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40 minutes ago, LakeGal said:

I just watched Fade in to Murder.  That is the one with William Shatner.  Shera Danese shows up in the movie in a small part.  That is her first appearance.  It was a year before she married Peter Falk.  She really did appear in way too many of them.  

She may have a really nice person but she couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag.

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It seems to me that the acting in general wasn't as strong during the "second run" as in the original episodes.  Very few well known actors during the later years and I think it had an impact on the show-although I still love those later episodes because, well, it's Columbo.

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"Comfort Viewing: 3 Reasons I Love ‘Columbo’"

Quote

“Columbo” is one of the very few American series fueled by class warfare. Whether they are driven by coldblooded entitlement, delusions of grandeur or simple greed, the murderers treat the self-deprecating, ostentatiously low-grade cop with seething annoyance, willful condescension or hypocritical benevolence.

It is hard to overstate how satisfying it is to see smug criminals get caught right now. Imagine the joy of seeing a rebooted Columbo go after hedge-fund managers, big-game hunters, studio chiefs, YouTube influencers, real-estate magnates or celebrity chefs who picked killing as an acceptable problem-solving method.

 

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Just noticed this is on the free part of Peacock. All of it. 

I'll be catching up with some episodes I haven't seen in a long time. 

On 7/25/2020 at 4:56 PM, meowmommy said:

Imagine the joy of seeing a rebooted Columbo go after hedge-fund managers, big-game hunters, studio chiefs, YouTube influencers, real-estate magnates or celebrity chefs who picked killing as an acceptable problem-solving method

Nope. No joy. It's a role which can't be recast. 

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On 7/25/2020 at 1:56 PM, meowmommy said:

Imagine the joy of seeing a rebooted Columbo go after hedge-fund managers, big-game hunters, studio chiefs, YouTube influencers, real-estate magnates or celebrity chefs who picked killing as an acceptable problem-solving method

 

I didn't write that.

Edited by meowmommy
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17 hours ago, Kromm said:

 

Nope. No joy. It's a role which can't be recast. 

That's really true.  I also don't know who they would get for all of the villains as they were cast so well (generally) during the original run.

Also-there really is only ONE Columbo!  When they tried to make it work with Mrs. Columbo, we learned that even being closely related to him doesn't work...

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18 hours ago, meowmommy said:

I didn't write that.

The quoting system doesn't allow me to change the tag.  It was in your post, so it attributed it to you.  

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1 hour ago, seacliffsal said:

That's really true.  I also don't know who they would get for all of the villains as they were cast so well (generally) during the original run.

Also-there really is only ONE Columbo!  When they tried to make it work with Mrs. Columbo, we learned that even being closely related to him doesn't work...

I'm not worried about the villains. There are plenty of good actors around. 

Aside from Peter Falk being literally irreplaceable as Columbo, there's also the writing to consider. Those villains worked so well because they were both acted AND written well. Not that good writers don't exist now too, but stylistically people tend to write very differently now. It will be hard to match the proper style and tone. 

To be fair, MONK wasn't that many years ago and did have a SIMILAR if not identical tone. 

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42 minutes ago, Kromm said:

The quoting system doesn't allow me to change the tag.  It was in your post, so it attributed it to you.  

No.  It was apparently in the link I shared, but not in the content I quoted.

Edited by meowmommy
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5 hours ago, meowmommy said:

No.  It was apparently in the link I shared, but not in the content I quoted.

I just hit a button.  The board did the rest. 

Edited by Kromm

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You're right about the writing.  I remember an article about Peter Falk having a hard time finding scripts he liked when they rebooted the series.

With all of the reboots we are seeing for both t.v. shows and movies, I think it's best to just leave some shows/movies alone as it is so very difficult to recreate the "magic" of what made something work in the first place.

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3 hours ago, seacliffsal said:

You're right about the writing.  I remember an article about Peter Falk having a hard time finding scripts he liked when they rebooted the series.

With all of the reboots we are seeing for both t.v. shows and movies, I think it's best to just leave some shows/movies alone as it is so very difficult to recreate the "magic" of what made something work in the first place.

Has anyone seen the new Perry Mason? Were they able to recreate the "feeling" of the original. Not the later tv movies but the original fifties/sixties show?

