As the news of Falk's death broke overnight (NZT), and because the series' heydey was before my television-viewing time, rather than me writing a eulogy-style post here about Falk (who I do remember watching in movies such as The Princess Bride - Falk played the grandfather reading the story), I thought I would simply link here to a variety of posts and articles about the actor's passing, from people far more versed in Columbo-lore than me. I will just say that from all I have read and heard about the classic cop show, I really appreciate its significance on the TV landscape, and can see that many modern detective shows I enjoy were influenced by some of the things Columbo and Falk brought to the small screen - for example, the 'whydunnit' or 'howdunnit' focus rather than 'whodunnit' - where the audience knows the killer early on, rather than finding out at the end (ala Law & Order: Criminal Intent).
Here are some articles and blog posts to browse:
- Entertainment Weekly: "One of the most accomplished television, movie, and stage actors to ever create a pop-culture icon, Peter Falk was Columbo, and he was also a helluva a lot more than that, too..."
- Wall Street Journal Blog: "we watched… no, we adored… Peter Falk’s Columbo because he was us: an everyman, working class, messy, and imperfect, dealing with the physical and domestic woes we know so well, and constantly underestimated by wealthier, better-educated people as a result."
- Los Angeles Times: Television historian Tim Brooks called Falk "one of the most iconic characters on television. He created the kind of person that was unique to TV, a very relatable person that viewers could feel close to. He was shambling and seemingly absent-minded, but not really. He wasn't just a character but someone you could really like."
3pm Edit: Jeff Pierce has now uploaded his blog post about Columbo, and as expected, it's a cracker. Read it here.
Were you a fan of Columbo? Feel free to share your thoughts about the passing of a classic TV detective.