Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
RIPPA

[TV] JUNE 2016 TV DISCUSSION

Recommended Posts

Ray Donovan is off to a weird, slow start but, as first episodes have a lot of heavy lifting to do and are more about "setting the table," I'll wait and see.  On the plus side, TED FUCKING LEVINE.

Bill-on-Ray-Donovan-Showtime.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favourite Columbo theory was that Mrs. Columbo didn't really exist at all. She's just another method he uses to manipulate the villain: "Hey, I'm just a nice, hapless, henpecked, average blue-collar Joe!"

That was why we never saw her. 

Granted, that theory doesn't quite pan out. (I vaguely remember one of the '90s episodes where he spoke to her on the phone.)

But I do think half the silly, rambling personal stories he told to the culprit were utter, total bullshit.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Technico Support said:

Ray Donovan is off to a weird, slow start but, as first episodes have a lot of heavy lifting to do and are more about "setting the table," I'll wait and see.  On the plus side, TED FUCKING LEVINE.

Bill-on-Ray-Donovan-Showtime.jpg

Wow, he looks like the actual Buffalo Bill there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Reed said:

My favourite Columbo theory was that Mrs. Columbo didn't really exist at all. She's just another method he uses to manipulate the villain: "Hey, I'm just a nice, hapless, henpecked, average blue-collar Joe!"

That was why we never saw her. 

Granted, that theory doesn't quite pan out. (I vaguely remember one of the '90s episodes where he spoke to her on the phone.)

But I do think half the silly, rambling personal stories he told to the culprit were utter, total bullshit.  

A lot of his family stories directly contradict one-another. So yeah, it's pretty clear they are all made up.

My theory is that Columbo himself is not a human being.  He's a demigod resurrected by the forces of Classical tragedy to be the instrument of downfall for those exhibiting tragic hubris, but given a modern form. 

Whenever someone commits a murder in L.A., the violation of order that usually sets a tragedy in motion, but they have the resources to avoid the normal expected punishments, Columbo is summoned from the ocean by the fates to bring justice.  A High Plains Drifter of the mind.

Thus he has no wife and no first name.  He appears like the Terminator, is absorbed temporarily into the fabric of the minds of the LAPD just long enough to deliver the portagonist to destruction, and then disappears back into the sea to await another summoning.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this when we discuss how Columbo is based on the detective in Crime and Punishment? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

Is this when we discuss how Columbo is based on the detective in Crime and Punishment? 

Yup, followed by the Sam Gerard/Inspector Javert discussion. I'm not sure what's going to be on the final so I'm just taking a lot of notes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Technico Support said:

Ray Donovan is off to a weird, slow start but, as first episodes have a lot of heavy lifting to do and are more about "setting the table," I'll wait and see.  On the plus side, TED FUCKING LEVINE.

Bill-on-Ray-Donovan-Showtime.jpg

Goddammit. I miss having Showtime. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, piranesi said:

A lot of his family stories directly contradict one-another. So yeah, it's pretty clear they are all made up.

My theory is that Columbo himself is not a human being.  He's a demigod resurrected by the forces of Classical tragedy to be the instrument of downfall for those exhibiting tragic hubris, but given a modern form. 

Whenever someone commits a murder in L.A., the violation of order that usually sets a tragedy in motion, but they have the resources to avoid the normal expected punishments, Columbo is summoned from the ocean by the fates to bring justice.  A High Plains Drifter of the mind.

Thus he has no wife and no first name.  He appears like the Terminator, is absorbed temporarily into the fabric of the minds of the LAPD just long enough to deliver the portagonist to destruction, and then disappears back into the sea to await another summoning.

In this respect, them basically admitting the wife was real, later on, was probably a mistake.

The man should have always been flat-out ambiguous and a total mystery.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Reed said:

In this respect, them basically admitting the wife was real, later on, was probably a mistake.

The man should have always been flat-out ambiguous and a total mystery.

 

 

I don't know if I even consider the ABC shows to be canon.  They were so goofy some of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, piranesi said:

 

I don't know if I even consider the ABC shows to be canon.  They were so goofy some of them.

She did go on to be a starship captain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NOT CANON!! They rescinded Kate Mulgrew's status as Columbo's wife at some point and just said she was a woman who happened to be named Kate Columbo.

I"M TELLING YOU HE"S NOT HUMAN!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats like having a lawyer show where the main character is Jennifer Mason. Oh, but not related to Perry Mason. 

Also, isnt there a Mrs Columbo episode on one of the Columbo DVD sets?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

Thats like having a lawyer show where the main character is Jennifer Mason. Oh, but not related to Perry Mason. 

Also, isnt there a Mrs Columbo episode on one of the Columbo DVD sets?

The pilot is on the 3rd season set I think.

The show was done by Levinson & Link...but THAT DOESN"T MAKE IT CANON!!!

