Friday, December 29, 2006

"The Complete Sixth and Seventh Seasons"

With the arrival of "Columbo - The Complete Sixth and Seventh Seasons" the DVD release of the original Columbo shows is complete. I'm glad they're here and like with all the previous seasons' releases I've bought them as soon as they were in the store. However, as with all the previous seasons' collections I'm equally dissappointed with the overall quality of the productions that Universal has put forward.

First off let me say that the picture quality of the DVDs is alright. They're clean and precise but that's not where my problems lie. For such a seminal show with a great cast of faded stars and up and comers and some of the best writers and directors in the history of tv, there's just nothing going on here but a straight presentation of the shows and some episodes of the utterly atrocious "Mrs. Columbo" with the nascent Cpt. Janeway, Kate Mulgrew.

Alright, I admit it. I've been spoiled by DVDs including documentaries and great commentaries. I've been spoiled by the inclusions of outtakes, screen tests and all sorts of video goodies. So what if I've been spoiled, I don't think it's too much to ask for a little something extra.

William Link's still alive. Does he refuse to talk about his most famous creation? I've heard enough interviews with Peter Falk to know he won't stop talking about the show. Would it have been so hard to get something on film? I wonder what Patrick McGoohan has to say about his involvement in the show as actor and director. what about Bruce Kirby or Dennis Dugan? What of the rest of the surviving cast of regulars?

Don't get me wrong, if you have any liking for "Columbo" pick up the DVD sets. You can't go wrong if you want to have something you can put on and always get a kick out of watching. Falk's like something crazed Italian leprechaun in most episodes and there was a real effort to create an array of villains from the detestable (ex. Jack Cassidy always, Louis Jordan) to the sympathetic (ex. Ruth Gordon and Donald Pleasance) and nifty plots and clues. So buy them and watch them and once in awhile imagine how much more Universal could've given us to waste away some more of our lives' with.

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