William Link, 77, was asking the question. Link is one of, if not the most successful producer and writer in television history, having put, with his late partner Richard Levinson, 16 series on the air, including creating “Columbo,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Cosby Mysteries” and “Mannix.” They also created any number of important TV movies, including “The Execution of Private Slovik,” which launched Martin Sheen’s career, “That Certain Summer,” which was the first sympathetic portrayal of gay men on television, and the 1988 “Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami,” which was hauntingly prescient.
Shysters chase ambulances; critics chase influences. How to characterize this Chandler-Babel stew? Let's try the Hollywood idiom. "The Yiddish Policeman's Union" is Woody Allen meets Cornel Woolrich. No, better, deeper: S.J. Perelman meets Y.L. Peretz meets Harry Turtledove. Martin Amis meets Stanley Elkin who is chatting with Sholom Aleichem about Jorge Luis Borges.
The mysterious billboards went up across the Los Angeles area just after the High Holidays. Each used a variation on the same theme, juxtaposing illustrations: Latkes or fries? Bagels and lox or sushi? Yarmulke or cap?
"The Final Solution: A Story of Detection" by Michael Chabon (Fourth Estate/HarperCollins, $16.95).
Depending on their authors' predilections, so-called "literary" novels are often unsettling, disturbing, enlightening or tragicomic. They are not, in the main, much fun. Fun is left to hacks, those genre writers who churn out the chick-lit blockbusters, weepy romances, thrillers, sci-fi fantasies and blood-and-guts horrors that dominate the best-seller lists.
In 1979 two tiny pieces of cracked and deteriorated silver found in a tomb outside of the Old City of Jerusalem proved to be one of the most important archeological discoveries of the century.
Eight-year-old Sruli Slodowitz from Pico-Robertson likes dressing up as his favorite hero; no, it is not Batman, Superman or even Harry Potter -- but Agent Emes, "an ordinary kid with an extraordinary mission" who is the 11-year-old protagonist in a new mystery adventure video series for Jewish children.
Like all women, Miriam is a complex human being, whom I cannot fully understand.
In the wake of the Littleton shooting tragedy, a nation of finger-pointers has rounded up the usual suspects: media violence, guns, video games, the Internet. But for Jonathan Kellerman, this laundry list -- inevitably brought out in the wake of such violence -- omits one major source of responsibility: the perpetrators. "We'll blame society," says an unsurprised Kellerman. "And we'll forget about it until the next tragedy."
Kellerman is not being cynical or prophetic, just reflective.
The truth is that there are any number of things about which I know absolutely nothing. Right off the bat, I can think of several, ranging from soccer to Eastern religions, and from farming to trigonometry.
The big surprise of the holiday season, if you caught it, was Jerry Seinfeld's wedding.
It turns out the man whose television persona perfectly embodied men's fear of commitment was, in real life, simply waiting for the right Jewish woman. Once he found her, baddaboom, baddabing, you've got a traditional Jewish wedding, chuppah, broken glass, the works. It's so traditional, the crabmeat canapes come out only after the rabbi leaves. They even saw to a kosher Jewish divorce for the once-married bride. Who knew television's darkest satirist was such a sentimental traditionalist offscreen?
The idea for Rochelle Majer Krich's new mystery, "Blood Money," goes back to the day she discovered some startling photographs in her parents' china closet.