June 25, 2011

Let's watch old episodes of "Columbo."

Now that we're thinking about how much we love Peter Falk. Here's the complete first season. Let's start there. I ordered it.

(I never watched the show back when it was on, because I just wasn't a TV-watcher at the time. I either didn't have a TV or only had a small black-and-white TV until 1981. The first season was 1971, when I was in college. We went to movies constantly back then, including "Husbands," one of our favorite movies, which came out in 1970. TV was for kids and old folks, as far as I was concerned. Maybe some news event. But I didn't even watch the moon landing when it was on TV.)

30 comments:

galdosiana said...

I have always loved Columbo. Love the scenes when he goes out the door, pretending like he's finished with the interview, then comes right back for one more "gotcha" question. He was awesome in that show. (Oh, and he had a really adorable dog, too. Basset hound, if I remember correctly.)

rhhardin said...

Mark Simone's WABC Saturday morning show just ended, was largely on Columbo. Apparently he was best buddies with Peter Falk via his Columbo triva excellence.

I see they have a podcast of the replayed last PF interview here.

Some good anecdotes and comments not in the podcast are not there, though; only the formal interviews fit their podcast format.

The Crack Emcee said...

TV was for kids and old folks, as far as I was concerned.

You've just lived a life filled with prejudice, didn't you?

traditionalguy said...

You didn't miss much. The Moon Landing was not in color. Unlike Columbo, there were not that many commercials. I remember that Columbo was always whittling away at a rich Hollywood type who always treated him like a dumb...I don't know ...Alaskan Governor.

madAsHell said...

I'm not sure which is more disturbing:
1. not watching the moon landing.
2. watching 3 men in a dialogue movie that was...wait for it....relevant!

themightypuck said...

All 7 seasons of Columbo are available to stream from Netflix.

Fred4Pres said...

Do did not watch the moon landing?

You are not one of those conspiracy theorists are you Ann?

Mike Yancey said...

I'll remember him as the Grandpa reading the story of "The Princess Bride" to Fred Savage.

The Grandson: "Grandpa, maybe you could come over and read it again to me tomorrow."
Grandpa: "As you wish."

themightypuck said...

As for tv watching, I stopped after high school (except for sports) and started back up again in my 30s.

Fred4Pres said...

TV was for kids in the sixties? Not to be rude, but how old were you then? I can almost hear you channelling the older sister role talking to her younger siblings from some sixties sit com.


I watched episode 4 of Columbo on Netflix instant streaming last night. My kids hated it but admitted it was still far better than Beauty and the Beast (the TV series with the cat dude). I did not realize Columbo started in the sixties (I always assumed it was the seventies). It was okay for kicks and to marvel the subtle differences between the late sixties and now, but you might have ordere a copy of The Inlaws or Wings of Desire over Columbo.

You might consider Netflix. $10 a month you get free streaming on any device and as many DVDs (one at a time) that you can watch and mail back to Netflix. The turn around time is not bad. They have an okay variety of the complete series of many classic TV shows. My kids love the Munsters and the Adams Family. My seven year old digs Flipper.

Fred4Pres said...

themightypuck, not all of them. Netflix has some of the episodes by DVD. Not sure why. But a lot of the Columbos are there.

MayBee said...

Columbo was on 200 times a day when I lived in Tokyo.
In this post-OJ trial, CSI era, it is cringe-inducing to see how he consistently mishandles the evidence.

Fred4Pres said...

Columbo the series started in 1971. Columbo the character came on in the sixties was part of that Wednesday mystery rotation on NBC that included McMillion and (beard) Wife and McCloud.

m stone said...

"Columbo" is a recognized technique for indirect influence in communication studies. It entails essentially playing dumb to get people to open up and reveal information they ordinarily wouldn't. Worked for him. Still does.

edutcher said...

Unfortunately, when you saw one "Columbo", you saw them all.

Curious George said...

Better to watch the old moon landings.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

There are some people who actually believe the moon landing happened and wasn't just a TV show.

