Dubbed a “howcatchem” series rather than a whodunit show, nearly every episode of Columbo starts with a murder scene, revealing the perpetrator from the outset. So the fun of the show — and the genius of actor Peter Falk’s on-point delivery — is that we get to watch the culprit squirm, knowing exactly what he or she knows. All the while Columbo uses his sleuthing expertise to freak the offender out in every way he possibly can. And just when the murderer thinks Columbo is backing off, the detective comes back with his famous line, “Oh, just one more thing.” It’s no wonder that Columbo lasted (in several different incarnations) from 1968 until 2003.
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