Columbo, Another To-Do On My List

"Excuse me sir, I just have one more question...."

Columbo is my father's favorite television series.

As a child, it never interested me and I found it boring.

As an adult, I've grown to appreciate it and I just love movies and shows from the '70s. I really need to get to watching more episodes especially when my dad watches.

As such, it's now on my to-do list. My dad is also on in-home hospice care so it would be good to get some episodes in with him.

Peter Falk is great. He is purposely sloppy and dullard appearance and what he's known best for is his constant annoying people will always throw anyone off, especially the bad guys.
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As an avid Columbo fan going back decades, I would suggest mostly watching them in order. There are a couple 70s episodes I would suggest skipping on your first watch:

Last Salute to the Commodore (s5e6)
This isn't a genuine Columbo episode, it's just an intentional parody of the show itself. In my opinion it ruins most of the other 70s episodes that follow it because you can tell that by that point Falk's real life marital woes, as well as his apparent growing fatigue with the formula, begin to seep into a few of the episodes. Columbo loses much of his heart and charm in several of the 70s episodes after this point.

Mind over Mayhem (s3e6)
The only reason I suggest skipping this one until you're past all the good ones is because the central plot device and prop is just too silly to watch, even for the 70s. It was wildy outdated and in my opinion just makes the episode feel dumb. One saving grace of the episode is an in-joke the the writers play by poking fun at Stephen Spielberg, hot off his success with Jaws (he even directed official "first episode" of Columbo a few years before, and is already well loved by the show and its studio at this point).

There is a notable dip in quality during the ABC years (after Columbo's hiatus and return in the late 80s), partially because of the quality of guests, and also because of the 80s décor, music, and general feel. Columbo just feels like a detective out of his time during these years. But in my opinion the most notable issue is that Columbo begins to feel like a kindly whimsical old man rather than a crafty and cunning force to be reckoned with. Not all of the ABC episodes are bad, and in fact there are even a couple that would feel genuine if not for the time period, but I really do love the younger, more guileful, Columbo. Watching him turn the screws on the bad guy is just so good.

I absolutely love the show, and it's my favorite detective series of all time. I've re-watched the 70s episodes probably a dozen times each (well, not Commodore, I really do hate that one for trying to take the piss). There are so many good moments, so many great interactions, and so many fantastic guest stars. I don't want to spoil any of the good stuff, so I'll leave it at that.
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not tag worthy
Peter Falk Detective GIF by PeacockTV

Enjoy the show


Yeah, Columbo is was, is, amazing. We really need that Mark Ruffalo reboot - but not without really good scripts.

My favorite episodes are
The Most Crucial Game (s2)
The Greenhouse Jungle (s2, if only for that gotcha moment)
Any Old Port in a Storm (s3, fan favorite)
Publish or Perish (s3, Jack Cassidy!)
Double Exposure (s3)
A Friend in Deed (s3, an amazing gotcha)
Forgotten Lady (s5, great story)
Now You See Him (s5, another Jack Cassidy episode, probably my most favorite episode)
The Bye-Bye Sky-High IQ Murder Case (s6, brilliant, literally)
Try and Catch Me (s7, another great story)


So so great !
My father favorite television series too.
Columbo under his unoffensive guise, is a true sociopath. He is the cat playing with a mouse before killing it.

In France you can find all episodes on amazon prime, along with Maigret, another great detective series.
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