Shit, if that's canon then we have to deal with Columbo being pals with Dean Martin and roasting Frank Sinatra or showing up in ALIAS to bother Jennifer Garner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If only Columbo had met Scooby Doo in that vetsion of the cartoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be canon. Especially if he was hanging out with KISS and Mama Cass. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

ABC Fall Schedule: Monday, September 12

8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars” (Season 23 premiere)

ABC Fall Schedule: Sunday, September 18

7:00-8:00 p.m. “68th Emmy Awards Arrival Pre-Show” (live from Los Angeles)
8:00-11:00 p.m. “68th Emmy Awards” (live from Los Angeles)

ABC Fall Schedule: Tuesday, September 20

8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars Results Show”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (Season 4 premiere)

ABC Fall Schedule: Wednesday, September 21

8:00-8:30 p.m. “The Goldbergs” (Season 4 premiere)
8:30-9:00 p.m. “Speechless” (Series premiere)
9:00-9:30 p.m. “Modern Family” (Season 8 premiere)
9:30-10:00 p.m. “black-ish” (Season 3 premiere)
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Designated Survivor” (Series premiere)

ABC Fall Schedule: Thursday, September 22

8:00-9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy” (Season 13 premiere)
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Notorious” (Series premiere)
10:00-11:00 p.m. “How to Get Away with Murder” (Season 3 premiere)

ABC Fall Schedule: Friday, September 23

8:00-8:30 p.m. “Last Man Standing” (Season 6 premiere)
8:30-9:00 p.m. “Dr. Ken” (Season 2 premiere)
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Shark Tank” (Season 8 premiere)

ABC Fall Schedule: Sunday, September 25

8:00-9:00 p.m. “Once Upon A Time” (Season 6 premiere)
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Secrets and Lies” (Season 2 premiere)
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Quantico” (Season 2 premiere)

ABC Fall Schedule: Sunday, October 2

7:00-8:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (Season 27 premiere)

ABC Fall Schedule: Monday, October 3

10:00-11:00 p.m. “Conviction” (Series premiere)

ABC Fall Schedule: Tuesday, October 11

8:00-8:30 p.m. “The Middle” (Season 8 premiere)
8:30-9:00 p.m. “American Housewife” (Series premiere)
9:00-9:30 p.m. “Fresh Off the Boat” (Season 3 premiere)
9:30-10:00 p.m. “The Real O’Neals” (Season 2 premiere)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, RIPPA said:

8:30-9:00 p.m. “Dr. Ken” (Season 2 premiere)

Why does the world continue to insist Dr Ken is funny when he quite obviously isn't?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do love the idea that there might have something vaguely supernatural about Columbo.

Kinda makes sense. How else does he sense, right from the start, who the culprit was and know they're the ones to go after?

Simple detective instincts? Of course.

But he was, IIRC, never wrong. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Reed said:

I do love the idea that there might have something vaguely supernatural about Columbo.

Kinda makes sense. How else does he sense, right from the start, who the culprit was and know they're the ones to go after?

Simple detective instincts? Of course.

But he was, IIRC, never wrong. 

 

 

 

One thing that it's easy to get really obsessed with is the whole "first clue" or how does Columbo decide so fast who to go after.  Sometimes they tell you or the killer asks.  In the Jose Ferrer episode with the robots he asks and it's a pretty good answer.

He also tell the chef in "Murder Under Glass" that he knew as soon as

Spoiler

he noticed that, when the killer heard that someone he had just had dinner with was poisoned, he didn't immediately go to the hospital himself in a panic. 

Usually, though, they don't tell you and if you really think about it you can sort of suss it out.

Often it is a matter of someone trying to hard to "help out" or volunteer a theory. For instance in "Murder by the Book" Jack Cassidy basically leaps at Columbo offering help and finding clues (that he has planted) because he is so utterly convinced of his own ability to manipulate people. Or Ross Martin obsessively asking people the time during the night of the murder. He tells him in fact "usually people can't remember exactly where they were at what time...but with you everywhere you went someone knew what time you were there exactly because they remember you asking.  That's unusual."

Sometimes, in retrospect, there really ever was only one obvious candidate and their "perfect alibi" could only distract from that for so long.  For instance, I was just watching the 2nd Culp episode (where he uses subliminal cuts in an advertising movie to make the victim thirsty and murders him at the drinking fountain.)  Culp's alibi is that everyone in the theater still hears him narrating the film (he used a tape recorder).  
 
