“Live” blog of ID TV’s “The Coroner; I speak for the dead”

Wow, I really haven’t written anything on here in a while.

A woman at work told me about a show on ID TV called “The Coroner, I speak for the dead” which features the former coroner for Dauphin County, which is the county in which I live.  I never heard of him or the show before, but she had a personal connection to one of the recent episodes so I decided to check it out.  Now she was watching this show because someone she knows was involved in one of the cases.  I ended up watching it, and will now watch every episode, because I find them to be unintentionally hilarious.

Two days ago I took notes as I watched the most recent episode, which is the 7th episode of the first season, and I included them at the bottom of this post.  Right now I am going to go back and watch the very first episode and take notes on that as well…. wait, no let’s change that up.  First I will post the notes I took two days ago, since you should read those first since things I say about the first episode I watch now will probably touch on tings on the stuff I first wrote about this show which was while watching the 7the episode.

That made sense right?

Ok, Here are my notes from episode seven which you can watch online for free (http://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/the-coroner-i-speak-for-the-dead/), which I would suggest you do since reading this without watching the show is probably not going to make a lot of sense:

Everyone acting in this show is unrealistically handsome versions of their real selves similar to what conan obrien would do in a skit where he is making a documentary of himself. Imagine a skit where conan obrien is played by chris hemswoth in a flashback that is narated by conan obrien.

I keep thinking my fire alarms is going off cause of the high pitch squeal in the shows mood music.

They did the reveal of the body twice. Terrible. Dont show it the first time and let the second time be a surprise for the protagonist and the viewer alike.

At the 10minute mark a new voice over narator starts talking. I dont think he was ever heard before in this episode. I honestly thought the coroner was going to do all the naration. Its like the real narator was stuck in traffic for the first 10 min of the show and they just had the coroner read the narators lines.

He had ankle surgery and a metal implant inserted recently. The coroner via handsome actor says “this could work like a finger print for us” . No doctor. It really cant.

They just gave away that it was the daughter that killed the dad during one of the real life people’s testimonials but to keep the suspense the narrator basically was like “and by that she was refering to the death itself as being a shame and not the role the person she just named’s actions as being a shame since we totally dont know who did this crime yet, so please dont read too much into that and enjoy watching this myster unfold”

Narrator “thanks to the autopsy the murder of gary whies is starting to come into focus for the coroner.” Literally no new information has been discovered to prompt that analysis by the narator. He saw the dead body covered in stab wounds in the apartment and when he did the autopsy he just found more stab wounds. Thats it.

This coroner is so PA. He has said wershed instead of washed like 10 times now.

One of the actor detectives looks a little bit like the one real life detective but the other real life detective looks nothing like the other actor dective. Half an hour into the show i realize i had who was playing who confused and it turns out that neither actor looks like their real life counter part. … why? Why not switch up those parts and make a little more visual sense.

Narrator “gary’s death is comming to life.”   HahahahHHHHaaa.  Whoever wrote that must hate himself.

So eventhough they spoiled who the killer was through the interview with one of his friends and also showing the body of a woman washing the dead guy, they spent about 5 min building up the next door neighbor as the guy who maybe did it and then when he comes in for questioning the cop is like “yeah he was old and weak looking so i knew it wasnt him.” Really? Thats all it takes?  They said some furniture was moved (a coffee table) and the body was drugged intothe bathroom so your saying no way a , according to the reinactor playing the role, mid 50s skinny guy could pull that off over the course of two or three days?

Narrator “the brutallity and nature of the crime had the entire city on edge.”. No. No it wasnt. That is a lie ID tv.

What the fuck. So the police question two guys who live in an apartment a floor above the victim and find a pair of shorts in their apartment with what looks like blood stains and then the narator does a big build up and says the shorts are at the lab for a couple of days and then swelling music followed by dramatic pause and the coroner says it wasnt blood very matter of factly. You know what it actually was?  Seriously, do you know, cause i dont know cause the show doesnt say. How can you build that up and then not say what it actually was. Bull shit.

