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Why is Columbo good?

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    valhalla130valhalla130 13 Dark Shield Perceives the GodsRegistered User regular
    edited October 2019
    He dresses like a guy who knows how to be comfortable.
    Does anybody remember Riptide? I can't remember enough from watching it in 84 to 86 to rate them, but I'm curious. They had their own helicopter and lived on the beach!

    valhalla130 on
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    sarukunsarukun RIESLING OCEANRegistered User regular
    shalmelo wrote: »
    I want to change my poll answer to "he has his own boardgame", please


    “Can you draw Columbo?“

    “...I mean, I can draw MOST of Columbo.”

    Probably to avoid paying for Peter Falk’s likeness.

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    Rorshach KringleRorshach Kringle that crustache life Registered User regular
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    shalmeloshalmelo sees no evil Registered User regular
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    sarukun wrote: »

    “Can you draw Columbo?“

    “...I mean, I can draw MOST of Columbo.”

    Probably to avoid paying for Peter Falk’s likeness.

    Saves them money and also makes it look like he is just about to leave, which probably captures the essence of the character better than if that artist had taken a crack at Falk's mug

    Steam ID: Shalmelo || LoL: melo2boogaloo || tweets
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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Lalarbo
    I wonder if it has some sort of "just one more thing" game mechanic, and how that would work.

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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    Maybe as an interrupt card

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    Indie WinterIndie Winter die Krähe Rudi Hurzlmeier (German, b. 1952)Registered User regular
    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.

    This would, incidentally, be the perfect narrative structure for an Agent 47 focused tv show

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    wanderingwandering Russia state-affiliated media Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    (Just one more thing...)

    So Columbo is free on Amazon (albeit with annoying and unblockable ads), and I watched the first episode. (Prescription: Murder. 1968.) I enjoyed it! Thoughts:

    -The psychedelic Rorschach test credits animation is very 60's

    -Peter Falk is very young in this, holy cow

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    -This episode spends a lot of time on the setup and execution of the murder. Like, Columbo doesn't show up until halfway through. My vague sense is that in future episodes he's going to be much more center stage, but I dig the structure of this ep. Reminds me of Dial M For Murder (although this episode suffers from that comparison somewhat because boy do I love Dial M For Murder.)

    -Making the killer a smug, successful psychotherapist very much plays into my own biases. (I was actually *just* arguing online with a smug, successful psychologist who is a big supporter of some discredited old theories about trans people.) (I know, not all psychologists, etc)

    -I watched the clip that was posted earlier in this thread from the end of the 90's episode Columbo Cries Wolf, and it bugged me how cavalier Columbo was about the murder. It ends with Columbo smiling and going "gotcha" while holding the dangling arm of a dead woman and I'm like what the heck is wrong with you, Columbo. This episode takes things more seriously and you get the sense that Columbo has a strong moral center and actually, you know, cares about people getting murdered. (Although I guess it's hard to know 100% what he's really thinking because his whole thing is that he's constantly putting on a bit of a show for the murderer.)

    @Jacobkosh

    wandering on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited November 2019
    How had I missed this wonderful thread before!

    :stares intently at @wandering:

    Jacobkosh on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited November 2019
    So I've been catching up on the thread and
    Psykoma wrote: »
    Is columbo better or worse than morse?

    Better

    I never got on with Morse, and his informed flaw of alcoholism that never seemed to affect anything and the way that you could tell which woman dunnit by whether he fancied them or not

    Endeavour was good, though, mainly because Roger Allam is in it and he has a voice like sexy treacle

    ...I want to speak up for Morse here, because I really like his stories and I like the character and empathize with him.

    I feel like his alcoholism does affect things and have consequences. He's a functional alcoholic, which is a real thing, so he's not some kind of...dumpster fire of a person in imminent danger of collapse, but I feel like his life is visibly lonelier and shabbier than it could be if he wasn't drinking. I mean, he drinks because he's lonely, but he has a hard time getting along with people because he's constantly kind of irritable, impatient, and low-key bitchy and I feel like the drinking has to be at least a proximate cause of that.

    It never comes to a big dramatic head (at least in the ones I've seen) but that feels realistic to me. Lots of people seem to toddle along through life half-impaired but are lucky or conscientious enough to never reach full-blown crisis.

    But all that aside, I have feels for Morse because he's a romantic and an idealist who wants to see beauty and value in life and his impatience comes at least in part from the ways the people he's exposed to disappoint that hope. It's a quality he shares with Philip Marlowe, another one of my favorite detectives.

    Also his show has one of the best theme songs ever written

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u20sVtCxf_8

    (it's definitely true about the fancying ladies, though. lol)

    Jacobkosh on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited November 2019
    I also love Morse for how fiercely he clings to the things he loves and which define him - his old cars, his jazz, his art and poetry - in a police culture that is at best bemused by, or outright hostile to those things, and despite what it costs him in terms of people finding him aloof, stodgy, pretentious etc.

