Author Topic: Columbo  (Read 4869 times)

Columbo
« on: July 08, 2019, 04:49:22 PM »
It's absolutely fucking ace isn't it? I can't imagine life without Columbo.

Is Peter Faulk one of the best actors of all time?

Dr Rock

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2019, 05:04:00 PM »
Is this bait to get biggy back?

Rolf Lundgren

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 11:03:26 PM »
It is brilliant.

One of the things I love is that really we don't know anything about Columbo. There's so much ambiguity about him, not just with his wife but with everything he says. I think Peter Falk once said he imagined Columbo living alone and going back to his little one room apartment every night and it's amazing that the show can span 5 decades and still maintain that uncertainty.

The whole show is a great example of Los Angeles noir with the glamorous lifestyles, the sunshine and the dirty murders that underpin everything. Stick it in black and white in the 1940s with Otto Preminger directing and they could make a classic film.

Re: Columbo
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 11:13:38 PM »
Columbo is fun, but it's not as good as it seemed to think it was.  The deliberate pacing and relative subtlety when compared to other US TV shows of the time shouldn't be mistaken for real quality of the sort that we've become used to in TV over the last 20 years.  Clive James once said that while he preferred art to trash, he preferred trash to kitsch, and hence he could never really enjoy Columbo.

And the Columbo-comes-to-Britain episode is fucking execrable.  It doesn't even cast a British actor as the villain!

Re: Columbo
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2019, 11:18:19 PM »
Yep, it's great. Weekends are so dire for television right now and 5USA with this saves the day every time.

Re: Columbo
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 12:25:54 AM »
Columbo is fucking amazing.

Just imagine how awful the inevitable James Corden remake is going to be.
IMAGINE IT!

Re: Columbo
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 12:51:26 AM »
The whole show is a great example of Los Angeles noir with the glamorous lifestyles, the sunshine and the dirty murders that underpin everything. Stick it in black and white in the 1940s with Otto Preminger directing and they could make a classic film.

It bridges the gap between actual 40's noir and Robert Altman's Long Goodbye.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 10:49:44 AM »
Columbo is fun, but it's not as good as it seemed to think it was.  The deliberate pacing and relative subtlety when compared to other US TV shows of the time shouldn't be mistaken for real quality of the sort that we've become used to in TV over the last 20 years.  Clive James once said that while he preferred art to trash, he preferred trash to kitsch, and hence he could never really enjoy Columbo.

And the Columbo-comes-to-Britain episode is fucking execrable.  It doesn't even cast a British actor as the villain!

Those criticisms can (easily) be applied to the "second phase" (80s, 90s and 00s) - soft focus, bright, soapy looking, Columbo himself has sort of become a proper comedy bumbling fool, etc etc - but not to most of the 70s run, which may as well be a completely different show, largely due to the second phase having no involvement from Richard Levinson or William Link, who still had at least a guiding hand in most if not all of the 70s episodes.  Most people who don't like Columbo tend to bring up the foibles of that second phase and mistakenly mention the first phase in the same breath.

Sure, there were some duff episodes in the first phase (like the one you mention), but most of them were and still are excellent, with more than a few of them being superb standouts in their own right - Murder By the Book (Spielberg's one), Any Old Port In a Storm (typically the fan favourite), By Dawn's Early Light, The Most Dangerous Match, Short Fuse, How to Dial a Murder, Double Exposure and Forgotten Lady are all fucking excellent, and my personal favourite - the John Cassavetes starring Etude In Black - could easily have been a stand-alone film.

Re: Columbo
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 12:04:04 PM »
I think Columbo's unselfconscious low-brow execution of a chamber style beats the spots off a lot of high concept big budget longform narrative television (which isn't really as designed as people wish to believe, what with studios constantly milking teats until they're raw. At least a bad Columbo episode doesn't signify death).

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2019, 01:03:57 PM »
At least a bad Columbo episode doesn't signify death).

Until you get to the 80s...

monkfromhavana

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2019, 01:31:33 PM »
One of the all-time greats.

The newer run, although too shiny etc is still a good watch and the end of "..Goes to college" with the two young brattish students getting their comeuppance is the closest I've came to wooping and punching the air watching any TV show.

Hard to choose a favourite - Murder by the Book, Short Fuse, Blueprint for Murder, Any Old Port in a Storm, A Friend in Deed, Double Exposure, By Dawn's...shit pretty much all of them. The only clunkers i can think of (due to me never having seen them until buying the boxset and then understanding why) are Double Shock, Playback and any from season 7. For some reason (unconscious sexism?) I've never really totally enjoyed the episodes with a female murderer.

The pilot is great as well, but the conclusion of it, with Columbo faking the accomplice's death always seemed like a simplistic ploy to ensnare the killer.

Limmy has raised Columbo's slightly worrying behaviour around young girls "you're a very attractive young lady", but other than that, he's a good guy.

