I love this show. This was a ground breaking tv to me. For once we see a middle aged detective who looks like a detective should. Usually the police we saw on TV were very gallant and handsome. I want to add that I never really fell for the bumbling cop routine because to become a homicide detective you have to be the best detectives on the force. It was very real also because of Columbo's age which is consistent with most Homicide detectives and the fact he talked about never using his gun. Something I find most police never use in their career.
The other groundbreaking aspect was we knew who the killer was right from the bat. And it looks like Columbo knows who it is too. The best part of the show is that the killer is usually some pompous jerk who thinks they are not only smarter then everyone, but treats Columbo like a pest and the village idiot. It is a cat and mouse game from start to finish and Columbo has got a big hunk of cheese in the pocket of that raggedy trench coat he wears.
The only reason Columbo doesn't arrest the criminal when he first meets them is because he just needs the one piece of evidence that will trip them up. And that is what drives the plot. It is particularly rewarding when the sword drops because by the end of the show we can't stand the jerk.
Some episodes are better then others but none of them are bad. I am not crazy about the Columbo's made in the 90's. That is because they changed the structure of the show which made it so good from the start. Some plots didn't even involve murders. There was one about a kidnapped bride that was unwatchable. But 3 or 4 were good like the one with Fisher Steven's as a Stephen Spielberg type director, or the 2 college students who thought they were smarter then Columbo, the one with Faye Dunaway. And one I think was a remake, Uneasy Lies the Crown, which originally was with Larry Hagman All of the early episodes are great.
You get to see Falk acting with his Hollywood buddies like John Cassavetes. But Peter Falk was the one and only star of the show he had no regular co stars. This a great show. I enjoy