DVD TV Show Reviews
Detective shows became very popular in the late 60's and continued into the
70's. By "detectives" I mean both police detectives and private eyes.
There was the female detective, the cowboy detective, the fat detective, the
bald detective, the black detective, the buddy detectives, the undercover cool
detectives, the rich detective, the ex-con detective, etc. just about everything
you can imagine (still waiting for the gay detective, though).
Columbo was one of the classic detectives from back then; he was also one of
the best and most successful of the genre, in part because of acting skill of
Peter Falk, and in part because of the show's writing. It is great to
watch Columbo investigate the murders and bring in the killer every time.
It is not a "mystery" show in the classic sense, like most of those shows
were not back then. You didn't need to figure out "whodunnit" because you
would usually see the murder at the beginning of each show. The fun was in
watching Columbo figure it out and in watching the rich guy (it was always the
rich guy or gal who committed the heinous deed) sweat.
Columbo always acted kinda stupid at first, so the murderer would
under-estimate him and let his guard down. Then by the time they figured
out that Columbo was onto them, it was too late. Columbo used all sorts of
annoying little tricks to do his investigating and talk to the villain.
Watching the show on DVD, it dawned on me that these shows were using a lot
of the same technology as shows like CSI do today. They just didn't bother
calling it forensics. Columbo was not a forensics person, of course, but
he looked at the clues, the details of the crime scene, to figure out the
The second season is excellent and features many great guest stars. I love
watching the old shows that I grew up with (not like I remember all the plots
after all these years) and seeing the great old actors that were the murderers,
and the not-yet-famous ones that were playing bit parts.
Back to the Main Primetime TV Page