I bet it was pizza sauce and there is a missing scene where a lab tech holds up the shorts and sniffs the stain and then licks it as a horrified coworkers gasps before the fun loving care free lab tech says “pizza sauce” with a smile as the coworker gives an “ohhhh you” half hearted frown.

Also i love that the detective is like “i still like these guys for the murder” and the coroner is like ” its not them. This was personal”  then the detective says ” yeah ok” .

If that is at all an acurate representation of their investigation work then i am kind of horrified.  This is how that conversation should have gone down in real life:

Detective “i still like them for the murder”

Coroner: ” it wasnt them. It was too personal.”

Detective: “im sorry, what was that? The fuck did you just say?Oh for a moment there it sounded like you forgot you are just a god damn coroner tasked with determining scientifically how the murder took place by applying the scientific method in the form of standard forensic practices rellying heavily on imperical evidence and not just anecdotal observations and assumptions. How about you stick to the science stuff and leave the detecting to me?”

Coroner: “jesus christ im sorry but your the one who just uttered the cliche ‘i like these guys for the murder’. Maybe you should let the totality of evidence guide you towards a suspect instead of using what many would call instinct or intuition which has repeadetly been shown to be slightly less reliable than flipping a coin in most criminal investigations. ”

Detective: *exasperated sigh* ” your right. Im sorry. That was harsh. Im just under a lot of stress.”

Coroner”i know. We all are. After all, the entire city is on edge because of the nature and brutality of this crime.”

End scene….. i also thought it would be funny if that scene ended with them realizing their anger and frustration was just misplaced feeling of lust for each other and they just start making out. But they are both dudes so i dont feel comfortable writing that.

Real life detective: “so i said why dont you give me all the names of everyone involved and then i ran them through the police computer.”. Hahahah “the police computer” ?!?!!!?!  Are you sure it doesnt have a more professional, or official sounding name? Maybe you ran it through a criminal database?  Or any kind of database? “Police computer”. Get the fuck out of here.

Goddamn f****** fire alarm mood music.

The coroner just said nothing could prepare the trooper for what he was about to find in that trunk. First of all why isn’t the narrator saying that and why is the corner saying that and also why does the coroner know that nothing would prepare him for what he’s about to see. It just went to a commercial before showing what was in the trunk but the car that was being opened was in a completely empty parking lot not parked in a parking space but placed in the driving aisle right in the center of this empty parking lot for full dramatic effect.

I honestly can’t wait to see what is in the trunk unfortunately the ID channel app has two and a half minutes of commercials between segments. This is b*******.

Back from commercial and we find out that in the trunk the thing that  the trooper was in no way shape or form prepared to find was just a pink bag with a bloody knife in it.

I’m not an expert on law enforcement but I really hope that most members of law enforcement can handle such a sight. In fact if a woman says she cut herself on purpose and that the knife she used to cut herself is in the trunk of her car, guess what you should be prepared to see when opening that trunk? A fucking bloody knife.

If he had opened the trunk to find a real life baby unicorn painting a unicorn version of the mona lisa with his tiny baby unicorn horn, that woul be somehing he couldnt possibly be prepared to see.

Girl: “The knife i used to cut myself is in the trunk”
Trooper: *opens trunk sees the knife and screams* “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!!!?!!! Nooooooooo. I am totally unprepared to see the very thing i was told i would see.O H GOD WHY” *trooper sobs and then takes his own life so he doesnt have to live anymore in a world with so much uncertainty*

Also, and i know this is mean, but the physical disimilarity between the actor playing the trooper and his real life counterpart is jarring. Im sure he is a great guy but he looks like farva from super troopers and is played by an actor who looks like scott cann from varsity blues and hawaii 5 0.

I will admit having the actual audio confession played as the reenactors go out it was pretty cool.

He said wershed again.

