It was a thrilling Saturday night at the McBroom home. Hubby and I snuggled up to watch yet another episode of Columbo. Why is that that we continue to return to this nostalgic favorite? In response to that question, I present to you…
Five Lessons I’ve Learned from Columbo
- Looks are deceiving. Columbo comes off as a bumbling mess. He acts forgetful, seems to never understand what is being told to him, and his clothes are a mess. Yet underneath that unassuming facade is a detective with a brilliant mind. Similarly, Columbo was deceptive. I wager that he planned every detail of his investigations for the greatest effect.
- Details are important. There’s always that small detail, revealed in the last 10 minutes, that brings all the pieces of the puzzle together. Something is out of place; someone does something out of character; events seem too coincidental. No detail is minor in his eyes.
- Persistence pays off. Even when there seems to be no possible way that the suspect can be guilty or when Columbo knows he’s guilty but can’t find just the right evidence to prove it, he keeps on pressing, confident in his conclusion.
- Pride goeth before the fall- Columbo plays the foil to the always-arrogant villians with his humble presence. Almost self-deprecating, he displays respect for everyone, even when he is sure of their guilt.
- Success means taking it slowly.- The pace of the show reflects the idea that it’s all about the story, not dependent on fast-paced action scenes or bombs exploding. His deliberate questioning and processing of information leads the audience to solve the crime with him. But, of course, he gets it just a bit before we do.
These observations are not earth-shaking; maybe that’s partly why Columbo has remained popular for so long. The things we learn are simple and predictable, and yet somehow we come back for more. Especially on a Saturday night.