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Salzmank

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  1. Repeating what everyone else is saying, but this episode was great. Jordan’s taking down and field-dressing that moose was brilliant, why (as @humbleopinion wrote) we watch the show, even if hard to watch. One of the very best Alone moments.
  2. Great! Will love to see what you think of it. I should note that it doesn’t really hit its stride until halfway through the Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman) years, so those first episodes may be slow going.
  3. Actually, it seems most murder-mystery screenwriters aren’t even as clever as Dwight! Most of the mystery movies I’ve seen go for the least-likely suspect automatically. That’s why, even though I didn’t really love (or even much like) this movie, I appreciated that the writer took the time to include clues and actual detective-work. On the other hand, the suspect I was hoping to be the killer was Black Panther’s dad. They suspected him early on and then cleared him, which, in mixed-up mystery logic, probably would make him Dwight’s medium suspect.
  4. The best spy show of them all—charming, witty, intelligent, with a serving of man-eating plants, teddy bear costumes, evil Santa Clauses, diabolical masterminds, and Peter Cushing-controlled robots on the side. For everyone who hasn’t seen this—what are you waiting for? For longtime fans—isn’t it time you saw it again? 😉 There’s a great fan-site here, though the guy who owns it has stopped updating it. My favorite years are unsurprisingly with the lovely Emma Peel (Diana Rigg), Steed’s perfect partner. What say you?
  5. Always nice to see a T&T reference—they’re my favorite Christie sleuths. I’d also be willing to see a series of b-movies like this, and I also liked Sandler and Aniston as detectives, but they’d need better scripts. I found dialogue, comedy, and mystery all lacking.
  6. SPOILERS: I didn’t exactly love this, or even much like it, and I think it needed many more script revisions. There’s virtually no characterization, and it’s incredibly disappointing to spend no time with Terence Stamp except for that one monologue. The writer should have taken his lead from a far better mystery movie set on a yacht, The Last of Sheila (which everyone should watch!), and kept the movie mostly on the yacht with only a few side-trips. Keep it streamlined. Good points were the scenery (of course), Sandler and Aniston’s rapport (Sandler, whom I usually despise, was surprisingly decent in this), and the clues. They’re not the world’s most complicated clues, sure, but they’re there, especially for the first culprit. On the other hand, I guessed the race car driver was the killer from the beginning. I was a bit more surprised by the actress’s being his accomplice.
  7. Salzmank

    Monk

    So, this is the only Monk thread now, right? Anyone interested in writing a favorite episode list, as clichéd as that is? Here’s mine: “Mr. Monk Meets the Dale the Whale” (S1:E3)—the solution surprised me when I first saw it (I was convinced that, somehow, DtW had committed the murder himself), though in retrospect it’s the only solution possible. Still, creating an evil Nero Wolfe for Monk’s archenemy is a genius idea, even if none of the other Dale episodes were as good as this first one. “Mr. Monk and the Billionaire Mugger” (S1:E7)—this one’s ingenious, and the kneepads are one of the best clues in any mystery TV show. One of the handful of Monks that demonstrate that, at the show’s best, its plots could be just as clever as anything from Death in Paradise or Jonathan Creek. “Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation” (S1:E10)—the plot’s tricky, with some excellent clues, though the identity of the killer comes out of nowhere. With that said, the comedy, often supplied by the hilarious Polly Draper, is some of the series’ finest. “Mr. Monk and the Airplane” (S1:E13)—a good, solid Columbo-esque inverted mystery with top-notch comedy. Shows, in Monk’s signature style, how we can know the killer from the beginning and still be surprised by twists in the plot. The Wings stuff, though short, is a hoot. “Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame” (S2:E16)—another ingenious cryptic clue: “Girls Can’t Eat 15 Pizzas”! Perhaps the best usage of the much-used-in-Monk six Napoleons trick. “Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect” (S2:E20)—some of the show’s best plotting, and its trickiest alibi. The trick is a bit unbelievable, but the sheer audacity of it is a delight, and it’s fair-play. “Mr. Monk and the Paperboy” (S2:E23)—the six Napoleons trick again, but well-hidden and genuinely baffling. Improves on a similar and surprisingly decent Murder, She Wrote episode (“If It’s Thursday, It Must Be Beverly”). “Mr. Monk and the Three Pies” (S2:E24)—another good usage of the six Napoleons trick, though by this point it’s in nearly every other Monk episode. The chemistry between Shalhoub and John Turturro as his brother, though, is hilarious. “Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa” (S4:E54)—the trick, a variation on Christie’s Peril at End House, is not too difficult to figure out, but Monk’s detective work is good, the Christmas spirit is nice, and we’re never quite sure exactly who the intended victim is. “Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist” (S4:E60)—fairly basic plot, but everything else—the filmmaking, the suspense, the comedy—is top-notch. “Mr. Monk and the Garbage Strike” (S5:E63)—hilarious! One of the show’s funniest episodes, and the cameo (which I won’t—can’t!—spoil) comes out of nowhere in the best possible way and is brilliant. Plot’s not half bad either. Great episode. “Mr. Monk is Up All Night” (S6:E86)—brilliant. The identity of the killer is not the shocker, but every element on which we thought the plot turned is wrong, with a hidden narrative underlying the narrative we saw. To paraphrase critic Nick Fuller, it’s one of the glorious sequences in detective-stories, like the journal in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd or the Harlequinade in “The Flying Stars,” where the truth is right in front of our eyes but we still don’t see it. Monk himself, by trying to bring about justice, indirectly causes a crime. The last twist, about the woman with whom Monk is obsessed, is a bit unbelievable but emotionally and dramatically satisfying. Also: again, hilarious. “Mr. Monk and the Genius” (S7:E95)—pure Columbo, in the best possible way. The titular genius, chess master (and wife-murderer) Patrick Kloster, is so smug and arrogant that we can’t wait to see him get his comeuppance; he would be right at home in facing off against the good Lieutenant. How he tricks Monk is ingenious, as is Monk’s payback. Even at this late in the game, the show’s still got it. Honorable mentions: “Mr. Monk and the 12th Man” (S2:E22)—related to but not copied from Queen’s Cat of Many Tails. The motive is good, but the writer needlessly shoots himself in the foot by then turning it into another six-Napoleons trick halfway through. Thus is ingenuity wasted. “Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas” (S3:E43)—rather ingenious, but I picked up on the central deception in the first five minutes. The writer comes up with an excellent solution halfway through that he decides not to use as the “real” solution for some reason. Wasted ingenuity again. “Mr. Monk and the Voodoo Curse” (S8:E116)—not without a few flaws, and the plot is basically borrowed from Christie’s The A.B.C. Murders. I guessed killer, method, and motive without much difficulty, but that method is good (if close to William DeAndrea’s The HOG Murders). The voodoo theme is fun, though. “Mr. Monk is Underwater” (S7:E98)—one of the series’ few impossible crimes, and the other two, “Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico” and “Mr. Monk and the Panic Room,” cheat badly in their solutions. This solution is simple and fine but covered in needless complexity; there’s no point to the firecracker except to give Monk a clue. The hallucinated Dr. Bell and Natalie’s flirting with the sailor, though, are nice touches. So there ya go! You don’t have to do write-ups as I did if you don’t want to—but what are your favorites?
  8. Salzmank

