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Why is Columbo good?

sarukunsarukun RIESLINGOCEANRegistered User regular
edited October 2019 in Social Entropy++
This is actually a legit question because I have, I think, perhaps never seen a whole episode of Columbo but am kinda familiar with his mannerisms and schtick. I wanna write something and the main character is a Columbo type, or at least I thought he was until I realized I got no idea why people actually like Columbo as a main character.

Feel free to elaborate or write literal idea to Columbo: just tell me, what is good about Columbo?

sarukun on

Why is Columbo good? 102 votes

He is a cop.
0%
Jr. 1 vote
He is a regular guy.
7%
MulysaSemproniusTheySlashThemOlivawZonugalSaraLunaMr. GVirgil_Leads_YouEtchwarts 8 votes
He is a good detective.
11%
MysstAshcroftHouk the NamebringerSnake GandhiRhesus PositiveCentipede DamascusHakuninTonkkaSatanic JesusDaebunzLord_AsmodeusLinespider5 12 votes
Peter Falk is a gorgeous hunk of man.
19%
ShortySnorkDrezZeroCowSlacker71DoodmannSonelanShadowfireuserwebguy20Librarian's ghostMetzger MeisterTynnanmiscellaneousinsanityEncGundiEvilCakeBillyIdleTenzytileJayDizL 20 votes
He dresses like a guy who knows how to be comfortable.
15%
PreacherKarlMegaMan001valhalla130BucketmanMechMantisWotanAnubisDiarmuidPinfeldorfPeenTheStigIronKnuckle's GhostRT800AuralynxmilskiTHESPOOKY 16 votes
Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
21%
SporkAndrewMulletudeA duck!TheBlackWindIndie WinterMichaelLCTallahasseerielwanderingCurly_Bracedarunia106Speed RacerKristmas KthulhuLordSolarMachariusPlatyDisruptedCapitalistshalmeloStiltsGustavHellboreGrog 22 votes
He always catches the perp.
5%
Kevin CristJavenDex DynamoDepressperadoXehalus101 6 votes
Lalarbo
9%
SanderJKBahamutZEROFuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudBeastehElaroDonovan PuppyfuckerTefAnzekayWiseManTobesMrGrimoire 10 votes
Other
6%
Magic PinktynicMaximumRorshach KringleDesert Leviathanzepherindiscrider 7 votes
wanderingKristmas Kthulhu
«1345678

Posts

  • MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    Yeah, that's a good question, that's a good question. Just, uh, one more thing - why have you never watched an episode of Columbo?

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  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    It was on the same time as Animaniacs.

  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Like I have seen Columbo on the TV but usually I was clickin’ through to something else and I would go, like, I would say to myself

    “Ah, yeah, right, the detective with the name I like to say”.

    sarukun on
    Bucketman
  • Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Columbo is just the aw shucks uncle of detectives.

    valhalla130
  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    Columbo is just the aw shucks uncle of detectives.

    Is that...

    Is that a fun guy to watch solve mysteries?

  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    It's fun to see rich smug arseholes get their comeuppance from somebody they underestimated and patronised

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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  • Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    sarukun wrote: »
    Columbo is just the aw shucks uncle of detectives.

    Is that...

    Is that a fun guy to watch solve mysteries?

    SOMETIMES!

    wanderingvalhalla130
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Why is Columbo good?
    He is a cop.
    ACAB?

  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    Why is Columbo good?
    He is a cop.
    ACAB?

    Then I recommend against selecting that option.

  • facetiousfacetious a wit so dry it shits sandRegistered User regular
    He's an everyman consistently outsmarting and taking down rich asshole criminals.

    It's very anticapitalist.

    "I am not young enough to know everything." - Oscar Wilde
    Real strong, facetious.

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  • ProlegomenaProlegomena Frictionless Spinning The VoidRegistered User regular
    Came to vote "just one more thing", was thwarted.

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  • sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    Came to vote "just one more thing", was thwarted.

    This was definitely a missed opportunity, but my pride won’t allow me to correct this egregious oversight.