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19 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

Has anyone seen the new Perry Mason? Were they able to recreate the "feeling" of the original. Not the later tv movies but the original fifties/sixties show?

Not even close. 

It has a few good aspects in terms of being a great Depression era historical piece, but it really doesn't feel connected to the original show in any way, even as a prequel. This version of Perry somehow getting to law school, graduating, creating a successful law practice, and becoming a man more about talking, thinking and deducing, versus brooding, snooping and punching, seems very unlikely. 

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1 hour ago, Kromm said:

Not even close. 

It has a few good aspects in terms of being a great Depression era historical piece, but it really doesn't feel connected to the original show in any way, even as a prequel. This version of Perry somehow getting to law school, graduating, creating a successful law practice, and becoming a man more about talking, thinking and deducing, versus brooding, snooping and punching, seems very unlikely. 

That's what I was afraid of. When I saw the trailer, I thought "Oh, great. Another great character gritified into a stupid tough guy."

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Just re-watched "Make Me a Perfect Murder" for the umpteenth time.  This episode, along with "Troubled Waters" and "Rest In Peace, Mrs. Columbo" are my all-time favorites, although I must admit I have not seen every Columbo episode made.  

MMPM episode contains a sub-plot about the murderer, Kay Freestone (played by Trish VanDevere), trying to help a close personal friend Valerie Kirk (played by Lainie Kazan) stage a tv comeback for her performing career, which has obviously been derailed by drug and alcohol addictions.  I itch to create a backstory for these two - their interactions hint at a a great deal of depth and complexity to their relationship, and Kay shows genuine tenderness and concern for Valerie that she does NOT show for anyone else in her life, including the tv executive she's having an affair with, and then murders, because he won't promote her to his position when he is promoted to the New York office of the network.

Every scene in this episode is utterly compelling.  And I love the late 1970's setting - the clothes, the old-fashioned office equipment, the burnt orange, browns and other earth tones, the plants everywhere.  Those were the days... 

Edited by mousegirl
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6 hours ago, mousegirl said:

Just re-watched "Make Me a Perfect Murder" for the umpteenth time.  This episode, along with "Troubled Waters" and "Rest In Peace, Mrs. Columbo" are my all-time favorites, although I must admit I have not seen every Columbo episode made.  

MMPM episode contains a sub-plot about the murderer, Kay Freestone (played by Trish VanDevere), trying to help a close personal friend Valerie Kirk (played by Lainie Kazan) stage a tv comeback for her performing career, which has obviously been derailed by drug and alcohol addictions.  I itch to create a backstory for these two - their interactions hint at a a great deal of depth and complexity to their relationship, and Kay shows genuine tenderness and concern for Valerie that she does NOT show for anyone else in her life, including the tv executive she's having an affair with, and then murders, because he won't promote her to his position when he is promoted to the New York office of the network.

Every scene in this episode is utterly compelling.  And I love the late 1970's setting - the clothes, the old-fashioned office equipment, the burnt orange, browns and other earth tones, the plants everywhere.  Those were the days... 

Mousegirl:  I'm going to watch this episode tonight, for the third time...

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Saw Columbo Likes the Nightlife last night. The part where he figures out it wasn't a suicide by looking at the clippers, open bottle of mouthwash and the victims toes was hilarious/genius.

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On 8/21/2020 at 3:02 PM, Kromm said:

I'm not worried about the villains. There are plenty of good actors around. 

Aside from Peter Falk being literally irreplaceable as Columbo, there's also the writing to consider. Those villains worked so well because they were both acted AND written well. Not that good writers don't exist now too, but stylistically people tend to write very differently now. It will be hard to match the proper style and tone. 

To be fair, MONK wasn't that many years ago and did have a SIMILAR if not identical tone. 

While I agree with you that Falk is inimitable, I think a rebooted Columbo could work if the actor takes the role seriously and doesn’t do a Falk imitation.

Also, a rebooted Columbo should be kept the same even in a different world. In other words, he should drive around in the Peugeot, get yelled at for the cigar, and not carry a gun or cell phone. He’d be, for all intents and purposes, 1970s Columbo while the world has changed around him. And, as the article-writer says, he should go after modern Big Tech execs and the like.

Mark Ruffalo looks like Falk, reportedly loves the show, and has expressed a desire to play the character. I think he’d be a great choice, especially based on his performance in Zodiac.

