As we reach the end of the podcast’s run, we come upon “Uneasy Lies the Crown,” a rarely-mentioned late entry in the series. Steven Bochco recycles a 1970s script, in which a dentist/gambling addict tries to frame his wife for the murder of her famous actor lover. It’s actually not a bad murder scheme, and some of the performances are good, but hey, 90s Columbo, you know? Returning guest Tilt Araiza (The Sitcom Club) is here to discuss the episode, why on earth people do fanfiction and how a potential Columbo revival could possibly go wrong.
Tag: Steven Bochco
The Season One finale, “Blueprint for Murder,” stars Patrick O’Neal as an architect whose big upcoming project is placed in jeopardy due to a minor funding issue. What issue? Well, a Texas tycoon’s (Forrest Tucker) young second wife has agreed to devote a huge chunk of the galoot’s fortune to the project and he’ll have nothing of it. So, the architect’s only way to keep the development alive is to kill the tycoon by… uh… well… we never find out exactly. Which is weird, right? It’s just one of many off parts of a solidly okay episode that prevent it from possibly becoming one of the good ones. Peter Falk directs for the only time and he’s good! Really! There are just some odd things here and there that don’t quite gel. Mallory Ortberg (Dear Prudence) returns to the show to sort it all out and talk about how much we all loved the Texan’s ex-wife, Goldie.
“Lady in Waiting” stars Susan Clark as Beth Chadwick, heiress to the fabled Chadwick advertising fortune. When she shoots her brother after years of his holding her back and trying to sabotage her relationship with Leslie Nielsen, Columbo is the only one who sees not a tragic accident, but a calculated murder. Daniel Kibblesmith (Late Show with Stephen Colbert) and Jennifer Wright (It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History) join Jon and RJ to talk about Strawberry Shortcake hats, 1971’s most popular whiskey, creepy haunted baby dolls, the best way to propose to someone on Wall Street and oh, so much more.
You get twice the Martin Landau for the price of one admission, as he plays murderous twin brothers in “Double Shock.” One’s a devil-may-care host of a TV cooking show, the other’s a staid banker with a crippling gambling addiction. It’s up to Columbo to figure out how they’re tag teaming their killings. Along the way, he also has to deal with a cantankerous housekeeper and an awfully weird Julie Newmar. Abed Gheith (Rick and Morty, Channel 101) joins Jon and RJ to talk about the episode and many, many other digressions.
For our latest, we go back to Columbo‘s first episode (yes, yes- there was the TV movie and then the pilot, but this is the first episode), directed by a young go-getter named Steven Spielberg. It’s Jack Cassidy’s first turn as a murderous creep, killing his writing partner (Martin Milner), rather than letting him break up the team. Joining us is The AV Club‘s Gwen Ihnat, who wrote a wonderful column about Columbo‘s best episodes a little while ago.