But seriously, we went to the freaking moon...over and over! Took a damned dune buggy up just for laughs.

Right now that looks like pinnacle of our civilization - half a century ago.

I think it's about time we abandon whatever crap we been doing since.

WV: "pentfuct" exactly!

6/25/11 10:07 AM

William said...

I didn't own a television back then either. Owning a TV was as declasse as having a subscription to People magazine. Music and movies told us who we were and who we aspired to be. Television was relentlessly stupid and endlessly manipulative. One felt that using it to extract meaning out of life would be as unhealthy as using McDonald's as your primary source of nourishment. Television was a vast wasteland. If you went there, you got lost. Watch a Bergman movie or listen to a Baez album and you became a better person.....Nowadays, I have an HD television. I watch it for hours at a time. I like the cable news shows the HBO series that have lots of nudity and arterial bleeding. Great stuff. The hours really fly by.

Kensington said...

I went through a Columbo phase about a year ago. It was disappointing because I was under the impression that there would be opportunities for the viewer to figure out the mystery alongside Columbo.

But that's not really what happens. The audience knows everything all along. Only Columbo is in the dark. Frankly, I found the lack of brain work required of the viewer kind of boring.

Fred4Pres said...

Columbo was never challenging. But it is entertaining at times to watch self depreciating Columbo trick the almost always arrogant perp into giving themselves up. It was a mystery but a lesson in hubris that people tuned in for.

Fred4Pres said...

I watched episode 4 (from the sixties Columbos last night) and there is some amazing cheesy camera techniques. Check them out.

anandaman said...

Husbands SUCKS! I could not get through it.

Jose_K said...

TV was for kids and old folks, as far as I was concerned.
Sorry but that was a little snobish or liberal as they call snob s nowadays

Jose_K said...

Wednesday mystery also included Vanished and Kojack

Jose_K said...

The audience knows everything all along but not Columbo because Alfred Hitchcock said that what the definition of mistery.The train comes , the public knows but the heroe and the heroine in distress dont. He was right ,even in writting work like in Dracula or Murder as one of the beautifuls arts, the apendix

America's Politico said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Strelnikov said...

"Serpentine, Shelly, serpentine!"

Saint Croix said...

My Top 10 Columbos

Swan Song (Johnny Cash)
Troubled Waters (Robert Vaughn)
Now You See Him… (Jack Cassidy)
Any Old Port in a Storm (Donald Pleasance)
Etude in Black (John Cassavettes)
Candidate for Crime (Jackie Cooper)
Negative Reaction (Dick Van Dyke)
Try and Catch Me (Ruth Gordon)
A Stitch in Crime (Leonard Nimoy)
By Dawn’s Early Light (Patrick McGoohan)

Nothing from Season 1 in the top 10, I’m afraid. The strongest seasons are 3 and 4. But there are some interesting movies in season 1. Death Lends a Hand (Robert Culp) is terrific. Culp did several Columbos, this is his best, I think, and the strongest movie from season 1.

I also like Prescription: Murder, Blueprint for Murder and Suitable for Framing.

The other interesting thing in Season 1 is Murder by the Book, directed by a very young Steven Spielberg. It’s not completely successful, but you can see his talent even then.

Saint Croix said...

What makes Columbo so fascinating to me is the lack of any puzzle. Usually a mystery has a whodunit, and you try to solve it. You try to figure out who the criminal is, and how they did it. Columbo has no mystery at all. You see the crime, you see how they did it. It’s like watching a magician reveal all the tricks. So how does it work? Why are they so damn watchable?

I think it works like a chess match. You enjoy watching Columbo go up against a master criminal. It’s attack, defend, attack, defend. There are no other suspects. It’s a one-on-one competition.

It’s also kinda fun watching this lower class slob go up against the rich, successful, and powerful. And he’s as nice as can be. Never bullies them, never tries to dominate them or scare them. He has no power at all. The purity of the character is awesome.