As for the writing, yes, it’d be hard to get the right team, but it probably could be done. Definitely plunder the Monk ranks; in particular, Hy Conrad wrote some of the best Monk mysteries (and the best five-minute-mysteries book I’ve ever read, Historical Whodunits [2005]), and I’d expect him to do a great job with Columbo. Also, as I just wrote on these boards about Frasier, grab writers who come from a theater background—they know about cluing and complex plotting.

Edited by Salzmank
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7 minutes ago, meowmommy said:

Oh, that would be a really good choice.

Yes but that rumor has been floating around for years. If they're going to do it they better get on it. Falk was forty one when Columbo started. Ruffalo is fifty three now.

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1 minute ago, peacheslatour said:

Yes but that rumor has been floating around for years. If they're going to do it they better get on it. Falk was forty one when Columbo started. Ruffalo is fifty three now.

Still about ten years younger than when Peter Falk brought the character back.  Of course, he was far too old at that point, on so many levels.

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1 minute ago, meowmommy said:

Still about ten years younger than when Peter Falk brought the character back.  Of course, he was far too old at that point, on so many levels.

Yep, it was kind of sad really.

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Yes, but I would still watch those episodes (and do) over almost everything produced today (and, in fact there are a couple of the newer episodes that rank among my favorites).

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Ruffalo is far from the worst choice, but I say if you dare do it, then do it as a kind of prequel (so cast younger). Then again, this is coming from someone who, while I hated some of the choices in the Perry Mason prequel (a fist first detective with no money and no seeming road to even getting INTO law school muchless eventually become a very cerebral lawyer...?) did like the IDEA if it had been done better. 

Whether you do it as a period piece in the late 50s, or modern, I think a very young Columbo, let's say... as soon as he gets off Uniform duty and gets his Detective rank, could be fun. I'm still deeply skeptical in the ways I noted before, but if you gotta try... 

This idea introduces a few potentially fun elements.  1.) another character, a partner, having to understand what the heck Columbo is doing. Not to be milked TOO MUCH as conflict, since to be Columbo ultimately this still has to be a story about actually catching the crook and not Columbo himself, but just as a setup where we get to see Columbo actually have to explain himself. 2.) Columbo actually having more obstacles, because he has no power base. Again, this can't be to an extent it steers the stories to being about him, but it can potentially up the ante a bit if we see him having to work for it in more ways than on the old show. 3.) Maybe even Columbo being wrong sometimes. Inexperience could play into it if this is a nascent version.

Edited by Kromm
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4 hours ago, basiltherat said:

. . .  or if Young Columbo had a mentor who was more Columbo than Columbo!  

I dunno.  I'd like seeing his formative stage, but if he's just a bystander to someone being super-him, then it's arguably not his show. So... maybe.  I'd think it more interesting to see him the same, just not as accomplished, and with actual obstacles from the rest of the LAPD, who wouldn't know what to make of him. 

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Actually, he demonstrated many times during the series how very smart and capable he was, so I don't think the police department would present obstacles to him, I think it would be very much a story of how he figured out to best get suspects to underestimate him.  Kind of trial and error about how to get suspects to slip up.

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6 hours ago, Kromm said:

Whether you do it as a period piece in the late 50s, or modern, I think a very young Columbo, let's say... as soon as he gets off Uniform duty and gets his Detective rank, could be fun. I'm still deeply skeptical in the ways I noted before, but if you gotta try... 

Maybe it's best to stick to a retro version.  I do wonder if it was modernized, how Columbo would cope with DNA and modern forensics.  I think the closest he ever came to catching a suspect using anything approaching forensics was the tooth mark in the piece of cheese...

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2 hours ago, seacliffsal said:

Actually, he demonstrated many times during the series how very smart and capable he was, so I don't think the police department would present obstacles to him, I think it would be very much a story of how he figured out to best get suspects to underestimate him.  Kind of trial and error about how to get suspects to slip up.

If it's a prequel, why would that indicate to you that the LAPD would already understand and trust his judgment?  He'd just be some new Detective with no pull and mannerisms that might not exactly inspire confidence in higher ups. 

Edited by Kromm

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I wasn't suggesting that the LAPD would understand him, rather than he would understand how to work within that institution.  It would be getting the confessions that would take figuring out.