Re: Columbo
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2019, 01:40:12 PM »
I don't even think about what year it is/what series it is, I only ever saw Columbo at infrequent intervals in syndication. Though the episode I watched and enjoyed on Sunday was the 4th one, so make of that what you will.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2019, 02:06:38 PM »
Limmy has raised Columbo's slightly worrying behaviour around young girls "you're a very attractive young lady", but other than that, he's a good guy.

He only says that when the girl/woman he's saying it to is very shy, awkward and/or is obviously majorly self conscious and has self doubt.  He says it both as a way to make them feel more comfortable about themselves and to cheer them up, but also to tease out information about whatever murder he's investigating.  It's FAR from sexual or pervy.  I have a lot of time for Limmy, but he's plain wrong here and fishing in an empty pond.

Cuellar

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2019, 02:12:54 PM »
There was that episode where he takes the pants of a dead 14 year old girl out of the evidence room and puts them into his mac pocket and when the camera pans up to his face he's sweating profusely.

Never really understood the justification for that. It isn't remarked on by the 2(?) other police officers in the room either, as if it was just something that he does. Bizarre.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2019, 02:20:42 PM »
There was that episode where he takes the pants of a dead 14 year old girl out of the evidence room and puts them into his mac pocket and when the camera pans up to his face he's sweating profusely.

Never really understood the justification for that. It isn't remarked on by the 2(?) other police officers in the room either, as if it was just something that he does. Bizarre.

Which also reminds me of the episode when a 12 year old girl has to run to the toilet because she's having her first period and he shouts through the door that he needs to go straight after and says several times "BUT DON'T FLUSH - I CAN'T STRESS THAT ENOUGH, MA'M!"

Chollis

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2019, 02:28:26 PM »
Never seen it

St_Eddie

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2019, 04:31:49 PM »
I think that Columbo is great.  Perfect Sunday afternoon viewing.  Most episodes are tops but the worst episode that I ever saw was the one with Robby the Robot in it.

Cuellar

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2019, 04:55:43 PM »
Which also reminds me of the episode when a 12 year old girl has to run to the toilet because she's having her first period and he shouts through the door that he needs to go straight after and says several times "BUT DON'T FLUSH - I CAN'T STRESS THAT ENOUGH, MA'M!"

I think you just made that up.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2019, 06:41:01 PM »
I think you just made that up.

Did not.

I did.

kidsick5000

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2019, 06:56:45 PM »
I remember one of the ‘new’ ones, obviously they were pleased getting Ed McBain to write it.
It might have been good in itself, but it just wasn’t Columbo. We saw him at the precinct. Urgh

Re: Columbo
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2019, 07:30:46 PM »
'Columbo: Undercover' is the worst one.

Re: Columbo
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2019, 10:40:15 PM »
My mate lost his virginity to the Shatner-starring episode.

St_Eddie

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2019, 10:49:15 PM »
My mate lost his virginity to the Shatner-starring episode.

Mate, masturbating to The Shat on TV does not count as losing your virginity.

If it did, then I would have lost mine at age 12.

Glebe

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2019, 12:15:39 AM »
My mate lost his virginity to the Shatner-starring episode.

YOUR MATE'S 'BIRD': It's getting late... and I can't stand that William Shatner!

YOUR MATE: Ah, just one more thing...

Re: Columbo
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2019, 12:25:06 AM »
My mate lost his virginity to the Shatner-starring episode.

WHICH ONE?

St_Eddie

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2019, 02:09:22 AM »

Re: Columbo
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2019, 11:24:21 AM »
The 70s shows are technically a lot better; I find the 90s versions a bit more comfy lazy viewing. And given recent news; the Rip Torn episode is up there as one of my favourite 90s versions. Just a really vile hateful character with the lightweight wimpering victim.

And as mentioned previously; I think that the Columbo goes to College episode is the one that got me into it. Being of college age when I watched it (about 10 years after it original showing), I could just relate to how annoying and vile the cocky murderers were and how I loved them getting their comeuppance and being totally outplayed by the affable charming detective.

St_Eddie

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2019, 12:22:23 PM »
...the Rip Torn episode is up there as one of my favourite 90s versions. Just a really vile hateful character with the lightweight wimpering victim.

Aye, that's a great episode.

Re: Columbo
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2019, 01:08:08 PM »
WHICH ONE?

The later one where The Shat calls out Columbo on his "Just one more thing" catch phrase and hilariously inquires if he suffers from some kind of short term memory problem.

monkfromhavana

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Re: Columbo
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2019, 01:18:56 PM »
If any of the murderer's didn't decide to confess (which they all seem to do), how many would get off on technicalities due to Columbo's detecting techniques?

He might have been the worst cop in the precinct for all we know. Probably why they didn't let him inside the station and refused to issue him with a decent motor.