One of the shows I watched (or listened to) periodically was Da Vinci’s Inquest, a Canadian cop show about the city’s coroner, which apparently has a mildly different function in Canada than in the US. It’s a pretty good show when it doesn’t get too preachy (interestingly, while US TV gushes over the Canadian health care system, Canadian TV takes a more jaundiced view).

There’s one really odd thing about it, though. Sometimes it feels like the episodes stop before the end of the show. Now, having ambiguous endings is not a bad thing. Sometimes, after all, you don’t get the killer. But they will end it in the oddest places. Like they’ll spend the whole episode trying to prove that so-and-so did it only to find out that he didn’t and then have a lead on who did do it. Before they even interview the guy and before we know how the investigation went, though, the credits start rolling.

I’m not sure if this is just some weird sort of artistry. A way of saying “It’s more about the characters than the investigation” or something like that. I checked like three or four times and I wasn’t missing any episodes. The other possibility is wondering it maybe they just had too many minutes and had to cut something. You see this in syndication sometimes, because syndication reruns typically have more ads than prime-time viewing. On the Niles-Daphne episode of Frasier, for instance, a very important speech by Martin was cut short.

Of course, if that’s the case, then they’re cutting off the ending of the shows. Typically, that’s not the part you want to cut.

It’s sort of like one of my editors when I was a columnist at the Daily Packer, Southern Tech University’s student paper. When my columns ran too long, he would just cut off the end. Sometimes the last paragraph is the most important part that brings the whole column together. Or in other times I may spend an entire column setting up a premise only to devastatingly knock it down in the final paragraph, only to have the last part left off and making the ridiculous point I was mocking. Then I would get all sorts of email in support of the position that I was trying to dismantle.

Category: Theater

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7 Responses to Da Vinci’s Incomplete

  1. web says:

    Yeah, the hackjobs by the Daily Packer editors were infamous even after you left. A particular nuisance/cause of the problem was that they’d tell you “You have X words” or “You have X column inches”, but then there would be a last minute ad buy, or they needed more space for a “breaking news” story, or their paramour finally got one of his/her random fluff pieces “finished”, or some other “reason” (legit or not) for a change. The end result was that the article would get shifted into a different day or dramatically reduced space without giving the writer the chance to pare their own article down.

    As for the Canadian health system, working with a couple Canadian expatriates shows the problem. The US media is in the pocket of left-wing interests who want to see US health-care fully government-run. Thus, they have a vested interest in portraying other government-run health care systems as superior to the US system.

    Actual Canadians have to live with the downsides of their particular system, such as the massive delays and the amount of appeals sometimes required to get anything scheduled. Since they get to see the whole system, and not just an idealized version of it, they’re much less likely to see it as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

  2. David Alexander says:

    As somebody who has family in Canada, one should note that since the programme is technically run at the provincial level, care can vary by location, but from what I’ve gathered, it’s relatively great for primary care and emergency care, decent for serious illnesses, but annoying for those with treatable but non-severe illnesses due to lower numbers of specialists* and de facto rationing of services like MRI scanning and optional surgeries. While it is “free”, their healthcare system is essentially a de facto HMO run by the government that does a fair bit of cost controls, and the cost control aspect is what some say is missing from US healthcare. Given that nobody liked such cost controls during the 90s, there’s essentially no support for the government to do the same thing, hence our rapidly increasing healthcare costs.

    *The problem is the Canadian medical schools churn out more primary care doctors over specialists, and a sizable number of their doctors end up moving to the States to earn more money. Even if they didn’t have free healthcare, they’d still end up coming to the States since pay in Canada for anything is generally less than it’s Canadian equivalent, and young Canadians aren’t crippled with large student loan debt…

  3. Peter says:

    Speaking of preachy cop shows, a few weeks ago I decided to watch some Dragnet episodes on Hulu. As a child I had watched some episodes in reruns after school and remembered enjoying them. Apparently, in my childhood I wasn’t too perceptives when it came to preachiness. Dragnet actually consisted of moral lessons delivered in Jack Webb’s stern voice interspersed with a few actual bits of police work.

  4. trumwill says:

    The US media is in the pocket of left-wing interests who want to see US health-care fully government-run.

    I wouldn’t say that they’re “in the pocket of” so much as adherents to a philosophy that says that a fully government-run health care system would be either more efficient or more just than our current system. I’m not going to comment on how true that belief is because I don’t want a health care discussion, but I do believe that it is a sincerely held belief and not one they are being bribed or coerced into expressing (as the phrase “in the pocket of” means when I read/say it).

    Everything else you say I agree with.

  5. trumwill says:


    What percentage of Canadian doctors end up emigrating to the US? I know that there is a general brain drain and it seems unlikely that doctors would be excluded from this, but I rarely seem to run into Canadian docs.

    On the other hand, to the extent that the situation is as you describe it (as it pertains to student debt), you would think that’s something they could control. All you have to do is load them down in debt and then forgive those debts if they stick around. One of the trends in the US for primary care docs seems to be debt repayment for working in less desirable environments.

    Of course, in both cases, it still makes being a specialist in the US more economically rewarding than being a primary doc in the US or any doc in Canada (or, for that matter, just about anywhere else in the world).

  6. trumwill says:


    Phi actually commented a while back on one of Joe Friday’s lecture to a young activist sort and how you don’t see that particular sort of moralizing anymore. Now it’s kind of a different sort of moralizing when the writers aren’t being disciplined.

  7. David Alexander says:

    From what I remember reading some time ago, it’s mostly those at the higher end that come to the states primarily for the higher pay that’s offered. Even if Canada decided to cripple their doctors with massive debt, one will essentially discourage doctors from going to school while exacerbating the brain drain by making moving to the US more attractive in order to pay off said debt.

    BTW, one doctor that was profiled on a CBC report ended up moving to Colosse stating that it was far easier to get funding for medical research there than in Canada and the pay was considerably better.

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