be hard to pull off.  I’m sure I’ll be passing.

But there are a few bits of entertainment that I would like to have seen more of —  Mrs. Polifax, Spy for one.  There are boatloads of Mrs Pollifax books by Dorothy Gilman but just two movies.  The first one came out in 1971 with Rosalind Russell and Darren McGavin.  It’s clever and a bit silly, but just what I need every now and then.  Rosalind Russell was perfect but a follow-up was never made.  Then in 1999 Angela Lansbury starred in The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax.  Good enough to waste a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon but that was about it; she was too old for the part and the movie took itself much too seriously.  It really just felt like an episode of Murder She Wrote

The 1971 version is currently available on Amazon Prime and I will admit that I’ve watched it several times since March.  I wish that Rosalind Russell had made a few more of them!

Anything that you would have like to see more of (or read more of)?

34 thoughts on “Mrs Pollifax: Spy”

  1. One of the things you learn along the way is that there are certain periods that produce wonderful music, but those moments have limits. As an example, while we have a lot of splendid songs from the Beatles, no more music just like that is likely to come. Ever. They reflected their times, and those times are gone.

    Mozart “only” wrote 50 symphonies. Bix Beiderbecke was a genius, but he’s gone and so is the music he created. I’ve been told repeatedly that, in music at least, what we’ve got is all we’ll ever get.

    Until now. Two miracles have happened. One is Alma Deutcher, the astonishing prodigy in classical music. She could, if she chose to, write Mozart’s 51st symphony. The other is an incredibly gifted woman named Shaye Cohn who leads a New Orleans trad band and writes music that is as fresh and exciting as anything done by the giants of early jazz. Alma and Shaye are also amazing multi-instrument musicians.

    I don’t know if this applies to great novels as well. But in music, we are so, so lucky!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    There is a wonderful first season of “The Number One Ladies Detective Agency” set in Botswana, Africa. That series I could have watched for years. I think I have read all the novels in the book series by Alexander McCall Smith. I do not know why the production company did not renew the series—it had it all: interesting characters, an exotic (to me and Americans) setting in Africa, wild animals, and a cozy mystery focus.

    I could have used more of this one, especially to distract me from the chaos show we are living with until Jan. 20, 2021. I am getting really bored with streaming shows just as we go into a second crisis period of isolation due to COVID. I do not want to watch the future collection of shows that will focus on COVID. Living this mess was enough. There are a string of nice days in the forecast—I will return to walking outside, as well as break out my jigsaw puzzles and whip up some art projects. I have a story by my mother and sister about the Armistice Day Blizzard to draw and get ready for Christmas.

    Rant has ended.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In addition to the wonderful characters, one of the things I appreciated about #1 Ladies Detective Agency is that the mysteries didn’t require a murder, which always, in my opinion, leads to formulaic stories. Another series I liked a lot and which didn’t require a murder to set up the mystery is “The Finder”. It appears to be widely available on streaming networks. There was only one season.

      This has come up before, but the one series that ended too soon and never came out on DVD was The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. I’ve had a standing order for the DVD on Amazon for years, should it ever be released.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I would like to see new episodes of the West Wing. Maybe one of the original characters would have a son or daughter who becomes president, and then all the old folks drop in to give them advice.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We’ve stumbled on a couple of sitcoms that we enjoyed, both kind of quirky:
    – Wonderfalls – “a recent Brown University graduate with a philosophy degree, who holds a dead-end job as a sales clerk at a Niagara Falls gift shop.” Unfortunately no second season
    – This is Wonderland – “a young criminal lawyer fresh out of Osgoode Hall Law School, is thrown into a chaotic justice system. She encounters characters ranging from the truly desperate to the bizarre” I now see that the second and third seasons may be available streaming!

    Thanks for today’s question… : )


  5. I wish there had been more of “Firefly” – not very likely since they killed off key characters in the follow up movie. I would second more of “West Wing.” Another quirky show that seemed to end too soon was, “Pushing Daisies” – while the romance angle of it might not have been sustainable, I really enjoyed the cast, the premise, and the esthetic of it.

    As for music, I have contemplated what a Beethoven’s 10th Symphony might have produced, but the 9th is so sublime it’s hard to imagine how he could top it. (And he was a perfectionist, so he wouldn’t likely have something performed unless it was really *that good.*)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pushing Daisies had a familial relationship to Wonderfalls, which BIR just mentioned. They shared writers or director or producer or something and they share a similar quirkiness and humor.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Isn’t sad how some people’s grip on their lives is so precarious that they’ll embrace any preposterous delusion rather than face a bleak truth?” Bill Watterson
    Could have been more of Bloom County And Calvin, but to perform at that level of creativity seven times a week has to be draining.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Robin and I have been rewatching “Midnight Diner” on Netflix for the second (or third) time. It may be an acquired taste and you might love it or be completely baffled by its popularity. We love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Speaking of Netflix, we’ve just started watching The Kominsky Method, which is a hoot, and there is a 3rd season planned (but without Alan Arkan?).

      Bill, I remember borrowing from Robin The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd back in the early 2000s… Love that show.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sandy and I every evening watch a bit of PBS but mostly Prime and some Netflix. Sandy wants to watch home renovation, interior design kinds of shows. We have watched many hours of British shows about renovations and conversions of old buildings, some centuries old. I enjoy them. We are running out of them. Just noticed a new season of The Repair Shop comes in December. People bring in items of all kinds and various restoration experts fix them. That was is up my alley.
    She just had cataract surgeries and was eager to read easily. So I got her books selected for her from the library. She sent most of them back unread and now never reads. I suspect she cannot follow the story, cannot remember the story, especially over multiple days. So she does not want tv series for the same reason, I think. So most of the shows you named she would not watch. She tells me to watch what I want, she will watch anything. But if she doesn’t like it, she leaves but has nothing to fill her time. Penelope Keith did a couple series about British villages. She is a delight. We would take more of those. Great British Baking Show has about three episodes left for this season. Those are fun.
    We are watching on Steve’s suggestion Dash and Lily. I like it and she tolerates. Again I do not think she remembers from night to night. Dash and Lily is directed I notice by Fred Savage of Wonder Years fame. He is now very busy as a director. I assume Steve recognizes Dash and Lily as a reference to Dashiel Hammet and Lilian Helmond. (Did I get their names right?)
    I look at an old TV series, all those shows to watch and think maybe I do not want to invest all of that time, which I admit is stupid. To The Manor Born and The Good Neighbors are on Britbox. I started her on Manor Born and she liked it because of Penelope Keith.


    1. We were watching The Repair Shop earlier in the pandemic (oh the suspense!) but have wandered off to other things. We’ve watched a couple of episodes of Good Neighbors this week, even though we have them on disk and could watch them anytime. We watched Dash and Lily since Steve’s recommendation. It was OK, but the story was not big enough for six episodes or however many there were (we watched them all in one sitting).


      1. Bill, I bet you know the Alfred Wainwright books for walking the Lakeland fells. Acorn just added a woman, who does other walking videos, walking with the Wainwright books. Amazing how drones improve shooting videos like this. Just noticed amazon sells all the books hard bound for $37.


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