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This is the key to Columbo. If they don't understand this going in, I don't see it working:

 

"You know, sir, it's a funny thing. All my life I kept running into smart people. I don't just mean smart like you and the people in this house. You know what I mean. In school, there were lots of smarter kids. And when I first joined the force, sir, they had some very clever people there. And I could tell right away that it wasn't gonna be easy making detective as long as they were around. But I figured, if I worked harder than they did, put in more time, read the books, kept my eyes open, maybe I could make it happen. And I did. And I really love my work, sir."

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8 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

This is the key to Columbo. If they don't understand this going in, I don't see it working:

 

"You know, sir, it's a funny thing. All my life I kept running into smart people. I don't just mean smart like you and the people in this house. You know what I mean. In school, there were lots of smarter kids. And when I first joined the force, sir, they had some very clever people there. And I could tell right away that it wasn't gonna be easy making detective as long as they were around. But I figured, if I worked harder than they did, put in more time, read the books, kept my eyes open, maybe I could make it happen. And I did. And I really love my work, sir."

Except to a degree I always thought Columbo was either lying when he said this, being modest, or underestimating himself (probably lying).  He's certainly not book smart.  And I think it would just be a cliche to characterize him as "street smart". But he's crafty and observant.  Nothing around him goes unnoticed. He reads people like a book, and pretty much always knows when they're lying.  And while his plans to defeat them are often variations on the same theme, he's definitely the author of them and they consistently work.  

Actually of the three possibilities, him lying really is most likely. He lies to suspects all of the time. Even down to "One more question".  

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I recently moved (last month) and my new cable provider has ME t.v.  I've started watching Columbo on ME t.v. and believe that they leave all of the scenes and original content in the episodes.  And, what a difference!  Some of the content cut out on Hallmark and other channels really adds to how Columbo solves his cases.  I am seeing more scenes in which Columbo is observing the various people around him and involved in the cases, so it makes his deductions much more intentional and based on observations and the small details involved therein.  Columbo is also shown as talking to more bystanders and getting info that way.  I really am enjoying rewatching these episodes on ME t.v. as the story along with the characterization of Columbo seem to be more developed.

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37 minutes ago, seacliffsal said:

I recently moved (last month) and my new cable provider has ME t.v.  I've started watching Columbo on ME t.v. and believe that they leave all of the scenes and original content in the episodes.  And, what a difference!  Some of the content cut out on Hallmark and other channels really adds to how Columbo solves his cases.  I am seeing more scenes in which Columbo is observing the various people around him and involved in the cases, so it makes his deductions much more intentional and based on observations and the small details involved therein.  Columbo is also shown as talking to more bystanders and getting info that way.  I really am enjoying rewatching these episodes on ME t.v. as the story along with the characterization of Columbo seem to be more developed.

Good eye!

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Why would Hallmark cut?  Is it just for time?  I know the standard run time of TV episodes changed radically over the years (from around 13% in the 1950s devoted to ads, to 30+% now devoted to ads, since the 2000s) and Columbo ran for SO long I imagine it existed through several different stages of what composed a TV hour (doubled, I guess, since most of Columbo was Movie of the Week "2 hour" format).

So is MeTV simply committed to fitting their commercials around whatever the actual length of an episode is?

EDIT - Actually if you look at the actual Columbo run times through the years it's shocking how much they vary.  But it's not just based on year.  It bounces all over the place.  "Forgotten Lady" in 1975 is 100 minutes.  The VERY NEXT episode that same year, "A Case of Immunity" is 70 minutes.  Presumably these weren't necessarily in the same block size and the 100 min was in a 120 min block and the 70 min in a 90 min block, but that actually would have wound up leaving the SAME 20 minutes for commercials in both cases.  Compare this to the movies in the 1990s, which varied between 88 min and 98 min.  You'd assume the networks in the 90s would allocate a LOT more minutes to ads but it doesn't really work out that way, since I can't see them having dared blocking out 3 hours even for the longest ones.  Or conversely, the original pilot movies in the late 60s were 94 ("Prescription: Murder") and 92 minutes ("Ransom for a Dead Man") respectively, but then the Bochco/Spielberg actual first regular episode "Murder by the Book" a year or two later was 76 minutes.  Heck, I'm getting a headache so I don't even want to try and figure out how this affected commercial amounts, and if they actually followed the trend of commercials growing from around 18% of a show in the late 60s to the 30+ percent it eventually grew to. 

