I've never watched Cold Case, aka CSI: Flashback–partly because I'm convinced the eerily translucent woman who stars in it is a ghost, but mostly because if I wanted to watch an overwraught police procedural, I'd watch a re-run of one of the many incarnations of Law & Order. That's the least I could do for the legacy of Jerry Orbach, after all, he gave us his eyes.

But I watched my first (and definitely last) episode of Cold Case on Sunday for one reason: to confirm that the following commercial wasn't a joke:

Guess what? It wasn't. Unfortunately, the Cold Case Nirvana rock opera–and all the awkwardness that description implies–was all too real. The plot concerned a supposed "thrill kill", some wrongly accused, grungy teens, a bad dad, and at least one use of the term "ass-clown" by a cold case detective. Basically, it was like watching a Lifetime movie, but shorter, more simplistic, and covered in flannel.

Still, the music did make it feel like 1994 all over again–as long as you happened to spend all of 1994 trapped in a lazy police drama starring a ghost-woman.