    Jacobkosh on
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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    Hmm

    You may have turned me around on Morse as a character to the point that I now empathise with him as well

    Oh shit, it’s too late in the day for an epiphany, I have to be up in eight hours to go to my job investigating wrongdoing and thinking the worst of people despite hoping that they’re basically good and honourable then come back to the isolation that is my house

    ...

    Fuuuuck


    Also if people like crime drama they should watch Guilt on the BBC

    Just four episodes but it’s completely gripping

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    wanderingwandering Russia state-affiliated media Registered User regular
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    And onto episode 2 of Columbo (or the second pilot, or the first pilot after the first TV movie, or whatever the heck it technically is): "Ransom for a Dead Man" (1971).

    9g873671v4j8.jpg

    I'm less fond of this one, though it has its moments. Like I was expecting (based on my limited exposure to the series) the focus has shifted away from the murderer and onto Columbo, a change I'm not sure that I like. Sure, the episode still begins with the murder, but it's over and done with quickly, and there isn't that fun-yet-uncomfortable sense of you-the-audience-member being a silent co-conspirator in the killing. Columbo also raises his suspicions about the killer way earlier here, which I think also makes things less interesting. I liked the slow burn in the first one: the fact that Columbo either didn't suspect the husband at first, or else kept his cards close to his chest.

    Also: boy is this episode sexist. Let's see: 1. The killer is an evil, money-grubbing, interloping female lawyer, who essentially steals an honorable male lawyer's rightful position in the workplace. 2. Columbo mentions that he doesn't think he could work for a woman, and there's no indication that he's being insincere. 3. The killer's step-daughter, who teams up with Columbo, mockingly calls the killer a "lady lawyer". I think the writers were maybe working through some anxiety about women in the workplace...


    Incidentally, I looked up the guest star murderer, Lee Grant, and she's had an interesting career. I added this to my to-watch list:
    Wikipedia wrote:
    What Sex Am I? is a 1985 documentary film directed by Academy Award winner Lee Grant. The film follows a group of transgender individuals in mid-1980's America. Originally aired on HBO, the film is notable for its educated and sympathetic treatment of its subject, more in line with 21st century sentiment than those of the 1980s.

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    wanderingwandering Russia state-affiliated media Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    I'm sorry, I'm, uh, bothering you with all these write-ups, I'll get out of your hair.

    Oh, there is one other thing...

    I really enjoyed "Murder by the Book" (1971), which I guess is technically the first episode of the first season. It has the same basic structure as the previous episode (Columbo showing up within 15 minutes instead of halfway through, Columbo seeming to know basically from the beginning who the killer is), and I'm still a little dubious about this structure, but I gotta admit this episode slaps, to use the parlance of our time.

    1. Peter Falk really settles into the role. I didn't mention it but I actually found him a little grating and over-the-top in the last episode. Here, he's maximally charming. 2. There's a very delightful scene where Columbo takes the victim's wife home and cooks her an omelet. 3. The smarmy mystery writer is a fun villain. 4. The episode was filmed with a lot of panache: it's always doing something interesting with the camera. It opens with a great Hitchockian shot that swoops from the LA cityscape to a writer tapping away at a keyboard, for example.

    Apparently the episode was directed by some guy named "Steven Spielberg". Wonder what else he's done

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    wandering on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited November 2019
    I've seen this one! My dad and I were at the family cabin in the Ozarks a year or two ago and it came up on the rerun channel that's one of the like 3 channels we get out there. I really loved it. I specifically remember it because we both did a double-take when Spielberg's name popped up.

    Jacobkosh on
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    PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    He dresses like a guy who knows how to be comfortable.
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I've seen this one! My dad and I were at the family cabin in the Ozarks a year or two ago and it came up on the rerun channel that's one of the like 3 channels we get out there. I really loved it. I specifically remember it because we both did a double-take when Spielberg's name popped up.

    The full episode is actually up on youtube, along with some others.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Other
    I can see the TMNT and Columbo existing in the same universe, sure.

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    JedocJedoc In the scuppers with the staggers and jagsRegistered User regular
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    astrobstrdastrobstrd So full of mercy... Registered User regular
    Well, Mr. Krang, that all seems to check out, that makes sense...

    Selling the Scream Podcast: https://anchor.fm/jeremy-donaldson
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    astrobstrdastrobstrd So full of mercy... Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    But just one last thing...

    astrobstrd on
    Selling the Scream Podcast: https://anchor.fm/jeremy-donaldson
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    wanderingwandering Russia state-affiliated media Registered User regular
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    I'd be down for a new live action Columbo series. There are so many new types of rich douches for Columbo to clown on. Techbro CEOs, transphobic british comedians, psuedo-intellectual alt-right nazis...

    No doubt no one could fully fill Falk's shoes but no one says there shouldn't be more Winnie the Pooh, Sherlock Holmes, or Doctor Who just because the best Pooh (Sterling Holloway), Holmes (Jeremy Brett), and Doctor (Christopher Eccleston :bzz:) are no longer available...

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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Lalarbo
    Who can portray that easy charisma so effortlessly, though?

