Perhaps a better question: Who the heck is Jesse Stone?
Let's back up. It's Friday, so a lot of you are already making your weekend plans. Perhaps you'll swing by Crystal Video tonight and pick up a rental, or, like an increasing number of movie fans, log on to Netflix and arrange your queue. For the latter group, we have a pointed question: What's with the Jesse Stone obsession?
Netflix offers a list of the top rentals "in and around Missoula, Montana" and most are the usual suspects: The Little Red Truck, for instance, ranks first. A River Runs Through It places eighth. More unusual is the fact that two different Jesse Stone films rank in the top 25.
Jesse Stone, for those, like us, unfamiliar with made-for-TV flicks starring Tom Selleck, is a detective novel character created by Robert B. Parker. CBS has made five — five! — Jesse Stone films since 2005, including Stone Cold, Jesse Stone: Night Passage, Jesse Stone: Death In Paradise (23rd on Netflix's list), Jesse Stone: Sea Change (ninth on Netflix's list), and Jesse Stone: Thin Ice.
Maybe the issue isn't Jesse Stone, but Selleck. Another of his made-for-TV movies, Monte Walsh (TNT, 2003, a remake of the 1970 western based on Jack Schaffer's novel), ranks third with Netflix.
Meanwhile, a quick call to Crystal shows that cable series like "Mad Men" and "True Blood" are the most in-demand current rentals. Further proof that Crystal customers will always have better taste than the rest of Missoula.