Ihave so many issues with the final scene where the coroner gives a voice over while his comidically young and handsome actor counter part stands in the distance at a cemetary on a beautiful spring day. he is watching the three also comedically young actors, who played the only three people mentioned by name during the show as having known the departed, share an unrealistically close hug.  Just so we are on the same page the three people hugging are the victim’s mom, the victims “friend”  and the victims landlord.  Their three person hug with no one else around except for the coroner (why is he there) is the kind of hug that would only be shared with close family members immediartly after a natural disaster.  No landlord has ever hugged a near stranger with the much affection in the entire history of the world.

This scene appears to not be at a funeral but just at a time they went to the grave possibly after the trial was over. The coroner should not be there. It is really weird. He also is dreased in white and slowly gives a “finally my long journey is complete” nod of the head and shrug before turning away in slow motion and walking away as the camera starts to lose focus on him and he becomes artistically blurry with the rest of the background. If he had then walked into a blinding white light as if he was an angel returning to heaven, it would have perfectly fit with the rest of this scene.

This is my new favorite tv show of all time.

 

That’s  a lot of notes.  Ok, lets get into the next episode… which is the first episode:

I noticed this in the other episode I watched but didn’t mention it, but now that I’m seeing it again, in the opening to the show that is the same each week for the most part, it ends with coroner doing some narration, then he stands thoughtfully in a dimly lit morgue, and the title card for the show comes up, and then inexplicably you hear whispers.  Like ghost whispers.  This show is not at all a show that deals with the supernatural.  Those type of sound effects are not in the show anywhere else from I can tell.

Maye the ghost were whispering “hey don’t watch this show, check out strange things on netflix instead.”.

I mentioned in the previous recap that the actors look nothing like the real life people and I kind of wondered if they have the same actors every week and just match people up the best they can. Well no, these are all new actors, and they also aren’t that close. Btw, I think they may have a black actor playing a white guy at this moment.  That is pretty progressive and will probably piss off Rush Limbaugh.

Maybe I’m wrong about the actor and the real life counterpart having drastically different skin colors.  They really do a horrible job of letting you know if the real life person doing an interview is suppose to be the person on the screen at the moment doing the re-enacting.

HAHAHAHAHAH  I love the little things that are wrong with this show.  So the coroner says “I was having lunch when I got a call about a signal 12.”  The re-enactor playing him is eating a meal of food in his lab and you hear a buzzing, he then picks up a pager and reads it.  I know it is kind of a small shitty thing for me to focus on, but you didn’t get a phone call, you got a page. Why show a pager if your going to say you got a phone call.  If you show a pager, you have to say you got paged.  If someone sent me a telegram and I had an actor acting it out and he is holding up a western union telegram, it would be insane for me in a voice over to say “I got a letter”.  There’s no truth to this art.

Narrator in a deep and ominous tone: “Death doesn’t stop. Not even for Christmas”  That could be the tagline for so many horror movies set around what us liberals call the winter holiday season.  To be fair, in addition to death, there are many other things that don’t shut down on Christmas.  You have most emergency personnel as well as many health care workers. Convenience stores and gas stations remain open. Baby’s are born which means that Life also doesn’t stop for Christmas.  Many might be surprised to learn that many Muslims celebrate Christmas since Jesus is one of their Profits. Jews on the other hand, yeah, they don’t take off for Christmas either.

There is so much needless dialog on this show.

Detective: “The vic upstairs, the boyfriend came home and discovered her.”
Coroner: “So, the boyfriend found the body.”

In the show the detective just continues on about the brother showing up a moment later or something, but he really should have been like “yeah.. I just said that. You ok?  If you are having trouble keeping up already then maybe you need to take some time off. After all it is almost Christmas and even death could probably stop for Christmas.”

Real life Coroner: “by the refrigerator I noticed what they call a scrunchie.”

Who is “They”?  isn’t that what everyone calls it?  Don’t make it sound like it is one of those african neck rings that some people wear to make their necks long that the average person in America doesn’t know the name of, including me cause I’m too lazy to google it.  “And next to the stove is what some people refer to as a spork, but we in the CSI community refer to as a runcible spoon. Oh and here is one of those meat daggers that I’ve heard the lay person call a Knife”

So the coroner walks into the bedroom where the dead body is and the actor pauses like his character has never seen a body before.  It wasn’t a pause like, holy shit look at the brutality on display here. It was a pause like hospice just told him his mom passed away and that he should go in there to say goodbye and maybe pick out a dress for her funeral.