    So I guess Columbo’s taken me down, too, just like I deserve....

    wanderingvalhalla130Kristmas Kthulhu
  • TheySlashThemTheySlashThem Registered User regular
    He is a regular guy.
    needed a "loves his dog" option

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  • HeadCreepsHeadCreeps NOW IS THE TIME FOR DRINKING! Registered User regular
    All Columbos Are Bad
    I've never watched Columbo

    vEaRQgH.png
  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
  • Rorshach KringleRorshach Kringle that crustache life Registered User regular
    Other
    #pipe wrote: »
    Jessica Fletcher is better.

    yeah but jessica fletcher is better than every fictional detective

    it's not a fair competish! j.b. gonna wipe the floor with all of 'em

    6vjsgrerts6r.png

    WeedLordVegetaSlacker71
  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    Also, it's nice to see a smart person on TV who isn't a "troubled genius" polymath shitbird

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
    TheStigTheySlashThemCentipede DamascusZonugalvalhalla130LordSolarMachariusDonovan PuppyfuckerSporkAndrewNyysjanWeedLordVegetaGrey GhostDyvim TvarMysstDisruptedCapitalistLord_AsmodeusPreacherOlivawTofystedethIndie WinterKruiteIloveslimesJacobkoshKristmas KthulhuTamMvrckAbsurdPropositionShadowfireexpendable
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    It's fun to see rich smug arseholes get their comeuppance from somebody they underestimated and patronised

    Exactly this. Every episode has some smarmy dick thinking they're getting one over on him, and he downplays himself to look like a clueless shlub and fawns over them to keep them off their guard, and eventually gives em the smackdown they so richly deserve. Also, a lot of the bad guys have really grounded actions/motivations so the whole thing ends up feeling more real.

    There's a lot of good episodes with cool cameos, but the Johnny Cash one is definitely one of my faves and you should check it out.

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  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Columbo has a relatively unique narrative structure.

    The murderer is the main character. You see them do it, watch them cover it up, and learn what they had to gain. They think they’ve won.

    Then Columbo arrives. He circles the killer, unassuming and apparently bumbling at first but always showing up at the worst time, asking questions about things he shouldn’t know, wearing down their certainty.

    The audience knows the whole time that Columbo knows and will never stop. The pleasure is watching the murderer figure this out too.

    Phillishere on
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  • AshcroftAshcroft LOL The PayloadRegistered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    Fuck, I need to watch some Columbo again

    ZD98Zka.png
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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    #pipe wrote: »
    Jessica Fletcher is better.

    look, I love jessica fletcher, but nope

    also columbo has the benefit of not being the Coming Calamity

    tynicDyvim TvarNaphtali
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Peter Falk is a gorgeous hunk of man.
    Columbo is a gr8 country.

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    theres one with rip torn

  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    there's also one with Johnny Cash

  • DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    He always catches the perp.
    All I know is that Columbo is the guy I'd want investigating my murder.

    valhalla130tynicDonovan PuppyfuckerRhesus PositiveMrGrimoireDyvim TvarOlivawTofystedethSlacker71Kristmas KthulhuTamexpendable
  • Virgil_Leads_YouVirgil_Leads_You Proud Father House GardenerRegistered User regular
    He is a regular guy.
    Columbo likes his smut

    Spoiler for classic art butt
    qzdtbiyxv049.jpg

    VayBJ4e.png
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  • evilbobevilbob RADELAIDERegistered User regular
    Highly recommend watching early Columbos. He does the whole act dumb to suck people in thing really well. Over time this morphed into him actually being dumb though and later ones suck.

    l5sruu1fyatf.jpg

  • DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    He always catches the perp.
    wait I also know that in a more beautiful world there been a cross-over episode with Kolchak the Night Stalker.

    Investigating a series of mysterious murders and then like, exorcising a demon?

    valhalla130Olivaw
  • GustavGustav Friend of Goats Somewhere in the OzarksRegistered User regular
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    How is “Just one more thing” not an option

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  • MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    #pipe wrote: »
    Jessica Fletcher is better.

    yeah but jessica fletcher is better than every fictional detective

    it's not a fair competish! j.b. gonna wipe the floor with all of 'em

    Alright but what does a ranking of TV detectives look like?

    You've got J. Fletch, Columbo, Magnum PI, Poirot as played by Suchet and nobody else, Matlock, Frank Cannon, Jim Rockford, Monk, Barnaby Jones, Veronica Mars, maybe a little bit of Mark Sloan? Marple?!

    I could go on and on and on and I mostly left off actual cops with the notable exception of Columbo, because I feel like the general structure of your Kojaks and your Hawaii Five-Os tends toward a different sort of approach to solving crimes, but I would not be against adding them in

    XehaluswanderingTam
  • astrobstrdastrobstrd So full of mercy... Registered User regular
    This thread can never end right? Any time it goes to page 3, someone's just gonna jump back in for "one last thing".

