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Thread: 70's Detective Series FAV To Least FAV

  1. #1
    From 1 your FAV to 5 Least FAV, how would you place these 5 70's Detective Series?
    Hawaii Five-O
    The Rockford Files
    Streets Of San Francisco

  2. #2
    1. Hawaii Five-O
    2. The Streets of San Francisco
    3. Columbo
    4. The Rockford Files
    5. Kojak - haven’t seen too much of this show

    What’s your ranking, John?

  3. #3
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Vancouver, B.C.
    This list to choose from is silly. I don't think I have ever seen an episode of Rockford other than the one starring Elissa (, and I find Columbo loathsome. Obviously Five-O would be number one, but the other two would be tied. I have done reviews for both -- and

    Speaking of Rockford, I watched the movie Grand Prix the other day which stars James Garner. The movie dates from 1966, and there is a feature in the DVD set from 2006 (forty years later) where Garner appears. I first didn't recognize him (see below).

    This movie has some very cool racing sequences, but there is also a lot of soap opera, which is crap. I watched this film because I wanted to hear the score by Maurice Jarre to determine if it was as bad as when I originally saw this film years ago, and it indeed was. There is a 4 minute overture to the film, I don't think there is a single second of this overture worth listening to, what trash!
    I was reading this old film music forum the other day, and some guy had a very interesting post about Jarre:

    My gripe about Maurice Jarre is this. Something happened to him stylistically around 1966 or so which seemed to turn out the lights on his genius for scoring. His melodic structure turned---for want of a better word--trivial. The melodies in Lawrence and Dr.Zhivago were superb and memorable. But--after Ryan's Daughter we have a meandering non-melody style in search of a tonic resolution. To me PASSAGE TO INDIA is just about a carbon copy of RYAN'S DAUGHTER. After the wonderful THE COLLECTOR and the passive BEHOLD A PALE HORSE I think it went downhill. THE TRAIN has maybe one cut on it you can sink your teeth into. GRAND PRIX is just unlistenable to me. NIGHT OF THE GENERALS is dismal. IS PARIS BURNING has the quintessential Jarre melody. It seems half-written with nowhere to go or resolve. I adore CROSSED SWORDS and JESUS OF NAZERETH. But--a great many of the in-between scores depress the hell out of me. His electronic forays just leave me speechless. DREAMSCAPE may be a soundtrack collectible--but it makes my ears bleed. GORILLAS in the MIST and WITNESS and MOSQUITO COAST are certainly atmospheric and interesting. I can listen to those and enter a dream like trance. But--many many other electronic scores by him don't do a thing for me. Jarre is a great disappointment to me. My own personal opinion is this. To ride the crest of the wave of his success in the early 60's he took on far too many assignments for his creative muse to replenish. I think he went dry. My own opinion. The vitality and beauty of his work just seem to blink off and on unpredicatably. The recent WALK IN THE CLOUDS is very likable indeed. French composers do ethnic like nobody else.

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  4. #4
    Columbo is loathsome? Lol. Since when? Everybody and their dog loves Columbo. A one of a kind character the likes of which we will never see again. I love McGarrett and other 70s detectives but honestly no one can touch the greatest detective of all time and Peter Falk played him flawlessly!! Unless you just prefer serious detectives with minimal humor.

  5. #5
    Five-O Home Page Author Mr. Mike's Avatar
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    Mar 2019
    Vancouver, B.C.
    That is a strong word, indeed. But I think Columbo is less loathsome than the music of Maurice Jarre, which I also discussed above.

    The trouble with Columbo, based on the shows I have seen (and no, I don't have the time to go and watch any or all of them now to prove a point) is that it's the same shtick from episode to episode.

    It's almost impossible to find anything mean about Columbo. I tired hard, searching through Google. I know other people who share the same feelings as me. Some guy I know told me that I should review Columbo like I have done other shows. Maybe I was just annoyed about this suggestion. The same guy also suggested that I should do a WWW site for M*A*S*H ... seriously! Maybe I should ask people to start a GoFundMe campaign if they want me to do stuff like this.

    Here are a couple of negative comments about Columbo that I actually found (I am not making these up):


    I love Columbo, and I have the full DVD set. But each time I watch the episodes through the seasons, as I go from Season 1 to Season 7, he just gets on my nerves with his faked awkwardness and quirky mannerisms and his careless handling of evidence with bare hands and dropping his cigar ashes everywhere. I catch myself gritting my teeth and growling at him sometimes for behaving as he does.

    I feel as Peter Falk got into more and more episodes he exaggerated Columbo's character to really "overacted" proportions. Especially Season 6 "Last Salute to the Commodore".


    I definitely prefer seasons 1-5. The tics start to get distracting after that, but it’s not so bad if you aren’t binging. I mean they were aired with a couple months between movies, so I’m sure the change wasn’t as dramatic. It’s like some sitcoms, Friends, for example, watching them one episode a week is enjoyable. Binge watching them makes me want to kill the characters.

  6. #6
    I can relate to the person's comments about Friends. Small doses are best.

  7. #7
    My 5 In Order Would Be:
    1. Classic Hawaii Five-O 🌊 (1968-1980) obviously. 12 mostly strong seasons. McGarrett an iconic character plus beautiful Hawaii. Writing was creative and high level stuff. Big fan of Draw Me A Killer, East Wind, Ill Wind, Highest Castle, Deepest Grave, Hookman, King Of The Hill, The Vashon Trilogy. Yesterday Died..., etc. I'm glad they made 11 and 12 seasons although it was showing some episode or writing fatigue. It probably was difficult coming up with some new ideas after 240 episodes.

    2. Kojak-I've been watching these Kojak episodes and they are very well-written. McNeil-Kojak-Crocker are a strong 3 plus Stavros and Sapperstein and others. I was born in the mid-70's so watching these episodes are very interesting. Would have loved to see Kojak go 7 or 8 years. I only remember 5 seasons then it ended. Kojak is a larger than life figure. Crocker is similar to Danno. He has plenty of utility and good to have on your staff.

    3. Streets Of San Francisco. This is another excellent 70's detective series. Keller and Stone have a good chemistry. The veteran Mike Stone teaching the young Berkeley graduate 🎓 Steve Keller a few things. They have a few standout episodes. The Takers easily is #1. It is outstanding in every way possible. Most Likely To Succeed would be in my Top 5. The John Davidson one Mask Of Death might be #2. Brilliant episode. It's mostly Keller and Stone. They might have a few detectives around or lab person. I think that's why I have Hawaii Five-O and Kojak a little bit higher. A few more detectives to have doing things and see how they operate.

    4. Columbo. I really do love Columbo. My FAV Columbo episode is when he goes to London. Honor Blackman and Richard Baseheart are the perpetrators. Columbo is similar to Cannon. They are solo investigators but have help sometimes. If you love Columbo, then you see plenty of him during the 90 minutes. The drawback is if you get tired of seeing him say, "Just one more thing"...or him with the cigar. That can be annoying to some his mannerisms. I also like the Dick Van Dyke Columbo episode. I think it's called Negative Reaction.

    5. The Rockford Files. Have to put something last. James Garner is one of the actors that was successful in both Films and TV. Honestly, I can't remember any titles of the episodes and the villains are weaker and not as memorable as Classic Hawaii Five-O. It's mostly Jim Rockford although his Father and Angel appear in the episode. I've seen a few with Gretchen Corbett. I wonder if Seinfeld was a Rockford fan. His comedy reminds me some when Rockford starts talking and he's in these strange situations.

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