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I think that some of the differences in Columbo run time was due to how Columbo was being presented-as part of the Murder Mysteries (or something) series in which there were three rotating shows (McMillan and Wife and the Dennis Weaver one) versus stand-alone.  Later episodes seemed more padded when they were expanded to fill the 2-hour time slot.  I guess we would need...a Columbo to solve the mystery of the varying run-times...

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3 minutes ago, seacliffsal said:

I think that some of the differences in Columbo run time was due to how Columbo was being presented-as part of the Murder Mysteries (or something) series in which there were three rotating shows (McMillan and Wife and the Dennis Weaver one) versus stand-alone.  Later episodes seemed more padded when they were expanded to fill the 2-hour time slot.  I guess we would need...a Columbo to solve the mystery of the varying run-times...

It's more complicated than that, since in the same mid 70s season they had both 100 and 70 minutes in successive episodes.  You'd think if the episodes stayed in the same time ranges over the decades that would eventually mean going from 90 or 120 minutes blocks to 150 or 180 minute blocks, but that actually creates blocks with TOO MUCH ad time.  So yeah, it's a headache and a mystery.

Man oh man, going back to Wikipedia to check on those episode lengths, I never really noticed the bit about the actual first appearances of Columbo BEFORE the first pilot movie in 1968.   I knew it was a stage play, but it was actually a TV episode BEFORE being a play. I never noticed that before.  So for all our devotion to Falk, TWO other actors technically played Columbo first.  Thomas Mitchell in the 1962 stage play.  And Bert Freed in the 1960 TV episode before the stage play. 

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49 minutes ago, Kromm said:

It's more complicated than that, since in the same mid 70s season they had both 100 and 70 minutes in successive episodes.  You'd think if the episodes stayed in the same time ranges over the decades that would eventually mean going from 90 or 120 minutes blocks to 150 or 180 minute blocks, but that actually creates blocks with TOO MUCH ad time.  So yeah, it's a headache and a mystery.

Man oh man, going back to Wikipedia to check on those episode lengths, I never really noticed the bit about the actual first appearances of Columbo BEFORE the first pilot movie in 1968.   I knew it was a stage play, but it was actually a TV episode BEFORE being a play. I never noticed that before.  So for all our devotion to Falk, TWO other actors technically played Columbo first.  Thomas Mitchell in the 1962 stage play.  And Bert Freed in the 1960 TV episode before the stage play. 

I can't believe they originally wanted Bing Crosby to play Columbo. Can you imagine?

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I had heard about Bing Crosby before and am glad he turned it down as I just can't even imagine how different the show would have been with him in the role.

I never heard of the other two.  Any idea if the older t.v. episode is available anywhere?

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Enjoyed most of the Colombo episodes on the Sundance marathon this weekend--48 hours’ worth.  

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9 hours ago, alvajon said:

Enjoyed most of the Colombo episodes on the Sundance marathon this weekend--48 hours’ worth.  

I watched a twenty minute video on Reddit the other day. Kid couldn't have been more than nineteen years old, talking about how Columbo was the greatest TV show ever made. I wish Peter could know his character is being discovered and beloved by a whole new generation.

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Saw this on YouTube "If Columbo were anime":

 

 

Edited by VCRTracking
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I just started watching. I watched the movie, then the first 2 seasons and part of the 3rd, on Peacock. Then I switched over to what was airing on Sundance, which is a few from a variety of the later seasons. I'll try to get back to linear watching, but it was just easier to go for what my DVR would pick up, instead of seeking out whatever streaming service now has seasons 3 through 6.

 

ANYWAY, what blows me away is how the other characters and the settings look very different as the ties have changed, Columbo looks the same-- I don't mean the car and the coat. I mean Peter Falk. He looked the same age to me. I don't know if it's make up or if he just always looked like that. Mark Ruffalo also doesn't age, so maybe he is the right guy for a reboot.

I think some reboots fail terribly, but others are successful. Hawaii 5-0 has been popular, for example. I think it's all in the execution, so I remain unsure of whether I think it would work, because I really think it could, but it could also be a disaster, all depending on the team and how they put it together.