I know I am shitting on this show somewhat unfairly, but when the real life coroner explains the science behind something, he does a great job of it.  That stuff is on point.

Narrator: “From appearances, Iris has likely been violated in every possible way.”

Jesus christ dude. Not sure you needed to say that in such a dramatic fashion. Maybe don’t say it at all.  Just let the real life detective do a matter of fact run down like “The victim was sexually assulted and shot multiple times resulting in her death.”  See.  If you do it like that you don’t sound like a creep who is totally stoked about this woman’s agonizing last moments.

they just said the victims’s full name so i paused it because I wanted to find out when this happened ever since a scene with the coroner using a pager was followed by him talking to a cop in parking lot that had a prius.  I had a feeling the timeline might be off and, yep, this took place in 1996.  Still no truth in this art. Come one guys.

ahhhhh god damn it.  I just looked online and turns out the prius was first produced in 1997.  I didn’t know it was around that long.  Granted it still isn’t old enough to be on the show, but it isn’t as bad as if they had some dude at the crime scene playing angry birds.  In my defense, it was a newer looking prius model.

The actress playing Britney and the actress playing Britney’s mom are indistinguishable from each other.  I don’t know if that is a result of poor casting, or the fact that I’m watching this on my tiny laptop screen, or maybe I’m racists and never knew it until just now. I hope it is the first one.

 

I need to take a break, but I’ll finish this up later.

real life coroner: “That means there was probably an attempt to strangle her.” The show then queues up noticeably loud “Deal or no Deal” moment of truth music. The show then continues on.  It’s like the music guy did this in real time and thought he was just about to go to a commercial and then was like “god damnit, ok, back to the quasi spooky mood music. I hate my life.”

coroner assistant: “But why two shots? That seems like over kill.”  not it doesn’t.  Not at all really.  That seems like the exact number if you want to efficiently make sure someone is dead. In fact I think “two shots to the back of the head” has probably been a phrase used in multiple tv shows and movies where one character wants to let another character know how to assassinate someone.  If it had been 5 or 6 shots. Sure. Overkill. But two shots. Nope. I’m guessing we are going to find out soon that her murder was personal.

HAHAHHA OMG, the coroner just said that she was still alive after the first gun shot. So IN YO FACE attractive nameless coroner’s assistant.

Narator: “Nobody knew Iris better than her boyfriend and her brother, and both somehow managed to beat the cops to the crime scene.”

?????

Aren’t the cops almost always beaten to the crime scene by someone, usually the person who discovers the crime and calls the cops so that they know to go to the crime scene.  That is how cause and effect works.  I think in the beginning of the episode it was the brother and the boyfriend who saw smoke coming from the house and then found her body. Does this show not know how cause and effect works?

I’ve listened to the first question the detective asked the brother like 5 times and I think he says “Zach, I’ll be honest with you, it doesn’t sound good; you finding your sister’s body before the cops do.”

Do cops do this to all people who report a crime?  “John, i’ll be honest, it doesn’t look good, you finding your car first thing this morning in your drive way with a broken window and the stereo missing, BEFORE the cops found it.”

I seriously love the dramatic creative license they take with the re-enactments.  So first they showed the boyfriend as this horn rimmed glasses frail nerd doubling over coughing from the smoke in the apartment.  Now they show the same guy standing in the smoke, stoic, unwavering, and steadfast, with a creepy smile on his face.  Fucking aces.