    Perhaps John Hamm?

    I don't think he'd be the right fit though.

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    wanderingwandering Russia state-affiliated media Registered User regular
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    I definitely see John Hamm as guest-star villain rather than as Columbo.

    I'm thinking talent search for a relatively unknown working class actor with a glass eye

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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    Adrian Brody sold all his stuff to get into character for an audition

    I wonder if he'd poke his eye out for a shot at Columbo

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    who'd be a good cast for genderswap columbo?

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    MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    I still think Mark Ruffalo would be a good Columbo

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    PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    He dresses like a guy who knows how to be comfortable.
    Grog wrote: »
    who'd be a good cast for genderswap columbo?

    I could see Allison Tolman as a good female Columbo. She was great in season 1 of fargo

    For a dude, Patrick Wilson.

    Preacher on
    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
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    PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Grog wrote: »
    who'd be a good cast for genderswap columbo?

    Aubrey Plaza. She's got the slouch, and Legion showed she can bounce from jovial and scattered to terrifyingly mean real quick.

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    Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    I'd go for Natasha Lyonne or Ilana Glazer, myself

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Other
    I'd go for Natasha Lyonne or Ilana Glazer, myself

    oh yeah she'd kill that role

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    wanderingwandering Russia state-affiliated media Registered User regular
    edited November 2019
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    The Case For Making Columbo America’s Doctor Who

    [...] I dare you to look me square in the eye and tell me you would not watch Kathy Bates in a rumpled old trenchcoat trying to keep track of her notes among the young and beautiful and murderous. Or Giancarlo Esposito. Or Jake Johnson from New Girl in about fifteen years. Rhea Perlman. Sam Rockwell, that beautiful weirdo. JOHN C. REILLY. Danny Pudi, in about eight years. An unshaven Stanley Tucci. Danny Trejo. Richard Kind. Margo Martindale. John Cho. Each one would bring a different characteristic of Columbo’s to the forefront — his core kindness, his feigned absent-mindedness, his needling slyness, his love for animals, his whimsy, his native intelligence, his love for cigars.
    https://the-toast.net/2014/03/05/the-case-for-columbo/
    Ways In Which Lt. Columbo's Perfection Resembles The Perfection Of God

    [...] Columbo’s work is not merely to catch murderers, then, but to shine a light on even the littlest bit of niceness, or intelligence, or humor, or anything worthy of respect; as Abraham said to God before the destruction of Sodom, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
    https://www.shatnerchatner.com/p/ways-in-which-lt-columbos-perfection

    wandering on
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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Other
    Richard Schiff would be great.

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    wanderingwandering Russia state-affiliated media Registered User regular
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    tynic wrote: »
    I'd go for Natasha Lyonne or Ilana Glazer, myself

    oh yeah she'd kill that role
    yeah wrap it up, we're done, Natasha Lyonne Columbo is now what I need

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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    I'd go for Natasha Lyonne or Ilana Glazer, myself

    oh yeah she'd kill that role

    Well, probably not appropriate for Columbo then

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    GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    Looks kind of like a basset hound if you kinda squint, and that is adorable.
    wandering wrote: »
    The Case For Making Columbo America’s Doctor Who

    [...] I dare you to look me square in the eye and tell me you would not watch Kathy Bates in a rumpled old trenchcoat trying to keep track of her notes among the young and beautiful and murderous. Or Giancarlo Esposito. Or Jake Johnson from New Girl in about fifteen years. Rhea Perlman. Sam Rockwell, that beautiful weirdo. JOHN C. REILLY. Danny Pudi, in about eight years. An unshaven Stanley Tucci. Danny Trejo. Richard Kind. Margo Martindale. John Cho. Each one would bring a different characteristic of Columbo’s to the forefront — his core kindness, his feigned absent-mindedness, his needling slyness, his love for animals, his whimsy, his native intelligence, his love for cigars.
    https://the-toast.net/2014/03/05/the-case-for-columbo/

    fuck, danny absolutely killing it with these choices

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    Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    He is a good detective.
    wandering wrote: »
    tynic wrote: »
    I'd go for Natasha Lyonne or Ilana Glazer, myself

    oh yeah she'd kill that role
    yeah wrap it up, we're done, Natasha Lyonne Columbo is now what I need

    Natasha Lyonne as Columbo 1, Mark Ruffalo as Columbo 2, one each episode, it's the same character and nobody ever mentions it.

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    Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to. Philosophy: Stoicism. Politics: Democratic SocialistRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    wandering wrote: »
    tynic wrote: »
    I'd go for Natasha Lyonne or Ilana Glazer, myself

    oh yeah she'd kill that role
    yeah wrap it up, we're done, Natasha Lyonne Columbo is now what I need

    Natasha Lyonne as Columbo 1, Mark Ruffalo as Columbo 2, one each episode, it's the same character and nobody ever mentions it.

    Columbo and Coluumbo

    Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but dies in the process.
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    EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Peter Falk is a gorgeous hunk of man.
    Oh, and one more question...

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