July 27, 2019

Not a movie tonight, but Season One, Episode One of "Columbo" -- one of my all-time favorite television shows and one that definitely holds up years later.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Steven Bochco, and guest-starring Jack Cassidy, "Murder By The Book" is the story of a mystery-writing team that falls apart and ends, well, I mean, it's right there in the title of the episode!

Columbo is a real standout among suspense television of the period, both for the quality of the writing, directing and acting, and for pioneering the "how-done-it" mystery. In traditional detective stories, the audience is challenged to figure out “who done it” before the story ends and the answer is revealed. In the much trickier "how-done-it", the audience is shown the crime and knows the identity of the criminal right from the start -- the tension come from watching Columbo figure out how it was done.

“You know what, Ken? I’m gonna tell you the truth. For a while there I never thought I was going to get you. Believe me, you had me going in such circles, I couldn’t figure it out!”


And it's an open thread...

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