So for the second episode in a row (well in the order I watched them) they built up suspects as being the killer with just a lot of innuendo, wild speculation, irrational assumptions, and bull shit foreshadowing. Then after they milked all the possible drama they could from it, they reveal that there is an alibi or proof it isn’t that person. These are alibi’s that would have been revealed, like right away.  If this was a law and order episode they wouldn’t even spend time investigating these guys. Instead the show would let the viewer know to not suspect them because it would have Brisco say a single line of dialogue to Jesse Martin like “Well the brother was out of town that night, and the supposed good guy boy friend spent the evening at the house of some lady he met at the bar. So their alibis check out. ”

Not this show.  I feel like for each episode they want to do at least one or two misdirections on who the killer was, and because there are so few people involved they really got to stretch character descriptions to build the drama. “Now the mail man never had worked that route before that day, and had no connection to either of the victims, or their friends, or family, or neighbors, or business associates, and was actually 80 years old and incapable of physically committing the crime… but, he did have a tattoo on his arm, kind of like how many gang members have tattoos on their arms, and as I know from my 30 years of police work, gang members often have to commit random murders as part of an initiation. [5 min later] Well it turns out that tattoo was something he got in the navy 60 years ago, and actually lived in a different state that happened to have a city with the same name, oh and he also died 15 years before this murder took place. So it looks like we were back to square one, but that’s when we decided to look into a new suspect, this was a man who was found at the crime scene standing over the body, covered in the victims blood, holding a meat cleaver, and screaming ‘I did it, I killed her’. This is when the investigation took an unexpected turn.”

Ok, my mind was just blown. Not by something truly surprising taking place in this murder investigation, but because just two completely independent, but hilariously dumb thing happened at the same time.  First the voice over guy just revealed that the coroner was ” one day into his investigation, when a new suspect has been revealed.” I’ll go back to that, but while that was being said, they did a montage of the investigation so far and they showed a smudge of blood on the fridge that was shown earlier in this episode, but this time they did this random bubble warp special effect to the smudge. It looked like something either from a horror movie or start trek.  I have no idea why they did it, and I don’t think they ever did anything like that before.

Going back to the narrator’s quote, if this is the first day of an investigation, you can’t get excited that a new suspect has been found and say it in a way that is similar to when you catch a big break on a decades old cold case.  It’s day 1. Everyone is a suspect, and they are all new suspects.  Settle the fuck down ID TV.

Narrator:  “Every cop in the region was put on high alert”  No they weren’t.  it was one day into the investigation into a solitary incident of murder.  Don’t make it sound like it was the aftermath of a terror attack.

The aerial shots of Harrisburg are pretty good.

So they just reenacted the murder and wow, they didn’t hold anything back. They kind of just allude to the violence in the rest of the show and use blurry slow mo reenactments, but with this one scene they really showed basically every moment of it in real time.  Kind of jarring and unnecessary.  I really think the actors portraying the murderer and the victim are good. Like I was totally into that scene, in a good way because of their acting.  Granted I still think it was a weird choice by the show to go that route and make it seem so real, but hey, good acting guys and gals.

Ok the coroner is at the cemetery again. Once again, not at the funeral, but years later, just timed perfectly to when the family goes there to place flowers on the grave. aaaannnnnddddd another slow mo walk away ending.  How does the coroner know when to go to the grave site?  Is he stalking the families of the victims he investigates?  Maybe he’s the real killer of all of these people and he uses his job to cover his tracks so he can go to cemeteries to watch grieving family members cause that overly complicated act is the only way he can get an erection.

I ended that on a weird note.

I have so many shows that I need to finish watching like Orange is the new black, or Hell on Wheels, or Halt and Catch Fire, and Ray Donovan.  So i’m not sure if this will become a regular thing.  Maybe it will just be a late at night on the weekends thing.  Maybe I will do it when I’m drunk in the future.

ohhhhhh, I bet I could make a podcast out of this.  Wait that is a terrible idea.  In my mind for a moment I thought it could work since I live where all these stories take place so I have a connection and could do more research into the stories so I offer the listeners more than just me shitting on a show that a lot of talented people put a lot of effort into making.  But then I thought “That’s a terrible idea. These are stories where real people in the area I live have lost loved ones.”  Maybe I shouldn’t even do these reviews.

Nah, too much fun.  So yea to live blogs, nay to podcast.