Anyone Here Watch Columbo?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Pubert, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Pubert

    Pubert Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have been watching it recently. Its still a excellent series and holds up great for todays audiences. I have watched all the 1970s episodes and a few of the late 80s and 90s episodes. I have to say the 1970s episodes are far superior to the revivals that happened 10 plus years later. Everything from the camera work to the writing was better in the 1970s episodes. Not that the later ones are not watchable. Falk does an excellent job in them it just seems like they weren't as well put together and it looks like they may have spent less on the later episodes. Still Columbo is an excellent show. Falk wanted to do one more episode after the 2003 one and have Columbo retire but it never came to be. I am kind of glad they didn't make that one. I would rather remember Columbo as moving on to his next case. Anyone here like the show?
     
  2. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    That was a must-see in my family. I still remember the episode in which William Shatner played the murderer, and what little detail tripped him up so Columbo figured out he was guilty.
     
  3. Pubert

    Pubert Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just saw that episode a few weeks ago. Excellent.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The revival was a mixed bag, but it had a number of installments that were as clever and effective as the original series. Many of its episodes were even more artsy and stylized than anything the original series did, like "Murder, Smoke and Shadows" or the one about the polyamorous artist. I keep meaning to revisit it at some point.
     
  5. ihno

    ihno Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh yes, Columbo. I haven't watched them in five years and it might take another five but I will watch them again. I love Columbo and it is indeed one of the rare shows that didn't age very much but still have retained their charme and individuality.

    And they were all so informative. The lines on the floor in hospitals or the little triangles in movies, Columbo taught me all of that and many things more.

    Shatner had a role? I thought he was playing himself. ;)
     
  6. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    This was pre-TMP, so back then it would only have been Star Trek fans who would get excited about him being on the show.
     
  7. HIjol

    HIjol Admiral and Consummate Peacemaker Admiral

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    A well-written, very well-acted show that was an absolute gas to watch! The Shat episode had a broken-down car as plot element, and I remember it and his clothes and hair as being so very "period"!

    Hey, Timewalker! Been too long! Hope you are well, and I think of you often!!! ;) :p
     
  8. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    I think William Shatner did a second one for the nineties revival, after the Ward Fowler one. There was one with Leonard Nimoy as a murderous doctor, while Walter Koenig played a cop in one (not murderous)...


    adjourns to IMDB...

    Shatner also played a radio host in a 1993 episode. And Walter Koenig was in the Shatner Ward Fowler episode.

    And Worf's dad was a murderous chess player.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Shatner actually did two Columbo installments, "Fade In to Murder" in the original series and "Butterfly in Shades of Gray" in the revival series. In the latter, he played a Rush Limbaugh or G. Gordon Liddy-style right-wing radio host, and he had a mustache and affected a gruff, deep voice. It wasn't nearly as good as "Fade In."

    EDIT: Oops, just beaten to it.
     
  10. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely - one of the few american shows to have class warfare running through it (and all the better for it).
     
  11. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    :D

    *waves hello*
     
  12. Pubert

    Pubert Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have only seen a handful of the revival episodes Chris. The ones I have seen are different in that they shake up the status quo a bit. I saw one where Columbo had to help his Nephew get his bride back I didn't really like that one much. I only caught the second half of it but it just didn't follow the Columbo formula and seemed to be very much in the style of other shows in the 90s. I give the writer kudos for trying something different though.
     
  13. ihno

    ihno Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was thinking of his second appearence in 1993, where he played this radio moderator that was soo full of himself.

    I like(d) both the old ones as well as the revival ones. I didn't know there was a break.
     
  14. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    We got the full-series boxed set a while ago. My wife did a full rewatch on her own and said she enjoyed the heck out of it. I have yet to get around to it (still hve to finish my Mannix rewatch, and have the Mod Squad on deck after that).
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That one, No Time to Die, was one of only two installments of the revival that abandoned the usual mystery format in order to adapt Ed McBain procedural stories with Columbo written in as the lead character. The other one, two years later, was Columbo: Undercover. I didn't care for them, because they were so divergent from the classic format. They even had Columbo carry a gun, though with great reluctance and without ever firing it. But those were the only two that broke the format. The other 22 revival movies were pretty much all in the standard Columbo format, although some had some interesting variations.

