I have now converted to "Aurora Teagarden-ism"
Or "suburban TV show fantasyland-ism", as showcased in the television programs "The Ghost Whisperer" and "Aurora Teagarden Mysteries"
and all those other suburban fantasy mystery shows on the Hallmark Channel
Like "Garage Sale Mysteries", "Fixer Upper Mysteries", "Gourmet Detective Mysteries", "Murder She Baked", "Flower Shop Mysteries" and all the forthcoming shows based on upper class occupations in cute little non-existent towns in a non-existent America
While I had always considered advanced European nations as the model for society in America, I had only to look beyond my own blinding cynicism that the template for the ideal American life had been right under my very nose!
On the Hallmark channel!
Showing an ideal of life that exists for very few Americans!
I wish I could have found better pictures to show you but these shows (which I don't watch for the stories or acting) exemplify lives and communities that not only would have made the naive masses of Eastern Europe jealous in the eighties, but also the folks
Right here at home
The Ghost Whisperer for example (not on the Hallmark channel, and no longer around because it got cancelled after many seasons because it just got too freaking silly)
I watched this show for several reasons, and again, not really having to do with the acting or writing (while some of the episodes were good as long as they focused on a little story about someone's dead loved one, the overall plot and trajectory of the lives of Jennifer Love Hewitt's family went like tacky-crazy-turvy too much for even the most suspended of disbeliefs) :
- The town square where Melinda (Hewitt's character) was always alive with people, like downtowns and town squares ought to be. Thriving businesses, people walking to and from work and appointments, LIFE.
I used to dream that the downtown where I grew up was like this, but it was full of empty and disintegrating storefronts, and nary a person about. In recent years, there has been a slight resurgence, but mostly in the form of ubiquitous antique shops
- Melinda has the BEST CLOTHES. That's all. She wore like at least three different outfits per episode. She was living the European dream. When I visited Europe, women in general always looked nice, and had many outfits, even though I couldn't figure out how they could afford them
- The coffeeshops. And the bakeries. And the small businesses. That you can just walk to ( see "town square"). The city I live in is currently doing this, but I often wonder about it, because I know so many people can't afford frivolous things
the basic bitch dream of life
I do apologize for the nomenclature
It is offensive, and not very feminist, but it is a current, existing slang expression that encapsulates the attitude
And not to say that these women are dumb, or silly, because they're not
In fact, they're geniuses
(And I LOVE pumpkin spice! Use it all year round!)
Especially in the case of everyone on the Hallmark channel, they have recycled themselves into detectives with really cool gimmicks and exquisitely beautiful lives. We've had detectives of all stripes through TV history, mostly male ones, OCD afflicted detectives (Monk), bougie-dandy detectives (Poirot), detectives in a dirty mac (Colombo), how about the female librarian detective? The florist detective? And the detective who shops at garage sales and runs a consignment shop?
In beautiful clothes, with beautiful boyfriends, and surrounded by people who are all making a living ( except for the down and out villain)
These women with day jobs who make a mockery of the police and are somehow allowed to help in official investigations?
Because these crimes keep happening in their towns!
But they're the only crimes that happen! No other crimes!!!! Just these weird aberrant criminals!
Because everyone KNOWS one another, there is SUCH A COMMUNITY (another thing that was lacking in my own small town), that they all gang together to solve the mysteries (especially in Aurora Teagarden; I mean, she actually runs a "mystery club"!!!!)
I mean, it's better than church, and I was REALLY considering going to church for a long time now, but again, not for the plot or the stories, but for the clothes, the opportunity to dress up, and for the community building
Now aside from the gynormous and beautiful houses they all live in, the spotless towns, and the insanely stale dialogue and predicable "mystery" plots, I would like to see more instances of public transportation ( even if those don't literally exist in the towns these shows are filmed in, everything else is pretend, why not this too?), environmental consciousness, and passionate political discussion
I think it could really happen
Fluorine Magellan is REALLY bored with your genteel conversation and wishes you would just go fuck yourself. And NO WAR IN SYRIA; we've been through this already