 

The amount of smoking going on-- not just the cigar, but so many of the other characters also, is just amazing to me. I also think that the lack of DNA evidence and cell phones makes a huge difference in some of the plotting... though I did just watch an episode from late in the run, where he is telling someone they can find things out using new science, which he doesn't call DNA evidence, but which sounds to me like it is. I think it would be harder to write the show now, when less observation and more lab is what people are used to.... though Elementary pulled it off with Holmes still being great at observation and strategy, so I guess it's do-able with good writers.

One of the things I love about the show is that the other cops respect him. They all treat him with total affection and trust, and there is just no tension at all between Columbo and his boss or any of the other officers or medical professionals he talks to. I love that he pretends to be this underdog, but he's really a star and everyone with any sense knows it.

I don't want to see him being disrespected by his fellow officers or his ranked superiors, because part of what I like is that he's not trying to prove himself. There's no arrogance or ego or machismo in the character. He doesn't have a chip on his shoulder, he's not in it for glory, he just wants to solve the crimes. It enables him to be compassionate and fair, without it seeming out of character.

Clearly sometimes he's buttering up a suspect, but when he's being gentle with a witness, or even after he makes an arrest, I like how he seems sincere in those moments, not "out for blood" or getting off on the adrenaline of the win, but just taking care of the world by taking murderers off the streets. It's such a contrast with other shows where there are car chases, stunts, and the heroes are portrayed as demigods, rather than... blokes. You get the feeling that if there were no homicides, Columbo would not need to go skydiving to get his jollies. He'd find something else to do, like finding lost dogs or something.

I watch shows with an adrenaline or super-hero quality. I just like that this show is something different.

And, as has been said before, I like that it's not about bagging the already reviled. He chases the most privileged people in the world, who usually get away with everything.

Edited by possibilities
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I enjoyed watching the pilot on MeTV last night. I do find it disconcerting to see one of my tv boyfriends be a murderer. Bat Masterson - how could you! 😂

I had the same problem with Ross Martin and Robert Conrad. How could my 2 favorite Secret Service agents do such a thing! At least with Conrad it was an hour of eye candy.

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6 hours ago, chessiegal said:

I had the same problem with Ross Martin and Robert Conrad. How could my 2 favorite Secret Service agents do such a thing! At least with Conrad it was an hour of eye candy.

Holy crap.  I've seen every Columbo, from when it first went on the air, multiple reruns, and I never, ever made that connection in my head. 

But I always, always liked Artie better than Jim.

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30 minutes ago, meowmommy said:

But I always, always liked Artie better than Jim.

Yeah, Artie was a sweetheart. But Jim had the tight pants and the great arse. I saw an interview with him where he said sometimes they wanted his pants so tight they would sew them on him, and that he couldn't sit down.

Conrad certainly was a good fit for the fitness nut on Columbo. He was in such good shape. He was 39 when he did the episode. I can't remember what age they said he was on the show, but I remember a point was made he was older than he looked because he was living a healthy lifestyle.

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Conrad certainly was a good fit for the fitness nut on Columbo. He was in such good shape. He was 39 when he did the episode. I can't remember what age they said he was on the show, but I remember a point was made he was older than he looked because he was living a healthy lifestyle.

It was almost a caricature.

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On 7/19/2021 at 3:57 PM, chessiegal said:

I enjoyed watching the pilot on MeTV last night. I do find it disconcerting to see one of my tv boyfriends be a murderer. Bat Masterson - how could you! 😂

I had the same problem with Ross Martin and Robert Conrad. How could my 2 favorite Secret Service agents do such a thing! At least with Conrad it was an hour of eye candy.

Oh cool.  You saw Prescription: Murder.  The first actual one with Peter Falk. 

I always hoped someone would discover some unexpected kinescope of the 1960 version and restore it, but gave up hope. 

Then I found this and assumed someone had. But... turns out its just people TALKING about that.   The thumbnail is a lie! 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, SnarkShark said:

I always hoped someone would discover some unexpected kinescope of the 1960 version and restore it, but gave up hope. 

It's never been 'a lost kinescope.'  I didn't see it originally (my original viewing started with the NBC Mystery Movie premiere of Murder by the Book), but I have seen it.

Anyway, you can find it right now on IMDbTV.  Just looked it up and there it is.

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