    One drawback of the revival is that it was less successful than the original series at resisting network pressure to put in more sex, action, and other supposedly crowd-pleasing stuff. A number of them seemed to go for a more youth-oriented focus, like Columbo Goes to College, Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star, and the last one, Columbo Likes the Night Life (though that one was actually pretty good). And there were a number that went for sexually-themed cases -- Sex and the Married Detective (with a sex therapist as the culprit), Murder: A Self Portrait (the aforementioned one with the polyamorous artist), and Columbo Cries Wolf (with a Hugh Hefner surrogate as the killer and his starlet-filled mansion as the setting). Yet they still managed to do some very good stories, along with some not-so good ones. (I'm still amazed that the two last ones co-written and directed by Patrick McGoohan, despite being made consecutively, were so radically different in quality. Ashes to Ashes was superb, while Murder With Too Many Notes is just about the most incoherent and nonsensical Columbo installment I've ever seen. That one practically killed the series -- it was three years before they did Columbo Likes the Nightlife, which unfortunately was the last one ever, but fortunately was a far better swan song.)


    There was a gap of 11 years between the two series. Columbo was off the air from 1978 to 1989. But he picked up right where he left off, so aside from the stylistic changes in music, title graphics, fashions, cars, and the like, it might be hard to notice the transition.

    Also, of course, the show moved from NBC in the original run to ABC in the revival. It was part of a revived Mystery Movie wheel for the first 2-3 seasons, but the other mystery series in the wheel weren't as popular, so that got cancelled and Columbo continued as a solo series of TV-movie specials.
     
  16. Pubert

    Pubert Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm glad "Columbo Like The Night Life" was a good final episode. I am looking forward to that one. Peter Falk wanted to do one more back in 2007 or 8 and wanted to show Columbo working his last case and retiring. I am kind of glad that one wasn't made. Its better to see Columbo end a case and know he will move on to the next.
     
  17. ihno

    ihno Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    @Christopher: Thanks, I had already checked it too. I'm not as knowlegeable as you. I guess have seen them all several times though.

    I remember Columbo Goes to College. I didn't really like it... or to put it less harshly: some episodes of those later ones couldn't compete with the earlier ones. ;) But the second Shatner episode was okay. Many shows that had a longer pause or change in producers etc. have a big drop in quality but I don't really see it here. There were only minor things.

    The one epsiode after 1989 I remember best is "Murder in Malibu"
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097086/?ref_=ttep_ep6
    I really liked that episode.

    Of the older ones: The one with the crazy Hollywood Diva that was watchting her old movies all the time and lost it all in the end.

    I have only seen them dubbed so far. Next time I'll watch the original but I still remember too much. :D

    Anyone seen "Mrs. Columbo" with Kate Mulgrew? :D
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I recall, that was the one that brought back 3-time guest murderer Robert Culp for a fourth appearance, giving him the record for the most guest appearances (aside from recurring police types like Bruce Kirby), although that time he played the killer's father instead of the killer himself.


    Oh, gods, do not mention that show to Columbo fans. It basically threw out everything the original series established about Mrs. Columbo, making her impossibly young, among other things. It was such a shameless and ill-conceived attempt to ride Columbo's coattails that the show itself quickly abandoned any connection, having Kate get divorced and go back to her maiden name between seasons and changing the title of the show to Kate Loves a Mystery. And of course, in the revival, Columbo was still married to the actual Mrs. Columbo, definitively establishing Mulgrew's series as apocryphal.
     
  19. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral In Memoriam

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    There were at least two memorable episodes with Patrick McGoohan. In one, he's commandant at a military academy. In another, he's a spy, wearing an outfit similar to Number 6 if I remember, which also features Leslie Nielsen, who was still doing dramatic roles then.

    edit
    McGoohan did 4, directing 3.
     
  20. ihno

    ihno Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    FOUR. There were four ligh... episodes. (yes, I have visited imdb recently!)

    What a great guy. If I remember him and McGoohan... Columbo had great villians.

    I expected something like that. :D

    I have to stop to read this thread or I will have to watch some Columbo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015