 One thing to remember is that they don't show a lot of the basic police work involved in order to focus on the scenes between Columbo and the killer. So you have to fill in some really basic grunt work and what that might reveal.  In this case, it is elementary that they would have interviewed all the people in the theater and they all would have been eyewitnesses that no one else left.  So they all have airtight alibis.  They all saw each other never leave.  They each have multiple witnesses to that and no reason to all be in a conspiracy.  Culp's alibi, by contrast, is only "audio."  They all "hear" him never leave and they will all testify to that.  So as soon as Columbo sees he has a tape recorder with him, it was probably obvious to him.  At best Culp has given himself "jury reasonable doubt" deniability there.  Also Culp foolishly tries to frame someone else by tricking the victim's wife into being somewhere alone and then mentioning the victim's affair as a motive to frame her.  But her alibi is so comically bad that any real pre-meditated killer would have had a better one.  So by "helping out" Culp has pretty clearly implicated himself as no one else knows about the affair but him and the wife. And why would he know about it at all?
 
 As to Columbo being wrong at first, it does happen.
 
 In "Dead Weight" Susan Pleshette has reported that she saw Eddie Albert shoot someone in his house through the window from a boat she was in.  No one believes her and Columbo also doesn't seem to for a long while.  it's only when a body finally surfaces (a mistake by the killer as that body was never supposed to be found) that he takes her seriously. By that time it is really obvious who the killer is. 
 
 In "Last Salute for the Commodore" he focuses of Robert Vaughan (who is obviously the main guest star so we all assume too that he is the guy) only to have Vaughan turn up murdered about 45 minutes into the episode.
 
 By the way, that Culp episode has two of the best Columbo scenes ever. One where he is torturing Culp with a thousand little cuts while Culp is trying to play golf.  Culp is amazing in that scene...just being exhausted at first, but then Hulking up and laying it out like a stud that they both know but all Columbo's evidence won't hold up and he'll never have proof. They totally drop the pretense and at one point Culp picks up his ball and moves it to a better spot and says with a sneer "I'll just throw this over here and no one will ever know and I'll go on with my game like nothing happened." A direct challenge.

Columbo_Double_Exposure_1973_VCSS2362.jp
 "Jeez, I was worried there I might ruin your game."
"Not a chance, Columbo. Not a chance."

 

And an earlier scene where Columbo is pestering him to the point where Culp tells him to back off and, as Culp is walking away, the camera catches Columbo following behind him where Culp can't see him.  In those few seconds we see a rare glimpse of Columbo "alone" dropping the act and we get a glimpse of how much Columbo is enjoying this...the look on his face is total predatory satisfaction and he even struts a little.

Columbo_Double_Exposure_1973_VCSS2262.jp

The "real" Columbo following Culp like a T-1000!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Reed said:

Why does the world continue to insist Dr Ken is funny when he quite obviously isn't?

They are learning the bitter lesson of All American Girl.  If you are trying to tell a story from a certain cultural perspective, let someone from that culture have some creative input... unless you are an unapologetic genius like Norman Lear who can put the edge in racial comedy and still deliver material that has dignity.

AAG failed because no one gave Margaret Cho a pen or a voice, so maybe Dr. Ken will be a lot more funnier now that Jeong has writing and producing responsibilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be one of those "sounds weird in 2016, but not 197x" things,but Columbo saysin Murder by the Book, the firstthing that bothered him about Jack Cassidy's story is that when he heard th news, he drove back from SD to LA instead of flying. 

Its still a 2-3 hour drive, right, even with modern traffic? How long would the airport hassle be now? I guess he is rich enough to get a private small plane and be there in 30-45 minutes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're right about it.  Presumably flying was a snap back then.  Airports in Columbo are hilarious from our perspective.  Just watch Johnie Cash stroll in and onto a plane and then watch Columbo flash a badge and take off after him.  They'd be on lockdown today if he ran through security like that.

The best thing about Cassidy in that episode is how dumb he is as a murderer but how genuinely skilled he is at marketing.  We see him in one scene giving an interview and just utterly seducing the interviewer.  And in another with a woman falling all over him at the theater.  So he naturally assumes he'll be able to work the same magic on Columbo and just can't even see how much it's not working.

It fits the character perfectly since the whole motive for the murder to to hide the fact that his partner did all the writing of their mystery novels and he only did the press stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding to that idea about airports.  One of the more charming things about Columbo is all the dated technology and ideas that were super-modern at the time.  Not just things like answering machines or electric typewriters that were astounding bits of tech then.  But also things like subliminal advertising, hypnotism, that pseudo-psychology stuff about words controlling your emotions, MENSA.  All stuff that was hot and "scientific" in the early 70s.

The subliminal advertising, for instance, while it had been around as a kind of common knowledge myth since 1957 when The Hidden Persuaders first came out, got a huge boost in cultural relevance the same year that episode was written (1973) by another bestseller titled Subliminal Seduction. 

All those weird cultural bits and pieces would have seemed hyper-modern and cutting edge when these episodes aired and they can seem bizarre looking back on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As ive said before, some great shows from that era would never work now due to tech issues, esp my beloved Mission Impossible. 

I wonder who is best at being the jerk murderer for those regulars. McGoohan's commander and spy arent really assholes, even to Columbo. Culp as the football GM is a jerk in spades. Cassidy is more smarmy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...