Mrs. Columbo (TV Series 1979–1980) Poster

(1979–1980)

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Spoilt my view of Mrs C
mellissa_thorpe9 June 2010
Hi, I absolutely love watching Columbo it's been a family favourite for years. I love the character and the epsiodes are watchable again and again.

Now like everyone I always hoped to see Mrs Columbo, mainly out of curosity.

I have bought the Fith Season on DVD today and in that is a Mrs Columbo episode. I had no idea a series - spin-off from Columbo was ever made. I was at first glance a bit shocked as she is nothing like the Mrs Columbo I imagined. I didn't really think she would be old but older and more homely looking. The Mrs Columbo I have watched was average to below average. It is not on the same level as Columbo series. I actually found it really odd the way they make her come across like a female columbo as it doesn't really work. I know people pick-up each others characteristics of their husband/wife but this was just really odd.

She also gave no clue in that she was onto the person. It was really odd. At least you could see things ticking over in Columbo's face and going along with things. With this episode of Mrs Columbo it seemed really far-fetched.

It just didn't gel to me or come across as being realistic.

I actually think although people were curious, after so many episodes of Columbo it should have remained that Mrs C never appeared and everyone then kept their view of Mrs C or at least what feels like it's realistic enough to be.

Overall, I won't be going in search of the Mrs C series but as far as the Columbo series - they still rock!
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3/10
Kate loves to be very annoying!
last-picture-show31 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Despite the occasional flaw the original Columbo series is one of television's all-time classic crime shows. So successful in fact that when Peter Falk originally bowled out in 1978 NBC came up with a brilliant idea, why not make his never-seen wife 'Mrs Columbo' a part-time crime solver, using the same methods employed by her husband?

This premise would be stretching things somewhat if Mrs Columbo appeared as surely how most people must see her, a forty-something, fiery Italian matriarch, perhaps in the mould of English actress Miriam Margolyes. But to employ the services of glamorous 24-year old actress (of Irish extraction) Kate Mulgrew is totally ludicrous.

I have only seen one episode Murder Is A Parlour Game, and despite a superb cast including Donald Pleasence and Don Baker, it was enough to convince me that Mrs Columbo was a bad idea. The plot was wafer-thin and offered very little to hold viewers' interest. The police are made to look like stupid meat heads leaving glamorous Kate to use her feminine charm to solve the mystery. Only she doesn't have any charm. Unlike her hubby who wins the murderers round with wily cunning, Kate is just an annoying, know-all. Fans of the original Columbo series should avoid this like the plague.

NBC knew they were onto a looser when the ratings dropped after the first few episodes were aired. Viewers just couldn't believe that Kate Mulgrew was Columbo's wife so the producers changed the name of the series, twice, eventually giving Kate a different surname, Callahan, to completely disassociate the series with Columbo. If they had done this in the first place it might just have been a success.

The quickly edited opening titles and Bach-style theme music reminded me of the later, vastly superior crime series Murder She Wrote. Both shows were created by Richard Levinson and William Link so in a way Mrs Columbo was a blueprint for that show. Curiously Kate Mulgrew guested in a few episodes of Murder She Wrote and I wonder if she thought to herself 'this should've been me'.
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3/10
Coming from a big Columbo fan, this spin-off show is really disappointing
TheLittleSongbird19 June 2011
Although I am not going to spend the whole review comparing, I have to say Mrs Columbo is a real disappointment of a spin-off series. And this is coming from a big fan of the classic Columbo series with Peter Falk. As much as I did like the idea, it was one that didn't work out. I liked how the episodes looked, they are well shot and the production values are lovely, the music is often delightful and I like the quickly edited opening sequences. Against all this, I find Mrs Columbo herself annoying and not very easy to relate to. Also Kate Mulgrew does have a charming appearance, perhaps too charming, but she does overdo it a lot. It doesn't help that the writing is so forced, the pace often dull and the stories in general thin and formulaic. And while there are some great actors and decent guest stars, the stories, with a lack of realism in abundance one too many times, and writing let them down. All in all, a series I wanted to like but it doesn't work. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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9/10
I love this show
I love "Mrs. Columbo". I know mine is a minority opinion, but the real reason I love this show is because I adore Kate Mulgrew. And I adore her mainly because she played the first - and best - Mary Ryan, on "Ryan's Hope". I enjoyed these mysteries, light, fun, frivolous - seventies television was formulaic but the formulas were soothing and enjoyable! The writing is always fine, direction sturdy, and solid strong guest stars - I think the show would have been better off not saying she was "Mrs. Columbo", since it was not believable that Columbo's wife would be this much younger than he is (Kate Mulgrew was only in her mid-twenties).

So this show is a light way to pass some time and just as enjoyable as any other formulaic mystery show from the 1970's, if not has well known or loved. (:
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2/10
Not Very Good representation
joerushhead-113 November 2011
Sorry, but this show didn't work at all, and a '2' is a generous vote. If you watch enough "Columbo", any time he is on the phone with her, she is given as a homemaker, not a reporter, and on top of that, she's not very bright. On "An Exercise in Fatality", she calls him at the office of the killer, and they discuss what to cook for the family guests for dinner. He then tells her what to do, i.e. call the Chinese restaurant, make the order and he would get it after work on the way home. Does that honestly sound like she has the wherewithal to find the answer to some caper? Not in my opinion, and I'm sure a majority of the readers of this would have to agree. She's just not that intelligent!
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1/10
Unrealistic
paddledawg30 March 2016
In the Columbo series, the lieutenant describes his wife's character and even physical attributes.

See Season 4: Ep. 1--An Exercise in Fatality--time index 32:10.

None of the characteristics are reflected in the Mrs Columbo series.

You might as well call her a different name, because its really not the same person.

Too bad it was branded "Mrs. Columbo". What were the directors and writers thinking??

There are just too man inconsistencies to call her the lieutenant's wife.
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10/10
Best Columbo ever
Sandman-681 November 2007
Mrs. Columbo as a title got my attention right away. I had seen several Lt. Columbos, including the actor who first created the character, Bert Freed --IMO the best of the lot; I thought Falk stank as the detective. It was my first look at a female detective, and my first exposure to Kate Mulgrew. I instantly fell in love with her. Her character was appealing in a number of ways: she was self-assured, competent, calm and cool. She could -- and did -- handle anything that jumped up to bite her. Kate is still my pick of all female detectives, and Mulgrew is a goddess. As an actress she can do no wrong. As to the series itself, I found the plots much more realistic, in a true-to-life way, than those of her "husband" or of almost any other crime show that was then on the air. So here are two "best Columbos," Mulgrew and Freed.
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10/10
Wow
hljakes21 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Their first mistake was not cast in an older actors in the role secondly it went to three different name changes different time slots I know Kate I can't think of her last name was happy when it ended I am I've never seen an episode I would love for it to come out on DVD it be interesting to watch
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