Behold, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves; be therefore as cunning as serpents and as harmless as doves.

March 11th, 2014

Mallory Ortberg, reacting to a surfeit of Sherlock Holmes adaptations in recent years, reckons it's past time for a proper, working class hero. In other words, it's time for a Columbo reboot:

Columbo says things like "Watch my hand, it's full of grease. This is my dinner. Would you like a piece of chicken?" to suspects. He is deliberate. He moves at the pace of justice. Unflagging, unwearying, unrelenting; he is the Anton Chigurh of goodness. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards Columbo. It is his fundamental goodness, as much as his native intelligence, that make him a good detective. He is not a remote genius; he is not a refined gentleman; he is a good man, and it is this that makes him not just a good detective but my detective. He is America's detective. A good and a quiet man who brings his own lunch and will not go away until order is restored.

The article (and the accompanying comment thread) suggest some fine choices for the role. John C Reilly. An unshaven Stanley Tucci. Margo Martindale. Mark Ruffalo. Colm Meaney.

I'd suggest Tony Shalhoub1 or David Morrissey or Andre Braugher,2 but failing that I reckon Margo Martindale3 or Mark Ruffalo would be amazing in the role.

One way or another, someone needs to make this happen.

[Via LinkMachineGo!]

  1. Yes, I know Monk was arguably too close to the same ground for comfort. I still think Shalhoub could be so good as Lt Columbo.
  2. Lt Columbo and Frank Pembleton: how's that for contrasting styles of detective?
  3. If you haven't seen her in Justified season 2, do so. You will not regret it.

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