    Columbo

    Oh, that’s too bad… Is there any way to persuade them to put it back up, or is that hopeless?
  9. It certainly could have been Perry... I distinctly remember it in color, though, so it would have to have been one of the later TV movies. I’ll ask the other guys who remember this if they also definitely remember color. Thanks!
  10. We looked into McMillan, yeah… We couldn’t find it there, unfortunately—nor in Ironside. (I’ve only seen one episode of Ironside—and, I think, only one episode of McMillan too—but better safe than sorry.) I’ve never seen any of Jake and the Fat Man, Cannon, or Mannix. Thanks!
  11. Hi everyone— I used to post here a while back, when it was previously.tv… It’s nice to see these boards are still up! I have a question that I hope someone here may be able to help me with. I remember an episode of what I thought was Columbo in which the killer had a clever alibi that involved apparently being in San Francisco while the murder was happening in Los Angeles. In reality, the villain had killed his victim and then flown his private plane to Frisco, making it in time for his meeting. Columbo, or whoever the sleuth was, figured it out because there was a logbook that recorded when the private plane had come in and out, and the killer had changed the time of when it flew in and out (it was in pencil). The only problem is, I can’t find this plot line anywhere—neither as an episode of Columbo nor as an episode of anything. At another forum, there are a bunch of people who also remember it and also don’t know what it is. At first we all thought it was “Swan Song,” the Columbo episode with Johnny Cash: it also has a private plane, but nothing else matches. Does anyone know what this is? All of us who remember whatever this is would greatly appreciate it. Here’s what we’ve ruled out so far: Columbo: “Swan Song,” “Murder by the Book,” “Ransom for a Dead Man,” “Prescription: Murder,” “A Deadly State of Mind,” “Mind Over Mayhem,” “Suitable for Framing,” “Étude in Black,” “Sex and the Married Detective,” “Murder in Malibu” The Glades: “Fountain of Youth” Murder, She Wrote: “Terminal Connection” McCloud The Magician Quincy, M.E. The Streets of San Francisco
  12. Salzmank

    Columbo

    There’s no category here just for Columbo?!
  13. Salzmank

    Monk

    Polly Draper’s absolutely hilarious Rita Bronwyn, from “Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation.” Excellent character from a very good episode.
  14. Salzmank

    Monk

    I guess I’m going against the grain, but I far preferred Natalie. Sharona can be fun at times, but Bitty Schram tended to play her as so annoying and obnoxious. Ugh. Unfortunately, I think the Sharona episodes, though, tend to hold up better than the Natalie ones! What am I to do?
  15. Salzmank

    Monk

    Very early on, for better or worse, but then I tend to dislike ongoing or overarching plot lines anyway. Monk, methinks, is at is best in its one-off mysteries—the character interactions and the stories are better.
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