and "skoolmunkee" Said:
Honestly, that show deserves its own thread.
Let's tarry no more; Columbo thread it is. Over the years I've had a few people say to me:
"They show you who did it right at the start. What's the point in watching the rest?"
Now maybe you are one of those people and if so let's hear it, but for me, dispensing with the oh so predictable plot twists of those whodunnit type shows was a stroke of genius. I say predictable because, if you can't guess who did it that's only because the writers/producers cheated you by predictably leading you up the garden path with false leads and tedious characterisation: those shifty types who turn out to have hearts of gold, etc, etc.
Columbo is different. First we get the content of those other shows condensed into an opening scene minus the dramatic suspension; hooray. Then comes the good stuff: how's he going to work it out? What little snippet that nobody else would notice is going to pinpoint the killer? Peter Falk was always on the lookout for possible hooks to hang a plot on: he threw himself completely into the show and what a tour de force of acting. I don't know if you'd call it method acting or what, but it's a major part of the show's success - could anybody else play Columbo?
Okay, so you know what's going to happen: someone is going to get killed and you know who did it and why. You also know that Columbo is going to catch the killer by means of some tiny clue everyone else missed and you're going to be happy because the killer thought he was oh so smart and that Columbo was oh so dumb. This show is just so honest - it never condescends: I could go on but my wife won't be too happy if the dinner spoils...