It need not be dirty

Peter Falk as Colombo
Peter Falk as Colombo

I spent four hours watching television Sunday night.

First, let me assure you that this is not an endorsement of any particular network or program.  Second, I recognize that what you are about to read will shock anyone under the age of 40.

Yes.  It is true.  I was tuned to MeTV, a network that shows vintage shows, some of which appear in black and white.  The Sunday evening lineup is amazing (to a fan of old mystery and detective shows):

  • 7 p.m. – Colombo – Two hours of Peter Falk as a quirky, slob of a detective who always figures out the crime (1968-2003).
  • 9 p.m. – Man from U.N.C.L.E. – Robert Vaughn and David McCallum save the world from the plots of THRUSH (1964-1968).
  • 10 p.m. – Mission Impossible – The team does amazing things that Tom Cruise could only dream of (1966-1973).

These programs are engaging, tense and compelling.  But there are things these show lack:

  • Profanity
  • Mutilated bodies
  • Naked people groping each other
  • References to deviant sexual behavior

If you want current mystery and detective shows, you probably think you can’t have an interesting program without those elements.  In fact, you can.  And I’m willing to forgive the folks from several decades for smoking on camera and having bad hair.

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