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Don't forget about Columbo, the first season of which was just released on DVD. Without any irony I can say it's one of my favorite TV shows of all-time. The show is obviously very formulaic: Every time you see who committed a murder at the outset, and Lieutenant Columbo good naturedly hounds them with questions until they more or less confess. For some reason, the formulaic aspect is precisely what I enjoy. I've never enjoyed suspense in shows like this so much as simply seeing the how and why as it unfolds. There's one episode from the first season directed by Steven Spielberg that is particularly good, featuring the forgotten but deliciously suave and slippery Jack Cassidy, who is not only the father of Sean and David Cassidy, but whose name also sounds like an adverb describing the quality of a jackass: "Jackassity".

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