There’s always this stigma that made-for-TV movies are all garbage. Its probably earned, but during my time social-distancing with my family my dad suggested we watch some of the Jesse Stone movies. I saw that the CTV app (you won’t know what this is because its Canadian) was streaming all 9 of them. So each afternoon we watched a new Jesse Stone.
These movies are based on a run of novels and feature Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone. My dad’s a boomer so he obviously loves Tom Selleck. So Jesse Stone is this LA cop who moves to this Massachusetts to become the police chief when he is caught drinking on the job. It turns out that these movies are shot in Nova Scotia which is my stomping ground. Its hard to believe how cool it is to see some areas you know in movies. If Tom Selleck is at a parking lot that you’ve parked at yourself then there becomes something friendly about the whole movie.
These movies play out like 90 minute episodes of a TV series. They are pretty self contained. There are 9 of them. It definitely helps to watch them all in order, but they are pretty approachable if you’ve never seen one. At the end of the day they’re just police procedurals, but they’re very well made. They’re the same thing over and over again, yet they’re cool to watch back to back. There are plenty of characters that come in and out like recurring characters and I was surprised how attached I got to them. The pacing is ridiculously slow, Jesse basically has all the same issues at the end of the 9 movie arc that he has in the first movie. One of missions for a 3 movie stretch is simply trying to get his dog Reggie to get up on the bed with him. The supporting cast is supposed of a few somewhat familiar faces. Viola Davis is in the first few before you get to the point that The Help came out.
Unfortunately this series of TV movies has been dormant for a few years now. The last one came out back in 2015, but I’d honestly be on board for any more they want to make.
Have you ever watched Jesse Stone? What is your favorite made-for-TV movie?