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  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    Maddoc wrote: »
    #pipe wrote: »
    Jessica Fletcher is better.

    yeah but jessica fletcher is better than every fictional detective

    it's not a fair competish! j.b. gonna wipe the floor with all of 'em

    Alright but what does a ranking of TV detectives look like?

    You've got J. Fletch, Columbo, Magnum PI, Poirot as played by Suchet and nobody else, Matlock, Frank Cannon, Jim Rockford, Monk, Barnaby Jones, Veronica Mars, maybe a little bit of Mark Sloan? Marple?!

    I could go on and on and on and I mostly left off actual cops with the notable exception of Columbo, because I feel like the general structure of your Kojaks and your Hawaii Five-Os tends toward a different sort of approach to solving crimes, but I would not be against adding them in

    Personally I would put Monk in there. He's pretty fun.

    wanderingZonugalOlivawSlacker71
  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    Rathbone as Holmes is v good

    facetiousOlivaw
  • XehalusXehalus Registered User regular
    He always catches the perp.
    Columbo is the light

    Dyvim Tvar
  • astrobstrdastrobstrd So full of mercy... Registered User regular
    Psych belongs there too, I think.

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  • Librarian's ghostLibrarian's ghost Librarian, Ghostbuster, and TimSpork Registered User regular
    Peter Falk is a gorgeous hunk of man.
    Columbo is amazing because it is so opposite all other crime shows. Each episode’s main character is the murderer. Not Columbo. We see it from their POV and Columbo is almost more of a secondary, seemingly bumbling, unstoppable force and us audience can get the joy out of Columbo eventually tearing them down and nailing them to a wall.

    Also Peter Faulk was the best.

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  • Rorshach KringleRorshach Kringle that crustache life Registered User regular
    Other
    Maddoc wrote: »
    #pipe wrote: »
    Jessica Fletcher is better.

    yeah but jessica fletcher is better than every fictional detective

    it's not a fair competish! j.b. gonna wipe the floor with all of 'em

    Alright but what does a ranking of TV detectives look like?

    You've got J. Fletch, Columbo, Magnum PI, Poirot as played by Suchet and nobody else, Matlock, Frank Cannon, Jim Rockford, Monk, Barnaby Jones, Veronica Mars, maybe a little bit of Mark Sloan? Marple?!

    I could go on and on and on and I mostly left off actual cops with the notable exception of Columbo, because I feel like the general structure of your Kojaks and your Hawaii Five-Os tends toward a different sort of approach to solving crimes, but I would not be against adding them in



    i think it's a combination of what you want solved and how you'd like them to go about it

    ie: how closely do they work with the police? how likely would they be to take your case to begin with?

    like, if i am murdered, i want jessica fletcher to solve it because no only is she the best, she will actively make the cops feel like shitty idiot babies while she's doing it.

    but like, if i had any other problem? especially one i probably couldn't go to the cops with? i'd want the psych crew.

    and, naturally, since i am a man of many enemies, i'd want michael weston available to get revenge for me

    so you factor that in with personality, just how much they shown in the parameters of their best cases, and you can fill it out, but dollars to donuts, jessica fletcher is still gonna come out ahead.

    6vjsgrerts6r.png

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  • ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    He is a regular guy.
    Columbo is great because he's always the opponent of bougie murderers.

    Like, if Gwyneth Paltrow tried to commit the perfect murder at Goop headquarters, Columbo would take her down.

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  • LordSolarMachariusLordSolarMacharius Red wine with fish Registered User regular
    edited October 2019
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    Columbo has a relatively unique narrative structure.

    The murderer is the main character. You see them do it, watch them cover it up, and learn what they had to gain. They think they’ve won.

    Then Columbo arrives. He circles the killer, unassuming and apparently bumbling at first but always showing up at the worst time, asking questions about things he shouldn’t know, wearing down their certainty.

    The audience knows the whole time that Columbo knows and will never stop. The pleasure is watching the murderer figure this out too.

    I think it's called an "Inverted Mystery". Where the hook isn't "who dunnit?" but "how they gunna catch 'em?"

    Luther with Idris Elba is kind of similar. The titular character generally know pretty early on who the murderer is (often through an illegal search) and so the the drama is about finding a way to actually get an arrest to stick.

    (It's one of my main complaints with most detective stories: if the killer just stays silent and lawyers-up at the end, there'd be no way they'd actually do any jail time.)

    LordSolarMacharius on
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Other
    On the latter note, I've been enjoying Criminal (only watched the english episodes so far). The cops are no Peter Falk though.

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